Singles of the Week
With the singles machine running at full speed we have another great week of singles; with THREE bands we've tipped for great things in 2012 making an appearance and each one of them proves exactly what we said about them. Will any of them take the accolade as this week's best release?
If you can get past the somewhat oddly delivered vocals, there's much to admire about alt-J's latest double A-side 'Matilda / Fitzpleasure'. 'Matilda' is the subtle, heartfelt side to the darker, more inventive side displayed by 'Fitzpleasure' but both are tracks that are intriguing and exciting in their own distinct ways. Definitely leaves us wanting to hear more of alt-J, which can never be a bad thing.
alt-J - Fitzpleasure by Infectious Music
Dick Venom & The Terrortones
Psychobilly can be so much better than this trio of unremarkable, derivative and worst of all very, very dull tunes that fail to ignite anything but apathy.
Dry The River
One of the more buoyant efforts from Dry The River's excellent debut album Shallow Bed, 'The Chambers & The Valves' delights with its catchy melody and subtle backing vocal harmonies, resulting in a track that'll lift even the gloomiest of spirits. Great video too, if not a touch disturbing but aren't all the best ones?
Evans The Death
The first single from their upcoming self-titled debut, Evans The Death torment us with ‘Telling Lies’, a sickly sweet dose of sunshine pop trying to find some sort of middle ground between The Pixies and Blondie. Utterly unmemorable, this has been done by countless bands in every musical generation as jangly and tuneless guitars rail against the wistful, kooky female vocals.
Formed by producers Richard Russell and Rodaidh McDonald following a trip to Ethiopia in 2010, The Ethiopian EP is utterly unlike anything you've ever heard before. A blend of electronic beats and traditional African sounds, all four tracks beguile with their uniqueness and even if experimental instrumental music such as this isn't your cup of tea, you can't help but admire the fact that something different has been achieved here. Stand out is the hypnotic '68 Joint' with its low throbbing central synth and sharp percussion, but they're all four tracks are worthy of at least one spin.
It may have been produced by the duo behind Emeli Sandé's breakthrough track 'Heaven' (Craze and Hoax) but it's hard to see Javeon McCarthy's 'Lost Time' having the same impact. A nifty two-step rhythm and emotively stark lyrics - "You can treat me like a stranger, walk away / I don't know you, I don't recognise your face" - are the stand-outs of a track that is just too busy and would have worked better stripped back to these ears.
Javeon McCarthy - Lost Time by JaveonMcCarthy
Canadian electro pop genius Lights leaves audience beaming.
Well this is a breath of fresh air. A chunky piece of agit-rock that doesn’t preach or pander but delivers a crushing attack in attack on the nature of the modern business world and brings to mind the best bits of Frank Turner’s pre-fame hardcore merchants Million Dead. What more could you possibly need?
An uninteresting and repetitive piece of electro-pop with vocals that sound suspiciously auto-tuned, thus removing any impact it may otherwise have had.
Shearwater's Sub Pop career begins with a laborious trawl through the darker end of pop. ‘Breaking The Yearlings’ is a monotonous and uninspiring combination of fuzzy bass and flat vocals that shambles along more slovenly than a teenager with nothing to do of an evening. The song barely manages to illicit enough emotion to make feeling contempt for it worth the effort.
Sinead O'Connor returns with some of her strongest material in years. The lovely 'The Wolf Is Getting Married', new single from her ninth studio album How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? showcases her still powerful and magnificent voice. The soft melody and clever lyrics depicting a wild and troubled soul able to at last find peace and happiness through the love of someone else is truly delight. It may not attain the heights of her past triumphs, but she is definitely heading in the right direction.
You already know what you're going to get from The Drums but their slightly more melancholy take on reverb-heavy pop now seems more interesting than it did initially. That said, 'Days' is not a single, certainly not according to our well-thumbed copy of Mrs Beaton's Guide to the Single Format, being far too sparse initially and then being too long for what meagre additions are subsequently thrown into the mixing bowl. File under Album Track'.
The Title Sequence
The influence of Ray Davies hangs heavy over 'Dinosaurs', in terms of delivery, style and content ("Would you kill a man you didn't know because I told you so?") but this is a timely slice of agit-pop that does what it needs to do in 125 seconds and gets the hell out. Like this a great deal.
Tom Williams & The Boat
A beautifully arranged, near spoken word, bitter love song that keeps you wrapped up in it's intricacies until the final chords. If the rest of their upcoming new album is as good as this it should be cracker.
We Are Augustines
We Are Augustines frontman Billy McCarthy has one of those rare voices that can deliver caustic love stories that are both melancholic yet strangley uplifting at the same time. 'Chapel Song' is no different and provide a ner perfect primer for their upcoming debut album. B-side, 'Ohio' is also a pretty damn fine tune.
Single of the Week
A jaunty step away from the sombre ballads of her previous efforts, 'I Got You' finds Jodie Marie in an effortlessly upbeat mood with a killer chorus that blends sublime strings with Jodie's not inconsiderable vocal talents. She's got us that's for sure.