Follow Us on Twitter

Music - Singles of the week - Friday, December 7, 2018

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

Island, Just That Time of the Night

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: ISLANDJUST THAT TIME OF THE NIGHT: Just That Time of the Night is the first piece of material to be taken from a forthcoming EP from four piece Island, which will be released early next year via Beatnik/Frenchkiss. The track ushers in a new direction for the band, maintaining the atmospheric undertones that resonated through their debut, but striving to take things to effortless new heights, harnessing their remarkable ability to transport you to a specific time and place through delicately balanced layers of instrumentation and powerhouse, emotive vocals. This is never more evident than in the soaring guitars, which have an epic, cinematic quality akin to classic Dave Gilmour, Clapton and Dire Straits. Vocally, there’s more of an alt-indie edge, however, with a cracked central vocal shot through with the emotion inherent within the thought-provoking lyrics. Speaking about the track, Island said: “Your night is winding down, everything is starting to feel a bit weird. Disconnected from your surroundings and the people around you. It’s just that time of the night.” The beauty of the track is that you can fill in the blanks for yourself, applying it to whatever mood takes you. Island also recently announced an intimate UK headline tour for February, which includes a night at Islington Assembly Hall, and comes in the wake of the band selling out KOKO earlier this year.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Naughty Boy, Bungee Jumping

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 3: NAUGHTY BOY feat EMELI SANDE & RAHAT FATEH ALI KHANBUNGEE JUMPING: For a song whose origins stemmed from a game that Naughty and Emeli Sande played, where they attempted to write a song about the most random thing that came into their heads, Bungee Jumping is striking stuff. A musical departure from Naughty Boy that actually veers more into Bonobo territory, this is a world record that combines Pakistani influences with soft acoustic flourishes, gentle beats and serene vocals from Sande herself. It’s highly cinematic, effortlessly laidback and beautifully intoxicating, transporting you to a lovely state of bliss. Lyrically, it’s similarly intelligent, with Sande commenting on the risks inherent in falling in love, while co-singer Rahat attempt to strike a balance by offering up his own thoughts on the eternal power and emotional commitment needed to be in love. It’s the type of record that, for all of its lofty lyrical ambition, can strike a chord with listeners across musical genres, making this another surefire success for Naughty Boy, that could well broaden his appeal.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Twitter

Listen here

Paul Weller

VIDEO OF THE WEEK 1: PAUL WELLERBOWIE: Paul Weller touchingly plays tribute to the late, great David Bowie on his latest single, the aptly named Bowie. Taken from his critically-acclaimed LP True Meanings, which offers a lot of musings on life and death, the song is both a reflective piece on the nature of life, as well as a tipping of the hat to an artist he has long admired – despite the fact the two were involved in something of a fedud for years. It was resolved, of course, with Weller admitting that Ziggy Stardust was one of his favourite LPs. The song is principally an acoustic ballad, softly delivered, with intricate string arrangements woven throughout. Weller’s vocals, meanwhile, take on a reflective quality, while sometimes sounding Bowie-esque. While there are also harmonic nods to the kind of notes Bowie would often hit. It’s a classy piece of work, boasting a similarly affecting video, featuring Martin Freeman.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Chelou, Out of Sight

SINGLE/VIDEO OF THE WEEK 2: CHELOUOUT OF SIGHT: Chelou has unveiled another impressively mind-altering video today for new single Out of Sight, which is also excellent. This new video is the work of Los Angeles artist Robin Eisenberg, known for her luminescent astro-femmes and intergalactic backdrops. Along with animator Kris Baldwin, Eisenberg sends our heroine on a journey through a trippy outer space cityscape, a Star Wars Cantina-like bar scene, and a heart-pounding high-speed finale. It’s mesmerising, electrifying stuff. And the song taps into Chelou’s penchant for combining loopy guitars, intricate beats and trippy vocals into something effortlessly laidback and enjoyable. There’s a cinematic quality to the way the track unfolds, too, building in momentum in the same way that the video does. Hence, while the start is beautifully trippy, the heightened sense of energy it generates come the end makes for a thrilling sonic ride. Put together with the video, it’s a striking piece of work. Written during a time of uncertainty following the untimely departure of his drummer, Chelou says the song “sums up where I was at the time….” “I’m trying to get going but I already see that I’m done,” he adds. “Despite this, the song has an overall sentiment of hope at the end – despite my running and feeling of disillusion there was always hope.”
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Ten Tonnes, Better Than Me

VIDEO OF THE WEEK 3: TEN TONNESBETTER THAN ME: Ten Tonnes continues to build anticipation of his self-titled debut album, out next April, by sharing the video for the belting new track Better Than Me. And while it’s just a playful look at the act performing the song, complete with focus on the drums and guitars that make the instrumentals so bouncy, it’s a good enough reason to endorse the song as another video/single of the week offering. The song itself just gets better and better, the more you hear it. Contrasting dark, tongue-in-cheek lyrics with uplifting energy and an immediately insistent hook, Better Than Me adds another dimension to Ten Tonnes’ growing catalogue of modern indie anthems. One of the last songs to be written (with former Kaiser Chief Nick Hodgson) for the album, Ten Tonnes recorded the track with producer Dan Grech (Wolf Alice, The Killers, Liam Gallagher). The result is pure music magic… an indie rock gem to rival early Kooks, Kaiser Chiefs or Jake Bugg. The chorus, in particular, is deliciously vibrant, boasting geniuine sing-along appeal (“you’re doing better, better, better than me”), while the guitar hooks are short, sharp, simple and disarmingly effective. It’s a celebratory track – and one that will definitely heighten awareness of and raise expectation towards the forthcoming LP. Commenting on the song himself, Ten Tonnes – aka Ethan Barnett – said: “This was written in one of the last sessions for the record and it’s one of my absolute favourites. It was really fun to write and it came together really quickly. When we got to recording it I played all the instruments (excluding drums) as this is how I always used to make my records. It was lovely getting back to that way of recording and piecing the track together. I’m chuffed with the outcome, I can’t wait to get out and play it live everywhere.”.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Liimo

LIIMOPINEAPPLE RADIO: Indie pop trio Liimo release their catchy new single Pineapple Radio and succeed in getting themselves noticed. The group bonded over their mutual love of thoroughly modern pop stars, such as US R’n‘B act Khalid, pop sensations Nay and Drake’s sultry protege Majid Jordan. But while there are elements of those here, there’s also a soft pop focus to the electronic sound that could also hark back to ’80s pop culture. And that’s no bad thing. The chorus, too, is tailor-made for singing along with hook-laden lyrics such as “all these upper class things and their porn star names, yeah they’re putting me to shame” [never mind the astute social observation!]. Commenting on the track and their inspirations, Liimo said: “There needs to be a whole vibe and belief in what you’re doing but that spans more than music, it’s about the aesthetic, how you act, what you say, everything.” On the track itself, they add: “It’s one of the most honest tracks that we’ve written and we can’t wait to get it out there. The song is about withdrawing from the highs for a little dose of what really matters.” It’s a striking release from the Edinburgh outfit.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Palace, No Other

PALACE – NO OTHER: London based three-piece Palace have released their new single No Other, a love letter lead singer Leo Wyndham wrote about finding love during a dark time in his life, and the hope he found from it. He explained: “No Other is about being rescued by someone at a terrible time I once went through. When all felt lost and hope had faded – love prevailed and I found someone incomparable to anyone – during a dark time in my life. It’s hopeful, blissed out and feels like new life.” The blissed out sound is evident in the guitar riffs, which have an echoed, almost psychedelic feel to them, akin to mainstream Pink Floyd with a touch of the art-rock of Interpol thrown in. The vocals, too, have a hazy quality to them, occasionally expanding into falsetto territory, especially late on as the guitars become more pronounced. It’s a beautiful effort. What’s more, it makes it easy to see why Palace are growing in stature as a UK band, with a UK tour next February already almost sold out (including a sold out night at Village Underground in London). Leo Wyndham, Matt Hodges and Rupert Turner have been friends since they were thirteen and released their acclaimed debut EP Lost In The Night in 2014, followed by the Chase The Light EP the following year and their debut album, So Long Forever, in 2016. The strength of those releases saw their fanbase steadily grow, leading to extensive touring, ever-larger festival slots and culminating in a sold-out UK headline tour, including London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire. The band have since been busy writing and recording new music at their own studio in Tottenham, North London.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Blossoms

BLOSSOMSWONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME: Blossoms have released a cover of Paul McCartney’s classic, 1979 hit Wonderful Christmastime. The cover is available to listen to on streaming platforms now. The band have made an accompanying Christmas comic strip and will reveal a new piece of it each day on their Instagram page. The song itself is as straightforward a cover as you can get, complete with the original organ sound (although the guitar solo is admirably different and perhaps the best bit!). Even vocally, Blossoms have managed to channel the youthful joy and energy of McCartney in his prime. Admittedly, it’s one of the more tolerable Christmas anthems that get played over and over this time of year, while the retro values are a nice touch. It would be a fun game to put each track alongside each other and hear if you can tell the difference. Blossoms are currently on a sold-out December 2018 UK tour, which will see them play their biggest London show to date at Brixton Academy next Thursday, December 13. The band recently announced that they will headline Stockport County’s Edgeley Park Stadium on June 22, 2019. Tickets for the hometown show sold out in half an hour.
Rating: 3 out of 5

Blossoms Instagram l Twitter

Listen here


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