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Music - Singles of the week - Friday, August 3, 2018

IndieLondon gleefully checks out the cream of the week’s singles

Ten Tonnes, G.I.V.E

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: TEN TONNES – G.I.V.E: Recent months have seen Ten Tonnes embark upon a busy summer of festival dates with Standon Calling, Citadel, Community, The Great Escape and Live At Leeds adding to his recent tours as guest to Tom Grennan, Rat Boy and Stereophonics. Now poised to end the festival season on a high with sets at Reading and Leeds, Ten Tonnes shares his celebratory latest single G.I.V.E. Rich with Ten Tonnes’ ever-charismatic lyrics and his natural melodic streak, G.I.V.E. is an upbeat tale of love gone awry with a huge stick-in-the-mind hook that’s sure to be chanted back at him during future live shows. Boasting a set of vocals that owe a lot in style to The Cure’s Robert Smith, sans the melancholy undertow, as well as The Kooks, this eventually blossoms into a vibrant, sing-along style chorus that’s tailor made for getting delirious with. You’ll be chanting the “G I V E” chorus in next to no time, while toe-tapping along to the slick beats and juicy guitar hooks. It’s the sound of Ten Tonnes at his absolute best. It’s sure to become one of his most enduring anthems.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Yonaka

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2: YONAKAWAVES: Critically-acclaimed Brighton outfit Yonaka have unveiled their new, self-produced track Waves, taken from their forthcoming EP Teach Me To Fight (set for release on August 17). The song follows the recent unveiling of their new single Fired Up. Entering the UK Top 50 Viral Chart and New Music Friday playlist on Spotify (one of that week’s most reactive tracks), Fired Up has been streamed over a quarter of a million times in just two weeks! And going off the instant appeal of Waves, the same level of success could be virtually guaranteed for this belter of a song. A fiery, guitar-driven slice of no-nonsense rock, this drops incendiary female vocals alongside rip-roaring guitar riffs that reverberate around the track like hellcats on heat. It’s a no nonsense offering that underlines why Yonaka are one of the most hotly tipped new guitar bands in the UK at the moment. You’‘ll lust want to ride the wave all the way to the new EP, to find out just what more this band has to offer.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Death Cab For Cutie, Autumn Love

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 3: DEATH CAB FOR CUTIEAUTUMN LOVE: A week after Death Cab For Cutie dazzled with their current album opener I Dreamt We Spoke Again, the band now drop the similarly enchanting Autumn Love as a lyric video. A little more upbeat than the previous offering, this contains a sound that’s perhaps more synonymous with the band as a whole. The guitars have an alt-rock/indie quality that’s reassuringly beautiful and laidback, while the vocals are as warm and thought-provoking as ever. It’s got a hint of the autumnal about it (think also ethereal), as well as something sunny and Indian summer-ish. The layered guitar is phenomenally well delivered, giving extra meaning to the bittersweet lyrics that find Ben Gibbard lamenting: “No more lighthouses to deceive me, just leave me floating on the open ocean and let the moonlight take me anywhere.” It’s another daydream of a record, taken from their forthcoming ninth album Thank You For Today, which on the evidence of the tracks released so far looks set to be another gem. We just can’t get enough of the new Death Cab For Cutie material at the moment.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Robyn, Missing U

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 4: ROBYNMISSING U: It’s been eight years since we’ve heard anything from Swedish pop singer Robyn but the wait has been worth it. Her comeback solo offering Missing U is evidence that the 39-year-old has lost none of her ability to deliver a telling pop anthem, albeit with enough individuality to make her standout from the crowd. Hence, while you could easily hail Robyn as the Madonna of the Swedish pop scene, she’s also ethereal enough to boast suggestions of what an artist like Bjork might sound like if she went mainstream. On Missing U, she combines striking, ’80s leaning synth arrangements with slick disco beats and a scintillating vocal that combines the ethereal with the bittersweet. It’s a song about loss that is delivered with the trademark intelligence of Robyn’s songwriting. Hence, the lyrics are shot through with an overriding sense of something missing, complete with lines that talk of a ‘residue’, an ‘empty space’ and a ‘clock that stopped’. But while time may well be standing still for the subject of the song [or even Robyn’s own heart], there’s no sense that time has stood still for her as an artist. She’s still very much at the top of her game – and it’s a pleasure to have her back.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Alex Lleo

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: ALEX LLEO – GO ALONE: Alex Lleo has shared the video for his new single Go Alone. Filmed during his recent headline tour of Scotland, the video features footage shot in Stornaway on the Isle of Lewis, as well as Ullapool and Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands. The video was shot and directed by Owain Ulyet, and it captures the often breathtaking beauty of the locations Lleo found himself in. The song itself was recorded both at Alex’s home studio in Worcestershire’s Lickey Hills and back at Park Studios in Birmingham (where he recorded his debut live EP). It captures the energy and positivity of Alex’s live show as well as showcasing his beautifully-warm and honeyed vocals. Hence, the song is dripping with easygoing melodies, a folk-rock sentiment, some slick guitar arrangements and a genuinely catchy chorus that’s destined to become a live favourite. Lleo’s vocals are lush and reassuring, while the accompanying instrumentals are more lively than some of his work, placing a greater emphasis on an electric guitar sound that gives rise to a great solo. The chorus, meanwhile, is tailor-made for singing along to, such is the melodic content and easy to pick up lyrics. It could just be Lleo’s most accessible [and perhaps best] song yet.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Paul Weller

PAUL WELLERMOVIN ON: Paul Weller continues to indulge a more mellow phase with his new single, entitled Movin On, from his eagerly awaited forthcoming album True Meanings. The string-laden track showcases Weller’s vocals at their most expressive and bittersweet. The track came about as the result of a ‘scratchy demo’ on Paul’s phone that was sent to Tom Doyle of the White Label project, who co-wrote the track with Paul and fellow White Label cohort Anth Brown (who also contributes bass to the track). It’s a more soulful offering than some of his more rock-driven offerings, channelling the storytelling ability of artists like Bruce Springsteen at times, as well as latter day Eric Clapton. The sense of moving on is apparent in the lyrics that both reflect a sense of learning from life’s lessons and an optimism about what the future may hold. The accompanying strings, pianos and acoustic guitars have a cinematic quality to them, which is every so often further augmented by the stabs of brass that afford it a Northern Soul sensibility. It’s shot through with intelligent layering. Talking about the process of recording the the track, Weller explained: “I’m never, ever too proud to give a song over to someone else, to see what they might be able to bring to it: that’s what it’s about really, I always want to see what people can add to my ideas. The older you get, and the more stuff you’ve done, the more important that is.” True Meanings, the fourteenth Paul Weller solo album, and the 26th studio album of his entire career, is released on September 14.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Manic Street Preachers

MANIC STREET PREACHERSPEOPLE GIVE IN: Manic Street Preachers round off the summer and one of their busiest years to date with a new single and some very special shows. People Give In is the opening track of their latest album Resistance Is Futile and is accompanied by a video showing some of the highlights of their touring over 2018. The band also have been announced to play the Radio 2 ‘Live in Hyde Park’ show in London on September 9, 2018, and the Absolute Radio 10th Anniversary Show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on September 25. Of People Give In, Nicky Wire described it as: “One of the most open lyrics I’ve ever written. I wouldn’t exactly call it a rallying cry, it’s more about the idea that at least 80% of life is just really mundane so why don’t we all just lower our expectations and try to get to the other side as painlessly as possible. We’re all looking for universal panaceas all the time – if we expected a little less, we’d probably be happier. The chorus is “there is no theory of everything/no immaculate conception, no crime to forgive”. If you can’t do any good, do no harm – that’s my fucking motto!” As such, it’s perhaps one of the more positive singles from the Manics, albeit one that’s laced with a no-nonsense, tell it like it is reality. It certainly makes you think. Wire delivers the vocals with trademark conviction, while the mix of guitars and strings make for a heady, even cinematic backdrop that ensures the track boasts another epic quality. Hence, while it won’t win any converts to the Manics cause, it’ll sure as hell satisfy the die-hards.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Matt Corby, No Ordinary Life

MATT CORBY – NO ORDINARY LIFE: Following the release of his critically-acclaimed debut album Telluric in 2016, coveted Australian musician Matt Corby is back with sparkling new single, No Ordinary Life. A primer to his much-anticipated forthcoming second studio album, No Ordinary Life traces an illuminating period in Corby’s life that saw him recently become a father for the first time, and with it, shift his music into bountiful new spaces. Having already amassed over 180 million streams over the last two years, as well as banking memorable UK performances at Glastonbury and sell-out dates at Electric Brixton and The Roundhouse, it marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in Corby’s career. Inspired primarily by a new found sense of balance and purpose, the melodies on No Ordinary Life are bright, shimmering and joyous. They were also informed by Mel Stuart’s classic film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. “For some reason, when you say Willy Wonka, it sets a mood,” Corby explains. “This magical, hyper-melodic, crooning, beautiful thing, a journey into the whimsical. We tried to make this song and a few others in that vein – as joyous as possible, which is definitely a change to what I used to do.” The resulting track is certainly as upbeat and whimsical as Corby was intending. There are sun-kissed melodies, daydream vocals, and a sense of the wondrous as the singer ponders life and its unusual rhythms. The scatter-shot beats, subtle strings, and sometimes falsetto/ethereal/trippy vocals also add to that sense of wonder and whim, meaning this is an endlessly fascinating track to listen to.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Tom Baxter

TOM BAXTERBLACK ARE THE GYPSY HORSES: Following in the footsteps of the album-titled single and The Ballad of Davey Graham, Black Are The Gypsy Horses is the latest track to be taken from Tom Baxter’s forthcoming album, The Other Side Of Blue (out August 17), which will be his first record in a decade. Admired by the likes of Tom Waits and Rufus Wainwright, the new album follows the self-funded Skybound and a turbulent decade for Baxter – years which have seen him divorce, re-marry, pen an Ivor Novello-nominated track, and travel to the far stretches of the world – India, Spain, Brazil and LA (amongst many others) to boot. The new record finds Baxter stripping his sound to the bare essentials… free from what he terms ‘production camouflage’. Hence, the song is performed entirely solo using just piano and guitar. It’s folksy, intimate, heart-on-sleeve stuff that’s rife with natural imagery that also serves as a metaphor for peering into Baxter’s soul. Vocally, it’s similarly intimate and honest, laying it all out in the raw, immediate yet laidback style that is now Baxter’s own. The deliberate pacing and stripped back nature of the song may put off some, but for those who like their songs delivered in an honest, troubadour style, this should impress.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Darling Boy, Oh Roisin

DARLING BOY – OH ROISIN!: The UK’s multi-talented polymath Darling Boy returns with his new single Oh Roisin!, the boisterous follow-up to his debut offering, Waste My Days. The track is a blistering 3.5-minute guitar-pop track destined for the airwaves. It’s shot through with firecracker riffs (the type of which Jake Bugg or early Arctic Monkeys would be proud of), impromptu solos and gutsy vocals that combine edge with melody. Hence, while certainly raw and jagged at times, there’s also a keen sense of melody that culminates in a big, ballsy, anthemic chorus capable of offering crossover appeal to the masses. Darling Boy, or Alex Gold, (for that is his given name), is an entirely self-taught multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and actor. In 2016, he starred alongside Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ Joe Strummer in the feature film London Town, and more recently played Ian ‘Mac’ McLagan in the West End Small Faces musical, All Or Nothing. As if all that wasn’t enough, Alex has also joined Supergrass’ Danny Goffey’s new band, switching between bass, guitar and drums. But with the focus now on his solo material, the future looks extremely bright just on his own terms.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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