So last week I actually managed to pick an agreeable Single of the Week, with Colleen Green winding up second, just behind 6 Day Riot who took a little over 50% of the public vote.  Another week, another two horse race. Once again, our selections this time are of a very strong calibre, with The Joy Formidable and Alessi’s Ark particularly standing out. As always, check my favourite track below, then have a listen to the rest of the week’s releases and get voting at the bottom.  
Alessi’s Ark - ’Wire'
Photobucket Sometimes, it is surprising how someone so brilliant can be so infuriating. How can Alessi Laurent-Marke be so damn talented? I’m 20, and my greatest achievement is probably a World Cup win on Football Manager. Alessi’s is writing beautiful song after beautiful song after beautiful song. Life is unfair. ‘Wire’ is a glorious, sweet two minute track in the lineage of Cat Power, adding a trumpet to her vulnerable sound to create a wonderfully melancholic single. I think that the comparisons to Laura Marling are just becoming lazy now; Alessi’s Ark is a purer, more accessible folk, and with the fantastic production on this track she is far closer to Lisa Mitchell in the spread of instruments. This is a fully deserving Single of the Week, taking your basic folk formulae and adding genuine personality and honesty to craft a gorgeous lament of vulnerability and loss.    
 
The Joy Formidable - ’Whirring'
This was a very close runner up for me, as The Joy Formidable follow up the success of 'Austere' with another celebration of The Pixies and Sonic Youth. I genuinely believe they have the capacity to be huge, already making arena rock for pubs and clubs. I hesitate to use the word epic-it has horrible Kings Of Leon connotations- but this is definitely pushing on the term, steadily building from pendulous guitars and a brooding bass to what I’ll have to call a concluding thrash out, very much welcoming back the return of original guitar music after a synth-enforced absence. Similar to Charlotte Hatherley if she was a lot cooler and a better song-writer.     
 
Alpines - 'Drive'
Absolute bliss. From the minimalist electronics to the haunting, desperate vocal. And then we have the video. A sort of photo-negative aspect with beautiful, slow costume shots. This is an organic, dynamic track, with the vocals reminiscent of Bat For Lashes, with a Massive Attack vibe. Whilst totally at odds with something like The Joy Formidable above, it shows how rich and promising our music scene currently is, with so many directions to take by rewriting past influences to create something truly poignant and original.
We Are Enfant Terrible - ’Filthy Love'
This really is filthy, but superb in its orchestration and definition, again taking a minimalist direction but with a dirty bassline, corresponding with a husky vocal. This really is a filthy track, and actually reminds me of CSS back when I was probably nu-rave and hip. Whatever that was. This is a modern disco track, for underground clubs and explicit, illicit acts. It’s actually sort of amazing. I realise this week I’ve been particularly effusive in my praise, but again this is a track without a weakness, and is as laconic as it is danceable, with a refreshing air of cynicism.    
Thomas Tantrum - ’Sleep'
  I feel that I should dislike this song; it sounds slightly like the beginning of a musical, and there’s a regularly falsetto vocal. Instead, I just love it even more. Though I get the feeling that by six or seven listens it may begin to lose its appeal, I totally intend to put this to the test. It takes a meandering bass with a nursery rhyme keyboard. The vocal is particularly strong and really marks this song as the blinding single it is, and throws the twee label aside in an expansive sound that shows a genuine maturity without getting pretentious. Catchy as hell.
The Jim Jones Revue - 'Dishonest John’
There’s only so much you can say about this; brash, balls out rock’n’roll, in its most derivative sense.  You’ve heard it a thousand times before, but that doesn’t make it any less fun, with blues piano and the aggressive vocal instantly recognisable. As someone has commented on Youtube- “fuck your RnB”. Stripped down, passionate rock music, which follows from Ice Black Birds last week in welcoming the return of the classic guitar solo.
Love Inks - ’Blackeye'
  Painfully endearing, with a genuinely loving vocal asking “did you get it in a fight?” across a minimalised background of angular guitar and meandering xx bass. This is simultaneously repetitive and fresh, cut at just under two minutes to leave a yearning feeling you can’t quite make sense of.  With the break of bands like Cults, this is a surprisingly relevant song when you look at the simplicity and effectiveness of the track, taking an innocence and naivety to inform a moving, summery song.
The Goldberg Sisters - ’Shush'
  Right, I’ll first ask you to bear with me, and not immediately jump to hunt me down and cut me. This is sort of, a tiny, little, smallest bit like David Bowie. Right. The smallest bit. If he had a daft moustache and an iPhone. In the same way that MGMT are/were, depending on your opinion of that second album. You have the affected vocal, and wandering lead guitar over a gloomy, assuming rhythm section. There is a brass section, and an unexpectedly assured production, leaving it as a very subjective track. Just to be clichéd. You’ll either love it or hate it.  Just to be awkward, I think I’m somewhere in the middle.
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