A lot has changed in a week. Tupac has been resurrected for one thing, which was frankly unexpected, and a girl who thinks she's a wizard has become an internet phenomenon. Neither particularly predictable, but equally important cultural moments that will be remembered for years to come. On a persona note, I'm now back in Leeds, facing the realisation that today is the last time I'll ever get a student loan, and be able to make my regular unnecessary purchase of the term. For this semester, I've decided a globe shaped drinking cabinet would be most appropriate to celebrate my unenviable slide in debt and depression. Hooray. In short, this article is going to get mean. But not today, because Shinies have a new single out which is spectacular, and Rufus Wainwright is officially back, ahead of his slot at Latitude. Have a listen to all my choices and let me know what you think.


Shinies – 'Shola / Pillow Talk'

sotw

My Single of the Week comes in the form of Shinies, your new favourite band from Manchester. Released on Dirty Bingo Records, this is technically the debut single from the trio, after the success of 'Spent Youth' late last year. Playing with a tried and tested shoegaze formula yet sounding curiously timeless, 'Shola' instantly recalls hazy summer days and too much cider, whilst 'Pillow Talk' hints at Yuck in its blissed out pop and fuzzy vocal production. Shinies sound obscenely mature, at least sonically, for such a fresh band, and are cropping up at plenty of festivals in the next couple of months such as Dot to Dot and The Great Escape. Destined to be big.



Rufus Wainwright – 'Out Of The Game'

Rufus is bloody brilliant. He consistently writes poignant, witty pop songs, and this is no different. With the video featuring Helena Bonham-Carter, the track is predictably theatrical and fantastically catchy. I was first introduced to Rufus' music at Glastonbury in 2007 when I was blown away by his stage presence and obvious passion for the music he crafts. His voice is getting close to iconic, and his refusal to conform to stereotype is inspirational in our ADHD age of pop. What a guy. 'Out Of The Game' even brings in your gospel harmonies over a gentle guitar riff, as you're once again seduced by Rufus' dulcet tones. This augurs very well for the album due for release on the 30th of April.



Marina and the Diamonds – 'Primadonna'


I really like Marina and the Diamonds. I think that maybe The Family Jewels took people by surprise with its widespread success a couple of years ago, landing high in the charts and getting all kinds of coverage on mainstream radio. Nevertheless, as far as I can tell, Marina has maintained the support of the blogs which were so initially enamoured with the acoustic demos of 'I Am Not A Robot', and this in itself is hugely impressive, with the fickle internet normally disowning an act if someone who doesn't live in East London actually enjoys it. 'Primadonna' follows on from the ramped up pop production of Marina's debut album, taking heavy, eurotrash synths to build a dizzy, dancey dance number, undermined and enhanced by the ironic lyricism and breathy vocal range This won't be too everybody's tastes, and is definitely embracing a more mainstream direction, but I'm yet to be persuaded that this isn't a great pop song.