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.
This week we have a rather special 'Singles Of The Week' feature as Paper Crows have very kindly stepped in to guest judge this weeks entries. Read on to find out who they like, and who they dislike. [read more]
For a fresh new year, a refreshed new feature; the inventively titled Single of the Week. Every Wednesday I will be putting a selection of the week's releases up on the site, and it'll be up to you to choose the best of the bunch. I'll hopefully be concentrating on the best of the releases made under the radar- I'm not Reggie Yates, I've come to accept that now- but I'll try to give a decent spread of what the alternative week has to offer. With the occasional guilty pop pleasure.... (continued) [read more]