Follow Us on Twitter

Music - Singles of the week - Friday, May 25, 2018

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

Liam Gallagher

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: LIAM GALLAGHER – I’VE ALL I NEED: Liam Gallagher completes his successful solo comeback with a summer of huge outdoor shows, to promote his critically-acclaimed album As You Were. To celebrate, he has dropped a new single and video in the form of album highlight I’ve All I Need. Directed by Charlie Lightening, the video presents a snapshot of some of Liam’s highlights throughout the course of the past year. Opening with footage of him putting the finishing touches to As You Were, the video finds Liam inspiring chaotic crowd reactions from Manchester and Glastonbury to Japan and beyond. There’s also a wealth of intimate behind-the-scenes clips which includes some famous faces in the shape of David Beckham, Stormzy and Foo Fighters duo Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins. I’ve All I Need is a mellow rock offering from Gallagher that sounds as if the singer is finally at ease with himself. It’s also a love song to his beloved Manchester. There are some laidback guitars, a subtle back-beat and some similarly laidback vocals, which feel less exaggerated than normal. The chorus, meanwhile, triumphantly declares that “there’s no time for looking back” and is delivered in a suitably rousing manner. It’s anthemic. The track is also available on limited edition 7” vinyl, with the song’s lyrics etched onto the b-side. This is undoubtedly the sound of Liam at his absolute best.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Lucy Rose

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2: LUCY ROSEINTRO (CHARTREUSE REMIX): Lucy Rose is set to add another impressive string to her bow with the release of new remix album, Something’s Changing (Remixes) on July 6 via Communion Records. The album is a collection of reworked songs from Lucy’s latest album, Something’s Changing, which was released to acclaim last year. And true to Lucy’s industrious work ethic, the remixers involved with this album have been carefully handpicked. They’re all either close musical friends of Lucy’s or new musical friends that she’s met over this past year as she’s toured the world. Each artist was invited to take a track from the album and rework it in their own unique style. From Fryars to Liz Lawrence, Otzeki to Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly and many more besides, the project is a celebration of variety and collaboration. The first taster is the Intro track, which has been given a sublime, beat-strewn makeover by Chartreuse. If you’d imagine a Bonobo production with Rose’s beautiful lyrics over the top of slick beat arrangements and a cinematic, mellow vibe… then you’re somewhere close. It’s typically impressive stuff. Chartreuse frontman Mike Wagstaff says of his involvement in the project: “Having a polished song in front of you to manipulate and add your own ideas to is blissful… I don’t have to go digging in my own mind for any lyrical ideas all the stuff that needs to happen musically is purely just instinctive and improvised in the moment.” The Chartreuse remix comes complete with a video which was shot in Fiji and then edited by George Cotterhill, who Lucy previously worked with on the official video for Is This Called Home.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Curse of Lono

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 3: CURSE OF LONOVALENTINE: London five-piece Curse Of Lono have announced the release of second album As I Fell on August 17, as well as new single Valentine. Speaking of the moody but impressive Valentine, Felix, from the band, said: “Valentine is about the kind of murderous jealousy that twists you up until you don’t recognise yourself anymore. The sort of dejection that will make you do things you know you will regret. I think the vocal harmonies floating over the tribal beat, distorted bass and filthy baritone guitar going through a tiny 1950’s Selmer practice amp, really capture that feeling.” Featuring foreboding lyrics such as “I’ve got a bullet for your lover’s chest” and a moody central guitar lick, this also drops the type of atmospheric vocal that an artist like David Byrne would be proud of. A guitar solo midway through, meanwhile, is genuinely thrilling… as is the sudden way the track stops. It leaves you thirsting for more. It’s a great piece of work. Curse of Lono’s second album, As I Fell, is produced by Oli Bayston (Boxed In) and was recorded half at Rancho V, a remote desert studio in Joshua Tree, and half at Flesh & Bone Studios in Hackney. The album is accompanied by a documentary, Somewhere In Their Heads, by Gregg Houston (Noel Gallagher, Two Door Cinema Club, Michael Kiwanuka, Foy Vance).
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Crystal Fighters

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 4: CRYSTAL FIGHTERSBOOMIN’ IN YOUR JEEP: Almost 10 years ago, the then-unknown Crystal Fighters were playing their first shows at warehouse parties across London. This summer they’re headlining a run of huge European festivals. Spanning continents, the band’s ever-evolving music captures everything that makes their shows a life-affirming experience: a joyous explosion of beats, electronics and bass delivered dazzlingly onstage. Hence, new single Boomin’ In Your Jeep (their first release under a new deal with Warner Bros. Records) captures the band’s famous spirit, character and colour, but is delivered in a way in which their messages can reach a much wider audience. It’s a joyous, intoxicating mix that exudes positivity: the band’s patented style powered by the bass-heavy energy of contemporary hip-hop production. It’s the Crystal Fighters the world has come to love… but bigger, bolder and better than ever before. The beats have an instantly infectious energy to them, without feeling the need to be too boomin’. Hence, they’re pop friendly, cute and smile inducing. While the synth arrangements are sun-coated, in line with the lyrics that declare the Crystal Fighters to be ‘boomin’ in your jeep’. It’s a party-starter of a record… and a summer anthem to carry you through the coming months and beyond. You’ll love it!
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Ben Howard

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: BEN HOWARDNICA LIBRES AT DUSK: Ben Howard has shared the cinematic video for new single Nica Libres At Dusk. It was shot earlier this year in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco, and directed by Ben himself. And it’s stylish, retro-leaning in places and vast in the heat-drenched landscapes it depicts. The track itself is just as impressive. Built around a quietly evolving acoustic strum, this finds Howard in laibdack form, offering reflective lyrics about the nature of life in a style that evokes comparisons with the likes of Jose Gonzalez (another IndieLondon favourite). The slow build nature of the track also works well, allowing Howard to grow ever more intense vocally, while ushering in a fuller guitar sound, some cinematic electronics and a laidback beat. It’s arguably the best song so far to emerge from Ben’s forthcoming third album, Noonday Dream, ahead of its release on June 1, 2018. It follows A Boat To An Island On The Wall and Towing The Line – all of which have impressed on their own terms.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Paul Weller, Aspects

PAUL WELLERASPECTS: Paul Weller celebrated his 60th birthday on Friday, May 25, and to mark this momentous occasion, the Modfather had a special treat in store for his fans with the release of a beautiful new tune Aspects. The string-laden, largely acoustic and Nick Drake-esque Aspects is a taster for Paul’s hotly anticipated 14th solo studio album, True Meanings, which will be released later this year. Paul said of Aspects: “I don’t know if it’s indicative of the album, but it’s certainly the cornerstone to the record for me. It’s also where I got the title of the album from…” The track itself represents the sound of Weller at his most laidback and cinematic (he has recently dabbled in soundtracks). The strings are beautifully composed, but never at the expense of the acoustic backdrop of the song, or the reflective lyrics. It’s a thoughtful, quiet but warmly intimate listen that bodes extremely well for the rest of the LP. At 60 years young, it seems Weller is in no danger of slowing down… and he may even be getting better with age!
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Sonny

SONNYAINT TOO PROUD TO BEG: After a successful 2017 releasing his critically-acclaimed debut EP Hopeless Romance and follow-up single Yesterday’s Gone, Northern soul singer-songwrtier Sonny enters 2018 with new single Aint Too Proud To Beg, which is being hailed as his most sincere track to date. Featuring a powerhouse set of vocals, that are filled with the passion inherent in the lyrics (about winning a lost love back), this is the type of song that’s designed to tug at the heartstrings – and does so with style. It’s a decent slice of soul-pop that looks destined to further Sonny’s success. Commenting on the track himself, Sonny said: “Aint Too Proud To Beg is about looking back regretfully on a relationship, realising you made mistakes and being desperate to put them right again. This song means so much to me because it’s basded on personal experience and I feel like it’s a relatable situation that so many people go through – not knowing what you have until it’s too late.” It’s the type of songwriting that dispays a depth of emotion that belies Sonny’s 18 years of age.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Maggie Rogers

MAGGIE ROGERSFALLINGWATER: Maggie Rogers releases her first new music of 2018 in the form of the searing, richly layered Fallingwater (out now on Polydor Records). The song was produced by Rostam Batmanglij and Rogers and is a beautifully stylish offering that puts a fresh spin on the pop ballad format. The robust central beat belies the more intimate nature of the song as a whole, lending it an instantly more accessible and hip vibe. If you stripped it away, you’d be left with a piano-soaked ballad. Instead, it’s a layered, vibrant pop song that also showcases Rogers’ warm, emotional vocal style and her ability to deliver heartfelt lyrics. The pianos are nicely arranged, too, and cinematic in grandeur at times. When everything comes together, late on, the song has that effortless ability to make you soar in line with the emotions on display… while a last third breakdown, which accentuates the beats even more, is an ever classier touch that elevates the song even higher. It’s a lovely piece of songwriting that, quite possibly, looks destined to find its way onto some kind of soundtrack (either TV or film) soon. Rogers will be joining HAIM on a series of US, UK and European dates, including two sold out nights at Alexandra Palace on June 15 and 16. She will also return to the UK in August to play the Reading and Leeds.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Magnus Carlson

MAGNUS CARLSON feat FAY HALLAMNOW THAT IT’S OVER: Magnus Carlson – one of Sweden’s most successful male artists – announces the release of his debut UK solo album, A Nordic Soul, on June 22, 2018. The latest taster is the swinging single Now That It’s Over, featuring dual vocals with Fay Hallam. And, as you might expect from a fierce proponent of Northern Soul, this is steeped in those songwriting values – from a foot-stomping back-beat, to frequent blasts of brass, and sassy boy-girl vocals that are delivered with vigour. A mid-track bongo breakdown adds even more energy to a song brimming with it. If you’re looking for comparisons, then think of The Commitments delivering a new slice of Northern Soul. But then Magnus grew up on all things British, collecting UK vinyl from the age of six and watching Jools Holland’s The Tube in the eighties. Indie, northern, blue eyed soul, up tempo horn driven mod tracks and bitter sweet love songs. It’s all part of his history and it’s all part of A Nordic Soul, which was recorded in Sweden and the UK.
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Rhys Lewis

RHYS LEWIS – NO RIGHT TO LOVE YOU: Following a string of hit singles, millions of streams worldwide and sold-out UK, European and US shows, pop-soul singer Rhys Lewis has released his latest single No Right To Love You. The new single showcases Rhys’ ability to take moments from his everyday life and pack them full of sentimental, lyrical introspection. Hence, No Right To Love You finds Rhys putting into words moments from his romantic life others would find too difficult to describe. With each word oozing with tension and hidden meaning (about passion, loss and regret), this is heartfelt, intimate and sometimes quite painful (lyrically). The stripped back, acoustic nature of the instrumentals merely highlights the depths of emotion on display. It’s another impressive piece of songwriting from Lewis. Commenting on the track himself, Rhys said: “This song is about a really difficult break-up and I would say it’s definitely the most personal song I’ve ever written. I remember waking up the next day and immediately thinking I’d made the wrong decision. But you’re in such a weird place after a break-up because your emotions are all over the place, and often it’s not because you don’t love them, it’s just maybe not quite working anymore. I knew that it was for the best, but you can’t just turn off your feelings for someone overnight. It was so difficult for me I had to actually leave London because everything around me reminded me of her. I went to stay with a friend and that’s when I wrote the song. I hope the song does justice to how I felt waking up and living that first day apart from her, it’s a painful process whatever side of the break-up you’re on.”
Rating: 3.5 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: