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Music - Singles of the week - Friday, September 1, 2017

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

Ten Tonnes, Cracks Between

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: TEN TONNESCRACKS BETWEEN: Ten Tonnes has been busy laying the foundations for a much bigger future following the release of his second EP Born To Lose as well as last weekend’s sets at the Reading and Leeds Festivals. Now Hertford-born musician Ethan Barnett releases Cracks Between and continues to impress. The track offers up three minutes of rambunctious rock ‘n’ roll energy in which Barnett’s eloquent examination of broken romance is delivered with his coolly-phrased vocal. It’s got sharp guitar riffs, a true rock swagger, some thoughtful lyrics and an easy-going, sing-along vibe courtesy of the “woah-hoo” chorus. “I wrote Cracks Between when I was 18,” said Barnett. “It’s a light-hearted look at a break-up.” It demonstrates a maturity beyond Barnett’s years (much like Jake Bugg), while dropping that kind of cool rock swagger reminiscent of Bugg and The Kooks. The track is also notable for seeing Barnett reunited with producer and former Maccabees guitarist Hugo White. It was recorded at London studio The Drugstore.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Jessie Ware, Selfish Love

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: JESSIE WARESELFISH LOVE: Jessie Ware has dropped Selfish Love, the follow-up to her comeback single Midnight, and if anything gets better and better. A slinky, cinematic offering, this suggests danger and desire and features the kind of vocal from Ware that bears favourable comparison with artists such as Sade. The backing instrumentals, meanwhile, have a very cinematic quality about them, hinting at more sexual energy as well as a dusky, sunny, late night Mediterranean vibe. The track premiered as Zane Lowe’s World Record on Beats 1 and is accompanied by a video directed by Tom Beard. “Selfish Love is a track that reminds me why I enjoy singing so much. Even though it’s coming at the end of the summer, I hope you play it in the heat,” said Jessie. The Selfish Love video, shot in Mallorca, is billed as the prequel to Midnight. Together, the videos tell the story of a couple broken apart in a classic film noir tragedy. Selfish Love is the second track to be taken from Jessie’s forthcoming third album due for release later this year.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Rhye, Summer Days

RHYESUMMER DAYS (ROOSEVELT REMIX): Rhye has released the Roosevelt Remix of Summer Days, complete with a gorgeous accompanying visual. The remix builds on the already infectious groove of the original song (that was originally released on July 7 via Loma Vista Recordings/Caroline International, alongside Please). A mosaic of emotive piano keys, physical percussion, buzzing analog synths and expansive vocals, Rhye find humanity in musicality and, quite clearly with Summer Days, intend to put you into a feelgood, chilled out kind of mood. The song’s slick mix of contagious beats and sunshine melodies more than lives up to its name – it’s perfect for kicking back with on a summer’s day. About the visual, Milosh commented: “The Photoautomat is a private space within a public sphere. Located on many populated streets in Berlin, with just a curtain for privacy, the photoautomat allows people to be who they want to be unabashedly, expressing silliness, sadness, intimacy and joy. The environment that the photoautomat fosters is what we hope to encourage more of in the world we are creating: more coming together, more love, more joy and humour. It is this sentiment that we chose to embody in this video that celebrates being whoever you want to be with whomever you want to be with.”
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Kasabian, Ill Ray

KASABIANILL RAY (THE KING): Riding high off the success of their latest album, For Crying Out Loud, Kasabian now drop another take-notice track and video in the form of Ill Ray (The King). The video is particularly notable for featuring Game of Thrones luminary Lena Headey, as well as Michael Socha, and is directed by Headey’s fiance, Dan Cadan. And she really cuts loose, getting on down with the tracks boisterous hooks and laddish swagger. The song itself is one of the more brash tracks to be taken from the LP, featuring lyrics such as “I’m rising up”, rar, ragged, almost White Stripes-style guitar hooks and – just to mix things up – a mid-track breakdown into almost synth-pop territory. It picks things back up after that, to deliver a typically rousing finale fuelled by powerhouse vocals and electrifying guitar work. And while it may be the lesser of the releases to be taken from the album thus far (after You’re In Love With A Psycho and God Bless This Acid House), it’s still riotously good, highly energetic fun.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Maroon 5, What Lovers Do

MAROON 5 feat SZAWHAT LOVERS DO: Say what you will about Maroon 5, they know how to concoct a catchy song. What Lovers Do is another spritely offering from the band that immediately fleet-foots its way into your subconscious and gets you toe-tapping and woo-hooing along. There’s catchy synth hooks, a breezy chorus and a good mix between the vocals of lead singer Adam Levine and guests SZA. It makes for an appealing mix of boy-girl vocals, some of which sound ominously like Rihanna. The ‘oo oo oo’ laden chorus is effortless in the way it has you singing along, while the song also has that neat ability to feel playful and sexy (and even a little edgy, lyrically) all at the same time. It won’t linger long in the memory but it’s a fun listen while it lasts.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Rose Gray, Blue

ROSE GRAY – WE GET BY: Rose Gray has now released her debut EP, Blue, featuring previously released singles Give It All To You, Ring The Alarm and Morning Blues, as well as this nwe track We Get By. The Blue EP is also released as a cinematic experience with stunning videos made for each track, which are all now available via Rose Gray’s YouTube page. We Get By also has a touch of the cinematic about it in terms of the song’s construction. Built around a moody, melancholy slice of understated piano, and a husky, yet fragile central vocal, this has a beguiling, hypnotic effect. Gray’s vocals are particularly disarming once they reach the chorus, yet the tale she weaves throughout is never less than entrancing thanks to the quality of the lyrics. The piano, meanwhile, remains understated throughout, yet beautifully so. There are some backing harmonies to augment the overall sound late on but – again – it’s Gray’s vocals that remains centre-stage and deservedly so. If you’re a fan of artists like Sia or Katie Melua, then there’s a little bit of both here. Gray is clearly an artist to look out for. The video is well worth checking out too. Commenting on the EP as a whole, Gray said: “The EP was written in a time of what I call having the blues. All the tracks are sort of different stages of that. I guess it’s like a little chapter in my life. Each track in the order of release follows a journey, it’s real personal, but I hope people can connect with it on different levels. It’s a big sound – strings, horns, heavy drum beats and something more stripped back.”
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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OUTYLA, Howl

OUTLYAHOWL: OUTLYA would appear to be lining themselves up as the kind of stadium-filling act that could rival Coldplay if new single Howl is anything to go by. A rapturous, pop-tinged record fuelled by uplifting melodies and a catchy as hell chorus, this leans heavily on the Coldplay songwriting formula with just as much success. A lively piano arrangement underscores things, along with slick beats, and a set of vocals that drift in and out of some falsetto highs (much like Chris Martin in his prime). The song builds and builds, too, eventually layering in some guitars to ensure a feel-good, head-rush finale that should get any live mosh-pit pumped up to the max. And that’s not even forgetting to mention the song’s anthemic nature, which makes it ripe for singing along loudly to whenever it lands on the radio. Like its name suggests, you’ll be howling along giddily. Speaking about the track themselves, OUTLYA explained: “Howl is a song about communication in the mordern age. The feeling of euphoria when you hear a loved one’s voice down a distorted phone line and the transportive effect it can have on you from miles away. We ended up demoing the song four or five times and the final version is an amalgamation of all of them. As a band, we always try and combine the natural sounds of live instruments, line piano, guitar, bass and drums, with synthetic sounds seeping in, which in this song works especially well as a metaphor for human interaction through technology.”
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Fink, Not Everything Was Better In The Past

FINKNOT EVERYTHING WAS BETTER IN THE PAST: Fink has dropped another irresistibly stylish but disarmingly affecting new single in the form of Not Everything Was Better In The Past. A tender, acoustic-backed slice of melancholy, this is a tender, intimate and deeply personal offering that finds Fink dissecting a relationship. It’s thoughtful, brooding and strikes a highly resonant note for anyone willing to tap into its themes (which can be extended to anyone who shares a similar sentiment about aspects of their past). And while undoubtedly melancholy and sombre in composition, there’s something that’s highly enticing about the song, too, with shades of the cinematic and the beguiling. The song is taken from Fink’s upcoming album Resurgam, which was produced alongside Flood, a legendary figure who applies his full weight of experience to the project.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Alexander Wolfe, Breaking The Fall

ALEXANDER WOLFEBREAKING THE FALL: Alexander Wolfe releases new single ‘Breaking The Fall and immediately draws comparisons with bands like Elbow and Bear’s Den. The track can be said to be leading the singer’s renaissance, in that it’s a dexterous, subtly inspiring return – one that breathes easy and carries you in its wake. He commented: “Lyrically, it’s about momentum, going forwards, and leaving the past behind you. And that made a lot of sense. It’s kind of a theme that runs throughout the record. Let the past be the past. And go forwards.” The song itself is driven by some slick beat arrangements, and an almost hushed vocal, that offset each other nicely. The accompanying melodies, meanwhile, entwine themselves neatly and intricately around the beats and vocals to create something that’s as urgent as it is endearing. And it’s done so in a manner that evokes Elbow. For Wolfe, the release of the new material bodes well for his comeback, given that he was poised to break big in 2015, following the acclaim surrounding his third album From The Shallows, only for the music industry to deliver the cruellest of blows. The label he was signed to had been embezzling money and was forced into liquidation. Now he’s back and, arguably, stronger than ever. For more of what to expect, also try checking out Fixed For Today, which is another beauty (and even more upbeat).
Rating: 4 out of 5

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