Singles of the Week
Now that the Premier League has come to its unbelievable, thrilling climax, it's time to turn to the only remaining competition worth its salt around - and similarly unpredictable. Who will become this week's glorious victor? Read on to find out.
The Ben Howard machine just keeps rolling on. Hit album, sold out tour, including three dates at the Brixton Academy. Who would have thought that a scattering of pretty, if somewhat vacant, folk tunes sung in Howard's dusky voice could generate so much enthusiasm. New single 'Only Love' is very pretty indeed. Soft, simple and pleasant, like those Halcyon Days we all long for.
Blood Red Shoes
One of the highlights from Blood Red Shoes superb third album, 'Lost Kids' is a tense, politically charge clarion call for a generation of young people being ignored and put down by an increasingly disconnected ruling elite more concerned with power and money than the people of the country that they are supposed to be serving. Agit-rock doesn’t come much better than this.
Home County rockers Don Broco trade in a simlar line of angst rock to label mates While She Sleeps but, unlike that band's turgid new single, 'Priorities' is a far more fan friendly mix of power-pop and nicely pitched vocals that should surely find an audience ready and willing to embrace their soaring anthemic sound.
Left over from last year’s La Lechuza record for being too exuberant, the new Esmerine single ‘Front End Loader’ is a remarkably uplifting three and a half minutes of instrumental post-rock-cum-jazz with its buoyant rhythm and floaty saxophone courtesy of Colin Stetson. B-side ‘Learning To Crawl’ is as mournful as the previous is excited, but no less captivating.
I loved Finn Bonel’s debut single, 'Love’s The Only Thing' but, despite some nice sitar work and Bonel’s engagingly gruff delivery, this follow up, is a bit lifeless and throwaway in comparison.
As powerhouse dancefloor combos go, Jessie J and David Guetta isn't too shabby and thankfully - after the lacklustre 'Domino' - 'Laserlight' is a strong, slick effort, helped by the fact that Jessie's not-inconsiderable vocals are let loose at appropriate moments to make this a track that is likely to be one of the summer's mainstays.
Atmospheric beats from Lower Dens, much in the vein of Radiohead had Thom Yorke been less capable of those haunting notes. Somehow they manage to creep you out, whilst confusingly at the same time sounding peaceful and soothing. Bittersweet.
Mark Ronson & Katy B
Released for the Olympics, 'Anywhere In The World' is an interesting, if unsuccessful mash up of Mark Ronson's more kooky side and Katy B's dubstep sound. It's a partnership that could deliver, but curiously fails to generate any real passion - Katy's usually powerful vocals aren't given the space to really impress which is a real shame.
A double A-side of unchallenging indie-pop that wafts around you pleasantly enough but fails to leave any lasting impression.
While She Sleeps
The ear piercing screeching vocals offer the only frisson of excitement on this otherwise dull and derivative angst ridden rocker.
The debut release from psychedelic folk six-piece Wildeflower is smooth on the ears, if little else. 'Good Girl' drifts by in a lovely haze but stretches the patience somewhat at around four and a half minutes; 'Amazing Discovery' has more focus and makes a better impact as a result with its ambient sounds and soft vocals, even if it eventually falls into the hazy pattern of 'Good Girl' come the three-minute mark and meanders to its conclusion.
Single of the Week
Our current favourite Liverpudlian Elsie is back with the storming 'Time To Go', a sassy, attitude-filled tale of getting rid of a misguided one-night stand. It'd be a great dance-pop track in anyone's hands, but bolstered by her magnetic, gravelly vocals, 'Time To Go' will have you itching for the repeat button before it even finishes. We like it. A lot.