November 15, 2010

Today's Hotness: LoveLikeFire, The Answering Machine

>> In the context of this publication, anyway, LoveLikeFire has wanted for attention. This is in large part due to our deep affinity for the San Francisco dream-pop quartet's labelmates, the ace British indie pop outfit The Answering Machine. In our minds LoveLikeFire has to date existed as "The Band That Is Not The Answering Machine On Heist Or Hit." To be sure, that wouldn't be the case had we connected with LoveLikeFire's first record, 2009's Tear Ourselves Away, which we did not for some reason. Things have changed, however, as we've been streaming a lot LoveLikeFire's forthcoming sophomore set Dust and it is tops: a wonderful, reverby record of guitar pop with strong female vocals out front that in places owes as great a debt to mid '80s Cure as it does to its scene contemporaries. In between the first and second record there were some major personnel changes for the band, and a new approach to recording (the new collection was produced by drummer David Farrell), and LoveLikeFire's updated approach is substantially more appealing to us. You can stream the entire collection below, and we recommend that you do just that. Dust was released digitally in the U.S. Oct. 26; it wil be released in the UK Nov. 22.

Dust by LoveLikeFire by HeistOrHit

>> Since we've already name-dropped The Answering Machine twice above, let's just go there. The Manchester, England-based foursome (five, if you count new "touring member" Luke Bellis) has posted to its web site a terrific, electropop remix of its recent single "Animals." The production is very mid-oughts Morr Music: chiming tones, delicate but occasionally busy rhythms. The synth-led, '80s roller rink pop-referencing original version of "Animals" is compelling, but we missed the guitars, and the remix -- posted below -- goes to the logical solution, namely that "if we're not going to give you guitars, let's just go to the complete opposite end of the spectrum." With thrilling results, in our opinion. The remix also is in a different key and touts re-recorded vocals, and the overall effect emphasizes a pronounced feeling of regret not nearly as palpable in the original. Have a listen below, and check out a video Gemma Answering Machine put together right here. The Answering Machine's sophomore full-length will be released in a number of territories (the phrase we've seen is "worldwide," but really, is the record going to be available in Myanmar? Ghana?) in early 2011, and it is called Lifeline.

The Answering Machine - Animals (The Answering Machine Remix)

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