This week I started to question what I'm doing here (I think it was the mention of Sisyphus but we'll get to that later) I can either just be open and honest about the singles that are presented to me each week as I have been doing. Or I can curate some of my favourite new "songs" and talk you through them. There is a clear divide between the number of "Free download" awareness-booster songs, and the number of actually released "singles" that are being spat out by the industry at the moment. Something that is painfully obvious when you look at the release schedule for the next few weeks and so obviously caused by you swines not buying music anymore. Of course it could just be that we are sat in a vacuum caused by the fact that every release (of all time forever and ever) is being sucked into the black hole of record store day. Regardless of that, do let me know which approach you'd rather in the comment section.

Maybe as you scroll down you could pause and take in my opinion which I've so kindly spewed all over a bunch of singles. Or you could just assume my default setting is "in pain and whinging about it" scroll past all my words and tell me to shut up. It's your choice.

The Leisure Society - Fight For Everyone [Single of the Week]

It's not Spring yet. It should be. It is officially. The first glimpse of a warm sun should be both exciting us to the prospect of summer and waking up hibernating animals. Unfortunately it's not. I imagine this song would sound even better if I could open up my window and feel some warmth. If I dared open my window I'd wager all I'd feel is the kiss of a snowball propelled from the hands of an eager teenager. The talent of The Leisure Society has never been in question for me. They've always been stellar musicians and songwriters. The problem I had is that they've always felt a little too cold. Not Field Music cold. Not even Talking Heads cold. More than that. A real disconnect with my emotions cold. This song however, this song has real warmth. From the opening horns you should be able to feel the beauty of human heat and then the bass comes in and the whole thing really takes off. Before the song has finished you're driving around town looking for "vintage" deck chairs. You're considering hiring a beach hut and making a pot of tea on a gas stove whilst sitting on the sea wall. Before you know it you're reading Evelyn Waugh and drinking from an Emily Bridgewater tea cup.

I love this song. I wish it would be considered "pop" by the mainstream tastemakers. I wish this was played instead of David Guetta. You look back at the past and you have to wonder if the Beach Boys would get playlisted these days, or the Who, or the goddamn Beatles. Would any of them have gained their level of success without the backing of the mainstream media? We should start talking about how real musicians are being marginalised, and why, but this isn't really the place so forget all that for a moment, lets focus on how we could make the video even more twee...

Holy Esque - St.

This manages to take a riff that I'm sure I've heard before and bury it deep under effects and impassioned singing so that it sounds vital. A great feat I guess. It's essentially a vehicle for the vocals and that's not really a problem when they sound like this. I'll always have a soft spot for this type of music. I spent my formative years searching for songs like it. Hardly groundbreaking but worth a listen.

Para One - Every Little Thing Remix (feat. Cam'ron, Irfane & Tekilatex)

At this moment in time, this kind of autotuned bullshit is confusing hipsters without conviction across the globe. The kids that read books of quotes rather than works of fiction. The personality leeches that don't know where they belong and can't be left alone. Instead they know who they know and they make sure they know everybody in the room. Maybe they've even started introducing themselves in third person. Maybe it hasn't gone that far yet. The kids that fold under pressure, or maybe kick out first so they don't have to defend themselves. These kids lack conviction and don't have the strength in their own opinion to say "no, this is shit". So it proliferates. It's a fine line between those glossy downtempo bedroom producer VIBES, that we all know are so on trend right now, and this awful, awful, shit. Potentially that line is only crossed by every person speaking/singing words on this track. Oh god the chorus has kicked in again. The bottom line is this, my blog running chums, when the PR people send you this track along with lots of hyperbole, you don't have to publish it. Shit, you don't even have to pretend to like it. It's ok to have your own opinion. They won't be mad. It's not like they pay your rent. You only have to kowtow to your parents. Keep the dream alive brother. Start saying no.

Azealia Banks - Yung Rapnxel

Starts with a hard beat. Adds some bass. Whispered vocal. Breaking glass sample. Oh. The "rapping". After a few bars there is a sample that says "I think we've got a situation here" and I totally agree with that guy. You've got a self made ego taking plenty of industry money with no actual grounding in the real world. A textbook representation of desire and motivation over talent. I'd say that is a situation. Sure. The backlash starts here. The Azealia Banks ship is sinking. Each angry argumentative tweet spat from her phone is another rat jumping into the sea to drown.

James Yuill - Turn Yourself Around

It's not what I expected to be honest. I was pretty sure that I heard James Yuill's name being bandied around in the same breath as James Blake et al so I was expecting something else. I guess that's where the problem starts. For me anyway, I suspect fans of his won't have a problem at all with the music, just with me. On this evidence alone James Yuill is the new Tom Vek. He is a name to be dropped into conversation to prove that you know what you are talking about. A name that most discerning listeners will have heard of but never really listened to, they think they've seen the name on a poster somewhere but they can't be sure. So when you mention it at a party as being "my favourite music right now..." They can't say for sure that they dislike it, instead nodding in appreciation of your superior knowledge. You all get to go home with your feelings intact.

The video is supposed to be based on the myth of Sisyphus. Where basically a guy who tries to escape death is condemned to push a boulder up a mountain every day for the rest of his life, only to see it roll back down to the bottom once he reaches the top. Camus uses the idea to point out the absurdity of our every day life and routines. He questions whether or not Sisyphus is aware of the futility of his actions. Whether he has moments of self awareness in the lull when he is walking down the mountain to start the task over again. Comparing his actions to the routines we lock ourselves into to survive. To get by. We all need to make rent after all. The problem is that the video isn't a metaphor for our pointless repetitive routines, the song is, and we are condemned to hear a version of it masquerading as pop music over and over again for eternity.

Peace - Follow Baby

Yeah. Vibes are over. It's all sinking down the drain. This song proves that the people who work in big studios have pretty much nailed down the ideas they had back in the 90s. Lucky that shit is on trend right now. I'm not sure who it's lucky for though, as this is absolutely terrible. Maybe the teenagers who think that this is fresh and/or new. Exciting even. Or the music mags that desperately need something to champion as they strive to stay afloat. Aren't they darlings though, aren't they just such great characters? Doesn't rock 'n' roll need a band like this? AREN'T THEY SUCH GREAT CHARACTERS? Sure, why not. Aren't they all playing roles? Sure, why not. Aren't they all caricatures of the very idea of themselves? Sure, why not. Aren't they a conduit for a focus group driven projection of cool? Sure, why not. Aren't they the result of corporate capital, a focus group driven idea of cool projected onto an empty office block, a magazines office space laid to waste since half of the staff were fired and replaced by unpaid interns? Yeah, that's better. Since you declared guitar music dead in last weeks issue you can go ahead and resuscitate it with these new darlings of the guitar music scene. Terrific. Looking forward to it. Wake me up when you've started the backlash.

Stagecoach - Work! Work! Work!

Here is the other way to "do the nineties". Between these guys and Peace you can kind of tie it all up in a nice little bow. On one hand you have these absurd caricatures sponsored by big industry capital and dreams of being a "rock star" and on the other you have a group of hard working guys defined by a DIY ethic, who are focused on creating something great. Something great and something fun. It's like the difference between reality television and a good documentary. They are both using the same format, just to different ends, it's just a shame that the dice are loaded. On this showing, Stagecoach can give you those few minutes of escapism that we all want music to provide. To whisk you out of your own problems and put a smile on your face, it's only a moments respite, but it makes a world of difference.


If you'd like your single reviewed on a future edition of 'Singles of the Week', or have any tips for us, please email us. Please include a link to something embeddable (youtube video/Soundcloud/Bandcamp etc) and put the release date within the body of the email. Thank you x


Wil Cook is a fan of music. He is the Music Editor of The 405 and he cannot hide his severe dislike for writing in third person anymore. Leave your hate mail in the comments section.