Ugly Cassanova made its mark in my soul with this track. Combining Isaac Brock's brilliant song writing with the painfully sweet voice of John Orth from Holopaw, this song sweeps in and out of beautiful melodies in such a way that leaves me absolutely awestruck. It's too bad they couldn't make the rest of their debut this good... the album itself has it's moments, but besides a few standout tracks, fails to completely fulfill my hopes for it's potential with such a star-studded line up. Nothing, however, will ever take away from the solid truth that this song is absolutely stunning, and as far as my opinions go, it's an instant classic.
from Sharpen Your Teeth, available on CD (Sub Pop)
With Saint Etienne being one of my favourite groups of the last decades (and possibly the best british pop group today) it's really hard to pick a track, it wouldn't be hard to recommend dozens of amazing tracks they did the last 15 years. That said, "Fascination" is the only new song they produced since Finisterre (2002) and it was included on their first compilation released in the US. It doesn't really matter if they embrace a more late 60s style a la Good Humor or a more electronic or dance approach to their music, due to Sarah Cracknells distinctive voice and Stanleys and Wiggs' ear for strong melodies it always sounds essentially Saint Etienne. This one is a heartfelt, bittersweet song, with an almost Hip Hop-ish basic beat, lush synths, floating harp-like electronica and a great piano melody.