Music - Singles of the week - Monday, November 17, 2014
IndieLondon gleefully checks out the cream of the week’s singles.
DAN MICHAELSON & THE COASTGUARDS – BONES: Dan Michaelson and The Coastguards will release their new single Bones through State 51, marking the second track to be taken from Michaelson’s highly-praised, fifth album Distance. Typical of the album as a whole, Dan offers a sober reflection on love and longing while his band, The Coastguards, provide a rich bed of piano, cello, pedal steel, wind brushed drums and bass. “When you feel that love run cold, after crackling through your bones, and tears fall like ash upon your clothes…” are included among the imagery-strewn lyrics, delivered in a craggy, deep-throated tone that somehow fits the accompanying instrumentation to a tee. It’s moody, oddly beautiful and thought-provoking – and best appreciated after a few listens.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
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ERNIE JACKSON – STARS FALL DOWN: Stars Fall Down, the debut single from Ernie Jackson, is a catchy slice of feel-good pop, peppered with a Motown inspired feel that will have you tapping your fingers and toes and singing along to the chorus before the song is out. From the opening line (“one kiss and I couldn’t forget you”), the song captures your attention courtesy of its cute melodies, catchy sensibilities and love-lorn lyrics. It’s lively, fresh and effortlessly feel-good, the retro elements combining well with the more contemporary pop elements. As well as being a talented songwriter, Ernie also plays piano, guitar, bass and drums. His early demos caught the attention of multi-platinum selling LA based producer Jeff Blue, who has been helping Ernie hone his sound. He’s definitely an artist to watch on the evidence here. Ernie says of the track himself: “Stars Fall Down is about losing someone. It deals with the emotions of a breakup and the heartache of a relationship ending as everyone experiences loss at some point in their lives and the feelings that inevitably come with it.”
Rating: 4 out of 5
CHILDISH GAMBINO – TELEGRAPH AVE: Childish Gambino drops another slice of his trademark smooth-groove R’n’B, with hip-hop overtones. That means more rapid-fire vocals over swishing electronic waves, woozy beats and a slight sense of the ethereal that’s further underlined by the odd, cinema-style video (which belatedly features one of its principals transforming into a hideous alien creature like something out of The Thing or Slither. Put together with that video, it’s oddly compelling. But taken as a standalone record, it struggles to grab and keep hold of your attention. All in all, an average offering from Gambino.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
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CITY REIGN – DISAPPEAR: Hot on the heels of recent single When You Got It All, City Reign return with new single Disappear, and it’s easily their darkest, and heaviest song to date. This one is a rant about the frustrations of your day job that paints quite a bleak picture of life, while delivering some skyscraping guitar riffs and soaring vocals over the chorus. It combines some of the swagger and bombast of bands like Oasis and Idlewild with the songwriting savvy of acts like The National. It’s an indie rocker that shows bags of potential for this band.
Rating: 3 out of 5
DEMOB HAPPY – SUCCUBUS: After destroying venues up and down the UK in October on their first ever headline tour, Brighton’s off-kilter garage rockers Demob Happy release their debut single Succubus and evoke memories of acts like Nirvana and Cake. Dropping an outlandishly oversized bassline, this piles on the heavy, grungy, borderline trippy tendencies and yet somehow still manages to retain enough melody to keep it trendy. The guitar work is especially great. It’s a lively debut offering and one that will almost certainly get them noticed. What’s more, the B-Side is an adrenalized cover version of Technohead’s 1995 rave anthem, I Wanna Be A Hippy and is available exclusively on limited edition 7” vinyl. Frontman Matt Marcantonio explains: “I remember my older brother playing the Technohead version when I was too young to know what the f*ck it all meant. But it’s a cover, which makes ours a cover of a cover. It’s a David Peel jam song that Technohead sampled that I guess we’ve un-sampled. Some people clock it as a cover, everyone else just thinks we love smoking weed so much we wrote a song about it. Either way works.”
Rating: 3 out of 5
Heard a great single, but yet to buy it? Well, we may have reviewed it. Previous reviews: