Singles Round Up: 31st March 2014

It might not sound like it, but sitting in front of a batch of singles can be exhausting if attempted in one sitting. Classifying them by genres worked for me last time, although an attempt to do that this time round was leading to extremely tenuous links even by my standards. So, instead, here are this week's batch sorted by the style of the artist's name, followed by the mainstay of Single of the Week. Onwards.

You've put thought into this...

First up is singer/songwriter and DJ/producer duo Milky Chance with their debut UK single 'Down By The River', which delivers all your acoustic needs along with all your gruff male vocal needs. But they're outshined on the duo front by The Horn The Hunt and 'Starless' (taken from upcoming album Terrafidella), a track that successfully merges pop and grunge influences into a wider psychedelic world. We're not quite sure what it's all about, but we like it. We can't quite say the same about 'Stuck In My Teeth' from Liverpool four-piece Circa Waves, who suffer from my own boredom with jangly indie rock at this current time. On the other hand, Miraculous Mule are dark and weird on 'Evil On My Mind' which wins a lot of points with me, as does the killer moustache.


In a nice crossover, the first track of this selection is a bit weird too from Bernard + Edith. 'Poppy' is anything-but, probably as a result of using synth bells instead of cowbells, and leaves us feeling uneasy but is certainly memorable. There's no such weirdness with 'Prove You're Not A Number' from A.J. Ellis and Mo Kenney's 'Sucker', the former straightforward but well-delivered guitar pop and the latter folky and whimsical; both, however, fairly dull. That's an adjective you can rarely level at the singular Agnes Obel, with 'Aventine' an enveloping and haunting experience expertly anchored by Obel. It's an equally unique, but effortlessly cool, turn from Anna Calvi on 'Piece By Piece' too, combining some fabulous guitars from Calvi and almost delicate percussion to supreme effect.

One word's enough

Aussies ASx get this section off to a woozy start with 'Obstacle Of My Affection' which takes a while to kick into gear, and even then doesn't gain our affection. Back on this side of the world, 'A Rush Of Blood' almost sees Bristol's Coasts fall into the Circa Waves trap of being too familiar for these tastebuds, but offers enough variation in tempo within to feel fresh in an over-saturated genre. Ledbetter effectively aim for the same style with 'Storybook' albeit with added euphoria and benefits from a stronger solo vocal, even if its hooks aren't as sharply honed. Best of this one-worded bunch though is by far 'Occupy Your Mind' with Villagers, a track that delivers Muse-esque synths to creepy, unsettling effect.

Single of the Week

While the second track unveiled from Creation after 'Kings', 'Believe In Me' is the first official single from The Pierces' fifth album and works brilliantly in conveying the dreamier edge to Creation. Gorgeous dual vocals blend perfectly with the delicate percussion and driving drumbeat, crafting a track that's honey on the eardrums. Divine.

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