Game On: Brazil vs Belgium

For what is surely going to be one of my favourite matches of the tournament (thrilling Brazil finally getting going vs Belgium who could etch a new name on the trophy!) let’s have some of my favourite genres and two incredibly stylish black and white videos.

For Brazil, I present B-movie surf-rock from the Hitchcocks. Their video for It’s Alive looks super cool on a super low budget, and they rock all the way to the outer limits.

For Belgium, I have found some female-fronted heavy vaguely occult rock, which is basically my favourite thing in the whole world. Light some incense, inscribe a pentagram (if you’ve had the correct training) and enjoy Black Mirrors tear it up on their song Günther Kimmich.

Game On: Uruguay vs France

Let’s have a bit of summery pop for this sunny Friday afternoon.

For Uruguay we have pop duo Olvidate! (the exclamation point is part of the name). Now, when I’ve been researching Uruguayan chart pop I’ve noticed that the basic reggaeton rhythm has mutated in all sorts of directions. The one you’ll hear in Qué Calor is at the same time closer to a Euro dance rhythm but also contains some jarring moments that would be challenging on the dancefloor.

For France, Therapy TAXI are very interesting indeed. They’ve launched their new album Hit Sale with a sequence of three videos telling a weird and troubling exploitation story, but for today I’ve got you ADENA from their first album.


Game On: Colombia vs England

For this incredibly important last 16 match, I am bringing out the CHIPTUNES.

For Colombia, enjoy New Dark Ages from Filmmaker – an album of lofi improvisions with fabulous electro crunch.

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For England, enjoy a cut from the Hard Byte Rises by Bitman. Reach for the 8 bit lasers!

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Game On: Sweden vs Switzerland

Phoneme-wise, it’s been a wee while since we’ve had a double ‘sw’ match in the knockout stages of the World Cup. In fact, since Swaziland have renamed themselves to eSwatini, this is now your only option.

For Sweden, home of sophisticated space age synth pop, we have some incredible throwback Italo disco from Carino Cat.

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For Switzerland, home of the world’s largest particle accelerator, we have some ambient electro with absolutely fantastic sci-fi artwork.

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Game On: Brazil vs Mexico

Today’s afternoon fixture is a big, intense Central and South American party and we have some music to go with it.

For Brazil, meet Cofo de Parafernalha who have done something I never imagined hearing and combined cumbia vocals, crunchy new wave of heavy metal guitars and samba drums. It is WILD. I want to go to one of their gigs because I don’t know if we’d mosh or dance or what.

For Mexico, enjoy the sundrenched yet slightly melancholic psych of Acid Waves. Inferno Club sounds like it could be a lost song from that early noughties rock/dance wave that brought us The Rapture. Riffy and ace, never stops moving.

Mega Interview: There’s No Friends Like Anarchicks

Back in May, I was in Lisbon, almost totally immersed in Eurovision. On my night off, I met up with two deeply excellent people – Ana and Rita of Anarchicks. The plan was to talk about the Portuguese underground music scene, gender politics and what it’s like for the locals when Eurovision comes to town. What actually happened was ten thousand times more awesome than that. Enjoy the wild and rambling ride…

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So, please enjoy my chat with Ana and Rita and then have a massive rock out to their new single No Friend. I love their commitment to the visual storytelling about inner conflict and identity in the video clip. Plus, you know, they know how to rock looks.

Game On! Croatia vs Denmark

I don’t know whether we’re going to have sexy football tonight, but one of these teams which has never won the World Cup before is going to be a quarter finalist. So let’s have some tangentially sexy music.

For Croatia, meet Erotic Bilijan and His Heretics. Old fashioned rock and roll with thick guitar sounds and lots of very… analogue detail.

For Denmark, meet Anella whose visuals are 100% burlesque but whose sound is 50% electroswing, 50% pure pop. (Also, Anella if you’re reading, pop a wee entry for DMGP 2019 won’t you?)


Game On! Spain vs Russia

You know the drill by now: more music, more football.

From Spain I’ve got you a rockabilly band with a lovely skeletal sound and a lot of energy. The Radions tour rockabilly festivals all over Europe, which are a very good time. Gig listings on their Facebook page.

For our Russian hosts, enjoy St Petersburg based Union Grail. Journey is track one on their new album, which contains some lovely tunes (Meet Me In Paris has a lovely bit of accordion on it).

Game On: Uruguay vs Portugal

The weather continues to be utterly fantastic in the UK, so here’s two evocations of the louche pastel poolside vibe.

For Uruguay, A.M.I.G.A give us the adorable Verano 2020, containing fabulously useful summer vocab training and Uruguayan Daphne & Celeste vibes.

For Portugal, we revisit an older single from Listen Outside faves The Gift who give us glamorous drag and unicorn pool party vibes, which is very Summer 2018 even though it’s last summer’s song.

Game On: France vs Argentina

With the knockout stages upon us, it’s time to go deeper into music. France vs Argentina provide us with great football and great music with its mind on other continents.

For France we have ooTi with J’irai marcher dans l’Atlas (I will walk in the Atlas) whose daydreams about walking around the Moroccan landmarks become cooing, chill acoustic pop. 

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For Argentina meet theatrical chanteuse Alix, whose twitter account is full of Kafka. Her song is the thematically appropriate I’d Rather Read (Dead Russians)

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