Welcome to the second of my Singles of the Week column for The 405. It will take me a few to get into my stride and figure it all out, but for now you will get my thoughts on some singles that I like and some that I don't like so much! Maybe once I get a bit more used to the writing I can stretch my lexical muscles a bit and not just say 'great' all the time.
If you'd like your single reviewed on a future edition of 'Singles of the Week', or have any tips for us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kwes - 'Rollerblades'
This Kwes song really is a perfectly formed pop song. Pop isn't really the field that gets me excited at all, and I'm not sure as referring to a song as "nice" is really a compliment, but it is a very nice song. The vocals are good and the production is great. So certainly a good single.
About as edgy as a football mind you...
This Many Boyfriends - 'Tina Weymouth'
I was really put off by this band's terrible band name, but after clicking on them I saw that it was released by Angular Records who, as far as I'm concerned, have pretty much never released a crap song.
Strong guitar pop here, reminds me a little bit of slightly scratchier produced Maxïmo Park in places. The main riff of the song is all played in notes and reminds me of that mid 2000 period when Franz Ferdinand were big; chords were out and notes were in.
Reminds me a bit of Peace, Swim Deep and that lot who are doing very well right now. Not really to my taste but certainly a good song. Possibly not quite as accessible as the previous acts I mentioned though.
Jessie Ware - 'Sweet Talk'
Christ, it's just POP POP POP here isn't it?. Come on Olly give me some strange stuff!
I remember seeing the video for this a month or so and really liking it. Little Jessie's & Julio's.
Really strong R&B style production here from Bashmore and the vocals are great, it's just not really to my taste. Can certainly see why a lot of people are loving this though.
Firestations - 'This Shrinking Brain'
Firestations have written really good pop songs for a while now but this is a lot more upbeat than most of their previous output.
Firestations are Mike & Laura from Dark Caption / Light Captain who I am definitely a fan of.
I think this could be the best thing they have done. The two part harmony vocals are great and it sounds like they are really starting to get the hang of the electronic production.
Hate to give things stupid genre tags, but this is perfect lo-fi pop.
Ty Segall - 'Would You Be My Love' [Single of the Week]
Now this I can get behind...
Ty Segall released three albums in 2012, all of which were great. The man puts everyone else to shame, releasing more good albums in a year than most bands can muster good songs! Brilliant live too.
This is actually from the last album released in 2012 so it's been around for a few months now, but it's still great. Scuzzy garage rock but technically great too. Vocals are really strong and has a great solo in the middle.
Two minutes of gold.
Julio Bashmore - 'Husk / Pelican'
More than any other producer in the last few years, it's been Bashmore who has stood out at the top. When you're about 22-years-old and you've released the best dancefloor track of 2011 ('Battle for Middle You') and 2012 ('Au Seve') you're doing alright!
Again, I heard this a few months ago so not really new to it, and although it's not reaching the heights of some of the previous tracks, it's still very much a Bashmore tune. Is this out on record yet? I want to DJ it...
'Pelican' is much more minimal and I really like the high note keys on it. Gives it a sci-fi soundtrack kinda feel. Have you heard the 'Au Seve' B-Sides? Really laid back R&B stuff, guess Bashmore has shown he can do that on the Jessie Ware production.
Anyway, enough of this. You know him already, you know he's great!
Tim Burgess - 'The Doors of Then'
Heard this on 6 Music a couple of times. Sounds like a very British pop song, part Belle & Sebastian, part The Kinks.
It's maybe a bit wet for me... "Hello, I love you" I know you're gonna be a dad soon, but no need to get soppy now!
Don't really want to be mean about it as Tim has been doing some pretty great stuff over the last couple of years both with his own stuff & his O' Genesis label. Although this is a good pop song, it's not really for me.
Pavlov's Children - 'Little Douglas'
Here we go, something a bit more for me. Some aggressive analogue electronica from P.C.
This is actually a release on the aforementioned 'O Genesis label and it's really good. German sounding cold wavey, post-punk.
Not exactly breaking new ground sound wise. Could very easily be a contemprary of the The Normal's - Warm Leatherette or something like that. Still good though and can imagine will be really good live. Should get them down at Power Lunches!
Virals - 'Strange Fruit'
I've seen Virals a couple of times now and although they fall vaguely into a scene that I am not a fan of (Dalston 90s sounding guitar bands) they are clearly much, much better than most the other bands in the area.
They've got better songs basically. If you like the bands that play at the Shacklewell Arms most nights of the week then should love 'em (It's Shaun from Lovvers' new band, if you were a fan of them).
Certainly not pushing the boat out very far, but they're definitely worth keeping an eye on based on the quality of songs that I've heard so far.