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Music - Singles of the week - Monday, December 24 and 31, 2012

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

Andy Burrows, Hometown

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: ANDY BURROWSHOMETOWN: Andy Burrows releases yet another gem from his Company album in the form of the striking ballad Hometown. The track spins an epic yarn that begins like a mix of Coldplay-meets-Take That (complete with piano melodies) before layering in the strings and setting up an orchestral sweep that ends suddenly (leaving you wanting more). It’s a great anthem in waiting and yet further evidence of Burrows’ ability to deliver some of the best ballads of the moment. Co-produced by Burrows with Tim Baxter, Company is the sound of an artist who’s thrown off the shackles and emerged as a creative tour-de-force. Hometown is ample evidence of this – it’s gorgeous, passionate and just jaw-droppingly great.
Rating: 5 out of 5

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Jake Bugg, Lightning Bolt

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2: JAKE BUGGLIGHTNING BOLT: Jake Bugg rounds off a hugely successful 2012 with the release of Lightning Bolt, taken from his excellent eponymous debut LP. The album opener, Lightning Bolt is a rollicking slice of guitar-driven rock ‘n’ roll that’s steeped in classic values. It’s lively, hip-swingingly good stuff that recalls all that’s good about rock ‘n’ roll-tinged pop and Bugg’s vocals have a lived in style that belie his tender years. You’ll be playing air guitar and singing along giddily in no time at all.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Album review l Best albums of 2012

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Caviare Days, The Awakening EP

EP OF THE FORNIGHT: CAVIARE DAYSTHE AWAKENING EP: Caviare Days is a psychedelic rock band fronted by Swedish sisters Lina and Maja Westin, who derive their name from a line in Tender Is The Night by FS Fitzgerald. Their driving force lies in creating well-tailored but dirty rock that is more baroque than minimalist, and more organic than mechanical. This is evidence on EP lead track You’ll Qualify, which packs some force. But which only really emerges as average. Much better, and arguably more trippy, is the mid-tempo title track The Awakening, which likes its name suggests takes its time to get going and harkens back to some of the classic psychedelic tracks of days gone by. The guitar work is great and once the song hits its stride by the minute and a half mark (with lines like “we can taste the sun”), you’ll be totally digging its charms. Elsewhere, When The Light Is Breaking hits you with a harder tempo and is designed to celebrate the return of spring. Appropriately, it carries a real spring in its step, hitting you with a baroque sound and some nice vocal harmonies. Final track The Lucky Ones challenges the way luck is seen as something you earn rather than just get and combines psychedelic tendencies with something more retro pop and The Pierces leaning. It also has some thrilling guitar solos. All told, it’s a quality listen.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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JLS, Hold Me Down

JLSHOLD ME DOWN: JLS drop a fan favourite from their current album, Evolution, in the form of Hold Me Down. It’s little wonder it’s emerged as being so popular given that it conforms both to classic JLS structure and countless other contemporaries. Indeed, there are times when Hold Me Down feels like a blatant attempt to piggy-back on the sound of both Bruno Mars and Travie McCoy without the appeal of either. Lyrically, too, it shows their cheesy shortcomings with lines like “it’s said a man aint meant to fly, but I’m reaching up to the sky”. In JLS’s case, you really do get what you deserve if you go out and buy it!
Rating: 2 out of 5

Website l Album review

DECEMBER 31

The Plea

THE PLEASEND IT OUT: Inspired by a key lyric in their new single, beckoning listeners to “send it out on New Year’s Eve”, Donegal’s The Plea release the excellent Send It Out as a single somewhat appropriately on December 31. Further laying claim to being the new U2 (who, coincidentally, found fame with New Year’s Day), this is another blistering rock-pop anthem that clearly has big stadiums in its sights. It’s passionately delivered, rousing and sweeping in the way that songs from all big bands should be (yep, there’s even a touch of Coldplay). The Plea’s long-awaited debut album The Dreamers Stadium is released on February 27, 2013, and we’re expecting big things.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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David Guetta feat Taped Rai, Just One last Time

DAVID GUETTA feat TAPED RAIJUST ONE LAST TIME: David Guetta drops a big dance anthem on New Year’s Eve to make sure that he’ll be on everyone’s minds come party time… if you like that big dance kind of thing. This one starts out almost like a ballad for the first minute or so before ushering in the big dance elements, including swishing synths, heady beats and a sense of euphoria over the chorus. Lyrically, it also encourages people to sing along, or chant “just one last time”… but while certainly better than average for this kind of scene, it’s also still generic and more than a little soulless once those more trademark tendencies drop. I bet you’ll be hearing it once or twice while out paryting and seeing the New Year in.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Matt Cardle

MATT CARDLEANYONE ELSE: Matt Cardle indulges in his rockier side with new single Anyone Else, an ode to a loved one that finds him professing that he can’t be with anyone else but his baby. As ever with former X-Factor winners, the more distance they put between themselves and the manufactured nature of that show the better. And this benefits from an edgier sound, some gutsy guitar riffs and a bluesy refrain to the backing vocals. It’s no classic, mind, but it’s a darn lot better than the current releases from the newly crowned X-Factor winners and deserves to fuel Cardle’s continued success. The chorus is pretty decent, too, for this kind of rock-pop thing.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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