Game On: Croatia vs England

I wanted to showcase music by partners and family members of the various squads today, but such has been the changearound in the England setup that there aren’t really any popstar girlfriends. So we’re going experimental pop instead.

So for Croatia, enjoy Wanda Why by Rolo from their delightfully titled album HØØP. It’s summery, snappy and it’s less than three minutes long.

And for Yorkshire, because we all know that the main power of the England team comes from God’s Own County, it’s The Bleeding Obvious. Crack out the glowsticks and baggy trousers and have a go at the Hacienda remix of Spectrum.

 

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Game On: France vs Belgium

Not many left now!

For France, Illy Baze sonically shows us what Serhat thought he was trying to do. The visuals are interesting too: contrasting moody bisexual lighting on a deserted dancefloor with the quotidian details of the blessed Thérése herself. His album is pretty special too – cosmic themes and ASMR noises turn up on Extrateresse and Oumamama, named after the unknown space object moving through our solar system.

Trixie Whitley is a Belgian American pop artist from Ghent whose new single Heartbeat goes on a voyage through multi-layered trip hoppy cascading melodies. The accompanying album will be her 4th – I can’t believe I’d never been introduced to her music before because it is exactly my sort of thing.

 

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Game On: Sweden vs England

I considered making this a normal Game On post, but no. Today is about football songs.

Sweden have not one but two top class novelty World Cup singles for 2018.

Exhibit 1: Samir & Viktor – Put Your Hands Up För Sverige

Exhibit 2: Du Vet Du – Vi Sjunger

What do England have for 2018?

There’s nothing official, but there’s the majestic earworm of the Kick Song.

And I’m sure you’re familiar with Three Lions, but I thought you might enjoy this energetic thrash of a cover from WALWIN. Is it… coming home

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.

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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.

 

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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.

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.

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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…

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.