After an incredibly close run finale, A Genuine Freakshow just pipped South Central to be crowned your Single of the Week, with a very late flourish taking them over the finish line with 47.93% of the vote, just forty votes ahead. Just the tiniest bit behind with 3.27% were OK, with the decidedly average Lego. Shows what I know though, as my Single of the Week, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, picked up just thirteen votes. Unfortunate. Anyway, we’ll swiftly move onto our selection of the singles released today (in no particular order); a very strong field of newer stuff, and a very tough decision choosing my favourite.
Colleen Green - ’Green One'
Photobucket Short but decidedly sweet. Think the innocent daughter of the Moldy Peaches and Best Coast, then put a drum loop underneath and record a fantastic animated video to complete the brilliant package. I have no idea what the hell is going on inside Colleen’s head, but it looks like a shitload of fun. This is achingly good, taking your basic lo-fi effects and adding personality; if it wasn’t so damn brilliant you’d be furious at its refusal to get out of your head. Instead, it is the perfect soundtrack to the forthcoming summer.
Ice Black Birds - ’22:22'
This is instantly recognisable, though I’m not quite certain why. I didn’t appreciate it by name, but it derives from every dirty rock’n’roll song ever made, and still manages to feel contemporary and fresh. It stands out from the jerky, angular indie currently doing the rounds, and actually manages to capture the attitude that used to be a prerequisite of being in a band, before plimsolls became more important. This is definitely a simple song, but this is a strength; it is catchy, fun, and impossible to get out of your head.
Young Knives - ’Love My Name'
Everybody loves the Young Knives don’t they? Whether it’s because the lead singer bears a slight resemblance to Mark Corrigan, that they’re inherently geeky, or that they’re just fucking brilliant, they take a very basic formula and write fantastic pop songs, dancey and witty in equal measure. It’s a brave approach, but their past Mercury nomination testifies to their popularity and creativity, and ‘Love My Name’ is more of the same. It turns out that laconic bass and 90s guitar, juxtaposed with the cynical lyrics “Hooray hooray, the party’s over, we can stay”, are actually the ingredients to great songwriting.
Widowspeak - ’Harsh Realm'
I feel that this is the sort of music that Miss Havisham would write if she’d had a really bad day. In the vague footsteps of She Keeps Bees, whimsically mumbling over bluesy, sinister chords, ‘Widowspeak’ has captured the mood of despair, and relentlessly wallowed in it for just over two and a half minutes. No name is more appropriate for the artist, as she repeats “I always think about you”, over and over and over again. Being honest, it’s just a bit dull.
Spider Fever - 'Whatcha Gonna Do?’
People are angry. I think you either ‘get’ punk or you don’t, and this track, though a decent example of how easy it apparently is to get signed, does the genre no favours. It is about as threatening as John Lydon eating crumpets, and just sounds like a hormonal boy who needs to talk to more girls. Take the fact that ‘Whatcha Gonna Do’ is clearly not proper English (make an effort), and you’re left with a thoroughly unappetising and unoriginal track.
Friends - ’Friend Crush'
My immediate thought was of The Kills, but a watered down, shinier version. This is not as downright filthy, but makes use of a husky, seductive female vocal underlined by garage drums and a sense of yearning, again applicable to Best Coast. I think I’ve actually got a crush on Friends. This is a dreamy, desperate single, and is utterly superb.
Wolf Gang- ’Dancing With The Devil'
This is diluted alternative music, which I can’t quite make my mind up about. There is decidedly epic piano combined with harmonised vocals, which is then undermined by a clichéd guitar solo and certain pomposity. This is a band who seem to take themselves very seriously, though that shouldn’t be a reason to dislike them. As for the lead singer’s earring.. This is a very poppy song, with the chorus somewhat predictable and tired, but also very memorable. I’ll leave this one up to you to decide.
6 Day Riot - All I Need'
A very strong track to close this week’s selection, with mariachi trumpets and a gorgeous vocal from 6 Day Riot. ‘All I Need’ is a track with real depth and clarity, deserving of big things. It is totally at odds with everything else currently being released, not looking to dress the track up with extra effects, simply a genuine talent and hook. There is a vulnerability to the song, but comes across as devastatingly sweet rather than contrived. There is brass galore, and this, much like Mariachi El Bronx, contemporises the sound and applies it to today’s scene. A very close contender for our Single of the Week.