Singles of the Week: March 19th
It's a real mixed bag this week. Raleigh Moncrief and Dan Michaelson and the Coastguards stand out as the highlights. The others? Not so much unfortunately.
I don't want this column to be just another zany pun based attack on music. They are two a penny and I think, really damaging for everyone involved. Although from time to time, I'm going to have to express my opinion on things that will not necessarily be popular. I say "I'm going to have to" because I'm an honest guy. I'm not prepared to lie, and besides, sometimes things just need to be said. Just remember that it's only my opinion, it's not an editorial stance taken by The 405, it's just my opinion. I sit down and review these singles every week, I make a shortlist and listen to each song a handful of times, as many as I can muster. Then I write whilst listening to the songs. Sometimes words happen. Sometimes I have nothing to say. If I have nothing to say then I don't post the song. In the case of Diamond Rugs this week, I think it fitted perfectly with something I wanted to say about Cody Chestnutt so I grouped them together. I think that's ok. It's far too easy to be negative and so much harder to say something of value, or at least something that provokes a bit of thought. I'm never going to be somebody that regurgitates the press release. I'll always tell you my gut reaction. I don't think that's a bad thing. It's something you can't google for yourself.
Dan Michaelson and the Coastguards - Sheets [Single of the Week]
I'm a sucker for this. It's so simple and emotive. You can fill the space with sound. You can keep on building and adding more. Or if you are confident enough, you can strip it all right down to the foundations, you can really show where you came from and inspire a level of empathy not many can. The key is in provoking ideas and letting us, the listener, finish the sentences ourselves with our own experiences. This song is a comfortable pillow to rest your head on and forget the world, or maybe dwell on your world a while, whichever. I hope that whatever you need it to be, it helps. If it does help, try listening to Tiniest Seed by Angel Olson. That works for me too.
Grizzly Bear - Speak In Rounds
If I'm honest with you, and like I said, I try to be. Grizzly Bear's latest album hasn't clicked with me. I'm a massive fan of their earlier work, I said, becoming a cliche. It's clear that they are becoming better musicians/magicians and their control of the dynamics within this song is something to be really admired/stared at in awe. So please don't think I have any kind of problem with it. It's just not taking hold of my heart. The first time I heard Shift I cried. I'm comfortable with that fact. Shit, I cried the first time I saw Forrest Gump, I'm not a robot. It's absolutely fine. Speak In Rounds just doesn't resonate with me in that way. I think they are aiming for more than emotional resonance but whether they achieve it is something that you can answer yourself.
Raleigh Moncrief - On Feedback
Well. This is a blissed out number that escalates fast. One moment at ease. The next paranoid and turbulent. It's off beat enough to sit perfectly at home on Anticon which is high praise in itself. It's one to play whilst standing still in a crowd, watching the hurried frowning faces push past, nothing is really that important. Fans of exceptional vibes take note, on this evidence, Raleigh Moncrief is one to look out for.
Nancy Elizabeth - The Last Battle
The only problem with this song is that I've just listened to that Raleigh Moncrief track several times and totally vibed out. In any other context I'm sure it would stand up better. It definitely has the sense of a journey within the track. Listen to it and see if that statement makes sense. I have no frame of reference anymore.
Cody ChestnuTT - Til I Met Thee
Diamond Rugs - Hightail
Yeah, this is happening, Ok. Whilst I'm sure both of these songs are perfectly acceptable. I don't see how either is doing anything other than copying the greats of their respective genres. Now you can say that every genre is derivative and to a certain extent that is true. Every scene has a handful of pioneers and then a wave of copycats, but following that, *usually* there are bands that take the influences and create something really interesting and inspiring. This is obviously derivative of the next stage in the cycle. The revivalists. I'm sure both of these artists have a devoted fanbase who love these songs and that's great, but me, in this case? I think I'd rather just listen to the ones that did it first.
Frank Ocean - Super Rich Kids
It's impossible to hate Frank Ocean. Frank Ocean is a sacred cow. Frank Ocean is the future. Frank Ocean is a genius. Frank Ocean I. Don't. Feel. Anything. Frank Ocean please move me. Frank Ocean I'm begging you. Frank Ocean while the world is watching. Frank Ocean say something with meaning. Frank Ocean you didn't really fight Chris Brown. Frank Ocean I want to feel something. Frank Ocean whats up with Tyler? Frank Ocean your name is Chris. Frank Ocean I don't know how to feel. Frank Ocean who decides what is cool? Frank Ocean whats wrong with these people? Frank Ocean do you keep all your best songs? Frank Ocean I hate all these headlines. Frank Ocean I'm completely indifferent. Frank Ocean I need you to push yourself. Frank Ocean you should have sold this one to Bieber. Frank Ocean stay humble. Frank Ocean the world needs you. Frank Ocean we all need you. Frank Ocean please believe me. Frank Ocean don't try to fit in. Frank Ocean be yourself. Frank Ocean is not a role model he is just a regular dude making music and you really should just listen to his music without putting him on a pedestal first. It's not bad music. It's just not the music of a genius. It's not a world away from being something really interesting though which is why it bothers me so much. I know why you put him on a pedestal and I'm glad that he is honest about it, but I think the way the press report on him is damaging in it's own way, because sexuality is not/should not be a big deal. Stop making it a big deal. Just listen to the dudes music. Please... and let me know when he makes something interesting.
Depeche Mode - Heaven
"Birds flying high you know how I feel, Sun in the sky you know how I feel, Breeze driftin' on by you know how I feel, It's a new dawn, It's a new day, It's a new life, For me, And I'm feeling good"
If you'd like your single reviewed on a future edition of 'Singles of the Week', or have any tips for us, please email us. Please include a link to something embeddable (youtube video/Soundcloud/Bandcamp etc) and put the release date within the body of the email. Thank you x
Wil Cook is a fan of music. He is the Music Editor of The 405 and he cannot hide his severe dislike for writing in third person anymore. Leave your hate mail in the comments section.