It's 2012! A massively belated happy new year and all that, how's the family, how was Christmas etc. Basic courtesy out the way, let's welcome back Singles of the Week, where every Monday I'm going to give my honest and poorly informed opinions on the cream of the latest singles crop. This week we can open the big, tired, Lana Del Rey debate, as 'Born To Die' precedes her new album by a week. There are also tracks from Whales In Cubicles and My Tiny Robots, as we slowly work ourselves out of the godforsaken month that is January. Let me know how aggressively you disagree with my choices at the bottom of the page.

Lana Del Rey – 'Born To Die'


Lana Del Rey. Following spectacular promo work, Lizzy Grant has firmly parted the internet, like a digital Moses, after the initial success of 'Video Games'. I'll put my cards on the table- I really like her music, exclusive of the artist herself, and I feel the backlash towards her has been frankly incredible, but at the end of the day it only works in her favour, as the more people talk about her are listening to her particular brand of goth pop (or whatever ridiculous genre Hipster Runoff has coined now), and readying the mainstream for people like Charli xcx. 'Born To Die' is predictable in its swooning vocals and heart-on-its-sleeve poetry, with the floating strings accentuating the sense of the epic which is becoming a trademark. Here is a cliched hyperbole to the song which could begin to be tiresome, but from Del Rey's mouth it sounds honest and genuine. It's obviously only my opinion, and I imagine most people have made their mind up, one way or the other, by now, but I think this is a great song.

My Tiny Robots – ‘Zut Alors’

On my first listening to this track, I thought we were listening to a Herman Dune tribute act, but on further plays I've realised this is incredibly damning for an act which has made an expansive, genre spanning track that has metamorphosed into a rich, vast cry of resignation after four minutes. If you're in the mood for a pinch of French, and a lovely big dose of melancholy, then this is for you. I'm going to go and hide under my duvet and listen on repeat.

Whales In Cubicles – ‘We Never Win’

After reviewing 'Never and Ever' I compared Whales In Cubicles to Pavement, which was pretty hasty after hearing 'We Never Win'. The sound is cleaner, the hair smarter, and the songs more organsised, fitting more into the mid-nineties rock sound that Dinosaur have been exploiting. Perhaps at odds with the minimalist glitter and echoes doing the blog rounds, 2012 looks like being a big year for the guitar band, which never really disappeared, as Tribes lead the way for a resurgence of the anthem.