Singles Of The Week // 18th October 2011
With 'Honey Bunny' cleaning up last week's competition, it's onto pastures green and new with the beautiful 'doom soul' of Cold Specks, and the indefinable beauty of Kyla La Grange. Shake things up with the novelty eighties swagger of Mustang and mathy synths of Holy Ghost! And we may just have an event. Rounding things up with Django Django, and I think that you can sit back and enjoy one of the finest line-ups we've been able to make a weekly feature about in a long while. Enjoy. Well, I say enjoy...
Cold Specks – 'Holland'
You know what, when this first started floating about, Katy Cousins of The 405 had a first listen, and her review frankly dumps over anything I could say, so here it is - “'Holland' is melancholically beautiful, swooping gently in on strings before opening to give space to a voice that I can only describe as stop-you-in-your-tracks arresting. Within two lines your spine will be a wash of shivers. It's a voice that makes me wish I believed in the God she finds "in the gutter." Self-titled as 'doom soul', this is a song of death and mourning and going on, with the dark gospel concept smashing out in the final third all cymbal crashes and marching drums. At it's close the full instrumentation once again falls away from her voice for the chilling ending to be sung alone. A few live dates are to be found on her website and if she's this powerful on record, I can only imagine what Al Spx can evoke live. Take tissues and a good friend.” What a glorious track.
Kyla La Grange – ‘Heavy Stone’
Channelling PJ Harvey whilst veering down, at parts, aggressively country roots roads, Kyla La Strange is gaining a diverse following for her quivering, driven vocal that recalls Dolly Parton at her most serious. And yes, I see this as a huge compliment. Opening near acapella, with just a gentle acoustic accompaniment to the breathy, shaky vocal, this is an artist in the true sense of the word, as the song becomes far more than a commodity, with poetry of the lyricism and individual nuances of the instruments drawn out through the high standard of production. Cut incredibly clean, this track reeks of brilliance.
Mustang – ‘Shooting Love’
Oh hello, the eighties. Like Golden Silvers before them, and Friendly Fires to a lesser extent, Mustang are approaching what some may feel is impossible and making the Duran Duran decade cool. I'm firmly in the 'the eighties are wicked and Heaven 17 were musical pioneers' group however, and love this, from the funky disco bass to the falsetto vocals, with the obvious, base keyboards an element criminally underrated in the current musical climate. It's cheesy and oh so proud. Fuck dubstep (I feel I find myself writing this every week) and other 'progressive' bullshit, this ought to be the future..
Holy Ghost! – ‘Hold My Breath’
See above. My opinion on synths has not changed. This is music for dancing and smiling inanely. Songs should ultimately be something you like, not that you're told to like, so I'll not encourage or discourage you about this. Just bare in mind that only losers don't like Holy Ghost!. Just saying.
This is so listenable it's heinous. What I'll describe as an ear collage, of world music, contemporary folk and still with elements of dub. Madness. Fleet Foxes harmonies whilst underlying Tinariwen rhythms tie the track to it's alternative spectrum, with a very dance orientated refrain hints at acts as different as Major Lazer. This is a smashing week for new songs and sounds, and this is a perfect conclusion. All I can say is listen to 'Waveforms', then try to recommend it to somebody. A song that represents the vast redundancies of music reviewing, but in a really great way.