Hello there. How did everyone enjoy the recent burst of lovely spring weather? I hope you all took it easy, with your patio doors open and the smell of freshly cut grass permeating your nostrils. Or, if you live in the city, I hope you flip-flopped the flip out of your daily trip to the newsagent’s. Unfortunately, Will’s still not around to pen his singles column, but, don’t fear; just because there isn’t a Will, there is still a way. I shall captain the singles ship in his absence and give you a brief rundown of hot songs steaming into your harbour this week. So, let’s begin – before I start sounding too much like some hideous pastiche of Paddy McGuinness:
Waters - ‘Take Me Out To the Coast’
Waters comprises Port O Brien founder Van Pierszawloski and an assortment of Norwegian musicians he recruited while on a soul-searching trip around Europe. They dropped their debut, Out In The Light, last year and no-one seemed to pick up on it. Which is bizarre, given the potential ‘Take Me Out To The Coast’ oozes. If you’re fan of the type of US radio rock that still has a little stubble (i.e. The Strange Boys, Band of Horses, Demolition-era Ryan Adams) or you idolise classic powerpop acts like Big Star and The Replacements, this could make you salivate. Swooping hooks and VP’s (I’m not writing his full name again) commercially craggy voice parade centre-stage, but, all the while, lightly grilled guitars and an emphatic drum strut keep things lean and twitchy. The triumphant final chorus, with its glistening overdubs, radiates the Texas sunshine under which Waters recorded it.
Capitals - ‘Jealousy’
Let’s have a complete shift in genre, mood and location for our second song, shall we? Apparently, Edinburgh duo Capitals specialise in ‘dark, driving electronic music’, which brings to mind Nine Inch Nails or Crystal Castles, but their debut single, ‘Jealousy’, channels the taut, glacial post-punk of Interpol or Hope Of The States. Think sobbing guitar chords and abandoned-warehouse synths hooked up to listless yet strangely pervasive beats. Also think stony-eyed sex appeal: the way the singer’s voice curls at the edges is redolent of Brian Molko when he gets all transatlantic and trashy.
Two Wings - ‘Eikon’
I might be breaking the law by doing this, but I’m now including a track I couldn’t listen to in full. The truth is I could only find a truncated taster version of Two Wings’ ‘Eikon’ on some arse-end-of-nowhere website. However, we all know that taster versions are designed to titillate, and titillated I was by this song’s slinky soul demeanour. From the photos, Glasgow’s Two Wings look like a group of trainee history teachers, but the jazzy instrumentation and come-to-bed sass fizzing away here completely ruptures any veneer of sobriety you may want to associate with them. Also, singer Hanna Tuulikki boasts that crystalline soprano tone that’s so very cutting edge at the moment (just look at Grimes), so this could be going places. Though, you’ll have to forgive me if you can hear the full version on this page and it actually mutates into a Creed song after two minutes!
Maybeshewill - ‘Red Paper Lanterns’
If crystalline soprano singers aren’t your thing, you may prefer Leicester’s Maybeshewill, who don’t bother fannying around with vocalists whatsoever. They’re more focused on wringing their pedal boards dry of Explosions In The Sky-style epicness and cooking up windswept soundscapes steeped in shuddering drums and meteor-path guitar lines. I bet you, though, with a name like a Maybeshewill, they used to be a fully fringed screamo band, who no doubt traded their whiney lead singer in for a glockenspiel when the post-rock revival reached the East Midlands. Maybetheydidnt.
Yeti Lane - ‘Sparkling Sunbeam’
Finally, I thought I’d eulogise the sunny weather once more by mentioning the radiant wares of French electro duo Yeti Lane. Along with Tanlines, they definitely appear to be flying the flag for easy-on-the-ear electro pop in 2012. Their latest single, ‘Sparkling Sunbeam’ (lifted from second album, The Echo Lane), matches its summery name with suncream-thick synths and languorous vocals. Moreover, with its beaming chords and John Squire-esque guitar arpeggios, it floats into your living room like an etherized ‘She Bangs The Drums’. This could be what a third Summer of Love sounds like.