Unless you’ve been living under a rock or in a country with no medals, you’re well aware that the London Olympics are in full swing. To celebrate, this week’s edition of the column features acts that all call the U.K. their home. I guess I could’ve picked something a little more competitive, but let’s be real, country theme songs (or anthems, whatever) get old even when they’re your own. Yeah, I’ll stick with acts from the U.K. this time around.
1. “Too Close” – Alex Clare
Yes, this song is in a Microsoft commercial. Yes, this song makes me excited when that commercial comes on. Yes, this song has some womp-womp wobbles. Yes, this song has been stuck in my head for months straight. The hook is practically flawless, since the offset rhythm in the instrumental part makes it so the vocal melody never gets stale. I dare you to try to listen to this without moving to it at all. Actually, can we make that a bet? I could use some money.
2. “Constellations” – Enter Shikari
Before I listened to A Flash Flood Of Colour, I always understood why people enjoyed Enter Shikari, but couldn’t really get into their music myself. Songs like “Constellations” have changed that. I know it’s different from what could be called their “definitive” sound, but this is the exact sort of thing that breaks up the heaviness to show another side of musical maturity. The lyrics throughout the record are great, but this is the unquestionable standout. Uplifting and enveloping in almost every sense, this is the sort of thing that makes this record one of my favorites of 2012.
3. “New York” – Snow Patrol
It might be kind of strange to think that a song titled “New York” should be included in a three-song sampling of U.K. bands, but this featured prominently in the soundtrack to my three weeks spent in London this past January, from my headphones to TV commercials. I really can’t rave enough about how much I enjoy Fallen Empires, and this is definitely a highlight from the record. If you enjoy the studio version, be sure to also check out the version the band did with Ed Sheeran in the middle of a piano store in Montreal a few months back. Fantastic.