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Music - Singles of the Week - Monday, January 11, 2010

IndieLondon gleefully checks out the cream of the week’s singles. All you have to do is click on the pictures to order them…

Lykke Li

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: LYKKE LI – POSSIBILITY: With Britain in the grip of one of its coldest, snowiest snaps for years (decades even… shiver!), the time seems appropriate to release Lykke Li’s Possibility as a single. The first new track from Lykke Li since her critically-acclaimed 2008 album Youth Novels – and already No.1 on the iTunes soundtrack chart – the song is taken from the soundtrack to The Twilight Saga: New Moon and can be heard playing during a poignant and key moment in proceedings – reflecting the estrangement of Bella and Edward. It’s as beautiful and haunting as we’ve come to expect from this Swedish performer… and perfectly ethereal to accompany staring out the window at a snowy landscape. If it wasn’t essential beforehand, it damn sure is now! And the soundtrack is well worth getting your mits on too!
Released as a download
Rating: 4 out of 5

Order New Moon OST l New Moon OST review l New Moon interviews and images

Charlotte Gainsbourg and Beck

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2: CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG feat BECKHEAVEN CAN WAIT: Charlotte Gainsbourg releases her new album IRM through Because Music on January 25 – but as a taster delivers the lead single, Haven Can Wait, featuring a genuinely mouthwatering collaboration with Beck. Recorded and produced by Beck at his studio, the album will be available on standard CD and deluxe CD and vinyl formats. The single, meanwhile, comes complete with remixes by Jackson, Nosaj Thing and Grizzly Bear – all of which work. The original, though, is the main reason for making it single of the week. It’s lush, deeply melodic, slightly dreamy and makes good use of the vocal trade-off between the two talented artists. A punchy, almost folksy acoustic guitar also works well alongside some spritely piano chords and a really trippy beat. If the remainder of the album is even half as good as this, we may already have one of 2010’s best LPs on our hands!
Released as a download
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Haight Ashbury

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 3: HAIGHT ASHBURYFAVOURITE SONG: There’s some good stuff out this week to mark the start of 2010 proper… and this one’s no exception. Haight Ashbury are a Glasgow trio who take their name from San Francisco’s hippe mecca of the ‘60s and ‘70s. They’re comprised of vocalists Kirsty and Jennifer Ashbury, while guitarist Scott Ashbury adds distorted bluesy riffs. Put together, they sound like a psychadelic, blissed out mix of The Dandy Warhols, Jesus & Mary Chain with a little PJ Harvey thrown in. Favourite Song is an excellent taster… featuring a bluesy, psychadelia strewn, and extremely Dandy Warhols-esque guitar riff and some smart, sassy, dreamy vocals. It’s catchy as hell… and a laidback groover of extremely high quality. It’s accompanied by the equally compelling 3 Little Birds, which begins with a bluesy banjo twang, before adding the seductive vocals to the mix and even some tweeting birds in the background. It’s a glorious retro throwback that will definitely have you thirsting to hear more from this outfit.
Released as a download
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website

Fyfe Dangerfield, She Needs Me

FYFE DANGERFIELDSHE NEEDS ME: Taken from Fyfe Dangerfield’s forthcoming debut album Fly Yellow Moon (out January 18), She Needs Me is a sweeping, soaring, euphoric pop offering that comes complete with orchestral flourishes. A celebratory ode to love and vital companionship, it’s loaded with musical layering courtesy of piano chords, string movements, the odd stab of brass and, of course, Dangerfield’s endearing vocals. It’s more poppy than his Guillemots material, but continues to display the ambition and adventure that is now virtually synonymous with this very talented singer-songwriter. As Dangerfield states on his website: “Sung with such honesty and emotion that it saves them from sounding clichéd or cheesy, the lyrics are simple and romantic: “I’ll always, whether or not I actually want to, be drawn more than anything to emotions rather than the mathematics of music.” Oh… it’s deeply romantic too.
Released across all formats
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Madness, Forever Young

MADNESSFOREVER YOUNG: Madness drop the ska-heavy Forever Young as the latest offering from their acclaimed 2009 album, The Liberty of Norton Folgate. Admittedly, not one of its finest tracks, it’s nevertheless an assured piece of songwriting that demonstrates the maturer side of the band. Featuring plenty of brass, a ska beat and some almost melancholy, reflective lyrics, it builds to quite a euphoric chorus that’s nevertheless pretty rousing in its own way. Suggs, as ever, lends the track a distinct vibe, while the layered vocals surrounding the chorus are a nice touch. It’s a far cry from the manic tomfoolery of tracks such as Baggy Trousers, but evidence of the newfound ambition in Madness’ songwriting and their enduring appeal.
Released across all formats
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Paolo Nutini, 10/10

PAOLO NUTINI – 10/10: The biggest selling male artist of 2009, Paolo Nutini, kicks off the New Year with the release of the bouncy upbeat new single 10/10, the follow-up to his exuberant radio smash hit Pencil Full Of Lead. Featuring an insanely upbeat calypso vibe that’s more summery and Caribbean leaning than dead of winter, snowy, it’s nevertheless a joyful blast of energy that makes the most of its positive vibe and Nutini’s husky vocal style. So, while it’s no great shakes (and we’re not quite sure what all the continued fuss is about), it possesses an undeniable reggae energy that’s virtually impossible not to be swayed by in some foolish way. 2009 proved to be an incredible year for Paolo, who sold over 600,000 copies (Double Platinum) of his acclaimed No.1 album Sunny Side Up, which has been a longstanding fixture of the Top Ten since its June 1 release. 10/10 is written by Paolo and produced by Paolo and Ethan Johns (Rufus Wainwright and Kings Of Leon).
Released across all formats
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Good Shoes, Under Control

GOOD SHOESUNDER CONTROL/TALK: Taken from their forthcoming second album No Hope, No Future (released, January 25), Good Shoes’ new single Under Control is billed as the kind of song that made everyone fall in love with the band to begin with. Under Control drops a throbbing, disco-flecked beat with some sharp, angular guitar licks and suggests they have found an edgier element to their songwriting. While B-side Talk features rolling drums and spiraling twists and turns through jaunty to the angular. Once again, it’s more edgy than melodic… and pretty unrelenting and in-your-face. Sadly, it didn’t get us excited in the slightest and sounded more generic than anything. The video for the single (featuring the butch lady on the single artwork) was picked up by Perez Hilton at the end of last year – who tweeted: “This song is just okay, but I am enthralled by the music video!” That’s probably the main reason for tuning in.
Released as a download
Rating: 2 out of 5

Website l YouTube video

Fat Olive

FAT OLIVEVAQUERO/AWAKE: The awareness of the name Fat Olive is rapidly growing across the North West and the rest of the country, according to the band’s PR. Based in St Helens, Merseyside, the four-piece – comprised of Rich Sanna (vocals, rhythm guitar), Paul Brown (lead guitar, backing vocals), Steve Ashcroft (bass) and Colin Bennett (drums, backing vocals) – are about to embark on a nationwide tour to promote their forthcoming debut album, Twenty2, which is set for release in early 2010. That, in turn, is preceded by this double A-side single, Vaquero/Awake, which will be available via download on January 11. Lead track Vaquero is a pretty bog standard rocker in the Manic Street Preachers mode until the ending unleashes a fantastic guitar solo that’s well worth sticking around for. It demonstrates just how tight they are musically as a band. Awake, meanwhile, is a somewhat cumbersome slice of brooding rock that takes a while to find its stride… and is still not that great – rather ordinary.
Released across all formats
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website

Private

PRIVATE – MY SECRET LOVER: Private is the brainchild of international pop sophisticate Thomas Troelsen, a man with his fingers in a number of choice musical pies. As a producer and writer he has worked with acts as varied as Junior Senior, Paradiso Girls, Stereo Total and the Raveonettes, whilst also creating hits for some of Japan’s biggest pop acts. His Copenhagen studio Delta Lab is an audio / design fetishist’s dream and artists such as Bloc Party have spent time in these sonically and aesthetically immaculate surroundings. Now, in solo pop artist form, Troelsen has created Private, to offer “a hi-octane blend of razor sharp pop hooks and finely tuned dancefloor production, shaken together with a handful of choice ’80s pop references and a knowing wink”. My Secret Lover is the latest taste of what to expect and takes the form of a cheesy and – yes – generic disco pop offering that feels tailor-made for the Ibiza superclub scene. It contains a tidy energy and a vaguely catchy chorus… but all in all, it’s pretty soulless.
Released across all formats
Rating: 2 out of 5

“Website”: http://www.weareprivate.com/

Honorebel

HONOREBEL feat PITBULL AND JUMP SMOKERSNOW YOU SEE IT: Positiva release HonoRebel’s new single, Now You See It, with a variety of remixes. Joining the Jamaican-born dancehall artist on this release are Chicago-based DJ’s the Jump Smokers and Pitbull, whose tracks include I Know You Want Me and Hotel Room Service. Sadly, It’s a woefully generic dance offering that’s built around bland, forgettable and lazy lyrics (“come on shake that arse for me”), a scuzzy slice of electronic disco and a lethargic beat. The mix of rap and dancehall vocals also sounds pretty lame, making this one of 2010’s first dud releases. That said, it’ll doubtless become a huge club anthem, with remixes already flying out the speakers from the likes of Blockhe4d, Benny Benassi and Afrojack (the usual Ibiza suspects then!).
Released across all formats
Rating: 1 out of 5

Website


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