HEAR YE: Jack Penate Everything Is New

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Now playing on Phawker Radio! Out August 18th on XL.

THE GUARDIAN: In fact, the really startling musical reinvention of 2009 is that of Jack Peñate. He hit the charts in 2007 as a kind of male equivalent of Kate Nash, a concept it’s hard to countenance, even now, without emitting a reflexive yell of panic. He peddled anaemic, bandy-legged gorblimey guitar pop with a side-order of anaemic, bandy-legged gorblimey cod-reggae. At least he did until March of this year, when he released Tonight’s Today, which seems destined to remain 2009’s premier WTF? moment, unless Bruce Springsteen is planning on using his Glastonbury slot to debut his new wonky techno direction. A luscious attempt to capture the disorientating moment when daylight and reality intrude on the glamorous nocturnal fantasy world of the all-night dancefloor – “I shuffle into the sunrise a zombie … she looks at me and says ‘What a sight'” – Tonight’s Today appeared to bear almost no relation to Peñate’s previous work, instead setting its cap at the nu-Balearic scene. The beats shuffled dancily along and the song was decorated by a genuinely magical guitar sound: equal parts the sparkling, African-influenced tone used by Vampire Weekend and the kind of echo-and-effects-smeared noise you would find on an old Cocteau Twins record, it succeeded in sounding simultaneously bright and woozy, like sitting in the sunshine in a deliriously altered state. It’s a sound much in evidence on Everything is New, a WTF? moment that lasts for 45 minutes: the songs are uniformly great, there are blaring horns, four-to-the-floor house beats, fathoms of dub-influenced echo, gospel-ish backing vocals and – perhaps evincing the influence of nu-Balearic’s all-embracing nothing-is-uncool ethos – the kind of mock-party sound effect found on Lionel Ritchie’s All Night Long. MORE

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