Singles of the Week
We could start this with something about the snow, Jimmy Savile or the American elections but you're not here for that. So instead let's just take a look at this week's singles...
Bad For Lazarus
This is more like it: 'My Muddle' stumbles along with a scuzzy fairground organ spine before transforming into an acid-friend Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. Flip 'The Simple Life' is less characterful, but it still suggests a bunch of reprobates who'd put on a fine display in a wet-underfoot back room. Sexy!
Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers
A deep throated, guttural roaring, stomping collision of gypsy and folk rhythms that comes on like the bastard offspring of Tom Waits and Gogol Bordello sharing a bottle of bourbon at the end of a long day of dancing and womanising. Mad, menacing and utterly magnificent.
Fed up of all the anaemic, identikit indie polluting the airwaves then why not treat yourself to this supremely catchy piece of soaring, epic indie rock reminiscent of late era Idlewild. Great stuff.
The seventh part of London folk minstrel Jack Hayter’s The Sisters Of St Anthony singles series takes us to the seaside, albeit in seemingly of a dark, grey day. ‘The West Beach’ is a slow dance between harmonium and sparse guitar, with Hayter’s familiar drawl weaving the wistful tale with a fragile beauty.
Killing Fields of Ontario
They are probably fed up of the comparison but this latest single from these Sheffield lads is rather too close to the sound of the all-conquering Mumford And Sons to be anything more than a pleasant but unremarkable few minutes of nu-folk.
Having delivered one of our favourite albums of the year in I'm A UFO In This City, LostAlone are seeing the year out with an Evanescence tour and this double-bill from the aforementioned album. A showcase of the trio's considerable talents, 'Vesuvius' combines fast riffs with a belter of a chorus while 'Creatures' showcases their (slightly) subtler side with Steven Battelle's superb vocals taking centre stage...hell there's even vocal harmonies. Rock on.
We were fans of Splashh's debut effort 'Need It', so it's pleasing to report 'Vacation' is more of the same, albeit slighty messier with a added splash (pun intended) of shoegaze. Put this on and you can almost forget the 90s have passed us by.
Single of the Week
It's almost as if Findlay made 'Your Sister / You Gave Me Grace' just for us. 'Your Sister' is the more outright raw garage rock effort while 'You Gave Me Grace' has a softer edge that allows her vocals to come to the fore, but both tracks are a commanding statement of intent. Energetic, catchy and powerful, Findlay could go far.