Singles of the Week
As the rain lashes down, many people take solace in the seemingly never ending parade of sport on out TV screens. Why not buck the trend and check out the latest crop of singles?
This really should've gone to a younger colleague. This stuff does nothing for me: lightweight, danceable indie. It's all a bit Friendly Fires for someone whose last experience of clubbing was down the Ex-Serviceman's for the Jubilee.
The Palace Garden, 4am by Beat Connection
The cute, East European-style animation of the video can't disguise the fact that 'Dresinen' is pretty ordinary Scando indie. Norvege, nil point.
Having seen what the 'Big Big World' had to offer, Emilia Mitiku is back with the first single to be taken from her new album I Belong To You. 'Lost Inside' is a decent enough slice of soulful romance with a lovely central vocal from Mitiku - especially as it takes on a beautiful wispiness on the chorus - but it is all rather conventional on the whole. Still, as comebacks go, it leaves us suitably intrigued for the album.
First Aid Kit
Since the release of their wonderful second album The Lion's Roar, First Aid Kit's star has shot straight up into the heavens, and deservedly so. Their latest single, the delightful 'Blue', is a perfect example of why we are all so smitten with them. The glorious harmonies, the delicious melancholy wrapped up in a cosy warm jumper of the pretty melody. What is not to love.
We may have mentioned it before, but it's something worth repeating: there's no harder review to write than of something that's just nice. And that's exactly the quandary we find ourselves in with Foreign Slippers' Farewell To The Old Ghosts, as we grasp around in the musical ether to find something...anything...to say about their pleasant yet disposable folk peddles.Infrequently, the album does awaken you from your stupor: 'It All Starts Now' is a highly promising opener, all delicate guitars and gorgeous vocals; 'What Are You Waiting For' is hauntingly beautiful, forming a perfectly eerie double bill with the preceding 'Island'. Yet these are the exceptions, rather than the rule and by the time the low-key finale 'When You Feel The Fear' rolls around with its muffled vocals, you'd be hard pressed to remember the song just before it, let alone some of the earlier efforts on the album. 'Thank The Moon' has echoes of Florence And The Machine, just none of the power; 'Throw The Lot In' has potential before it finds itself stuck in a repetitive rut. Throughout Farewell To The Old Ghosts, Foreign Slippers showcase strong musicality, it's just that ultimately, they don't have the ear-catching tunes to match it.
Nice but middling folk effort.
This ostensibly summery glob of garage-rock psychedelia cunningly hides a gloomy tale of suicide that is a perfect soundtrack to the apocalyptically bad weather currently battering these shores. A great primer for Milk Maid's upcoming new album, Mostly No.
Two Inch Punch
Minimalist electronic soul awaits on 'Paint It Red', the lead track from Two Inch Punch's forthcoming EP Saturn: The Slow Jams. With an effortlessly smooth vocal from Mikky Ekko, 'Paint It Red' impresses for its sharp multi-layered production, even if its genre might not be to your particular musical tastes.
Simple, but effective electronic pop from Utah-born Eliza Wren Payne. There are probably some easy-ass comparisons to be made, but hit the video link instead and do a wee head dance at your desk instead.
Single of the Week
A stunning vocal performance lays the foundations for Saint Saviour's excellent 'I Call This Home'. We'd happily have kept the low-key backing instrumental of the first minute for the whole track, but the staggered entry of the full band really does lift this effort into superbly soaring territory. We call this exceptional.