Weekly Singles Roundup

As we continue through the usual damp, cold British summer, let TMF brighten your day with our look at this week's singles...

About Group
Laid back, summertime groove from Hot Chip man's recorded in one day project. Nice, if a little predictable.

Custom Blue
Recalling folk music, Spiritualized and Pink Floyd, these four tracks mix feedback with stripped back and ambient sounds of nature. The vocal on 'Let It All Fall Down' could hardly be more inspired by Roger Waters. Enchanting stuff.

Friends Electric
Mining electro pop in the vein of Friendly Fires but with more of a focus on synths than samba, Friends Electric's latest is certainly a stronger effort than 'Something You Should Know'. Positioning itself firmly as a summer track, 'Fireworks' isn't explosive, but is an effective blend of catchy synths, a memorable chorus and solid delivery that marks them out as one to watch.

Dominic Hemy witnesses the industrial pioneers making a devastating return to London.

Grouplove's debut is a drum/guitar driven slice of MOR rock pop. It's mildly infectious, but ultimately hollow indie music that has no real edge or message. Competent enough to make the band worth keeping an eye on.

Guinea Fowl
A five track EP of power pop with soaring vocals and arrangements remiiniscent of a plethora of long defunct 80s & 90s pop acts. There is no question that this is well performed, and, on the surface at least, enjoyable, especially on the epic ‘Little Fingers but repeated listens offer diminishing returns. That said it’s not a bad effort for a debut.

Hard Fi
Hey, Hard Fi, the nineties called and asked for their mediocre indie rock to be returned as soon as possible. Derivative and dull, Hard Fi haven't changed and that's why they will continue to appeal to those that are musically challenged.

Japanese Voyeurs
Femme-fronted punk rock with raucous guitars and drum beats, Japanese Voyeurs latest is surprisingly catchy given the genre staples. It's garage/grunge vibe competes with higher-than-usual production values resulting in something that offers a little uniqueness in a largely identikit space.

Two minutes of gleeful, fuzzed up garage music worthy of inclusion any discernging collection of perfect summer music. Now all we need is the sun to go along with it.

Not sure PARADE are going to come up smelling of roses on this one. 'Perfume' has a naggingly pointless synth line and and similarly dull chorus, especially disappointing given that 'Louder' had shown their knack for a effective catchy chorus.

Taken from their upcoming debut album, 'Gulf Of Mexico' finds Scoundrels in a more downbeat mood than on their excellent EP, but is just as great. Containing subtle guitar finger picking and lavish strings, it's an affecting slow burner that bodes well for their full-length debut.

SoundGirl's debut single 'I'm The Fool' had us feeling old and their follow up 'Don't Know Why' doesn't really change that. What it does change however is that it delivers an infectious chorus, undoubtedly helped by the fact that it's a "refit" of Carly Simon's 'Why'. Basically this just means that modern synths are layered on top with new lyrics, but it oddly works, even with the still jarring 'attitude' turns of the delivery.

More interesting than fully enjoyable, Spector's debut single still shows a lot of promise. With some excellent strings giving it a sort-of timeless quality, 'Never Fade Away' eventually feels like a build up to a pay off that's never fully realised, although a euphoric change of tempo certainly comes close to delivering it.

Springsteen side-kick Clarence Clemons passes away
Saxophonist and [b]Springsteen[/b] foil [b]Clarence Clemons[/b] died on 7:00 Saturday, June 18th from complications from a stroke he suffered on June 12th. Of his friend's passing [b]Bruce Springsteen[/b] left the following statement:"Clarence lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage. His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years. He was my great friend, my partner, and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band. "Clarence Anicholas Clemons, Jr. was a key ingredient in [b]Bruce Springsteen's[/b] [b]E Street Band[/b]. With him since its inception, his distinctive sax playing, immortalized in such classics as Born To Run', 'Tenth Avenue Freeze Out' and 'Jungleland', was a distinctive feature in [b]Springsteen's[/b] music. Live he was [b]Sringsteen's[/b] onstage foil, a towering hulking figure introduced by "The Boss" as "The Master of the Universe." During his 1999 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction [b]Bruce Springsteen[/b] called [b]Clemons[/b] "a source of myth and light and enormous strength."Watch The Big Man performing [b]Sprinsteen's[/b] signature song 'Born To Run' below:

Clarence Clemons 1942-2011

The Miserable Rich
If you are fond of chilling out in a sixties style lounge bar supping on stirred, not shaken Martinis then this violin heavy piece of orchestral pop with dark, sexy undertones is the prefect soundtrack to your evening. Lush, louche and utterly compelling stuff.

Single of the Week

James Blake
Combining the two parts from his debut album into an unsettling whole, 'Lindisfarne' is James Blake at his most divisive. A swirl of haunting lyrics and staccato dubstep beats, it's a track that will provoke strong feelings in either direction. It's a similar tale for 'Unluck' with its invasive electro beats and distorted vocals but, love him or hate him, you can't deny his originality.

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