Singles Round Up: 3rd November 2014

Sunday night, Downton night. But before tuning into to all the shenanigans upstairs / downstairs, have a gander at the real drama going on here! It's enough to make Mary Crawley faint dead away

Jape - 'The Hearts Desire'
Usually anything labeled "electro" immediately makes me as suspicious as a ninja. Noodly little synthy bleeps and robotic vocals? No thank you. But this is actually quite good, with a warmth I would not have expected. The melody is catchy, and the serene vocals float nicely above synths augmented with rich piano. A lovely surprise.



Habitats - 'Peace of Mind'
London band Habitats serve up this nifty little pop tune full of infectious hooks and as bright and breezy as an Indian summer's day. Check it out.



Lowly - 'Stones In The Water'
The song starts off promising enough, with a good dramatic opening of roaring guitars and pounding drums. But then the the momentum drops off somewhat with an inexplicable synthy bleep interlude that kills the action dead. The flat vocals don't help either. All a bit meh.



The Future Dub Project - 'Captain Hook Ft. Ashley James'
A decent if somewhat fluffy bit of pop-soul that while trying its best never really takes off. However, the first-rate vocals of Ashley James are a delight.



Xander Harris - 'Cry Havoc'
Austen based performer Xander Harris (aka Justin Sweatt) brings us the lovely and evocative 'Cry Havoc', a beautiful piece of atmospheric pop that slithers slowly past. Tetchy, synthy beats anchor the song down while the melody plays above. Beautiful and haunting.



St. Vincent - ‘Rattlesnake’
Yeah, I think there may be a bit of a marmite thing with pop-weirdo St. Vincent. Some people love her kooky innovative style. Me? Her music makes me want to stick a fork in my eye. You decide.



Furs - 'An Eye On The Vicious'
Very pretty tune from Furs. Breezy, endearing, with the lovely melody building slowly from its timid opening like a shy child opening up. Mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer who has also worked with The Vaccines, Johnny Marr and Temples, 'An Eye On The Vicious' shows a lot of promise and makes me eager to hear more.



The Heartbreaks - 'This Is Not Entertainment'
There is something incongruous about this song. The OTT vocals, the 80's inspired melody, it feels like Hurts mashed up with Spandau Ballet. I shouldn't like it. Every fibre in my body is fighting against it. Yet I've listened to it three times already and like it more each time. What can I say? It may be cheesy, but it's good.



Arms and Sleepers - 'Swim Team'
Interesting, if somewhat lacklustre tune. While dreamy and pretty it lacks any sort of substance to make it stand out. Not bad, but not great.



And the winner is...

Psyence - 'Phoenix'
Oooo I LOVE this. Who would have thought that Stoke-on-Trent could produce such a band? But then again it was the birthplace of Slash, and they do definitely channel his old band in this excellent rocker. The song starts off all psychedelic rock before erupting into a gnarly guitar solo worthy of the curly-maned one himself. I am in love!

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