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Music - Singles of the week - Monday, December 1, 2014

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

Bombay Bicycle Club

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUBHOME BY NOW: So, here it is at last… the definitive Bombay Bicycle Club single to emerge from their excellent album, So Long, See You Tomorrow. Home By Now leapt out when we first heard the LP and has just continued to get better ever since. The track drifts into hip-hop territory, its urgent beats working brilliantly against shimmering piano hooks and a heady sense of the romantic that Jack Steadman has mentiond when promoting the LP. Vocally, the falsetto notes err towards the ethereal and draw favourable comparisons with bands like Sigur Ros and Death Cab For Cutie. While the belated guitar hooks are just beautiful and shimmering and wonderful. It really is one of the out and out single highlights of this or any year and evidence of why Bombay Bicycle Club’s current LP rates among 2014’s finest. The video is a tribute to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (currently on cinematic re-release) and was directed by the band’s keyboard player, Louis Bhose
Rating: 5 out of 5

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Jose Gonzalez

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2: JOSE GONZALEZEVERY AGE: José Gonzalez will release his first solo album in seven years, Vestiges & Claws, on February 16, 2015 via Peacefrog Records. In the meantime, his new single Every Age, serves as a timely reminder of why he remains such a terrific singer-songwriter. A thoughtful, pensive, typically laidback record, this showcases his serene vocals against some moody acoustic guitar and a quietly slow-build approach. It’s also a thoughtful look at our planet through the eyes of those lucky enough to have seen it from above. The video for Every Age can also be viewed in 360 via this website. It is a unique collaboration between José and directors Simon Morris & Chris Higham. Explains Jose: “Seven billion people on Planet Earth, of which only 536 are lucky enough to have seen Space. Eyes In Space aspire to change this, taking every one on a personal journey to roam the cosmos. The collective’s maiden voyage allows everyone to wander space freely using immersive 360-film to create an endless, all-sensory experience.”
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Linkin Park, Rebellion

LINKIN PARKREBELLION: Linkin Park pile on the power for new single Rebellion, featuring Daron Malakian. An angry song in many respects (“I want a flood, I want an ocean, to wash my confusion clean”), this features jagged guitar riffs, crashing drums and no-nonsense vocals (and belated Goth-style roaring). However, as in keeping with a lot of Linkin Park material, it mixes the heavier aspects with some sharp melodies, dropping a chorus that is somehow refreshingly upbeat and empowering. The central rallying call, for rebellion, is one that you may well feel like getting behind. And when the guitar and synth interval drops, it’s similarly headrush in quality. Rebellion may not rate as highly as some of Linkin Park’s best material but it’s a solid entry into their catalogue and one that’s likely to appease the long-term fans.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Saint Raymond

SAINT RAYMONDFALL AT YOUR FEET: Having enjoyed a rollicking good 2014 this far, Saint Raymond now looks to round things off in style with the release of feel-good new single Fall At Your Feet. We say feel-good, but the lyrics are actually quite bittersweet as they ponder a difficult relationship (“who am I trying to please… you can’t have it all… round and round we just keep going”). However, the melodies are tight, the guitars of the jangly variety and the chorus big and sweeping enough to get people singing and jigging along with it. What’s more, it boasts the kind of grand sound befitting a stadium setting. And it’s catchy as hell. This past summer has been a whirlwind for Saint Raymond, where he played practically every festival this summer including Reading and Leeds, T in the Park, an impromptu set at Glastonbury for Radio 1, Ibiza Rocks and more. And he’s been supporting Ed Sheeran on his recent tour. You can see why the 19-year-old (real name Callum Burrows) is being tipped for even greater things come 2015.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Gabby Young & Other Animals

GABBY YOUNG & OTHER ANIMALSFEAR OF FLYING: Gabby Young & Other Animals release their beautiful new single, Fear Of Flying as the latest offering from the critically acclaimed album, One Foot In Front of the Other, which was released earlier this year. Composed in the same vein as Gabby’s We’re All In This Together – a fan favourite from her 2010 debut album – Fear of Flying is one of the album’s more simple songs. However, armed with a beautiful melody and Gabby’s delicate vocals, the song slowly builds with the help of some clever percussion into a soaring torch song, especially once the strings and horns combine to stunning effect. Thereafter, the beat kicks in and Gabby’s vocals soar, turning this into an enchanting listening journey. Says Gabby: “Fear of Flying is a personal favourite. It’s about being so fiercely independent I refused to let people get involved in my career and life, but I am so thankful I got over that and let people in. Those people have made my life so much better. They help me conquer my fears, which I have too many of – including the fear that I might be scared of flying, which is crazy.”
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Jose Gonzalez

CORONATION BALL – I FEEL FINE: I Feel Fine is the new slice of indie-pop from Coronation Ball that features ‘60s blues inspired bass lines and overlaid swelling guitars. There are also intricate percussive beats to provide the backdrop to Dominic’s distinctive and agile vocal, which soars gracefully over the crescendo of the chorus. It’s a clever record in the way that it evokes the memories of classic acts (the band cites Phil Spector and Pink Floyd as major influences, alongside The Ronnettes, The Beatles, Ben E. King and Kanye West), while also sounding contemporary and fresh. It’s an excellent indicator that Coronation Ball (comprised of Dominic Scott (guitar/lead vocal), Jessica Watson (keys/violin/vocals), Harry Pearce (bass/vocals), Jake Thomas (guitar) and Joe Lyon (drums/percussion), could well be ones to watch in 2015. The accompanying video was directed by Lewis Cater and inspired by the credits of a James Bond movie, where they film through the barrel of a gun and also the Macarena. In Dominic’s own words: “The inspiration for the video came back in March, we were playing a show and some girls in the audience started doing the Macarena, it was an incredibly surreal move but it stuck with me. Later when we started planning the video I listened to the song, I listened to the lyrics for the first time and saw these parallels. Macarena is a song about a girl who’s tired of her boyfriend and talking about leaving him just like I Feel Fine. So the video took a lot of cues from the Macarena video and the result is this incongruous, twisted mash-up of a track inspired by 1960s giants: Ben E King, The Beatles and Phil Spector with a video inspired by a gimmicky 1990s one-hit-wonder.”
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Hayden Calnin

HAYDEN CALNIN – OH HUNTER EP: Hayden Calnin has been described, as an eclectic mix of Bon Iver, Volcano Choir and Ben Howard. His new EP Oh Hunter certainly goes some way to realising those comparisons. Lead track Comatose, for example, is a fine intro and lead track.A soft piano introduces the song, along with haunting chords and a twinkling organ beat, which all fits in perfectly with the jarring melody and Calnin’s deep yet reassuring vocals. Calnin’s contrasting vocal style blends in beautifully with a choir of various harmonies and constant piano and guitar loops, creating for a beautifully ethereal sound that really does hook you in. It’s probably the standout track. But Coward is similarly intricately layered, subtle and slow-building and oddly beautiful. I Corrupt, meanwhile, is haunting and beguiling at the same time, simply constructed yet somehow capable of lingering effortlessly, especially when the synth sound kicks in.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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