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Music - Singles of the week - Monday, April 14, 2014

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

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: SUVIFIND YOU: Singer-songwriter Suvi releases her second single Find You via Rabble Records and continues to impress. Otherwise known as Suvi Richter, the singer was originally born in Finland and grew up surrounded by the sparse beauty of its natural landscape. She frequently collaborates with producers and writers such as Julius Duhs and Robin Svensk (a.k.a Bangs) whose previous credits include Miike Snow, Nervo and more. Find You places her deliciously ethereal vocals over propulsive percussion elements that swirl towards some towering choruses and a headrush quality that is informed both by her striking early surroundings and the need to deliver a telling pop hook. In this regard, comparisons with the likes of Lykke Li and Robyn are not wide of the mark and should even help her get just as noticed.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Catfish & The Bottlemen

CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMENKATHLEEN: Catfish And The Bottlemen’s new single Kathleen has already emerged as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record In The World and follows the band’s appearance in January on the bill of Radio 1’s Future Festival. The track was recorded in collaboration with Jim Abbiss, the man previously behind Arctic Monkeys’ debut Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not, and finds Catfish exploring a more nuanced sound, with Abbiss’ guiding hand to refine the band’s uncompromising approach to volume. “We have a tendency to just drench everything in reverb ‘cause we want it to sound dead loud,” admits frontman Van McCann. “But Jim showed us you can retain that loudness by dialling other elements down a little.” Speaking about the lyrical inspiration behind the track, McCann says: “Kathleen is a song about being completely infatuated with someone, so much so that it literally drives you mad and causes you all kind of problems. You can’t stop thinking about them, you can’t get anything done, you can’t think straight, you just want to be with them all the time. Basically, it’s about being inexplicably madly in love with someone who’s absolutely backward, but completely gets you.” The resulting track is shot through with livewire, sharp stabs of guitar (minus too much reverb), punchy vocals that arrive complete with echoed backing harmonies, and a keen sense of the radio-friendly indie-rock. Given Abiss’ knowing involvement, you can’t help but comment on certain similarities to Arctic Monkeys at times… but Catfish and The Bottlemen also possess their own style and while explosive during the chorus, there’s a refinement during the verses that suits the track well.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Jay-Z

JAY-Z feat BEYONCEPART II (ON THE RUN): A follow-up of sorts to Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Bonnie & Clyde, Part II (On The Run) is lifted from the former’s Magna Carta Holy Grail LP. It’s distinctly radio friendly, combining Jay-Z’s rap with Beyonce’s R’n’B vocals. What’s more, it’s set against the type of swirling electronic background that adds an extra element of romance to the mix, especially over the Beyonce moments. That’s not to say the hip-hop beats are missing… they’re just smoother than usual. It’s by no means a classic from either of them but it does serve to show how they can fuse their respective styles to seamless effect, while offering up something that can appeal to the masses and possibly even boast crossover appeal.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Jay-Z – Part 2 (On the Run) ft. Beyoncé from Easy Jay on Vimeo.

Beyonce, Partition

BEYONCEPARTITION: Beyonce delivers a sultry, moody and ultra provocative new track in the form of Partition. Opening amid a throbbing electronic pulse and simple finger-click beats, this is a tale of lust running amok that finds the singer almost purring the vocals until she properly sings the chorus (in which she, again, finds herself in submissive form, pleading with the man to “take all of me”). Thereafter, a woozy electronic bed weaves its way in and out, along with more of those slick beats, and yet more provocative lyrics (“took 45 minutes to get all dressed up, are we even gonna make it to this club”). It’s strangely compelling… especially so given the danger inherent throughout.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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The Hoosiers, Make Or Break

THE HOOSIERSMAKE OR BREAK (YOU GOTTA KNOW): The Hoosiers drop their new single Make Or Break (You Gotta Know) on the same day as their latest album, The News From Nowhere. A lively pop-infused rock track, this is high on melody, cute guitar hooks and punchy choruses. At times, there’s a quality that’s reminiscent of classic American acts like The Cars or Hall & Oates, with some of the contemporary nous of Hanson. The chorus, in particular, is of the ever so catchy variety that gets into your head and refuses to budge. If the remainder of the album measures up, fans are in for a fun listen.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Tim Paris, Rain EP

TIM PARISRAIN: Paris-born London resident Tim Paris is perhaps better known as one half of It’s A Fine Line with Ivan Smagghe, and as a respected underground figure with releases on leading labels including Young Turks, Kompakt, Moshi Moshi, PIAS, Items&Things, Soma, F Communications, Souvenir and Eskimo. He now drops his own offering in the form of Rain, which arrives laden with remixes. The original, though, is what we’ve been listening to. Set against the the sultry vocals of Coco Solid, the track aims to capture quintessential vintage indie melancholy and merge it subtly with modern electronic to occupy a sonic space akin to M83 and I Break Horses. It’s only partially successful in doing this. The Coco Solid backed moments are certainly catchy and have a breezy accessibility to them. But some of the more instrumental interludes lose their way. The remixes mostly shake things up without adding anything notable. Rain is a mixed bag but best sampled in original form.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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The Sea, I Hear The Drums

THE SEA – I HEAR THE DRUMS: A short, sharp burst of guitars and drums, I Hear The Drums is the latest offering from The Sea (aka brother Alex and Peter) and it’s a livewire fusion of contagious, ‘70s tinged guitar riffs and drums. There are raw ragged vocals proclaiming “I hear the drums and they don’t stop beating” before the inevitable drum shakedown takes place and really exhilarates. If you like your rock to have that classic edge and a no holds bar attitude, then The Sea might just be your new favourite band. The boys have drawn comparison to the likes of The Black Keys and The White Stripes and have their own amazing story to get where they are – born and raised in Newquay, their rock ambitions survived Alex breaking his neck whilst surfing in 2009. This, in its own way, is a frenzied neck-breaker of a rock track, especially if you happen to be anywhere near the mosh-pit when it lands in live form.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Peggy Sue, Figure of Eight

PEGGY SUEFIGURE OF EIGHT/AND ALWAYS IS (BARBAROSSA REMIX): Peggy Sue drop Figure of Eight as their latest offering from the acclaimed album, Choir of Echoes. Coated in the band’s trademark vocal harmonies and post-folk elements, this has an intoxicating flow to it, buoyed by the beautiful vocals that have that dreamy quality. The guitars and percussion, meanwhile, weave their way in and out of proceedings in insistent fashion, jostling for position with those vocals, yet somehow never over-powering them. It’s an often thrilling blend. The B-side finds Peggy Sue enlisting London-based Barbarossa to remix album favourite, And Always Is. In doing so, he completely changes the dimensions of the track, injecting it with a hard bass line and mellow riff throughout, and thereby presenting the post-folk trio in totally new light. It’s strangely addictive, if somewhat less emotionally driven than the original.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Listen to the Barbarossa remix

Petite Meller, Backpack

PETITE MELLERBACKPACK: With a breezy saxophone jazz intro and hooky melody, Petite Meller’s Backback aims to set up an instantly catchy and memorable pop song. And to be fair, there’s plenty of zip in the finger-click beats and refreshing electronics, while Petite’s dreamy vocals veer between the kooky and ridiculously sweet. It’s catchy, for sure, but a rather lightweight confection that drifts from memory just as quickly as it arrived. The track is brought to life with a colourfully shot video shot in the French Riviera. It was directed by A.T.Mann and Napoleon Habeica, styled by Nao Koyabu, designed by Vin and Omi, Bella Gonshorovitz and Michael Polkanov, and shot by Clemens Krueger.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Rufus, Take Me

RUFUSTAKE ME: Tropical anthem Take Me is the next single from RÜFÜS and designed as an uplifting dance antidote to our recent wet and grey climes. It blends romantic electronic pop with Balearic-style house, enabling the Australian trio to whisk you away on a dreamy escape, showcasing their ability to write synth-heavy, indie-pop bangers that are ready-made for the dancefloor. And admittedly, there’s a breezy quality to the track that could well do just that – it invites you to dance and dream of sunnier climates, with wave-kissed beaches and blue, sun-filled skies. As with a lot of dance, it has that disposable element. But unlike a lot of dance, it’s also catchy and less repetitive than normal. It’s likeable. Take Me is the second single taken from their debut album ATLAS, which is set for release on April 28. The album reached number 1 in their native country with Take Me gaining heavy rotation on Triple J – being in the top 10 most played for four weeks and peaking at number 2. It also debuted at number 7 on the iTunes dance chart and was featured on DJ A-Track’s Mad Decent Podcast, accumulating 420,000+ views online.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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