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Music - Singles of the week - Monday, February 18, 2013

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

Let's Say We Did

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: LET’S SAY WE DIDGOODBYE!: Formed in 2008, and after a couple of years spent lurking on the periphery of Stockholm’s music scene, Let’s Say We Did began to gain momentum with the release of a trilogy of EPs. In November 2011, they were followed by the band’s eponymous debut album, which won them further acclaim. Now, on forthcoming new album Hello Creatures, they return with another fine collection of songs, the lead single from which is the enjoyable Goodbye!. A hazy, indie-pop that draws comparisons with the likes of Rogue Wave and Dinosaur Jr, this is rife with embellished pop melodies, a borderline psychedelic lead vocal and some great guitar riff-making that is as layered as it is catchy. Lyrically, it’s darker than its melodies suggest, with head-spinning lyrics such as “the earth is spinning in reverse, as things shift from bad to worse”. Don’t let the pessimism deter you though… this is well worth a listen.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Flume

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2: FLUME feat CHET FAKERLEFT ALONE: Sydney-based, 21-year-old Flume drops the addictive Left Alone featuring Chet Faker as his new single through Transgressive Records. Flume’s pigeonhole-free, beat-driven debut has already reached No.1 in the Australian iTunes album charts while his singles topped The Hype Machine and Beatport named him their No.2 artist of 2012.Left Alone follows Sleepless (feat Jezzabell Doran), which received over 1 million views on Youtube, spent several weeks at No.1 in the iTunes Australia Electronic Charts and was championed by the like of BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and 6Music. It does, however, showcase the more soulful side of Flume’s production married with Chet Faker’s soft lyrics and haunting vocals. The lazy beats are really cool and addictive, as are the electronic elements weaving their way throughout, and Faker’s vocals provide a quietly mesmerising focal point. All told, it’s a slick offering that only looks set to enhance Flume’s burgeoning global appeal. Alongside Left Alone will be the UK release of Flume’s self-titled debut album on the same day.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Two Door Cinema Club, Next Year

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 3: TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUBNEXT YEAR: One of the hightlights to emerge from Two Door Cinema Club’s current album, Beacon, is the effervescent Next Year. Featuring production assistance from Jacknife Lee, it’s high on melody and instantly accessible as a crowd-pleaser, mixing indie pop with electronic pop to often seamless effect. This boasts addictive electronic loops, endearing vocals, a catchy chorus and a heightened sense of melody. The instrumental opening is thrilling, before the band strip things back to Alex Trimble’s likeable vocals and then building things back up again to rousing effect. And it’s not even one of the album’s best tracks!
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Listen here:

Two Door Cinema Club – Next Year from lb|4eVeR on Vimeo.

Arty feat Chris James, Together We Are

ARTY feat CHRIS JAMESTOGETHER WE ARE: When is a dance record not a dance record? When it gets an acoustic edit… And hence, you take what is otherwise a generic, soulless piece of dance music and transform it into something quite wonderful. In electronic form, the track is awash with synths and beats and is as Ibiza fixated as anything on the Avicii label. But Arty also decided to reveal the emotional power of the song in the rawest fashion, thereby presenting an unplugged trailer of Together We Are, which blows you away. Vulnerable but intense, this fresh take foregrounds the song’s message of togetherness. It’s great and you wish it could last longer. Alas, it does segue into the dance track eventually, by which time a yearning to press rewind (at best) or stop overwhelms you. But in acoustic form, this duly impresses.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Bruno Mars, When I Was Your Man

BRUNO MARSWHEN I WAS YOUR MAN: Having impressed with his effortlessly catchy last single Locked Out of Heaven, Bruno Mars now reverts more to type with its follow-up, the ballad When I Was Your Man. A stripped back, sombre, piano-backed offering, it charts the break-up of a relationship and all the things that Mars reckons he did wrong (“I should have brought you flowers and held you hand, should have given you all my hours when I had the chance”). It’s delivered in typically passionate manner and is as assured as we’ve come to expect from Mars. But it lacks the breeziness and broad appeal of its predecessor and is more of a formula track for the singer. Good…. just not great.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Alicia Keys, Brand New Me

ALICIA KEYSBRAND NEW ME: The week’s second big piano ballad comes from Alicia Keys and is every bit as assured and heartfelt as Bruno Mars’ offering – and every bit as formulaic too. This adheres to the tried and tested ballad formula of slow-building the emotion before gushing forth with some genuine anguish around the three minute mark. Similarly, after a big crescendo, it scales things back for a thoughtful finale that reduces things to eventual silence. Keys has the vocals to rise to this particular format, and the empowering lyrics certainly feel genuine, but it’s the generic nature of the song that prevents it from really standing out, merely making it adequate as oppose to breathtaking.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Kate Nash, 3am

KATE NASH – 3AM: Kate Nash drops her latest offering in the form of the snappy 3am. Built around an insistent bass hook that’s reminiscent of The Smiths, a jangly moment of guitar here and there and plenty of harmony, this is an ode to romance that finds the singer declaring “I miss your arms, the way you kiss me, the way you pull me in so tight” while lamenting, in the next breath, “turns out I’m just a joke at holding on to what I’ve got”. It’s a bittersweet offering but delivered in Nash’s own inimitable style, that makes it totally endearing and effortlessly toe-tapping. Hell, you may even find yourself humming it at 3am during a sleepless night once it gets into your head!
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Next Stop Atlanta

NEXT STOP ATLANTAGET IN THE VAN: Preston party-pop-punk quartet Next Stop Atlanta have kick-started their 2013 with a co-headline tour with friends Everybody Looks Famous and this new single Get In The Van. The single takes the band’s usual flair for a catchy chorus and shoots it full of adrenaline-boosted riffs á la scene favourites Four Year Strong, a sound which could surprise those who thought they’d heard all that the band had to offer. It’s lively, augmented by Georgia Peters gutsy but endearing vocals (during the stripped down segment, there’s real sensitivity too), and boasting some cracking guitar riffs. It also has a manic energy that is appealing too. Peters says of the track: “It’s such a cool jam to play live because it has so much energy. It really shows our harder side with the double-time tempo in the verses. We wrote the song whilst we were on tour with Kids Can’t Fly and it’s about touring life and being out on the road sharing amazing experiences amongst friends.” The song boasts an accompanying video from the creative masterminds at Rolling Vision.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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