Singles of the Week
It is time for this week's edition of The Singles of the Week! Without further ado, let's crack on.
Wearing their influences on their sleeve, the South West London duo fit nicely along Zola Jesus and EMA. The electronic-gothic fusion is infused with an almost ethereal sparkle. With some dub-step hints, 'Cocoon', manages to carve itself out a unique niche in a genre that has been busy of late. It's a track that is remarkable in that it holds interest right up until the end - leaving us with that rare feeling of wanting more!
Charlie Simpson's gruff no nonsense voice adds a bit of edge to this Coldplay-esque tune. Seems to be working as it is getting a healthy dose of airplay on Indie rock stations like XFM. While the mid-tempo rock melody is pleasant, one Coldplay is quite enough me thinks.
Canadian rapper Classified is staying classy in the face of the temptations of fame. This is a decent, catchy enough single, following the rap-verse-with-melodic-chorus template of most chart hip-hop.
Lovely soul-flavourded tune from Anita Blay, aka CocknBullKid. While most female vocalists seem to think they need to hit every note in the octave, Blay let's her lovely mezzo flow simply and effectively allowing the bouncy fun of the melody to carry her along, and beautifully done it is too.
Released on the same day as a deluxe edition of their debut album Star Of Love, Crystal Fighters' 'Plage' won't sway anyone not already in tune with their unique blend of folk and dance but does its job exceptionally well, building to a mighty fine crescendo of synths, drums and guitars at the climax.
Danny & The Champions of the World
Decidedly lo-fi frills, this is the first single to feature the band's entirely new line-up. 'You Don't Know' features the usual jangly guitar backing, often breaking into an impressive solo, while Danny Wilson's vocals are more than adequate. What we end up with is an effective enough indie-rock tune that doesn't stray far from the well worn tracks...
The first single taken from Deep Cut's forthcoming second album Disorientation, 'Something's Got To Give' can potentially bring in two sets of new fans. One will be taken in by the swaggering guitars that are rightly given their own section to shine halfway through, and the other will be those taken in by the breathy vocals of Emma Flint with more than a little touch of Debbie Harry about them. Promising.
Not only is FOE a female punk rocker, a fact that is enough to make most of us TMFers get all flustered, but her new single pulls off the double whammy of being pretty amazing as well. Scuzzy riffs, heavy bass and strong vocals mix to excellent effect with the end result being that we're already pretty much set to go down on one knee.
After two albums of amiable folk that saw him becoming the choice singer/songwriter to soundtrack emotional montages on US shows including [i]Scrubs[/i] and [i]Grey's Anatomy[/i], Joshua Radin ups the tempo a wee bit on his third album The Rock and the Tide. However, don't be mistaken: he's not indulging his love for thrash metal here or attempting an Aphex Twin-style squealchy electro curio. Nope, this is the sound of Jack Johnson after a couple of Red Bulls. Released smack-bang in the middle of summer, its breezy choruses and sing-song melodies are certainly ripe for AM airplay but nothing is really all that involving. Lead single 'I Missed You' is representative of the ten tracks, sounding not unlike Train and begging The Warblers off TV's 'Glee' to cover it. Radin's voice isn't bad but the soul of 'Streetlight' and 'You Got What I Need' is a bit too squeaky clean. 'Think I'll Go Inside', 'Wanted' and the title track are better, bulding on his earlier work and striving for the level of Ray Lamontagne where the rest of the album doesn't even touch John Mayer.
The 'rock' of Joshua Radin's third album is more than a bit wet.
A darkly enticing slab of understated dance music from this Danish MC is sadly ruined by the appalling mid-song techno rapping that removes all mystery from an otherwise excellent first attack on the UK market.
The latest slice from Nero's debut album Welcome Reality (out on the 15th), 'Promises' sprinkles their brand of dubstep with additional rock and the result is huge with an excellent chorus that sounds massive, even if you just played it on tinny laptop speakers. Let's just hope the album delivers on the promise (ed - oh dear).
Unfashionable hip-shaker that simultaneously channels Elvis and Chris Rea. That's quite a feat, and for that simple fact, we'll give it a thumbs up.
The third release from Manchester's James Birchall is an abstract Sigur Rós-ish affair. Choir boy vocals are swamped in increasingly fuzzy guitar and, er, tinkling. Bloody nice it is too.
Sounds like someone doing a Morrissey impression, even more badly than he does these days.
The Travelling Band
Rather nice, if inconsequential, Brit country/folk, building to a banjo-tastic climax. Fans of the likes of Mumford & Sons should lap it up.
One could complain about the similarity to Doves in country mode; think 'Kingdom of Rust'. However, the sense of melancholy and the melody are so gorgeous and satisfying, it would feel a little mean.
Dominic Hemy finds the fresh face of metal have finally come of age.
The latest chapter in the career of former Afghan Whigs front man Greg Dulli starts with this first single from the upcoming Twilight Singers album. A simple and stunningly beautiful journey that exudes warmth and joy as it gently builds towards a breathtaking crescendo. The way the subtle and understated appearance of Ani DiFranco blends seamlessly with Dulli’s distinctive voice only adds to the sense that this is an artist at the peak of his powers.
Single of the Week
Gotta love a single that lends itself to an easy pun...The Pierces' latest single from their top five album You And I will certainly not be forgotten by anyone who gives it a spin. Smooth, luscious vocal harmonies are ably backed by a subtle acoustic melody creating a track that deserves to be swooned over. If you haven't given The Pierces a go yet, here's the perfect starting point.