Some songs are tailor-made to soundtrack times like this. Summer’s in full swing (figuratively speaking, at least, even if recent weather has been, shall we say, less than encouraging), and Theme Park [Twitter/Facebook] have today unveiled the video for their next single. They’ve done so with impeccable timing, too: their new single Jamaica (out on August 13th) is an extraordinary uplifting song, comprised of bouncy hooks, soaring choruses and confident, swaggering rhythms, that looks set to shoot them toward bigger things. Other things that will help, in this regard, are the fact that their debut album is pencilled in for a release later this year via Transgressive Records… not to mention that they’re supporting Bloc Party (!) on their October (Bloctober?) tour of the UK. Quality-wise, the new song picks up right where previous single Two Hours left off. They’ve been wonderfully consistent so far, and if I were a betting man, I’d put good money on the long-awaited debut record being a very fine album indeed. For now, though, here’s the clip:
Sometimes, all you need is a hook. Theme Park should know all about this, because their new single contains an absolute monster of one. The new song, the first to be taken from their debut album, due later this year (yep, you can officially start getting excited now), is called Two Hours, and has that much replay value that you could find yourself listening to it on repeat for that long, without much difficulty. It’s one of the finest indie-pop songs I’ve heard so far this year: the interplay between the bass and drums reminds me a lot of Arcade Fire and similar bands with epic ambitions; the overall feel of the song draws comparisons to New Order as well, but this is a sound the trio are striving to make their own. Two Hours deserves all of the praise it gets, as the band have come on considerably from the release of their debut single in August of last year. It doesn’t rely on anything else other than that amazing hook, opening up and revealing itself over three minutes, with an interesting, and extremely unexpected electronic diversion taken as it draws to its close. It would seem they’re not afraid to take risks either – and that’s just what they need. Their ascent continues unchecked.
It’s been nearly a month since we we published the long-list of bands and artists picked by 32 of the finest bloggers around to be big in 2012, but today we can finally reveal the top five and the *winnner*. Drum-roll please…
5. Daughter – Soft, slow, spacious and often haunting folk [coverage]
4. French Wives – Uplifting and heart-warming indie from Glasgow
3. Beth Jeans Houghton – All kinds of oddities rolled into an alt-folk package [coverage]
2. Theme Park – Tropical and danceable indie pop with a nod to the 80s [coverage]
1. Friends – Rhythm focused pop with an almost-carnival/ R’n’B sounds.
Congratulations to Friends for taking the top spot and having one of the biggest songs of last year, but I’d hope that all the bands even on our long list go on to big things. This list was done as an alternative to the BBC Sound of 2012 poll, and they should be announcing their winners today as well – and Friends are on their short-list… If anything, both lists will hopefully serve as a platform for all the bands recognised to move onwards and upwards.
On the topic of picks for 2012, the Walrus staffers will be producing their own top 3s for 2012 over the coming week so watch this space.