Truffle Shuffle #5: The Scholars

the scholars

Welcome to the fifth installment of our Truffle Shuffle series where we meet up with an Oxford band, sit them down, crack out the iPod and hit “shuffle” in order to sample a tiny, potentially misrepresented, morsel of their musical world. We discuss the importance (or perhaps insignificance) of the first six tracks which appear on a Shuffle All Songs playlist. This week is the turn of brooding, indie-pop trio The Scholars.

1. The Boxer Rebellion – ‘Move On’

“One of my favourite bands and one of our bigger influences, we even managed to support these guys last year in Birmingham and I was nervous as hell to meet them. This song is from their second album Union, which is pretty faultless. It’s rocky, moody but full of well crafted tunes that you can’t help but admire. This song was never a single but it still gives you a decent flavour of what you’ll get from them. Despite the bands bad luck in the past and considering they have yet to get the recognition they deserve, TBR are an inspiration to us as a real hard working group and proof that digging deeper into a genre can produce real gems..”

2. Vitalic – ‘Second Lives’

“Got to be a contender for one of the best dance songs i’ve ever heard. Absolutely love this’s an instrumental number which I first heard in Urban Outfitters a few months ago, I was so impressed I brought the CD from them there and then. Turns out it’s from an album “DJ Kicks” by Digitalism which is a mix tape of various European Dance artists full of fantastic House music (Dare I say it’s still spinning in the car as we speak!). I’m a big fan of the genre and France is kinda the place to go if you want decent Electro stuff (Madeon, Justice, Daft Punk) – I just love the punchy synths and the euphoric drops – The production and arrangement alone prove that Dance can be good thing – you just have to go abroad to get it.”

3. Beirut – ‘Folks and Knives (La fete)’

“I’m lucky enough to own pretty much anything Zach Condon has done but this album in particular (The Flying Club Cup) is unreal. I was introduced to them by a friend, and wasn’t blown away at first, but then I got the March Of The Zapotec EP for a birthday from the same friend and was so excited to hear that rare Balkan-inspired sound, I was completely hooked and so made sure I found this album to add to the collection. Although Zach Condon has similar vocal tendencies to Morrissey, making a normally happy song really melancholic just from his voice, everything in this song is so bright and joyous, with swirling string parts and almost musical-style melodies. I love all the acoustic instrumentation throughout the album, it’s just really refreshing.”

4. Jeff Buckley – ‘Morning Theft’

“As a guitarist and a song writer he is one of my biggest inspirations – I recently got Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk which is a collection of b-sides and potential second album tracks, released after his death  and i’ve had it on repeat for months. To me, its so much stronger than Grace. The songs, even at demo stage are just there and just really grab you, it’s just a great body of work. This song is one of his more sombre moments on the album, but even when he’s not screaming those high notes, his delivery is just incredible. It’s a progressive song, that repeats and builds but the lyrics are so thought provoking and heartfelt you can just get lost in the song.”

5. David Bowie – ‘Sound and Vision’

“The first song anyone should regard when they overcome the hindrance of getting out of bed at 11am. No lyrics until halfway through the song, so its not straight in your face, ah just what my head needs. This track just takes a step back, lets you undress from last nights clothes you slept in, hands you a coffee or a red bull or martinee or whatever, then tells you ‘a hangovers not so bad’. Im sure thats what happend to Bowie himself the day he conceived this song.”

6. Orbital – ‘One Perfect Sunrise’

“Exactly what it says on the tin, no expirary date with this one, (another morning track) an entire 8 minutes long but not a minute wasted. Of course you have to admire the discograpy this guy has, however, not every bullet stored in his electric assult riffle is a bullet that would kill you (excuse the metaphor) dont get me wrong, I love Orbitals work, but I love less than a quarter of it and I just like the rest. Tracks like ‘Funny Break’, ‘Nothing Left 2’, ‘Spare Parts Express’ and ‘Way Out’ are all superbly manufactured by this man though and like any electro artist, you have to have a rendition of the Doctor Who theme tune, dont you?”

The Scholars released their recent single ‘Wired’ on 8th October 2012. You can download it for free by visiting their Bandcamp page.