Follow Us on Twitter

Music - Singles of the Week - Monday, November 15, 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…

Lissie

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: LISSIEEVERYWHERE I GO: Lissie showcases the more intimate side of her song-writing make-up with the fantastic new track, Everywhere I Go, the third to be taken from her excellent debut album, Catching A Tiger. A slow burner that finds the singer in broken down, vulnerable mood… it’s a moody heart-melter of a track that leaves you wanting to throw a consoling arm around her. Yet she still manages to infuse the song with a sense of the epic… intricately layering in the instrumentals to deliver a genuinely rousing finale that’s more befitting a U2 or Coldplay record. Her towering vocals are also spectacularly unleashed, creating a nice juxtaposition to the fragility displayed during the song’s earliest moments. Lissie has emerged as one of the best breakthrough acts of the year.
Available as a download only
Rating: 4 out of 5

Order the album l Album review l Lissie Photo Gallery

Thea Gilmore, Teach Me To Be Bad

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2: THEA GILMORETEACH ME TO BE BAD: Another of this year’s great female singer-songwriter successes is the continued emergence of Thea Gilmore as one of the UK’s richest talents. As if to underline this sentiment, she now releases Teach Me To Be Bad, a genuinely rousing slice of flirty playfulness that contains an alluring sexual charge. It contains a fine sense of rhythm, a playful husky vocal that works well with the naughty lyrics (“I’ll be the cutest villain you’ve ever seen”) and some stirring guitar riffs and belated fiddle that make it ripe for an opening berth on a show like True Blood. Thea says of the track that it “celebrates the little devil in all of us” and is “about reveling in sex and all of its lessons!” We love it! And just to make the release more appealing, there’s three extra tracks… ranging from the stripped back, breezy acoustic strumming of Favourite Absentee, to the tender Several Angels (a stark, but beautifully observed contrast track to the lead one!), and the melodic Something To Sing About.
Available as a download only
Rating: 4 out of 5

Order the album l Album review l Thea Gilmore Photo Gallery l Thea Gilmore interview

Hurts, Stay

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 3: HURTSSTAY: Hurts remain one of the most promising new acts of the moment. Stay marks the follow-up to Wonderful Life and is a similarly emotive piece of song-writing that blends distinct vocals with a sweeping emotional base. It’s a slow-building track early on, but once it explodes to life around the time of its first, layered chorus, it’s a moving, inspiring, even euphoric piece of work. The lyrics, too, pack a powerful emotional punch… recalling the sense of regret felt at a failed relationship (“we say goodbye in the pouring rain and I break down as you walk away”). But given the way it’s put together, you can’t help but be swept along with its passion, courtesy of swirling electronic arrangements, stabs of brass and some great back-beats. The video is every bit as striking too.
Available across all formats
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website

Florence & The Machine, Heavy In Your Arms

FLORENCE & THE MACHINEHEAVY IN YOUR ARMS: To round off another exceptional year, Florence & The Machine release the new single Heavy In Your Arms, a recent favourite of festival headlining sets and a track that was recorded specially for the soundtrack to The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. It’s a brooding, cinematic offering that is tonally perfect with the dark love of the Twilight movies, whilst simultaneously offering a great showcase for Florence’s forceful, memorable vocal style. Florence herself comments: “Heavy In Your Arms is, I suppose, about the weight of love, and how sometimes it can be a burden between two people. I felt this was a strong theme in the Twilight series – is someone being rescued or are they being condemned, and is the love you carry bringing you down? I recorded it with [producer] Paul [Epworth] one evening, using a lot of strange reversed vocal samples and big hip hop piano. It’s basically inspired by ‘90s hip hop and gospel choirs, like most of my songs.” The track is also available on Between Two Lungs, a two-disc special edition version of her four-times platinum selling Brit Award winning debut album Lungs.
Available as a download only
Rating: 4 out of 5

Order the album

Ambassadors of Morocco

AMBASSADORS OF MOROCCOWIKIPEDIA: Ambassadors of Morocco drop their debut single Wikipedia and show plenty of potential for the future. Described as a pristine piece of power pop that displays the band’s love of powerful, soaring melodies, punchy big guitars, energetic, muscular drum and bass, and a big, catchy chorus, the track certainly ticks all of those boxes. It has a brash likeability about it that endears the band to you, even if the song isn’t doing that much particularly different. Still, as a fresh, breezy blast of indie-pop that owes more than a passing resemblance to the likes of early Kooks, Blur and The Pixies, it does much to suggest that hearing more from this band could be a lot of fun.
Available as a download
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Website l Read our interview

Middle Class Rut, New Low

MIDDLE CLASS RUTNEW LOW: Middle Class Rut – aka Sean Stockham (vocals, drums) and Zack Lopez (vocals, guitars) – prepare for the release of their debut album, No Name No Colour by dropping the potent single New Low. Tip-toeing the line between heavy and melodic, the song has previously been described as one of the best tracks that Jane’s Addiction never recorded and has a brooding volatility that leaves you hankering for more. Vocally, it’s assured… but there’s a pent up energy that’s never fully unleashed, with chugging guitar riffs, dark solos and a low-key drum backing that leaves you pondering what might happen during the album’s louder moments. The sudden ending also leaves you hanging… but in a good way, suggesting that there’s plenty more to come where that leaves off. On the evidence of this, Middle Class Rut have us right where they want us: keen for more and highly intrigued. It’s a testament to just how much two men can achieve… for they sound like a much bigger band.
Available as a download
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website

Wild Party

WILD PARTYTAKE MY ADVICE/LIFE’S TOO SHORT: If you were blindfolded and told to listen and guess who sings Take My Advice you may be inclined to take a punt at either The Killers or Keane. But therein lies the easy appeal of Wild Party’s new single… which combines upbeat melodies with super-charged choruses and a synth bedding. Lead singer Lincoln Kreifels’ vocals, meanwhile, sound remarkably like Brandon Flowers, with the same kind of charisma. Of the two tracks, Take My Advice is just about the pick of the two… packing power and a heightened sense of melody into its showcase of Wild Party’s talents. But Life’s Too Short is just as breezy and positive, blending pop melodies, dance rhythms, swirling B3s, tube-driven guitars and samples that could have been taken from a Mac. Without completely blowing you away, Wild Party do enough to suggest they’re going to be a fun act to have around.
Available as a download
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website

Spokes

SPOKES – WE CAN MAKE IT OUT: Spokes release the first single from their forthcoming debut album Everyone I Ever Met in the form of We Can Make It Out. In doing so, they immediately position themselves as new Ninja Tune artists to keep an eye on, given the keen mix of shoegaze, art-rock, folk and post-rock that emerges through this bittersweet song. It’s almost like what might happen if Arcade Fire got together with The Polyphonic Spree and MGMT – the collective-choral vocals adding a notable edge to a track that’s alive with ambition. For that reason, it takes some getting used to… but there are rewards to be found. What’s more, the track comes back with a remix from Ninja label-mate Yppah, which heightens the rhythm elements and enhances the original in ever more expansive fashion. The video has been directed by Dan Lowe.
Available as a download
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Website

JLS, Love You More

JLSLOVE YOU MORE: And so it falls to play it safe boy band JLS to deliver this year’s official Children In Need single… Love You More offers everything we’ve come to expect from such a charity offering – heavy-handed sentiment, layers of earnest delivery and noble, worthy intent. Honestly, why do records like this have to be so laboured and boring? There’s layered vocals (a la Take That), piano chords, sweeping strings, lovelorn lyrics… and yet somehow it feels formulaic, joyless and less than inspirational – a perfect chart-topper by virtue of its adherence to convention, but one that fails to really do justice to the charity (and its work) that it supports. Rather than helping JLS become even more popular, why not go straight to the BBC Children in Need website and donate direct via the web-link below?
Available across all formats
Rating: 2 out of 5

Website

Westlife, Safe

WESTLIFESAFE: “How you going to live your life like the dream you have is real?… I will keep you safe…” So sing Westlife during the chorus to their epic new power ballad, Safe. And that title tells you just about everything you need to know about the track… it’s safe, conventional and passionately heartfelt in the way that you’d expect a power pop ballad to be from one of the boy bands of the moment. That is to say, a moody piano score, belated swirling string arrangements and a layered chorus that delivers each question – “How you gonna love? How you gonna feel?” – with passion and meaning. It’s destined to sweep the hopeless romantics off their feet, and to provide the backing for several movie and/or TV scenes… but it is formulaic no matter how well done for this kind of thing (and therefore kind of average).
Available as a download
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Website

The Volitains, Lovely Bones

THE VOLITAINSLOVELY BONES/JOY: With their new single Lovely Bones, hotly-tipped alt-rock darlings The Volitains shift slightly from the combination of raw riffs and demonic vocals apparent on debut single Underground into a more hard, hypnotic, psychedelic blues-rock sound that has already helped to garner comparisons with the likes of The Dead Weather. There’s no arguing with the power of the vocals… but there’s a sense that perhaps they’re trying to be too pronounced as a band and could do with loosening up a little. Instrumentally, however, there’s a dark cinematic element that is as hypnotic as the PR suggests. Double A side Joy is, contrary to what its name suggests, another brooding slice of alt power-rock. But it’s not without merit either, particularly in the strong guitar work. They continue to be a band with curiosity value.
Available as a download
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website

Joe Worricker

JOE WORRICKERFINGER-WAGGERS: Following the release of his debut Joe Worricker EP earlier in the year and a host of festival appearances, Joe Worricker now releases his new single Finger-Waggers. It’s a pleasingly upbeat slice of alt-pop that finds Joe in defiant form (coming out against the finger wagers and sceptics), while showcasing his vocal prowess (with a euphoric chorus and some “whoa a whoa” harmonising). It’s never going to set the world on fire, but it’s every inch tailored to fit the term radio friendly and suggests that Worricker could quickly become a popular favourite. Produced by Jaz Rogers, it’s available as a digital download and can also be found with a Permanent Vacation remix.
Available as a download
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website

Sensorites, Just Because You Can

SENSORITESJUST BECAUSE YOU CAN: Sensorites are brothers Natham & Gareth Kirkham originally from Stoke-on-Trent but now living on the Mersey. They work and write from their own studio aptly named ‘The Batcave’. New single Just Because You Can operates on a simple premise… take a simple melody tied to a poignant lyric which resonates with the people and reflects the present times and turn it into a sing-along, acoustically driven track. The central sentiment here being “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” It makes for a vaguely appealing, if – ahem – overly simple track that never really gets going (whilst simultaneously sounding repetitive). Lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Natham says of the song: “‘Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’… this mantra had been resonating inside my head for a while, you only have to turn on the news for a minute to appreciate it. Conceived on piano with equal measures of optimism and despair in human nature Just Because You Can almost wrote itself.” It’s a nice sentiment but one that perhaps needed a more forceful song behind it (something that not even the numerous remixes can provide). Interestingly, Sensorites’ PR suggest that this is a timely indie-pop sing that should resonate as strongly as The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony or Ian Brown’s F.E.A.R. It’s not in the same league, without being bad.
Available as a download
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Website

Leigh Mary Stokes, Perfect

LEIGH MARY STOKESPERFECT: Leigh Mary Stokes is a 19-year-old singer-songwriter from Portsmouth who looks to cap a busy 2010 with the release of live fan favourite Perfect. Reflective of Leigh Mary’s ability to write simple songs about love, life, laughter and lows, it’s a heartfelt acoustic number that provides a nice showcase of Stokes’ tender vocals and observant lyricism. The perfection inherent in the title refers to perception… both in physicality (dress size) and self-confidence (as in the person in the body). It’s defiant, positive and really nicely delivered, with a folk-pop blending of melody that is actually very endearing. It’s little wonder that Stokes was able to make such a splash when she headlined a stage at this year’s Camden Crawl… she’s one to keep an eye on as 2011 looks set to be even busier for her!
Available as a download
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Website


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