Olympians

Today’s top 5 tracks are picked out by Norwich newcomers Olympians. These guys make excellent indie-pop, with harmonies and brass…

I think they sound a bit like Idlewild with extra synths. Like something-to-write-home-about-era-get-up-kids. They’re cracking, and you should pop them in your ears and give them a go.

Right, over to Olympians – here’s their top 5 tracks:

1 – Hollow Mountain – Efterklang

This whole record is a triumph, managing that rare trick of having an amazing feeling of space but also feeling intimate and humane. Really floaty music is lovely but often feels a bit emotionless from it’s reverby vagueness, and Efterklang seem to have avoided and won the entire game of music as a result.

2 – Movement and Location – Punch Brothers

Experimental Bluegrass, eh? Edgy. Don’t worry, this isn’t some post-ironic niche genre I’m heading a two month craze for. I actually discovered them on Radio 4′s Loose Ends. The mandolin player and leader, Chris Thile, just won the $500,000 McArthur ‘Genius Grant’, for being a genius. He’s been releasing virtuosic mandolin albums since he was thirteen. And yet all he does is stand there strumming rhythms on the thing. How’s that for modesty? I like the way this song’s Reich-like driving pulses unfurl and grow into a subtle but slightly uncomfortable cross rhythm. It’s lovely. And it doesn’t sound like bluegrass, which is the best you could hope from a bluegrass band really.

3 – I Am Certain – Among Brothers

There’s a line in Jeffrey Lewis’ lyrical tour de force ‘Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror’ where he says ‘and if our friends become successful, we’ll consider them our foes’. Our labelmates Among Brothers have come up with the most amazingly beautiful song ever about joining a cult to get some fanny, and if they carry effortlessly throwing out bangers like this I don’t think we’re going to be talking much longer.

4 – Pyramids – Frank Ocean

I’m reticent to suggest this, as by now everyone knows Mr Ocean produces top-tracks-list-worthy songs, given his knack for turning up on EndOfYears. So I’m sorry if you’re tired of him by now. However, unlike most I shan’t tell you that he’s made of real feelings or that he’s one of those homosexuals like you get in rock music, but instead concentrate on the fact that this album is smoother and thicker than a pint of Irish stout; the beats are massive, and minimal, it’s excellent production, and all sorts of hip hop and disco get a look in. Slick. And at this time of year…

5 – Prettyboy – Dan Deacon

Even though it’s old (you know, at least 3 months old) Dan Deacon’s whole America album is so fucking lovely, it’s got all of the horrible electro squelches and squeaks that you would expect, but this time with a layer of….niceness on it. We would choose the whole thing if we could, but pushed to one tracks, this one pips it. It’s like a fierce cat that has turned over to allow you to rub it’s belly after months of scratching and other minor abuses. At 2.28 it sounds like Jump by Van Halen.

Sweet – here’s the YouTube playlist:

Or for those on the go, get the whole set on iTunes here:

And finally, here’s one from Olympians themselves. It’s ace.

See you next time – a HUGE top 5 is coming up next. Follow @top5tracks on twitter to keep updated. Well done.