Follow Us on Twitter

Music - Singles of the week - Friday, September 27, 2019

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

Mike Posner, Nothing is Wrong

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: MIKE POSNERNOTHING IS WRONG: Nothing is Wrong marks the third single from Mike Posner since his triumphant return to the Walk Across America. Despite being severely injured from a rattle-snake bite, there’s no sense that this has removed any of his songwriting positivity. Nothing Is Wrong is a reassuring record, dripping with thought-provoking sentiment about self-empowerment (“I am something much more beautiful… it took me 30 years to wake up and write this song, took me 30 years to realise nothing is wrong”). It’s a statement of intent and of self-belief that also carries plenty of things to say about the somewhat sceptical state of the world, and the debilitating effect that can have. As if to underline the reassuring nature of the track, the accompanying instrumentals are effortlessly laidback, placing Posner’s now distinct vocals centre-stage, but also dropping a lazy back-beat and some subtle guitar licks (of the mostly acoustic persuasion). It’s just a really feel-good, really friendly, really positive listen.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Foals, The Runner

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2: FOALSINTO THE SURF: Foals continue to impress with new single Into The Surf, a mellower offering from their Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 2. Where past tracks Black Bull and The Runne were all about being explosive, this showcases a more melancholy and reflective side to the band, which is every bit as striking. Indeed, the track offers up a dreamy, ethereal soundscape which allows Yannis Philippakis’ haunting but elegant lyrics to soar. “In Into The Surf, there’s this shadow of death, of someone not returning from a voyage,” he explained in an interview with DIY. “There’s a type of Greek folk song that’s always to do with the immigration of Greek people and how dying on foreign shores is always viewed as the worst fate – to die far away from your home and your family.” Given the mythological subtext and the tragedy underpinning it, the new track can also be viewed against the context of contemporary immigration issues and the danger of undertaking such dangerous journeys. It’s a song to provoke thought and debate, delivered in a dreamy, reflective state to offer up maximum impact. It’s the sound of Foals at their very best. Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 2 will be released on October 18.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Editors, Black Gold

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: EDITORSBLACK GOLD: Following the announcement of their best of album, Black Gold, and UK and European tour earlier this month, Editors have now unveiled the dramatic new video for title track Black Gold. Directed by long time collaborator Rahi Rezvani, the video sees frontman Tom Smith display instinctive acting ability alongside US actress Nicole Stark. Driving a red Ford Mustang through the desert, the couple stop at a desolate motel and gas station, as their volatile relationship falls apart at the seams. The destruction of their relationship is mirrored by the sparse desert imagery, in which Tom remonstrates alone with nature, and the desolate, dusty motel, where his lover waits alone. There’s even a visual nod to the opening of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction for added dramatic effect. The track itself is classic Editors. It’s an epic, sweeping offering that showcases the stadium-sized ambition of the band’s current songwriting. There’s throbbing synths, stark beat arrangements (which become more and more pronounced throughout the song) and epic vocals as only frontman Smith knows how to deliver. The release of the new video comes in the wake of their last video for Frankenstein being nominated for Music Video of The Year at this year’s Shots Awards.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Sam Johnson, Stuck Under The Surface

SAM JOHNSONSTUCK UNDER THE SURFACE: Stuck Under The Surface is the third single taken from Sam Johnson’s forthcoming debut Eastcote EP (out November 1, 2019), produced with multi-instrumentalist Elliot James. It follows on from singles Medicine For My Brain, which was Track of the Month (August 2019) on BBC Introducing Shropshire, and most recent single Trip On Gold, which was co-written with the renowned Irish songwriter Iain Archer. The anthemic track recalls the end of his six-year relationship with an Australian girlfriend, a love affair that had been sustained at long distance until the time that his heart began to let go. He records his inability to face up to the changes, “the scripted lines” and “vacant smiles” he gave, and now regrets. But while born from regret and sorrow, there’s an upbeat quality to the instrumentals which help the chorus to soar. Comparisons with the slow-build ballad style of classic Coldplay are not too far off the mark… it’s that good and easily accessible to the mainstream once the song hits its stride. Speaking about the new single, Johnson commented: “Stuck Under the Surface is a song born from the ashes of a long term relationship that didn’t quite work out. It came to fruition in the wake of a break up and felt like a very necessary form of catharsis. I knew it had to be honest if it were to be convincing, but naturally with that came a level of difficulty and unease that I’d rarely had to deal with when writing songs before. However, rather inevitably, it’s gone on to become one of my favourite songs on the EP. I’ve realised that its overarching message is one of openness. I found closure in being able to write this song, when previously feeling unable to articulate my feelings or ‘stuck under the surface’, and I hope others will be touched similarly when listening.”
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Diplo and Jonas Brothers, Lonely

DIPLO & JONAS BROTHERSLONELY: American DJ Diplo, aka Thomas Wesley Pentz Jr, is about to drop his new country album using his birth name. And what better way to do it than drop this duet, featuring American sweethearts The Jonas Brothers. The result doesn’t actually sound too country… more pop. But that will ensure the type of exposure that Diplo craves. The Jonas Brothers drop some ballad-style vocals over cute guitar licks, synth interludes and a country-pop meets electro-pop vibe. It means that while Diplo may be tipping his toe into a new musical direction with his forthcoming LP, he hasn’t strayed too far from his producing sound for this lead offering. The result is undeniably catchy, with plenty of sing-along elements and an anthemic kind of vibe. It also comes with an amusing video, which offers a spoof of the songwriter’s ‘rift’ with the Jonas Brothers after he erroneously live-streamed Joe Jonas’ secret Las Vegas wedding. The video features a ‘lonely’ Diplo in full country attire trying desperately to apologise for his actions and contact his friends again.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Jonas Brothers Twitter l Diplo Twitter

Watch the video

NOTD & Daya, Wanted

NOTD & DAYAWANTED: Swedish duo NOTD have enlisted rising Los Angeles-based songstress Daya for their catchy new single, Wanted. “We have been fans of Daya for such a long time,” NOTD revealed, “so, it’s kind of crazy to be doing a song with her now. Wanted is such a cool vibe and a little darker than the typical NOTD record so we are really excited to see the reaction.” Daya added: “I wrote this song around two years ago with Delacey and Sam Martin to just piano, and NOTD took it from there and entirely transformed it. They took all the outdated parts of it and gave them new life. I’m really excited for it to be out in the world and to see how it resonates with people.” The pianos are most certainly gone, replaced by synths and disco-friendly beats. The result sounds a lot more upbeat and breezy, complete with honeyed vocal harmonies and those sultry Daya vocals. And yet, lyrically, there’s something of a bittersweet edge, with lines that state: “You messed me up just like you wanted.” It’s a sharp mix that offers up plenty to like – dark themes with a radio friendly edge.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Daya Twitter l NOTD Twitter

Watch the lyric video

Orchid

ORCHIDGOLD DUST: London based artist Orchid has shared her debut single, Gold Dust. A feisty electro-pop cut, examining the darker effects cocaine has had on relationships in the past, Orchid takes inspiration from the likes of M.I.A, Britney Spears and Kelis to create R’n‘B-tinged pop music with edge. With that in mind, Gold Dust delivers emphatic electro-pop with robust beats, breathy/sultry vocals and a throbbing synth backdrop, complete with a mid-track breakdown into sample territory. It’s a lively introduction to Orchid that suggests she has what it takes to compete with the artists she’s clearly been inspired by. With an Iranian heritage, it’s not only Persian music that runs through Orchid’s songs, but Turkish and Arabic pop – loved all over the Middle East where legal restrictions in making music have silenced many Iranian artists. The freedom to create music in London, by contrast, is also its own force in her music. Speaking a little more about the release, Orchid said: “I wrote the song from a place of dark comedy I guess, about my own experiences of being around the highs, lows and split personalities of addiction, and how easy it is to look past it in the name of love.” It’s potent stuff.
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Prospa, Control The Party

PROSPACONTROL THE PARTY: London via Leeds electronic duo Prospa return with propulsive new single Control The Party, the first release to drop on their new imprint, Rave Science. The propulsive track opens with heavyweight percussion before heralding in warm, shimmering synths and a euphoric, chopped up vocal. It’s evocative of both classic Prodigy and The Shamen, opening amid a hard-hitting blend of dope beats and rave-leaning synths. The soulful vocals add an extra dimension and heighten those retro 90s values… while the occasional quiet moment takes the track into ambient territory. But in the main, this exists to evoke a bygone era of rave music… and it does so in expert fashion, taking you back to a different kind of dance era. At six minutes, it’s also epic in length, meaning that all of those classic rave credentials – stamina, being one – are needed to enjoy it. The single comes at the end of a packed summer for Prospa – Leeds natives Harvey Blumler and Gosha Smith – which saw them make their debut at iconic festivals including Glastonbury, Lovebox and Parklife, sharing the stage with the likes Jon Hopkins, Paranoid London, Jayda G and more. A run of releases including underground hit Intended, rave-ready smasher Get That, high-energy Back To The Motherland and French Touch-inspired floor filler Guitar Anthem have also ensured some good reviews and an ever growing fanbase. They’re very much a dance act on the rise.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Jimmy Eat World

JIMMY EAT WORLDALL THE WAY (STAY): Jimmy Eat World have recently announced details of their 10th studio album Surviving (released on October 18 via The Orchard / RCA Records), as well as new single and video All The Way (Stay). A powerhouse offering of epic, anthemic proportions, the track extolls the virtues of letting people discover the real you while exposing your vulnerabilities. It combines a heady rush of guitars and an irresistible middle-eight, as well as Rachel Haden’s backing vocals. There’s even a saxophone solo lifted from the soundtrack of the-greatest-80’s-movie-John Hughes-never-made! It’s these classic American rock tropes, combined with that self-conscious ’80s referencing, that makes the track so endearing… and so cheesy. It is a real guilty pleasure! The accompanying LP, Surviving, is being hailed as the band’s most personal, ambitious LP to date. Frontman Jim Adkins explains: “Surviving explores some of the different kinds of weights my ego tells me I have to carry, what I see people around me choosing to carry and what I have found to be the truth when I choose to let go.” In addition to the new material, the acclaimed Arizona four-piece have also revealed the first dates of ‘Surviving, The Tour’, as well as a run of intimate UK shows for the week of album release (including two dates in Kingston-upon-Thames, at Banquet Records and Metropolis Studios on, respectively, October 19 and 20).
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

FirewoodIsland, Hollow Coves

FIREWOODISLANDHOLLOW COVES: Bristol-based Norwegian/ Welsh duo, Firewoodisland, have shared their new single Hollow Coves, which is taken from their forthcoming new album. The track sees Stian and Abi experiment with soaring falsetto vocals on a fresh, uplifting track. The elegant gossamer vocals set against pacey instrumentals create an interesting contrast, while a driving kick drum, intertwining cello and trumpet lines, wide synths and guitar serve to deliver a vivid, intricately layered backdrop that heightens the song’s overall enjoyment. Hollow Coves is an anthem that fuses delicacy and energy harmoniously, creating something vaguely ethereal but completely intoxicating. It comes as no surprise to hear that FireWoodIsland count the likes of Bon Iver, Of Monsters and Men and Oh Wonder among their inspirations. But while evidence of those bands can be found in the composition of Hollow Caves, they’ve also carved out their own distinct, and similarly beautiful, sound.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here


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