Singles of the Week
August is here already? Surely that means we're only a few weeks from Christmas arriving in your local ASDA. Bad times. Rather than wish your life away, sit back with a nice glass of [insert favourite tipple here] and take in this week's singles...
Like a very welcome blast from the past, Babe Shadow's 'Days Of Old' can't fail to raise a smile with its 60s-style guitars and perky drumbeat that manage to stay on the right side of twee, so as not to become unbearably cheesy. Refreshing stuff.
Babeshadow - Days of Old by Luv Luv Luv
With their third single this South London trio are obviously going for that lucrative, epic indie-electro crossover market but sadly they miss the target by a country mile. Instead, they have delivered an insubstantially turgid ditty that goes nowhere slowly and has little or no replay value.
Pleasingly muddy indie that manages to combine the best bits of Pavement and Ash. B-side 'Dick In My Zipper' is a cautionary tale of teenage desire. (Mental note: must re-investigate their album.)
Dutch producer Martyn nails that good old-fashioned house sound with 'Masks', all pumping bass, claps and ravey keyboard stabs. It builds brilliantly and is made of the sort of stuff that has more underground dancefloors come alive. 'Viper' in either edit is a darker, bassier affair and is, unfortunately, harder to love.
More stadium-sized rock from Nashville rockers with an unashamedly big sing along chorus to boot. 'Shooting The Moon' won't set your world alight but it's enjoyable while it lasts and is lifted above most standard rock efforts out there thanks to Nick Brown's strong vocals.
Noah And The Whale
You're probably getting a bit sick of us telling you how brilliant Noah And The Whale's third album Last Night On Earth is but, if not, 'Life Is Life' is just a further example of it. Eschewing some of the usual folkier elements of their output, 'Life Is Life' focuses on excellent vocal harmonies, including the use of a choir towards the end, and staccato bursts of synths with some lovely ivory tinklings to craft a track that is as uplifting as it is delightful to listen to. Nice mic stand dance moves from Charlie in the video too as an added bonus.
Aberdeen isn’t all oil and sheep, as these six tracks of leftfield electronica from Aberdeen born Ewan Robertson prove. The majority fall under the dubstep banner and are functional rather than ground-breaking. However, 'Pearls & Butlers' (ft. Cienfuegos), the odd one out as the only vocal track, makes for a surprisingly catchy low-key ballad. That a radio edit has been assembled to omit a naughty word suggests the record company know too it’s a gem.
Sweet Sweet Lies
Somewhere between Nick Cave and The Levellers. Your enjoyment of this will depend on your tolerance of squealing folk-rock.
The Middle East
One of the more eclectic offerings from Aussie seven-piece The Middle East's debut album, 'Jesus Came To My Birthday Party' is a delightfully jaunty slice of folk-pop that can't fail to melt the hardest of hearts. A mid-track scuzzy guitar section just adds to the overall kooky nature of the track, right down to the faded whistling at the track's climax. Lovely stuff.
Toddla T & Roots Manuva
An impressive bass line can't quite save Toddla T & Roots Manuva's 'Watch Me Dance' from being pretty unexciting on the whole. It's all just a bit run-of-the-mill and while undeniably funky, it never quite gels into the big dance floor track that it's aiming for.
Nicely percussive 21st century pop that brings to mind Sharleen Spiteri (without Texas' annoying cod soul aspects). Nice use of a council flat in the video. Will need radio support to shine in a crowded market though.
Single of the Week
Following in the footsteps of the likes of Katy B, Jess Mills combines a euphoric club vibe with pop sensibilities on debut single 'Live For What I'd Die For' with great success. To its credit, it's restrained enough not to let the beats overpower the real star of the show which is her dreamy soft vocals. Make sure to check out her excellent dramatic take on Chase And Status' 'End Credits' too.