It is finally December and you may officially start to feel Christmassy. My own fine city of Leeds is definitely embracing the festive spirit, with reindeer burgers just £3.50 in the town centre. Lovely place, fun for the whole family. In terms of singles, we're starting to wind down for the year, with this week's collection marking our penultimate round-up for the year, but it does not disappoint with great tracks from Spector and First Aid Kit released. I think I can be pretty confident as well in predicting a victory for Theme Park in next week's final article. Wrap up warm, watch Love Actually, and go tell a child that Santa's not real. Live a little.


First Aid Kit – 'The Lion's Roar'

Photobucket

Fresh from supporting Lykke Li on her enthralling US tour, First Aid Kit release the eponymous track from their forthcoming sophomore album, due in late January. A front for Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, the track sees wonderful folk harmonies crackling and crossing over an ever-crescendous backing, which builds to Bellowhead levels, without ever abandoning their slightly blues sensibility. As ever with this music, the magic lies in the vocal delivery, with lyrical aspirations to the likes of Frightened Rabbit and Bright Eyes. Whilst attaining a certain abstraction, the song remains infinitely accessible in it's frailty. A lovely, Wintery song to drink mulled wine and cry along to.



Spector– ‘Grey Shirt and Tie’

You would have thought that Spector would have a tough job to follow the success of 'What You Wanted' and 'Fade Away' but they make it look exceptionally easy. Though not as immediate as the anthemic choruses of their previous releases, this retains a freshness in the stagnating world of guitar music, with the insistent, solemn keyboard imbuing the song with a sense of occasion, heightened by the apocalyptic video.. Fronted by Frederick Macpherson, formerly of Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man, the vocal is imperious in it’s delivery, yet both intimating and touching to an equal level. Along with 'Fade Away', Spector are a band experimenting with the etiquette of a new guitar band, ignoring the obvious, artificial hooks and focussing on a new school of anthem that comes across as nothing less than epic.



laish – ‘She Is Clever’

This is the first experience I've had of Laish, and it is a thoroughly positive one. Along with bands such as Keston Cobbers Club and The Lost Cavalry, the collective idea of folk both in depth and harmony is one very much in vogue at the moment, and 'She Is Clever', much like Melodica, Melody and Me, plays to these strengths, offering story and emotion to a genre on the rise. Catchy and nuanced, there is longevity to the song, celebrating an intricate soundtrack behind a delicate, awkward vocal. Awkward in endearing way, like Michael Cera, rather than cringy like a racist uncle.



The Lovely Eggs – ‘Allergies’

This month's offering from Too Pure Singles Club, and I'm pretty ambivalent towards it, though I sense I'll be singing it for the rest of the day. The accented, falsetto voice ought to be an immediate turn-off, but it offers something pretty interesting over the garage soundtrack. Not too shabby actually, a definite grower.