Singles Round Up: 28th September 2014

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. Like death and taxes, it does seem that whatever I do in life, the Singles Round Up will follow me around. Possibly even after I leave these Towers in the years to come...

Usually I try to come up with a common link to bunch singles together (it eases the pain), but it's a tad harder to do when there's just the eight of them, so tried-and-tested it is. Onwards, in a very orderly fashion of worst to best.

Only Real - 'Pass The Pain'
Timing is everything, so I can't help but feel for Only Real. Others at TMF Towers might look more fondly on his wordplay and psychedelic touches in 'Pass The Pain'. Me, though, it's irritating and only leaves me wanting to pass onto the next single.

Jakil - 'Istanbul'
It could just be a personal thing, but I've always found that in looking backwards, you always run the risk of sounding like everything that's come before. Edinburgh newcomers Jakil deliver all the choice elements for an 80s pop effort in 'Istanbul', yet nothing catches the ear enough to make it little more than inoffensive background music.

Andy Ruddy - 'On This Great Day'
Also well-performed if not original or exciting enough to stand out is newcomer Andy Ruddy's 'On This Great Day'. It manipulates its soaring nature with a key change, rather than earning it through impassioned vocals, but it'll likely to appeal to a certain ilk. Just not us.

Manchester Orchestra - 'Girl Harbor'
The third single to be taken from their fourth album COPE, 'Girl Harbor' is short(ish), a bit loud and enjoyably fuzzy but, call me a pedant, I just can't get over the spelling of harbor. Even in typing this review, my computer automatically corrects it, so something tells me Manchester Orchestra need to get a better computer.

Roxanne de Bastion - 'Seeing You'
We're cheating a bit with this one seeing as it was technically released last week, although it's good enough to allow us to bend the rules on charm alone. Like Laura Marling in a slightly more upbeat mood, Roxanne de Bastion's delicately sweet 'Seeing You' is the lead outing of a lovely four-track EP of the same name that may lack a touch of variation, but will win you over all the same.

Netil - 'Sweet Teeth'
There's an element of Madchester in London-based four-piece Netil's debut single 'Sweet Teeth'. It's laidback rather than 'in-yer-face' and all the better for it as the hypnotic drone bass and characteristic vocals draw you in slowly, before it throws everything into the mix in a satisfyingly messy finale.

Jessie Ware - 'Say You Love Me'
An achingly beautiful love song, Jessie Ware's 'Say You Love Me' (the final taster of upcoming second album Tough Love) just misses out on the top spot due to a misstep in its final third. For the majority, the track firmly places Ware's soulful vocals front-and-centre with the production complementing them rather than taking off. Then full-blown choral backing vocals kick in and instead of soaring the track, it robs it of its subtle power.

Single of the Week

Kerri Watt - 'Who's Lovin' Me Now'
I know I had a go at Manchester Orchestra for their handling of the English language (and that spelling of loving does irk me somewhat), but I also mentioned about timing and if anyone knows anything about me, it's that give me an acoustic singer-songwriter and some handclaps and I'm anybody's. Kerri Watt's debut single doesn't rewrite the rule book and it doesn't need to: it's sharply performed, quietly anthemic and hugely enjoyable. The full EP of the same name, backed by two other original tracks, serves as an impressive calling card that make it easy to see why The Libertines' Gary Powell signed Watt to his label.

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