Singles of the Week

The singles stocking feels rather empty this week, but hopefully there's more than the equivalent of a lump of coal and tangerine inside. Let's see.

Benjamin Shaw
The song sounds like it was recorded in Shaw's living room. It lacks polish, it's odd, it has lyrics like "I am writing you a letter 'cause I forgot my lips." The diffident Shaw looks like a poor busker trying to earn enough for the bus fare home. Pure joy.

Josh Bray
Get yer cardy on! This is proper old-fashioned soft 'n' soothing folk music from Josh's Whisky And Wool album.

Other Lives
Lovely brooding melancholy from Oklahoma band Other Lives. The haunting melody, with its icy keyboards, and Jesse Tabish's gorgeous voice transports the song along. Can't see it burning up the charts, but a great backdrop for those gloomy August days.

I can't quite put my finger on who this sounds like; The Kooks perhaps? It's a jolly enough pop song, but really doesn't do much for these ears.

Take That
A more conventional Take That awaits you on 'When We Were Young', the final single to be taken from Progressed and also the theme song of the upcoming The Three Musketeers reboot. There's nothing wrong with how it's delivered, even having Robbie Williams as the main vocal doesn't overpower the whole, but with a lack of electro influences that adorned most of the tracks on Progress, it comes across as just a bit bland. Still there probably won't be a track that is more unashamedly aimed at getting lighters in the air during a live set released this year so, to that extent, it does its job.

The Jar Family
The promo CD wouldn't play on my deck (and I'm not going upstairs for nobody) so if the idea of a singer-songwriter collective from Hartlepool floats your trawler, pop over to for a nose around.

Single of the Week

Nerina Pallot
Though slightly underwhelmed by her latest album, 'Turn Me On Again' is easily one of the best tracks on there. The perfect showcase for Nerina Pallot's talents, we have a great melody building into a cracking chorus that doesn't suffer too badly from the Bernard Butler introduced bells and whistles and continues to mark her out as someone who really should be hitting the mainstream more effectively. We'll still argue that the acoustic version is even better, but what we have here is head and shoulders above almost any other mainstream pop artist.

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