Follow Us on Twitter

Music - Singles of the week - Friday, August 18, 2017

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

Weezer

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: WEEZERMEXICAN FENDER: Following the release of their breezy anthem Feels Like Summer, Weezer return with a second track from their forthcoming Pacific Daydream LP in the form of the equally lively Mexican Fender. Opening with a blistering guitar riff, this drops a more indie-alt-rock vibe than its hip-hop beat infused predecessor, but is no less effective in conjuring the sound of the summer. Indeed, Weezer are past masters at tapping into that cool sunshine feel on their songs, and the chorus here effectively evokes a laidback, slacker feel in its “she loves me, she loves me, she loves me not” wimsical vibe. The lyrics are as playful as we’ve come to expect, the backing harmonies tailor-made for singing along to, and the overall package a rousing, feel-good, arms in the air kind of anthem. Heck, there’s even a mid-track breakdown that Queen would be proud of! On the evidence thus far, Weezer’s forthcoming LP could be a real blast.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the lyric video

Haux

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2: HAUXCOLOGNE: After a triumphant debut at The Great Escape festival as well as a run of headline shows around the UK earlier this year, Haux will return to London for a very special one-off show at the iconic Hoxton Hall in November where he’ll be accompanied by a string section. In anticipation of that, he has unveiled a new stand alone single, Cologne – and it’s pretty special. From the whispered vocals of the opening phrase, an echoing melody delicately builds, powered along by rhythmic piano and gently rolling percussion. It’s high on atmosphere, swathed in beautiful melodies and those hushed vocals add a touch of the ethereal. It screams out for a soundtrack moment, especially when the whispered vocals are undercut by a falsetto harmony. Speaking of the new release, Woodson Black – aka Haux – himself explains: “I’ve realised there are so many places I haven’t seen in the world, so many faces that seem so familiar and yet somehow so far away. I try to imagine their lives and how they differ from my own. I know I’ll never really know, but there’s something about not knowing that gives me comfort and keeps me eager to see more people and places. There was a certain magic about Cologne. It struck me as a place that I might’ve had another life in if I hadn’t lived the life I have. When I was back home, off tour, I remembered that feeling and tried to imagine a life there and the story of what might have been.”
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Ian Felice

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 3: IAN FELICE – 21ST CENTURY: “Well the aliens landed on election day and they stole your mama’s lingerie”… so sings Ian Felice on new single 21st Century. It’s a striking opening line that could well serve as a riposte to the general state of Trump’s America, while also conceding, later on, that “the joke is on me”. It’s clearly a track with a lot to say. But it’s deliverd in a classic rock fashion that recalls classic Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, thereby making it an instant classic. Ian has been the lead singer and songwriter for The Felice Brothers for over a decade, so knows a thing or three about writing a compelling song. He recently told The Bluegrass Situation: “21st Century is a three-chord song about the paranoid breakdown of someone’s reality. I wrote it on the banjo right after the November election as geese flew clockwise into the red sky. My brothers, Simone and James, accompanied me, as well as my friend Josh Rawson on bass guitar.” The aformentioned banjo creates an addictive musical hook, too. It’s a stirring, politically astute but totally endearing song, which comes from Ian’s debut solo album In The Kingdom Of Dreams, recorded in his childhood home of Palenville NY, with his brother Simone Felice on production duties.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Anderson East, All On My Mind

ANDERSON EASTALL ON MY MIND: Alabama soul singer Anderson East returns with his new single, All On My Mind, which carries the distinction of having been co-written by Ed Sheeran, Johnny McDaid, Anderson East and Aaron Raitiere. The track immediately marks itself out as something worth listening to thanks to the gritty soul vocals that East demonstrates – giving it a really atmospheric, even rock-driven edge. They’re a lived in set of vocals that scream with anguish. And with some stabbing string and synth accompaniments, it’s a stirring listen that even has a cinematic quality attached. The chorus is delivered with real gusto. The release of All On My Mind culminates a breakout series of years for East following his widely praised debut album, Delilah. After the release of his solo album, East once again worked with producer Dave Cobb when he featured on the Grammy Award-winning producers Southern Family compilation, contributed a song to Brandi Carlile’s Cover Stories LP and crafted the original song What Would It Take for the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack. This music is the first taste of East’s sophomore album.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Sam Vance-Law

SAM VANCE-LAWPRETTYBOY: Prettyboy is the debut single from Sam Vance-Law. Produced by Konstantin Gropper (aka Get Well Soon), the track is at its core a guitar-driven indie-up-tempo-stomper, though it changes its musical colouring multiple times, effortlessly moving from a string and piano primed introspection into a multi-voiced orchestral crescendo, before finally flowing into a smooth lightness which calls to mind The Smiths. Instrumentally, the guitars are intricately delivered and immediately ear-catching, which sometimes makes the heavy vocals more surprising. Indeed, they catch you off guard when you first hear them, as does the mid-track diversion into piano and strings. It makes Prettyboy a continually surprising listen – but also one that is more experimental than the mainstream allows (especially when drifting into the “I’m a boy, I’m a boy, I’m a boy” mid-section). As such, it’s an acquired taste. But Vance-Law ensures it’s always an intriguing one.
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

John Joseph Brill

JOHN JOSEPH BRILL – A PLACE TO DROWN: Having recently released his EP, I’m Not Alright, John Joseph Brill now drops the video for his hauntingly effective new single A Place To Drown. The track itself is marked out by its downbeat vocals and gentle, yet melancholy piano arrangements – a sort of Nick Drake mixed with Nick Cave and The Crash Test Dummies. It’s the kind of track that beguiles… and one that sneaks up on you and refuses to budge. Speaking about the track himself, Brill explained: “It’s a song, as with the others from the EP, about needing help. Knowing your head is not right and seeking clarity in the kindness of others. In this case, it’s the offer of help, a suggestion that no matter what has passed between two people, one can always be there in some way to help the other escape their demons.” With memorable lyrics like “if you need a place to drown, I’ll be the water for you”, this one is sure to linger (in a very good way).
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Suffer The Children, Killing Hands

SUFFER THE CHILDRENKILLING HANDS: Based in both London and Vancouver, left-field R&B/electronica trio Suffer The Children have dropped their new single Killing Hands and find themselves self-consciously referencing ’80s acts such as Phil Collins, New Order, Lou Reed as well as the more contemporary likes of Coco Rosie, Kanye West and Little Dragon. Hypnotic vocals unfold against a backdrop of ambient melodies, thereby evoking an atmosphere of introspection, which in turn draws the listener into its’ moody, emotive soundscape. It’s quietly effective, with slick beat arrangements, hushed vocals, evocative lyrics and a keen sense of atmosphere that’s effectively married to some soul-pop elements. Suffer The Children said of the track: “This is the song that pointed us in the right direction creatively, and helped us solidify our sound. I think that we can all relate to the lyrics in our own way. No matter who we are as individuals, we each find games to play; deceive each other and ourselves. Love is a hell of a drug.” At the production helm of Suffer The Children is Grammy Award-winning producer Chin Injeti who, in partnership with DJ Khalil, has worked with a host of influential artists such as Drake, Eminem, Aloe Blacc, Raury, Joey Badass, The Clipse, Kanye West, Dr. Dre and Jay-Z. Alongside them is Rian Peters, who has shared stages with the likes of Black Twang and Lauryn Hill at Montreux Jazz Festival and performed on legendary TV shows such BBC’s Top of the Pops, ITV’s CD:UK and Channel Four’s POPworld. And the wild card of the group is multi-talented artist Shallom Johnson, whose lifelong connection with art, music and the written word provides an unconventional aesthetic both visually and lyrically.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video:

Off Bloom

OFF BLOOMSHUT UP AND LET ME WALK: Off Bloom release feisty new single Shut Up And Let Me Walk via their own imprint Sport Records/Polydor. The attitude-laden kiss-off comes after previous single Falcon Eye, the follow up to the Anglo-Danish trio’s breakthrough debut EP Love To Hate It. Speaking about the track, Off Bloom reveal: “We wrote this song on a feeling of anger! Proper anger and frustration! In today’s society, anger and sadness are seen as weak traits, but for us it’s the contrary. Weakness is not being able to acknowledge that we all fuck up from time to time, that we can all be fucking stupid. The three of us had each been going through this frustration, whether it was because of the current political climate and the fact that Trump became president, or it was a fight with some fake music industry wanker or it was because of some bullshit from a boy/girl… we’d had enough! So shut up and let me walk!” Lyrically, it’s as feisty as that statement suggests, while instrumentally it embraces the provocative, yet proactive ethos of artists like No Doubt and P!nk. It’s a little more alternative than those artists, though, with more edge and off-kilter energy. Indeed, the anger that the band speak of is infused throughout, reducing its mainstream potential somewhat. But that’s not a bad thing. It has something to say and does so in take notice fashion.
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Yxng Bane, Rihanna

YXNG BANERIHANNA: Produced by Legendary Beats, Yxng Bane’s new single Rihanna is a smooth groover that finds the former trap music star branching out and extending his range into more soulful territory. Alas, despite its lovelorn elements, the song has a rather mundane feel. It’s constructed around simplistic beat structures, vocoder laced vocals (with lyrics that are sometimes hard to decipher) and a repetitive edge that soon outstays its welcome. Admittedly, there’s a late night vibe attached that could well stand it in good stead if you’ve come in from a hard night’s partying. But this has an overly familiar feel to it (everyone from Kanye to Usher is referenced) that struggles to enable it to stand out from the crowd.
Rating: 2 out of 5

Twitter

Watch the video


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