For the last few days I've been listening (when I've got the chance) to a band called Horse Shoes. You've probably heard of them but I must admit, beyond the fact that they're from America and have a record coming out on Shelflife and played POP!Mayhem in Florida at the weekend, I don't know anything about the band at all. Sometimes though, that's a good thing. If nothing else it stops me weighing this blog down with lengthy descriptions when all you really need to do is listen to the band. They cite their influences as New Order and spent their formative years listening to lots of The Smiths, which does inform the sound slightly. There's more than a hint of Sarah Records about them though, a whiff of Labrador (the Legends, Club8) and I think I detect just a hint of My Raining Stars about them too.
If any of that sounds like your thing (I hope it does) then a couple of the songs are streaming over at shelflife or you can listen to some songs on the bands myspace page.
Aside from Horse Shoes, another animal related band I've been enjoying this week are Denim Owl. Denim Owl are a duo from Melbourne (Janita Foley and Aleks Bryant or Denim Owl and Brain Cobra if you prefer), they have a song called Kitten Gloves (with a kitten sample at the beginning) and a penchant for melodica, but let's not tag them with any disparaging genre labels here. At heart, they make keyboard driven pop with some loops and effects. Oh and they do a superb version of Springsteens' 'I'm On Fire' so I was always going to love them. If you're inclined to listen to them you can do so here. They're playing a gig in Melbourne on 2nd September, with the Motifs (who were great when I saw them in Nottingham last year) so if you live anywhere near there, it should be well worth a look.
Finally if you're in the sort of person who likes to wallow in a bit of list making/nostalgia then you'll probably enjoy Pitchfork this week. Their counting down their top 500 records of this decade, with a few articles as well. Even if you don't like Pitchfork it'll at least provoke a "how the hell did that get in there" from you at some point, which isn't a bad thing.