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Music - Singles of the week - Friday, January 12, 2018

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

Hudson Taylor, Run With Me

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: HUDSON TAYLORRUN WITH ME: Irish duo Hudson Taylor – comprised of brothers Alfie and Harry – aim to start 2018 on a high with the release of new single Run With Me, the follow-up to their 2017 comeback single Feel It Again. An instantly appealing slice of Americana-influenced pop, with elements of folk tossed in, this has a warm glow attached that makes you want to toe tap and sing along. The chorus, in particular, is shot through with ear-pleasing melodies and hum-along harmonies, while the sentiments contained within the lyrics (“we’re all in it for the long road, we’re all in it for life”) are genuinely empowering. The accompanying video features Alfie and Harry in their native Ireland taking a visit to the Dogs Trust, whom the band partnered with in the making of the video. Speaking about the video, the band said: “Run With Me is about those friends that are by your side at all times and lift you up whatever you’re going through. Dogs are often that exact type of friend for people and we wanted to make a video that was uplifting and fun but also delivered the message that there are so many dogs in shelters and rescues across the country that just need loving homes. We absolutely loved making this video and we hope people not only enjoy watching it but also consider giving a rescue dog a home and having that dog give them their unconditional love and friendship in return.”
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Fall Out Boy, Wilson

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2: FALL OUT BOYWILSON (EXPENSIVE MISTAKES): Fall Out Boy continue their resurgence in fine fashion with lively new single Wilson (Expensive Mistakes), the latest offering from their forthcoming M A N I A LP. Embracing the punk-rock elements of old, especially lyrically, this declares “if I can get my shit together I’m going to run away and never see any of you again” before also opining “I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker colour”. There are fanfare-style horns, ‘whoa oah’ harmonies, a rousing, EMO-laced chorus and an overall feeling of rebellion mixed with euphoria. Patrick Stump’s voice is as lively as ever, flitting between falsetto and baritone with consummate ease, yet ensuring the song never sits still for a minute. The song’s meaning is open to interpretation, too, with several online commentators referencing Tom Hanks’ volleyball friend Wilson in the film Castaway (a theory backed up by its obvious nod in the video), while others saying that it simply reflects the band’s ongoing attitude to life. But no matter what the meaning, this is a rollicking good listen – the type of which Fall Out Boy have proven themselves capable of many times in the past. It’s so far, so good for the long-gestating new album, though.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Henry Green

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 3: HENRY GREENANOTHER LIGHT: Rising Bristol-based electronic artist Henry Green has announced his debut album, Shift, is set for release on March 30, 2018, via Akira Records. He’s also sharing his new single Another Light online now. Speaking about the track, Green said: “I had a really vivid image/moment in mind when I wrote Another Light. I was sat on a silent beach in the early hours of the morning, slightly hazy from the lack of sleep and I wanted to write about the whirlwind of colours and textures, both in the landscape but also in my mind at that moment. So, much change had happened in such a short amount of time and I was just reflecting on it all.” The ensuing track combines hazy vocals, of an ethereal nature, with slick beat arrangements (comparable with Bonobo) and minimalist but striking electronic arrangements. The result is as cinematic as it is beguiling. It’s also evidence of an emerging artist who is well worth keeping track of as 2018 progresses, especially if you get your musical kicks from artists like Bonobo and Kygo.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Rhye, Song For You

RHYESONG FOR YOU: Rhye have dropped the enchanting Song for You as the latest track off their highly anticipated sophomore album BLOOD, due out on February 2, 2018 via Caroline Records. A low-key, beautifully delivered slice of alternative R&B, this showcases the sensitive side of the LA-based outfit. The smooth vocals drift over the horns, electronics and ticking beats in genuinely soothing fashion, easing you into the type of relaxed state needed to best appreciate what it has to say. Rhye frontman Milosh commented: “Song for You was written for her. Listen to it in a way where it becomes your album.” The forthcoming BLOOD follows Rhye’s debut album Woman, which was released in 2013 to wide critical acclaim. The album is available for pre-order now. Fans who pre-order the album will receive instant downloads of Song for You, as well as previously released tracks Count To Five, Taste and Please.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Will Varley, Seven Days

WILL VARLEYSEVEN DAYS: Will Varley has released Seven Days as the latest track to emerge ahead of his forthcoming fifth studio album Spirit Of Minnie, released February 9, 2018 through Xtra Mile Recordings. Propelled by Varley’s burnished, husky vocals and an innate gift for relatable lyricism, the track arrives alongside an animated music video created by Varley himself. The folk-rock elements of the song create a familiar, yet highly appealing backdrop, complete with an engaging chorus that is full of warmth and life. Vocally, there are traces of Dylan and Jose Gonzalez in Varley’s delivery, which adds to the appeal and the classic sense of songwriting. While the sentiments contained within the lyrics are easy to relate to for anyone used to finding themselves on the road (for work or travelling pleasure). Compelled by the track’s affirmation of life’s fleeting, milestone moments, Varley has created the monochrome pixel art animation which accompanies the release of Seven Days, influenced by the classic 8-bit dos games of his own 90s childhood. It’s well worth taking a look.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Jack White

JACK WHITECONNECTED BY LOVE: Has it really been as long as six years since The White Stripes broke up? Well, White seems unaffected by it since Connected By Love is the first new material to emerge from his third solo album since then. And it’s something of a change of pace. A retro-leaning slice of balladry with gospel leanings, this is a moody, brooding offering that seems to find White channelling his inner Mick Jagger. Vocally, there’s a swagger that belies the hurt contained within. The gospel backing adds an extra layer of drama to proceedings, while the Hammond organ solo midway through underlines that quasi ’70s feel that is obviously deliberate. Just occasionally, the instrumentals threaten to run away with themselves, and veer too far into experimental territory. But the showman in White always keeps things interesting, especially when rebuilding the song following that instrumental interlude. It means that Connected By Love, while never matching the seering intensity of classic Stripes (or brilliance) remains compelling throughout.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Jack White

JACK WHITERESPECT COMMANDER: The second of two tracks released this week by Jack White is Respect Commander, the second half of his Double-A side. It’s a different prospect entirely from Connected By Love, especially in its livewire opening half. A collage, of sorts, this owes more, initially, to something like a DJ Shadow production, mixed with the retro elements of a Paul Hardcastle, in the way that it samples sounds, drops hip-hop infused beats and tries to be cinematic. But then it stops dead in its tracks, changes tack and ushers in a slower, more brutal and depressed second half, informed by a bluesy guitar riff, some uttered vocals and – eventually – a volatile set of shouted vocals that hark back to White Stripes-era music. It’s a raw, ragged, disjointed listen that somehow hangs together and works as a curiosity piece, while underlining White’s continued penchant for experimentation. But be warned: you probably have to be in the right mood as this one does occasionally feel more like an indulgence.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Shift K3y, Only You

SHIFT K3Y – ONLY YOU: Shift K3Y – aka Lewis Jankel – is back with new single Only You. The release follows the recent exclusive first play of the track on BBC Radio 1Xtra as Mistajam’s Jam Hot Record. Only You is the first single of 2018 from the multi-instrumentalist, producer, DJ, singer-songwriter, and is being hailed as an anthemic, hypnotic banger. Alas, it’s somewhat monotonous. Built around some generic electronic arrangements and beats, as well as an indifferent set of vocals, this is geared solely towards the dancefloor and Ibiza-style club scene, without making much of an attempt to breakout. Hence, it trails in the wake of recent material from the likes of Avicii and Diplo, which work hard to combine genres and mix things up to make them sound more appealing. On creating this track, Jankel states: “After I came back from a few shows in the US, I started to draft ideas for new material. I wanted to take it back to the nature of what I am about musically, utilising my vocal on my own production. Only You is a tongue in cheek, passionate track combining all the influences that make me the musician that I am. I wanted to combine the love I have for R’n‘B and Funk instrumentation from the ’80s and ’90s, with the sounds that I am playing within my sets.” Sadly, this hasn’t translated to the track itself, at least as far as we’re concerned.
Rating: 2 out of 5

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Holly Miranda

HOLLY MIRANDA feat KYP MALONEEXQUISITE: Holly Miranda continues to impress with stylish new single Exquisite, featuring TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone. A compelling mix of vocal styles, this finds Miranda as soothing and lovely as ever, positively purring over the opening moments of the track, before Malone then drops his far more gruff and edgier vocals. Miranda returns, of course (this is her record, after all), but Malone also revists and even drops in a hint of Bowie into the mix. The slick beat arrangements and smooth electronics ensure the track has a really cool vibe, which is by turns psychedelic and pop-friendly. Speaking about the accompanying video, which arrives ahead of new album Mutual Horse on February 23, Miranda said: “Have you met my friend Kyp Malone? Not only does Kyp give the best hugs on the universe, but he has the most beautiful voice, the most insightful and honest lyrics and now to add to that list he has made my absolute favourite music video. These images and animation directly communicate visually where we were emotionally writing this song together. Confronting ourselves. Owning our actions. Asking for forgiveness. I hope you enjoy it.” We sure did.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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