Ciao Contra

This weekend I realised I’d not listened to a new album for ages so I went to HMV Fulham and got ‘Ciao!’ by Tiga and ‘Contra’ by Vampire Weekend.

The first, released last summer, reminded me of the joy of having an album in hand. With a bohemian graffiti cover and a sleek disc, black on both sides, ‘Ciao!’ looks as artful as it sounds – and makes me think of the stark black packaging of Wuz by Alex Gopher and Demon. On first listen the fun that is ‘Shoes’, the synthy ‘Luxury’ and the opener ‘Beep Beep Beep’ caught my ear. A few more plays made favourites of ‘Turn the Night On’ – all double claps and driving bass – and ‘Love Don’t Dance Here Anymore’ – a romantic ballad that turns into a disco workout. It’s a perfect electronic put-together.

‘Contra’ has the same summery, safari, Paul Simon-esque beats that everyone loves Vampires for – but this time with a harder electronic edge. ‘Run’ almost bleeps, and builds with hypnotic drums, ‘Taxi Cab’ sounds like a shuddering laser cutter accompanied by harpsichord, while Chef’s preferred track has to be ‘Diplomat’s Son’ – electronic keyboard reggae ready for a deck shoe summer.

Together they’re the start of a new effort to spend longer listening to stuff and not living off the breakfast thrill of a swift single song download for the tube journey. Chef’s Kiss!

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