Singles of the Week
There is a lovely old-fashioned feel to Basia Bulat's new single 'Wires'. A wistful melancholy like those old 60s sirens. Bulat's confident vocals gives the otherwise wispy melody a bit of oomph. Very pretty indeed.
Another fun loving, party get going, endless summer tune from multi-cultural band Crystal Fighters. Nothing terribly new or original here, just more of what we've already heard. None-the-less this song should get the conga line going alright at your next festive gathering. A fun if fluffy bit of Caribbean-infudsed pop.
As is the case with charity singles, it seems churlish to criticise something for a good cause. Fortunately, we don't have to give such a backhanded compliment to Ellie Goulding's delicate cover of The Waterboys' 'How Long Will I Love You' which makes full use of Goulding's beautiful vocals, so often lost under synths.
In The Valley Below
Well, now this is promising. Where debut EP Hymnal had us likening LA duo In The Valley Below to a darker Civil Wars, 'Stand Up' shows they can mix some light in with the dark. The terrific vocal harmonies are still present, but there's an overall playfulness and confidence about the track that makes it an alluring delight.
You should know where you stand with Kodaline by now. Whether you know it or not, you've probably heard them and achingly low-key 'All I Want' will provoke déjà vu too, given it's a re-release. Still, at least they've gone to the effort to create a sequel to the original video, and a cute dog goes a long way in our book.
Is there such a thing as post-Dido? It's maybe cheap shorthand, but you'll know where I'm coming from. It always seems pleasant enough when you hit the play button, but there are folks at TMF who are better placed than I to judge whether Ms. Bayliss has what it takes to cut through the, frankly, zombie-like hordes of similar artists who seem to batter at our office doors on a weekly basis.
Robbie's new album is being sold as another of his swing affairs, but 'Go Gentle' actually sounds pretty close to what Noel Gallagher has been doing of late. Sure, the chorus gets a bit more 'Easy' but overall it's more of the sophisticated MOR that he can knock out in his sleep.
Single of the Week
Despite Mercury Prize nominations for his first two albums Villagers is still unappreciated by the wider listening public. This track shows why you should give him a listen. Great tune, great voice, uplifting music, yet melancholy lyrics. It's just very good.