Singles of the Week
Oooh look, summer's here, so sit back, relax and revel in this week's crop of singles.
Camper Van Beethoven
Return of the Matchstick Men.
Frankie & The Heartstrings
Not all bands ask for the hype - and some are smothered by the expectations heaped on them before they’ve even released an album. Despite being well reviewed, the debut from Frankie and the Heartstrings was never going to live up to the early notice. Their music was never going to grab you by the lapels and wobble your Teddy Boy hairstyle about, never mind get consistently playlisted on Radio 1. Two years on and they seem to have moved on from the trials of that first release and The Days Run Away shows a definite progression of their sound. They’re still in thrall to music history and they still wear their influences on their sleeves, but there’s a clarity to the tunes on offer here that seems new. The simple song structures of the first album endure and there’s an uncluttered feel to their sound. Short, punchy songs like ‘I Still Follow You’ and ‘That Girl, That Scene’ make up most of the running order and are complemented by the more thoughtful ‘Losing A Friend’ and the soothing ‘Light That Breaks’, two of the best songs here. There’s a touch of mod-lite in ‘Right Noises’ and ‘Everybody Looks Better (In The Right Light)’ is indie pop perfection, catchy and hummable. There are hints of The Cure and even Shed Seven but F&TH manage to feel fresh, likely due to their inimitable chirpiness. The Days Run Away is a solid follow-up album that builds a little on their debut, and feels more rounded as a consequence of their growing experience.
Frankie says... it's the same but better.
With a voice that captivates with every inflection, Indiana's 'Smoking Gun' is yet another mighty fine statement of intent from the Nottingham singer-songwriter. It's very much a track of two halves, both equally excellent, minimal electronic beats giving way to thumping bass for its quietly haunting chorus. Sensational.
Dublin band Kodaline are another one of those "hotly-tipped" acts du jour the critics like to hype on about, yet this time it is truly deserved, if this nifty little EP is anything to go by. 'Love Like This' has an early U2 urgency to it and is as infectious as it is beautiful. 'What It Is' is a heart-renching lovely ballad and 'Midnight' is as soft and gentle as a lullaby, showcasing the bands' sublime harmonies. There is also an achingly gorgeous acoustic version of 'Love Like This." A class act we can't wait to hear more from.
Miles Kane is back with his usual panache. 'Don't forget Who You Are', from his second album of the same name, is a rollicking feel good arm-waving sing-a-long that will not only please die-hard fans but will win him some more. Great stuff.
Suitably ridiculous video as Muse look towards Hot Space-era Queen for inspiration, ramping up the funk and turning down the pomp. Still managing to reel in new generations of geography students, the mantle of Britain's biggest band seems safe for now.
Surfer doom!? The Wytches are back with a new single in the shape of 'Beehive Queen', and this is another dose of The Beach Boys gone very, very wrong – but it sounds oh so right. That old school jangly guitar is bent into strange shapes whilst Kristian Bell wails Black Francis-esque in a gloriously psychedelic mush.
Two Door Cinema Club
Bizarre video aside, 'Handshake' is very much business as usual for Two Door Cinema Club. A pacy burst of guitar pop/rock with an infectious hook, it more than does its job, but surely it's time for some new material, lads?
Single of the Week
Arrows of Love
With some raucous punk rock singles under their belts already, Arrows of Love return with a dark, sinister and intensely bitter tale that pulls you in with it's unexpectedly gentle, and almost folk like, delivery before exploding with a burst of venomous riffs that pins you to the wall and pummels you into submission. Bloody and marvellous.