Singles Of The Week // 11th April 2012
Looking back to last week, I was lamenting a lack of sunglasses and celebrating barbeque weather. Shocking. It is now a miserable Wednesday, with extra football the only vague bonus. And of course a host of great singles. There are ace releases from the likes of current blog sensations Toy and Mafia Lights, along with Being There and Man Without Country, giving a little variety for your chocolate hangover. I personally got a Double Decker egg with a free mug- growing up.
TOY – 'Motoring'
The Jing Jang Jong part of Joe Lean's ill-fated venture five years ago, you're going to be hearing lots and lots about TOY this summer, popping up in al the right places and no doubt set to tear the festival circuit apart. What's more, they're actually really good. It's getting to the point where being a decent band now comes second to who you know and how you look, so it's refreshing to see a hugely hyped band making big, great songs as well as being implausibly cool. They make you want to be in a band again, whilst coming across incredibly mature for a relatively raw band. There are very obvious influences in the likes of Joy Division, but there is enough about TOY to ensure they won't just fade away in a fuzz of hype.
Being There – ‘17’
This is actually a tie for my Single of the Week, with a brilliant video as well. I had totally forgotten about Being There and debut single 'The Radio', so this was like bumping into an old friend, and remembering just how great they are. Whether it's the lack of pretence, the cracking visuals or simply the great songwriting, I really rate '17', and in my head there's no higher praise than that. The track is surprisingly brief, fleshed out by the surrounding narrative, and recalls of Montreal and Herman Dune, at least to me, whilst the video almost precedes 'Disco 2000'. There are definitely elements of Pulp in the honest and relatable vocals, but '17' is more than the sum of it's parts; this is unequivocally a brilliant song.
Mafia Lights – ‘Spiriting’
Another track, another hype act who are living up to their billing. Also, a nice Easter release to throw up the lyric “you're not praying, you're just talking to yourself.” Very different to the past two acts, this all ethereal and electronic, glitchy and sinister yet underpinned by Jeremy Warmsley-esque vocals that lend the track an emotive outlet, as it meanders through synthetic effects. Despite the sonic depth the track is broken down relatively simply through the production, as the voice comes to inform it's backing. This is cracking.
Man Without Country – ‘Puppets’
Electronic music not done quite as well, though largely passable. This lacks originality, sounding far more derivative than our other singles. I think my issue lies in the fact that this particular brand of synth-pop can only be done so well, there is very rarely a groundbreaking release in a pigeon-hole that is seemingly defined by being 'alright'. This sounds like something you've heard before, though that doesn't have to be a negative, look at TOY. Unfortunately though, in comparison to the rest of this week's singles, it sounds somewhat hollow.
Another day, another dollar. Well, no, another day, a further squeeze of the student loan. Great. This week sees the Brits, bastion of taste and talent, along with the re-return of Blur. Having debuted a new song, 'Under The Westway', a tour will no doubt be announced pretty soon, which I'm frankly unsure about, having been one of those dicks lucky enough to see them at Glastonbury. [read more]
Thanks to Cosmo Jarvis and The Collectable Few, last week's competition saw a frankly ludicrous 6670 votes cast, absolutely rinsing the previous best for the article, and taking huge advantage of the publicity garnered through Facebook, so cheers very much for that. After a massively competitive start to the contest, and a very fun argument breaking out in the Comments section, Cosmo Jarvis came out on top with 61.44% of the vote. Credit is due to The Collectable Few though, who s... (continued) [read more]
The sun is out, everybody is skint and, if you're anything like me, still recovering from Glastonbury and the questionable Arcade Fire gig at Hyde Park. Therefore, I'll keep the chat on the downlow this week, and simply state that there are some fantastic releases out from the likes of Givers, and some not so brilliant tracks from ridiculous characters like Bright Eyes. Happy? Have a listen and get voting at the bottom. [read more]