Follow Us on Twitter

Music - Singles of the week - Friday, June 5, 2020

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

Slide, Waiting

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: SLIDEWAITING: Following the release of their well received comeback single Hello Spirit last month, Swedish duo Slide now continue their upward ascent as they deliver new single, the alt-pop Waiting. Marking the second new offering since the release of their debut EP Into Happiness last year, the Stockholm-based pair returns with yet more genre-bending sounds on this bold and vibrant new cut that focuses on the theme of love being the antidote to fear. As such, it’s timely stuff with references even to Los Angeles “being on fire”. But it’s an all-encompassing call to arms… a song that seeks to empower positivity, inclusion and rational thought. Hence, while it has been released on a week when a lot of record companies opted not to release new music in support of BlackLivesMatter, this is the perfect response in the way that it puts forward a valuable, supportive message and offers hope married to great instrumentation… albeit with an alt-pop edge that lends it even more distinction in its own right. Speaking about their new cut, Slide said: “Waiting is about a lot of things. I think it was just a reflection on everything going through my mind at the time like love, life, death, success, failure and even global warming in some regard. I realised I was really scared about the future and the only thing that made me calm was talking about these things with my girlfriend and how love is kind of this eternal larger than life thing you know?”
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

OK Go, All Together Now

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2: OK GO – ALL TOGETHER NOW: US band OK Go, known for their elaborate one-take videos and massive songs like Here It Goes Again and Get Over It, have released an excellent new track as a response to Covid-19 and, with it, a campaign to raise money for health care workers. Lead singer and guitarist Damian Kulash and his wife caught the coronavirus early on and went through a frightening experience but have now thankfully fully recovered. Inspired by his neighbourhood raising a cheer for frontline workers every evening, Damian and the band, working separately in their homes, wrote and recorded the very beautiful All Together Now and are giving donations to Partners In Health via the band’s website – where fans will receive a bundle of goodies including the mp3 of the single and awesome print-out colouring pages of scenes from the band’s videos. The track itself is disarmingly simple – built around heart-warming melodies, fragile yet warm vocals and a growing sense of optimism. It’s well worth shouting about to anyone who hasn’t heard it because it could become another of those timely anthems that capably reflects a landmark moment in time. OK Go state: “I’m the singer and video director in OK Go. We’re ‘that video band’. This morning, we released a new song and video we wrote and recorded in our homes over the last few days, inspired by our neighborhood’s nightly cheer for the frontline workers and Rebecca Solnit’s piece in The Guardian. It’s our somber prayer for hope. I wrote a letter about how my family caught the coronavirus, how scary my wife’s recovery was, and how this song came to be. But it’s too long to send as a blast, or at least I know that if I got something like it from ‘that dude in the video band,’ I wouldn’t read it. A press release seems inappropriate, too. This isn’t the clever new video we’ve been working on for months or the lead single from our new album; there’s no campaign. It’s an earnest, personal song about the moment we’re all sharing, and a homemade video of us recording it in our closets and kitchens. So instead, I’m sending this note: I hope you’ll check out the song, and perhaps read the letter. Profits from downloads at our website will be donated to Partners in Health, an organization that brings healthcare to people who can’t afford or access it.” Here’s a link to the letter
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Travis, A Ghost

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: TRAVIS – A GHOST: Scottish pop-rockers Travis return with their heartfelt new single A Ghost, which is taken from their upcoming 10 Songs LP, which is out on October 9. The track is a lively offering that examines fatherhood and lead singer Fran Healy’s relationship with both his own dad and, subsequently, his son. And it confronts the juggle between being there for a child and pursuing your own ambitions. Hence, there’s intelligence married to keen melodicism, as the robust guitar licks and easy-going melodies combine to create a genuinely ear-pleasing whole. Speaking to NME, Healy said of the song: “I’m 46-years-old now, but I don’t feel that way. I still feel like I’ve got a lot to do. Being a parent, I gave the past 14 years of my life to my son completely. I wanted to be the dad that I’d never had. My son has been my sole focus and main project in the centre of the table, but about six months ago he came up to me and said, ‘Papa, you should really go for it with the band this time – I know you haven’t been pushing as hard as you could but I want you to do that now’. The lyrics were a combination of all that – looking at my foot and deciding to just fucking floor it again. It’s about looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing the ghost of someone. This reflection talks back to you and says, ‘It’s easier to be alive than hide under your pillow while your life is passing you by’.” The accompanying video is typically eye-catching from Travis. It was actually directed on an iPad by Healy alongside some help from his son, Clay, who lent a hand with the film’s cinematography. Explains Healy: “The video for A Ghost started out as a mocked-up picture of me and 3 ghosts playing the last chorus of the song in a deserted alleyway. It looked cool so I took that image and back engineered a story out of it. Just when everything was ready to shoot, the world went into lockdown, so we had this great song with no way to make a video. Frustrated and in an act of desperation, I decided to draw it. Before I was a singer in Travis I was a student at Glasgow School of Art so I am a good draughtsman, but I’d never done animation. I did a test to calculate how long it might take me. 16 hours for each, 10 seconds of footage. It worked out that it would take around 30 days which landed exactly on the deadline date. So I drew and drew and drew and drew. 2,500 drawings later, it was done. One day, I was watching a sequence back and when it got to the end of what I had drawn, it flashed and went into live-action. It looked great. This was the moment I realised I could shoot the mock-up picture of me playing with my band of ghosts in the alleyway. This helped in 3 ways. 1. Filming the last 47 seconds would save me 10 days of drawing. 2. I could recruit my 14-year-old son, Clay as the cameraman.He has a drone camera so could shoot it remotely and could use it as part of his school video project 3. Most importantly, we could film it socially distant. It was the most bizarre video shoot I have ever worked on. You realise how important proximity is to getting things done when it’s taken out of the equation. But we did it and it turned out great.”
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Offworld

OFFWORLD – I FOUND OUT: The London/Philadelphia based musical outfit Offworld have released new music in response to the murder of George Floyd and subsequent events in The United States Of America. Speaking about the new song, Archer explained: “We originally conceived and wrote I Found Out after the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the subsequent protests that broke out across the country. The track features dialogue from emergency service radio heard during the confusion of the following days. I recall Krysten improvising the chorus and what you hear is her first, improvised take – pouring out her anger and frustration.” Adds Cummings: “These lyrics were written five years ago but sadly mirror what is happening today and has been happening since – ‘Struggling To Breathe In St Louis’.” Given the traumatic events of the past week, this is the type of offering that couldn’t be more resonant. The radio footage is troubling in itself, while the mirror that past events holds up to current is genuinely haunting. It’s clear from both the song and news footage that America, in particular [and the world over] still hasn’t learned from the mistakes and prejudices of its path. Hence, when Offworld deliver their central motif of “struggling to breathe”, while listing various US cities, the line offers a harrowing reminder of what it must have been like for Floyd and others like him. The impassioned vocal delivery of this seven-minute opus, coupled with the driving rhythms, Doors-inspired Hammond organs, Hendrix-inspired guitars and boisterous backing vocals, combine to create a swirling, heady, important offering that really hits listeners hard (just as it should). It could well become an anthem for a movement.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Marsicans, These Days

MARSICANSTHESE DAYS: With their highly-anticipated debut album Ursa Major set to arrive on August 14, 2020, via Killing Moon Records, Leeds-based indie-rock heroes Marsicans now continue the support for their forthcoming full-length with the release of its fifth single, These Days. A song inspired by communicating in the modern world, the lyrics feel highly timely amidst the coronavirus pandemic, even though they weren’t initially written to directly reflect it. Rather, as bassist and vocalist Rob Brander explains: “These Days is a song about my relationship with communication in the modern world. Without really realising, I had started using the Internet as a window for almost all my communication and information. I found myself staring at my phone more and more, whether it was to talk to friends, read the news, or even to be creative. When I stopped to think about just how reliant we are on these little black screens to communicate with the world around us, it made me feel uncomfortable. It’s too easy to add context to a message, which simply isn’t there, because of the lack of body language or inflection that you might get in a person’s actual voice. You’re also less inclined to ask questions about information you read on the Internet, just because it’s on the Internet.The song isn’t necessarily a damning indictment of technology. It’s more about pointing to the rapid changes in human connection and asking the question ‘Is this okay’?” With that in mind, there’s almost a paradox to releasing it now, when technology has never been more important in keeping us connected in lockdown. But it also poses an important question about how we might re-emerge and the dangers of now being even more reliant upon it. Hence, this is intelligent, thought-provoking songwriting. And yet it’s delivered in a euphoric, soaring indie-rock style, bringing yet more catchy hooks and sing-along vocals. When frontman James Newbigging sings, “I don’t want to go outside most of the time these days”, it almost sounds like a rallying call… and the type of chant you’ll happily be singing along with, once you finally get back outside [or even inside a concert venue] once again.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Sola Ros

SOLA ROSASEARCHING FOR LOVE: New Zealand artist Andrew Spraggon, crafting under the moniker Sola Rosa, returns with the lively new single, Searching For Love (featuring Kiko Bun). The track marks his first release since his Way Up Recordings label partnered with Kartel Music, Group and the first offering from the forthcoming album, Chasing The Sun. A celebration of finding ‘the one’, Searching for Love captures the timeless groove that Sola Rosa is renowned for, with the soulful addition of vocals and lyrics from rising British soul and reggae star, Kiko Bun. It’s got snappy beats, Morcheeba-style guitars (which also boast a retro element) and an appealing blend of vocal styles, thereby delivering a euphoric ode to falling in love with the one. It’s an upbeat offering that celebrates love… something, again, that’s sorely needed across the world right now with all we’re facing. Commenting on her involvement, Bun said: “The song came together quite quickly, when I sat down in the studio, I heard the first stages of the beat and thought ‘yep, that one’ and it kind of wrote itself. I always try to write from my life experiences, so this wasn’t too difficult. Straight from the heart”. Spraggon, meanwhile, commented: “I’m very excited to finally be releasing Searching For Love featuring Kiko Bun, as the first single of many in the lead up to the new album, Chasing The Sun. The album has been five years in the making and I really put my all into this one. There’s been multiple trips around the world and collaborations with some incredible musicians and artists. This is easily the most collaborative album I’ve ever made.”
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Childe, Bad Ideas Mega Dub

CHILDEBAD IDEAS MEGA DUB: Last month marked the debut single from brand new British artist, Childe. Now, Childe releases an alternate stripped down version of his debut single Bad Ideas… the mega dub. And it’s every bit as addictive… a brooding, atmospheric dub version that places subtle but foreboding beats and acoustic guitar licks against moody vocals. The stripped back nature also elevates the potency of the lyrics, which reflect on a key childhood experience and its subsequent effect. As Childe explains: “When I was 14 I went on holiday with my dad. He was supposed to be sober and we agreed that he could drink and I could smoke cigarettes. We cycled along a canal and slept in a tent outside different pubs. On the first night, we went to the pub and then he got me stoned for the first time and I lost my shit. At 2am I woke up and threw up all over the tent and him and he had to clean it up. The exact same happened the next night.” The Bad Ideas cover art is a photo from that trip. The song itself is highly memorable… an emotionally charged, yet deeply personal offering, that could yet resonate for anyone who has harboured or experienced their own bad ideas.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Race Banyon

RACE BANYONPRESSURE OFF: New Zealand electronic producer Race Banyon (aka Eddie Johnston) teases more new music with Pressure Off, the second offering from his upcoming new EP, set for release on July 7. Putting a fresh spin on straightforward tech-house club construction, Race Banyon created Pressure Off around an Ableton’s arpeggiator loop, with the track’s rhythmic pulse moving through ambient tech-house to what Banyon describes as a “very interesting beat, almost like a New Orleans’ Bounce beat gravitating towards Jungle’s territory but without ever quite getting there. It’s like the hint of something that you can’t quite taste”. Early on, the synths have a late-night, cinematic vibe that could well exist in a Nicolas Winding Refn soundscape. But once the beats land, there’s a heavier tech-house vibe that somehow takes the sheen off the early work. It’s then that the club banger element takes hold and places this firmly in the realms of the dancefloor, as opposed to any soundtrack of the mind… at least until reverting back to synth mode for the finale, which slowly but surely grinds to a halt (as if morning has dawned). Overall, this is an interesting, lively offering that shows Race Banyon is someone worth taking notice of as the release date of his EP approaches.
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Limahl, Still In Love

LIMAHLSTILL IN LOVE: Limahl (of Kajagoogoo fame) releases his first solo music in eight years entitled Still In Love, via Christopher Music/Tunecore. The track is co-written and co-produced by Limahl with German composer Miro Markus and celebrates Limahl’s 40 years in the music business. He started out in 1980 in a production of Godspell. But it’s also reflective of his newfound zest for life, given a near-death experience he had in London. Hence, this is a classic crooner style ballad, openly slushy and more than a little retro-leaning. It’s soulful, romantic and overly sentimental – but the type of thing that could possibly wing its way onto a Richard Curtis soundtrack, circa Notting Hill or Four Weddings. Explains Limahl: “I have definitely been in the same place emotionally as our protagonist in the song. Dark days, unable to get out of bed with curtains staying closed, (gay love is just as painful as straight love), however, what a great feeling when u get through the other side and start learning to love yourself again. I wasn’t going through this at the time of writing the song, far from it, have been blissfully happy with my lovely partner Steve for 26 years and in our ‘Civil Partnership’ for 11 years).” The single comes off the back of his recent US success which saw Limahl re-enter the mass consciousness when his music was highlighted by three major US television shows. The worldwide No 1 with Kajagoogoo, Too Shy, was in the Netflix standalone, interactive Black Mirror episode Bandersnatch and also in AMC’s hit anthology American Horror Story: 1984, while his No 1 solo hit Neverending Story played a pivotal role in the third season of Netflix’s Stranger Things.
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video


Heard a great single, but yet to buy it? Well, we may have reviewed it. Previous reviews: