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Music - Singles of the week - Monday, January 7, 2013

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

David Bronson

SINGLE OF THE WEEK: DAVID BRONSONMOMENTARY: One of our favourite artists of 2012 kick-starts his 2013 campaign with the release of Momentary, taken from his critically-acclaimed Story LP. It’s a firm underlining of why we like this guy too. Featuring some typically strong guitar work (especially during the solo), a strong sense of harmony and a typically keen ear for classic elements, this is an effortlessly pleasing track that’s also intelligently conceived and written. And it’s also very personal, as Bronson states: “Momentary is a special song to me personally because it’s the one song on the two records that was co-written by my brother, Jeremy. The song went through a number of incarnations. I threw away the original verses, because, at the time, I thought they weren’t honest enough to support the chorus, which is a message that I acutely needed to hear when I wrote it: ‘Soon enough this too will only be one more memory’.” For the video, meanwhile, Bronson also strove to do something a little different: “I wanted to do a ‘lyric’ video, but something more interesting than just the album cover with the words over it. I wrote out a rough outline, and I literally found illustrator David Sparshott by Googling the word ‘illustrator.’ I was just really drawn to his style and I’m thrilled with his interpretation.” You can see the captivating results below.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Bat For Lashes

BAT FOR LASHES – A WALL: Natasha Khan continues to impress with her Bat For Lashes outfit on new single A Wall and, yes, the Kate Bush comparisons also continue. Combining her trademark ethereal vocal style with some dark yet radio friendly electronic elements, this is as slick a slice of song-writing as you’re likely to hear… with a dangerous undertow neatly offsetting the apparently mainstream credentials to pleasing effect. The synth sound also combines contemporary edge with retro tendencies without ever going the whole way down that route. It’s an intoxicating brew and every bit as toe-tapping as we’ve come to expect from this outfit.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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One Direction, Kiss You

ONE DIRECTIONKISS YOU: One Direction look to kick off 2013 in as emphatic a fashion as they ended 2012 with new single, Kiss You, a track that reverts to tried and tested formula. Call it cheese, or even vanilla (as songwriters/producers Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub and Savan Kotecha do), this is effervescent, crowd-pleasing pop that exists to throw forward a big, euphoric chorus that’s tailor-made for teenie-boppers to sing along to. It’s also packed with cute sentiments about love, and a cheeky/flirty style befitting the boys tender years. It’s also undemanding fun – disposable, yes, but the very essence of radio friendly pop.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Josh Kumra, Waiting For You

JOSH KUMRAWAITING FOR YOU: Swindon based singer-songwriter Josh Kumra limbers up for the release of his debut album in February with the release of new single, Waiting For You, a moody slice of pop-rock that’s also infused with traces of soul and gospel. It’s a smart slice of songwriting that showcases a confident vocal style and some ambitious production values. Kumra, who has been playing the guitar since the age of 12, cites The Rolling Stones, Hendrix and Tracy Chapman among his influences… and there’s a classic style to his compositions that should stand him in good stead for the approaching year.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Rihanna

RIHANNA feat MIKKY EKKOSTAY: Rihanna drops one of the better songs to emerge from her disappointing latest album, Unapologetic, in the form of the ballad Stay featuring Mikky Ekko. Set against a sombre piano arrangement and some subtle atmospherics, this places Rihanna’s vocals front and centre and finds her begging for someone to stay for the reassurance and strength he brings. It’s a useful reminder of Rihanna’s vocal prowess when stripped away from beats and other electronic backdrops and is genuinely effective in sounding affecting, especially as she raises the tempo during the song’s latter stages. If only the rest of the album could reach such heights.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Kendrick Lamar

KENDRICK LAMARBACKSTREET FREESTYLE: Kendrick Lamar is one of hip-hop’s great new hopes and received a lot of acclaim for the release of his album, good kid, m.A.A.d city last year. His current single, Backstreet Freestyle offers some insight into what to expect and is a pretty generic offering to be fair. It’s driven by a flow that references the usual hip-hop staples (bitches, bling, f-bombs) over a heavy bass and a semi-infectious vocal sample. But with lyrics such as “I pray my dick is as big as the Eiffel Tower, so I can f**k the world for 72 hours”. It’s that kind of thing that marks him down.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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