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Music - Singles of the week - Monday, December 3, 2012

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

The View

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: THE VIEWHOLD ON NOW/TACKY TATTOO: The View digitally release a special double A-side single in the form of the tracks Hold On Now and Tacky Tattoo, as well as a B-side cover of Amy Winehouse’s Addicted. The first two tracks are taken from the band’s current album, Cheeky For A Reason, and showcase the infectious side of the band, as well as the more sensitive. Hold On Now is a breezy blast that sounds more like The Clash doing Oasis with a little ‘80s rock thrown in (by way of the electronic hook), while Tacky Tattoo switches tempo to melancholy with an organ-led lament about the emotional cost of an affair. It’s arguably one of their most mature pieces of song-writing to date and only endears listeners to them more. Addicted, meanwhile, is a fitting homage to the late pop singer that further underlines their diversity as a band.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Watch the video for Hold On Now

Mumford & Sons, Lover of the Light

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2: MUMFORD & SONSLOVER OF THE LIGHT: Munford & Sons come over all reflective for their new single, Lover of The Light, the type of song that effectively showcases why they’ve become one of the biggest folk-rock acts on the planet right now. A slow-builder that is couched in memory and depth of feeling (complete with lyrics like “so love the one you hold”), it’s also an epic song that’s designed to fill the highest echelons of the stadiums they are now filling. Vocally, it’s distinct, edgy and beautifully delivered; while instrumentally, it’s as layered and intricate as all the best Mumford material, complete with some thrilling use of banjo. A mid-track strip-down and build back up (which pre-empts that banjo solo) is utterly sublime. It may be a grower of a record, but it lives long in the memory and just keeps getting better with each listen. The video, featuring Idris Elba (pictured), is worth checking out too.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Enfant, Border of Mexico

ENFANTBORDER OF MEXICO: London-based electronic music duo Enfant –aka twin brothers Ali and Robin Owen – look set to make a splash with new single, Border of Mexico, a fun mix of ‘80s synth influences and euphoric electronic pop that’s sure to garner comparisons with the likes of Empire of the Sun and Cut Copy. A tribute to their hedonistic dreams with a landscape of crystalline electronica breaking with an infectious tempo change into a deep bass driven groove, the track follows the success of their first online release, Waking Up The Sun, which brought them a lot of online support. “The track was inspired by a trip to Mexico and is really just about letting go, losing inhibitions and letting your passions take over,” say the twins. “So many people come from the States to Mexico to party and do things they can’t do in America and so it’s about going to a place (not just a physical place) where you can ditch your shackles and be/do whatever it is you want.” It has an infectious energy that is difficult to resist.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Alanis Morissette

ALANIS MORISSETTERECEIVE: Alanis Morissette releases a generic slice of Alanis Morissette song-making in the form of Receive – that is to say, slick beats, impassioned vocals, loads of meaning and jangly guitars weaving in and out of everything. It’s an amiable enough listen and evidence of why she’s back on form on her latest album, Havoc And Bright Lights. But it’s also a little too safe, no matter how catchy, rendering it an average entry into the back catalogue. A little more risk taking might take Alanis further at this stage.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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The Heartbreaks, Hand on Heart
THE HEARTBREAKSHAND ON HEART: With strings arranged by the legendary James Banbury, of The Auteurs, The Heartbreaks drop Hand On Heart from their Funtimes debut album. It’s a lively, kind of infectious blend of sunshine pop and strings that arguably gets better the longer it lasts, when the string section can really work its magic in tandem with the pop sensibilities. It’s one of the highlights from the LP, which exists to be ‘catchy as hell’, if disposable, in that mainstream pop kind of way.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Website l Album review

Wiz Khalifa, Remember You

WIZ KHALIFA feat THE WEEKND– REMEMBER YOU: Rap star Wiz Khalifa swaps hip-hop for smooth groove soul on latest offering, Remember You, taken from his new album, o.n.i.f.c. The focus is on sung vocals, which have a melancholy undertow in the way they reflect on a past love. The falsetto style evokes memories of early Michael Jackson at times, too, while the subtle use of beats makes a nice change. There is an obligatory rapped outro that adds potential crossover appeal. But while slick and passable, it lacks something to really make it, well, memorable.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Miss Terry Blue, Hush

TULISASIGHT OF YOU: Tulisa drops her big ballad number and seems to overdo things a tad. Boasting high production assistance and all the ingredients necessary to tug at the heart-strings, this nevertheless ends up feeling more than a little contrived and not entirely sincere. Tulisa does get to demonstrate a fierce set of vocals that belt out lines like “I used to love the sight of you, now I can’t stand the sight of you”, but the mix of thumping back-beats, sombre piano arrangements and mid-tempo pacing fail to do anything other than underwhelm.
Rating: 2 out of 5

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The Bloogs, Freezing Rain

THE BLOOGSFREEZING RAIN: A particularly apt release for frozen, wet Britain… The Bloogs’ release Freezing Rain, an indie-pop offering that evokes the sound of acts like The La’s and The Boo Radleys. It’s clear to see how the band’s songwriting takes its inspiration from ‘60s guitar pop traditions, and they readily admit to being directly influenced by The Kinks, The Who and others. The ensuing track offers catchy hooks, sharp guitrar riffs and a slick chorus that’s tailor-made for singing along to. Songwriter Chris Guard says of the song: “I guess the song is also about things we can all relate to – missing people, embracing changes, disorientation, surviving. As for rain – I love it! I love the confidence of nature; it doesn’t flannel around, it just creates! Thuderstorms, high winds, it’s all OK by me.”
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Joywride, 21st Century Love

JOYWRIDE – 21ST CENTURY LOVE: For anyone lamenting Scissor Sisters recent decision to take a break, step forward Joywride. Their new 21st Century Love EP is a dance-rock revival that boasts ‘80s styled synth pop, disco elements with a touch of glam and well groomed fashion to match. It’s got the slickness of Scissor Sisters, the retro values of countless ‘80s acts (from Starship to Roxette) and a slick, cheesy, impossible to resist vibe that should have you up and dancing in no time (in spite of any misgivings). What’s more, it’s available free until December 9, before heading onto iTunes. It’s well worth checking out… as is Joywride as a possible new glam-rock-pop act to watch.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Miss Terry Blue, Hush

MISS TERRY BLUEHUSH: Miss Terry Blue drops her debut single Hush and hopes to draw favourable comparisons with the likes of classic soul singers and Motown. But while certainly high on funk, there’s something missing from this particular tale of empowerment. Lead singer Isabella Lueen’s vocals are decent enough and suggest the best is yet to come from them, but this has a safe quality to the instrumentals that errs towards older person appeal. That is to say, it lacks the risk factor or edge of the best Motown tracks, the easy cool accessibility to get on down with the kids, and the sultry tones to really make it seductive. It’s a curiosity at best, which at least enables listeners to keep an eye on how Miss Terry Blue progress.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Arcade Parade, Cave of Swimmers

ARCADE PARADECAVE OF SWIMMERS: Shropshire based indie rockers Arcade Parade – aka brothers Ollie and Elliot Scott, Jacob Ferguson and Dan Byre – release Cave of Swimmers from their forthcoming EP of the same name. Produced by Gavin Monaghan at Magic Garden Studios, this is a catchy slice of indie-pop that boasts a powerful, anthemic chorus in waiting and some sharp guitar riffs that lend the song some much needed extra edge. Vocally, it’s decent enough to suggest that with the right kind of luck and profile, Arcade Parade could go on to become something pretty big. It should be interesting to hear what the rest of the EP delivers.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Ivor Game

IVOR GAMEHAPPY NEW YEAR: Ashford based singer-songwriter Ivor Game releases Happy New Year as his latest offering from a quietly prolific career. The artist has just released his ninth album, Freckles, which features this single and specialises in quiet acoustic folk that is rich in harmony and strong on softly-softly values. For some, his music may be a little too reined in and uninspired, but there’s a simplicity that’s endearing and a toe-tapping quality that catches you off guard. Happy New Year probably won’t live too long in the memory once you’ve heard it but it does at least make a refreshing change from some of the more schmaltzy seasonal songs this time of year.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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