I know that last week you thought you were stressed, but now this week is just ridiculous. A whole day late, here are the 405's Singles of the Week, following up a Let's Wrestle victory from last Monday, as they took exactly 50% of the vote. Sensational. Now I know that Eurovision is over, you may have had enough of revising 18th Century Literature (just me?) and it's still slightly too ambitious to be wearing shorts, whilst jeans are just a hindrance but Lykke Li has a new single out. And lots of others, sung by people that I'm not in love with quite as much, like Young the Giant and CocknBullKid. But still very good songs, just not all delicate and Swedish.
Lykke Li - 'Sadness Is A Blessing'
Photobucket Being honest, with Wounded Rhymes probably my favourite album of the year so far, nobody else had a chance this week- it was always going to be Lykke Li. Regardless of the fact that I'm intent on her being my wife, ignoring her incredible live shows, this section is all about the single you have in front of you, and quite frankly this is stunning. It sees a more introspective account of lust and obsession, whilst retaining the fragility and desperation that has come to define her sound, with the imperious vocal blending with the thudding piano to create something breathtaking. The term 'beautiful' is thrown about something chronic nowadays, but Lykke Li is a musician who truly creates beautiful music, refusing to compromise a personality that will continue to gain followers for years to come.
Cloud Control - 'This Is What I Said'
The second single from Bliss Release, 'This Is What I Said' starts out with proving why Cloud Control have been supporting Vampire Weekend, with angular, glittering guitar hooks, before going all falsetto and Local Natives on us with the high pitched murmur of the chorus. People have suggested obvious Smiths influences, whilst the twee simplicity makes it very difficult to find fault with a song that just seems so 'nice'. You'll just want to pinch its cheek and ruffle its hair.
Those Dancing Days - 'Can't Find Entrance'
Fresh from the critical success of Daydreams and Nightmares, 'Can't Find Entrance' is another sugar-coated slice of gorgeous pop cake, both cleanly cut and yet retaining a yearning angst courtesy of the superb vocal of Linnea Jönsson. It's all moody and biting, yet poppy and summery. She would do just as well fronting The Sugababes as Blondie. And yes, I understand that the two should probably not be mentioned in the same sentence. It's predictable indie-pop but it isn't half fun.
CocknBullKid- 'Asthma Attack'
What a cracking voice. This is definitely a week for unique female vocals, with Anita Blay's effortless talent putting the vast majority of the pop mainstream to shame. Forget any artifice and PR bullshit, CocknBullKid is someone writing fantastic, catchy pop songs, irrespective of scene. Forget trying to be all cool and lo-fi, this is a rich, lush sounding track that you could sing along with on Radio 1 without being sick down yourself.
Arcand - 'Ragpicker's Wine'
Gentle acoustic warbling from Arcand up next; conventional, predictable folk music done well. With so many troubadours and folk acts out there, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out, but 'Ragpicker's Wine' conforms to the old maxim, “if it ain't broke, don't fix it”. There is only so much that a folk band can do, and that's what is so great; the songs are recognisable without becoming derivative, and the gentle nuances of a track are all the more apparent for the obvious influences. This is more Benjamin Francis Leftwich than Frank Turner, taking sentiment rather than giddy passion and constructing a smart, honest track that hints at the rhythms of Bob Dylan without getting all conceited.
Napoleon In Rags- 'Empty Promises'
After the vague eclecticism of this weeks releases, we'll close on your standard snarling indie from Napoleon In Rags, which I am informed is also available as a free release. You've heard it all before, but at least in sticking to a rigid formula of alternative success this guarantees listenability and an undeniably catchy riff. Everyone could do with a break at the moment, so relax into this and forget about the real world for a bit.