Follow Us on Twitter

Music - Singles of the week - Monday, September 1, 2014

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

Beck, Heart Is A Drum

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: BECKHEART IS A DRUM: The latest offering from Beck’s Morning Phase LP is the beautifully composed, even dreamy Heart Is A Drum. Embodying the same acoustic-folksy traits that are evident throughout the album, this nevertheless adopts one of its more robust central riffs, while finding Beck in vocally laidback form. The singer-songwriter is also more optimistic here, declaring that “the heart is a drum, keeping time with everyone”. And as the track unfolds, there’s some lovely piano layering and beat structuring that creates a shimmering, awe-inspiring whole. It’s evidence of how Beck can drop some of the more funky stuff and still sound utterly brilliant. You’ll be smitten before you know it.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Album review

Watch the video:

Cold War Kids

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2: COLD WAR KIDSFIRST: Cold War Kids will release their fifth studio album, Hold My Home on October 27 through Sony RED / Downtown Records. Produced by guitarist Dan Gallucci and recorded at the band’s studio in San Pedro, CA, the LP is an 11-song dispatch that further cements Cold War Kids’ status as a truly excellent American rock band. The first evidence to back up this claim is new single First, which is an anthemic gem. Boasting a sing-along chorus (“first you get hurt, then you get sorry”), a chiming central guitar riff that’s utterly infectious, and a cool stop-start beat, this pretty much epitomises why Cold War Kids have been able to sustain their position as one of America’s most distinct and enjoyable bands, with genuine crossover appeal. This is a towering record – a confident statement of intent that bodes extremely well for the rest of the LP.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here:

The Pierces

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 3: THE PIERCESCREATION: Creation is the latest single to be taken from sisters Allison and Catherine Pierce’s new album of the same name, also out September 1, which is the follow-up to their 2011 breakthrough album, You & I – and it’s a cracker. Built around some striking electroncs, as well as the sisters’ distinct, retro-laced vocals, and some equally endearing background harmonies and guitar riffs, this is a track that combines elements of classic pop with something fresh and contemporary. It’s an intoxicating listen that wins you over from the first time you hear it. Cat Pierce explains: “The song is about how we sometimes suffer from our own invented misery and forget to just enjoy the experience of being human. We wanted the video to reflect the meaning so we play tormenters to a man who eventually discovers his own power and fights back to free himself. Nick Frew directed it and we love the way he captured the emotion of the song.”
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video:

Sinkane, New Name

SINKANENEW NAME: Sinkane’s latest single New Name is released on the same day as his new LP, Mean Love, and is a strong showcase of a distinct and interesting new talent. Combining some excellent pan-African percussion with stabs of brass and a slick, soulful vocal, this breezes along in more lively fashion that his previous offering, the still classy Hold Tight, and could even be described as funky. It also has a sound that is difficult to compare with other artists, meaning that Sinkane is really establishing a sound that’s very much his own. If the remainder of the album is anywhere near as good as the quality of his singles so far, then we’re in for something really good.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here:

Jessie J

JESSIE J feat ARIANA GRANDE & NICKI MINAJ: Following their show-stopping opening performance at the MTV VMA’s last Sunday evening, the powerhouse trio of Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj now release the super-slick, eye-popping video for Bang Bang, directed by Hannah Lux Davis. The track itself has stormed straight to No.1 in the iTunes chart in 40 countries worldwide and currently top 10 in 45 countries globally. It’s a lively street-based jam that is shot through with snappy stop-start beats, sassy, ultra soulful, diva-led vocals and an energy that’s undeniable. Like its name suggests, this positively explodes into your subconscious like all the best pop records do (with an R’n’B vibe that Beyonce would be proud of, as well as classic Motown leanings). Last week, Jessie announced the release of her third studio album Sweet Talker, which will be out on October 13. If all the tracks maintain this quality, it could be one of this autumn/winter’s guiltiest pleasures. Oh, and that video is worth catching too.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website

Watch the video:

Ghost Culture

HAPPYNESSANYTHING I DO IS ALL RIGHT: Happyness have just unveiled their first ever music video, for Anything I Do Is All Right, the lead track from their forthcoming Anything I Do Is All Right EP. The track is also taken from the current LP, Weird Little Birthday. And it’s a riot of energy and gritty guitar hooks that could even draw favourable comparisons with Dinosaur Jr, especially when it comes to the distortion element towards the end. The energy is immense, while the raw, gritty sound lends the song a lived in, caught live kind of vibe that’s kind of infectious. It’s evidence of why the LP is such a blast in place. The video is also worth checking out in all its green screen weirdness. The EP, meanwhile, is a digital only release which arrives just as the band gear up for a headline run in October.
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website l Twitter l Album review

Watch the video:

Pulled Apart By Horses

PULLED APART BY HORSESLIZARD BABY: Pulled Apart By Horses drop the menacing Lizard Baby on the same day as their latest album, Blood (their third). Built around a big guitar riff (that warps itself slightly), a mosh-pit frenzy inducing shouted chorus and powerhouse drum beats, this is a rock track of the heavy variety that drops more than a passing resemblance to bands like The Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana. In truth, however, the song itself struggles to exist in that company and never really grips. The chorus is the strongest element but when not dropping that, the track drifts all too easily from the memory.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video:

Ghost Culture

GHOST CULTUREARMS: London’s Ghost Culture has released his newest single for Erol Alkan’s Phantasy label and it’s not really that great. Arms is described as its own breed of electronic songwriting: a low, malevolent thrum emanating from serpentine grooves and whispered vocals. It’s supposed to be a record that moves entirely at its own pace, creating an atmosphere heavy with tension and mystery. However, the foreboding electronic sound could well exist in an ‘80s horror movie, while the vocals sound washed out and lifeless. It’s a long listen that does very little to excite, despite boasting an eye-catching animated video. The single, along with the forthcoming debut album released later this autumn, was co-produced and mixed with Alkan between studios in two quiet corners of the city.
Rating: 2 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video:


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