Today’s Sounds: Race Horses

The sophomore record by Welsh pop band Race Horses, a new track by L.A. indie rockers Local Natives and a new video for an “old” song by Canadian R&B wunderkind the Weeknd.


Race Horses, Furniture (Stolen)

Dear Wales,

Oh, you obscure, quiet country. Billions of people walk this earth every day, not thinking of you. Do you feel their indifference? I can relate. I recently watched a CNN report about who “owns” the Arctic, and they didn’t mention Canada once. You’d think our sheer size and proximity to the USA would trigger people’s faint memories of high school geography class. That gargantuan land mass there? That’s us. Not that we’d ever brag.

But you. You’re a tiny country among tiny countries. Does anyone ever mistake you for a London suburb? Does the average North American know anything about you that they weren’t forced to read in high school? (How Green Was My Valley, eugh.) After Thatcher quashed your miners and you became the butt of regional jokes (“the new Pakistanis,” someone once said), did you develop a love/hate relationship with the attention? We’re quite alike, you and I.

But our national treasures are a source of pride for us both. We have Leonard Cohen. You have Tom Jones. We have the Dears, Arcade Fire, Stars. You have the Manics, Super Furry Animals, Race Horses. Holy trinities both.

Not to liken those singers and bands. They’re rather distinct. (And how proud are you of Tom Jones, really?) And in the case of Race Horses, there are more apt comparisons. Vocally, the singer is reminiscent of Patrick Wolf, or Jarvis Cocker with a touch of Antony Hegarty. Their sophomore LP, Furniture, flows like a fabulous first date: it’s exciting, energetic and charming without being so upbeat and flawlessly dazzling as to trigger the suspicion that you’re being played.

These tunes cast you as the star of your own personal musical, challenge you to groove and sway the melancholy away, indulge in a little Pulp nostalgia, jump around your room and rethink your relationship with the dark.

It’s a great distraction from being forgotten, rained on, misled and pushed around. So thank you, Wales. Once again.

Stay beautiful,




Local Natives, “Breakers”

A track from the L.A. band’s forthcoming sophomore album, Hummingbird. They reportedly previewed five new tracks last night at NYC’s CMJ festival, where they were the secret headliner at a Frenchkiss showcase. How very cool.



The Weeknd, “Wicked Games”

Canadian kid and “noir ’n’ B” star Abel Tesfaye drop his remastered Trilogy via Universal Republic on Nov. 13. Here’s a new video of “Wicked Games” from the Weeknd‘s debut release, House of Balloons.

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