Follow Us on Twitter

Music - Singles of the Week - Monday, May 12

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

The Cure, The Only One

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: THE CUREONLY ONE: Alright, so it’s a bit samey and their not really stretching themselves. But, to coin a phrase, “oh I love, I love what you do to my head”! That’s to say, we love what The Cure bring to music and the whole listening experience. With guitar hooks so gorgeous they’re positively dripping in beautiful hooks and a joyous set of vocals from lead singer Robert Smith, this is a feel-good anthem for fans and non-fans alike that rates alongside past greats Just Like Heaven and Friday, I’m In Love as the sort of song that makes you feel good about being alive. The Cure are to release four A & B side singles, one each month, starting May 13, 2008, and leading up to the release of their 13th studio album, as yet untitled, on September 13. If everything’s as good as this debut blast, we could well be talking about one of the great LPs of 2008. So, let the good times keep on rolling and bask in all things Cure-related. It’s truly great to have them back with new material.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Order the single l Find out more about the single releases l Hear the single

Beth Rowley

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2: BETH ROWLEY – SO SUBLIME: We have long been fans of the honey-coated vocals of Beth Rowley, ever since she released the Violets EP at the end of last year. Now, with her reputation growing by the day, she releases new single So Sublime one week ahead of her debut LP, Little Dreamer. And it’s a damn near perfect song to herald the start of the spring/summer complete with breezy, pop-lite melodies, sensual vocals and some really enchanting sentiment. When Beth sings “who’s that girl?” and asks “why is it so sublime to lose myself in a moment?”, you can’t help but reflect on your own special ones – moments, when the worries of everyday life drift away and you’re relaxed. Beth, herself, describes the song as an “ode to that way of thinking” and it’s a real heart-warmer that should melt even the most hardened cynic. B-side Little Dreamer is a slower, more sensual performer that really does showcase Beth’s tremendous vocals. It’s set to become one of the new album highlights, which also features old school blues and gospel among its many different styles. Rowley looks set to be a talent who’s with us for a very long time.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Order the album l Order the single l Beth Rowley exclusive interview

Mr Scruff, Donkey Ride

MR SCRUFF & QUANTICDONKEY RIDE: DJ, producer and artist par excellence Mr Scruff teams up with longtime cohort Quantic and pianist Andy Kingslow to release Donkey Ride, a funny, funky, musically warm effort that’s primed and ready to become one of the feel-good dance tracks of the summer. With its sunshine vibe, slick beats and tinkling pianos it’s an effort to keep you dancing that also manages to inject some of the cartoonish funfair atmosphere that accompanies so many Mr Scuff releases. Indeed, some of the piano loops have a samba-style energy about them that’s liable to leave the reveller absolutely giddy and dreaming of a different, faraway climate. So, kick back and enjoy. The B-side, meanwhile, is called Giant Pickle, and it’s every bit as impressive. Boasting a funky hip hop break, some hi-life keyboards and the odd cowbell snap, it’s a club-pleaser that oozes with hip attitude. Put together with Donkey Ride, it’s a killer combo that’s well worth checking out.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Order the single

Ida Maria

IDA MARIAQUEEN OF THE WORLD: 23-year-old Norwegian singer-songwriter Ida Maria returns with a cheeky ode to drunkenness that really does have an infectious quality that’s tailor-made to be embraced by summer revellers. Opening with the “whisky please, I need some whisky please” lyric, the song is about drinking and feeling like you’re the best at everything – or essentially the “queen of the world” when you’re drunk! In live form, Ida jumps about shaking her hands in the air, emulating the theme of the song, and praying she can stay in that state. It’s fun, naughty (especially if you’re an anti-alcohol campaigner) and a definite anthem in waiting. The debut album from Ida Maria will be released later this summer and looks set to thrust Ida firmly into the mainstream spotlight.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Order the single

The Black Lips, Bad Kids

BLACK LIPSBAD KIDS: The Black Lips finally get around to releasing the album favourite Bad Kids, a country-inflected sing-along that’s long since been a crowd favourite in live form. The song itself speaks of taking on responsibility for one’s actions (or not) and comes across as being a juvenile and ramshackle chant-along. But give it some time, and a proper listen, and you’ll realise that it’s not quite as irresponsible as it first sounds. The result, while certainly raw and in your face, is also catchy and fun. It’s taken from the album Good Bad Not Evil, which was released to widespread acclaim and has helped to win them increasingly more fans.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Order the album

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly

GET CAPE WEAR CAPE FLYKEEP SINGING OUT: Following the success of his sophomore album Searching For The Hows And Whys, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly releases the single Keep Singing Out, one of its highlights. Though certainly distinct in style, the single is boosted by a hugely uplifting chorus and some sharp stabs of brass that really give it an extra edge. It’s a song that’s all about positivity and championing the underdog, and refusing to let the pressures get you down. But the aforementioned brass is an especially nice touch and evidence of how this particular artist is really broadening his sound. The single will be available on limited edition 7” vinyl with a B-side featuring Get Cape’s first ever remix of one of his own tunes – The Children Are (The Consumers Of) The Future (Afrobeat Mix). In what is proving to be a typically busy period for Get Cape, he also recently visited Kinsasha in Africa alongside Damon Albarn and Africa Express.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Order the album l Album review

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDSMORE NEWS FROM NOWHERE: Following his successful appearance on Jonathan Ross’ Friday night show, Nick Cave releases the moody rock number More News From Nowhere, one of the highlights to be taken from his latest album, Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!. In keeping with the rawer, more garage-inspired rock sound evident on the rest of the LP, the single is a snappy, guitar-driven effort that boasts a typically deep-throated central vocal from Cave, as well as some more melodic backing from his band. As ever with a Nick Cage project, there’s plenty of ambition in the songwriting as the album, his 14th with The Bad Seeds, transports the biblical character of the title to contemporary New York for some adventure and insight, as well as gaining inspiration from escapologist Harry Houdini. The result, typically, has earned the artist plenty of strong reviews. More News From Nowhere, in all its moody glory, is evidence of why.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Order the album l Order the single

The Pigeon Detectives, This Is An Emergency

THE PIGEON DETECTIVESTHIS IS AN EMERGENCY: The Pigeon Detectives mark their comeback with the enormous lead single This Is An Emergency, a song that has already become a firm live favourite. Boasting some towering guitar riffs and some striking vocals, it’s an anthem in waiting for the band that sounds best when played with the speakers at full volume. The chorus, in particular, is made for singing along with and contains all the urgency of the emergency they’re singing about. It all bodes very well for the forthcoming sophomore album, Emergency, which follows on May 26, almost exactly two years after their acclaimed debut Wait For Me. It looks like they’ll have no trouble overcoming that “difficult second LP” syndrome.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Order the album l Order the single

The Ting Tings

THE TING TINGS – THAT’S NOT MY NAME: Salford boy/girl garage pop duo, Jules de Martino and Katie White – aka The Ting Tings – return with the punchy That’s Not My Name, the latest cut from their acclaimed LP We Started Nothing. It’s actually a re-release of the song that brought them to the public’s attention in the first place, but while success eluded it first time around, don’t bet against this becoming a monster smash now. The song is built around a crazy hand-clap beat and a chanted chorus that’s drawn comparisons with seminal ‘80s classic Hey Mickey. It’s livewire energy and unbridled enthusiasm means that it will probably become a staple of the indie club circuit throughout the summer months – and deservedly so. We defy you not to go loopy after the second or third listen.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Order the album l Order the single

Cassie, Is It You

CASSIE – IS IT YOU: Former model turned singer, Cassie – the latest addition to Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Bad Boy Entertainment empire – has struggled of late since the acclaim surrounding her brilliant debut Me And U. This comeback of sorts, then, is taken from the soundtrack to Step Up 2: The Streets and is a pretty decent R&B effort that’s been produced by Ryan Leslie. Featuring an amiable backbeat and some smooth vocals from Cassie herself, it could go some way to re-establishing her position as one of R&B’s bright young things. It certainly deserves to, as it’s much better than some reviews have cruelly suggested. For the record, the Step Up 2 soundtrack also features new music from the likes of Missy Elliott, T-Pain, Plies featuring Akon and Flo Rida to name but a few.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Order the Step Up 2 OST l Order the single l View Step Up 2 photos

Paramore

PARAMORE – THAT’S WHAT YOU GET: Tennessee four-piece Paramore return with another raw blast of energy in the form of That’s What You Get. It’s arguably their best release to date, featuring a lively chorus and some rousing guitar work. Certainly, the song fuses the trademark youthful clout and exuberance of Paramore’s sound in general with a crowd-pleasing back beat. The song is often preceded at live shows by a call from lead singer Hayley for fans to hit the dance floor hard. And while it probably won’t bring them too many more fans, it’s certain to please their loyal followers who doubtless danced the night away to their set at this weekend’s Give It A Name Festival in Earl’s Court, London.
Rating: 3 out of 5

Order the album l Order the single

Matchbox Twenty

MATCHBOX TWENTYTHESE HARD TIMES: Taken from the band’s retrospective collection Exile On Mainstream, These Hard Times is one of several new tracks recorded in LA last year with Grammy-winning producer Steve Lillywhite. It’s also one of the songs that marks the band’s first collaborative writing experience. Explains Rob Thomas: “For the first time, we’re all writing as a band. In the past, I would write all the songs and the guys would write all their parts. Now it’s a band in the hand. We all fight it out… we fight over melodies and lyrics. It’s completely unique from anything we’ve done before.” Sadly, the music isn’t. These Hard Times is a mid-tempo power ballad that sounds tailor-made for some future soundtrack. It’s full of yearning vocals, emotive background instrumentation and crestfallen sentiment. And while it’s okay, maybe we’d been expecting something a little more radical given the unique approach behind it.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Order the album l Order the single

Headway, The Start EP

HEADWAYTHE START EP: Nottingham five-piece Headway inadvertently name one of the songs on this five-track EP Always The Same – and it’s indicative of their approach to songwriting. We’re talking overly worthy power-ballad writing that’s clearly inspired by the likes of Embrace, whilst occasionally lifting some guitar work from the Pearl Jam copybook. Lead track The Start (even the titles are unimaginative!) sounds like it might be about to career into a Pearl Jam track before running out of courage and opting for skyscraping hooks and a saccharine approach embodied by lyrics such as “when I’m alone with my thoughts, there’s always one thing on my mind, and that’s you…” By the time you’ve reached the finale, you’ll be comparing them to Bryan Adams and probably overdosing on the sentiment. It’s good in comparison to the more Embrace-like combo of guitars and piano hooks that is Safety, or the cloyingly sentimental Always The Same. Sing Our Heart’s Out, meanwhile, attempts to speed things up with a livelier set of hooks and some pounding drums but the softly, softly approach of the husky vocals do it no favours, while final effort Finish What We Started sounds pretty much like a combo of the four tracks that have come before. In truth, Headway are musically assured and seem tailor-made for the term “radio friendly”, but their sound is just too pedestrian and over-familiar and they need to shake things up considerably.
Rating: 2 out of 5

Order the EP

Cadence Weapon, House Music

CADENCE WEAPONHOUSE MUSIC: The latest single from Cadence Weapon’s Afterparty Babies LP is House Music, a thumping house anthem that, according to the Ninja Tunes label, channels the ghosts of go-go, rave and techno into a pummelling, piercing beat. Rollie Pemberton then drops some hard-hitting vocals to lend them extra urban energy. Sadly, unless you get your kicks from the urban/house scene, this is a thumping wall of noise that quickly outstays its welcome. A remix comes from A1 Bassline, who slow things down to slightly better effect, without really saving it completely. Cadence Weapon has been described in some quarters as an innovative creator of “electro-hop” that marks the next stage in hip-hop’s evolution. We really can’t see it.
Rating: 2 out of 5

Order the album

Supplied image id is invalid; it must be a numeric value.

ONE TWOANNIE MALL: Parisian electro pop duo One Two – aka Severin and Frederic – are described as the new favourites of the blossoming French indie community. Annie Mall is the first single to be taken from the pair’s second album, The Story of Bob Star, and finds them crooning a tale of wanton lust atop angular guitars, woozy mellotron keys and soaring vocal melodies. Sadly, it’s a little too, well, French at times and sounds like it might feel more at home as a Eurovision Song Contest contender. The “oohs” and “aahs” and kooky lyrics are designed to endear it to a broader listener base, but there’s just something that fails to click about it. A remix by Radolicit, which adds bass and drops the fizziness, improves things… but only slightly.
Rating: 2 out of 5

Website


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