I suspect few records released in 2007 are going to provoke as much argument as this second Arcade Fire album, "Neon Bible". A week before the official release date, you can already feel it coming, as inexorable as the tidal waves and imprecations of doom that fill Win Butler's lyrics.


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Thanks for all your comments on the Arctic Monkeys blog. Hopefully, I should have my own copy of the album in a few weeks, and I'll post something more considered than last week's effort once I've listened to it more than once. In the meantime, I figured I should allay one or two fears.


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So we’re sitting in Domino’s new offices, somewhere on an industrial estate in Wandsworth. There’s a train track outside one window, a gas holder outside the other, and some old Pavement and Sebadoh posters on the floor. Then there’s this massive crash of very heavy drums and guitars. The new Arctic Monkeys album has started, it seems.


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I'm not sure what kind of symmetry this represents, but Richard Swift's new album begins with the sound of tapdancing and nears a close with him crooning, rather sweetly, "I wish I were dead most of the time." "Dressed Up For The Letdown" is Swift's third album, and is a concept album of sorts. It's about a singer-songwriter - let's call him Richard Swift - who struggles for years without success, cursing the ignorance of the labels who refuse to sign him.


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I worry, occasionally, that this blog has started to give the impression we spend our days at Uncut listening to nothing but serious, respectable artists with a good decade or two of critical acclaim under their belts. Of course, we do listen to Cave, and Bowie, and Neil Young, and Cat Power, and a hell of a lot of Grateful Dead at the moment. You might not believe this, but Allan even digs out a dusty Dylan CD from time to time.


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Looking for facts in Nick Cave lyrics is a bit of a dumb game. If you were to take everything he's said at face value, he'd have been dead long ago: hanged for murder, perhaps, at some point in the 19th Century.


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It's not often, I must admit, that I have a reason to visit Chanel's website. But there's a great video on there at the moment that amounts to an unveiling of Cat Power's new live line-up. It's quite a shock.


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Hard to know what to play this morning. My ears are still ringing from a massive night in the company of The Hold Steady, who played an astonishing gig in a Hoxton bar. As I left, Allan was deep in conversation with their singer, Craig Finn. I'm sure he'll be writing something on his blog about it later. In the meantime, I've found a new David Bowie comp called "The Best Of Bowie 1980/1987" in this morning's post and, perhaps out of wilful perversity, I'm playing it now.


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Faintly astonishing news the other day, when it emerged that the new Bloc Party album had entered the American charts at Number 12. I'm personally a bit underwhelmed by that record - Jacknife Lee's production is really bloated and distracting, I think - but it's interesting that arty-ish indie-rock now has serious commercial clout in the States.


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If you're American, brandish an acoustic guitar and look a bit feral, chances are your publicist will flog you as a close personal chum of Devendra Banhart.


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Editor's Letter

The 34th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Thanks for all the nice feedback about the Liam Hayes/Plush piece I wrote earlier in the week. Lots of other good new arrivals in the list here, and you could do worse...