ExLibras, Mystery Jets - Singles Round-Up 28/01/11

Sian Lower 02/03/2011

March already. Christ. Two months gone in 2011 and the single releases are well and truly picking up speed. We got a lot of music in this week so I've tried to cover as much of it as possible. Hopefully I'll inspire some of you to give them a listen...or at least keep you reading until the end.

Now we all love a bit of electronic pop (yes, I know you do, I'm in your heads) so Feldberg's latest single Don't be a Stranger should please the majority of ears. Released on the 28th February this track is taken from their upcoming album of the same name, to be released 11th April this year. All the way from Iceland, Feldberg are singer Rosa Birgitta Isfeld and musician-of-many-instruments Einar Tonsberg (a.k.a. Eberg). A simple piano melody leads you into the almost fantasy-esque vocals from Rosa - they have a dream-like quality - which blends beautifully with the small piano keys and soft drum beats. The tempo picks up with the chorus which is very catchy - if you listen to this song in the morning you'll be singing it all day. It has everything you could ask from a cheesy pop song - a catchy tune, a simple beat and repetitive lyrics for a chorus. Pop gold.

This is a strange one as I was flicking through music channels recently and I came across this song. I immediately liked it and, ignoring previous music requests, proceeded to make everyone in my general radius listen to it until the end, much to their annoyance. Little did I know I would be reviewing it for GIITTV! The song I'm blabbing about is River Jordan by Dog is Dead and was released on the 28th February. I am in love with the vocals on this track - they are very much English (the band are from Nottingham) but the chorus is haunting and harmonious- if I had to pigeon-hole them I would describe their sound as Foals-meets-Mumford and Sons...half indie, half folksy, half electric guitar? Three halves make a whole and that's the maths I'm sticking to.

Ah, Belle and Sebastian - eight albums in and still going strong. The Glasgow band has released another single from their 2010 album Write About Love, in the shape of I Want the World to Stop. It is still similar to their older music but front man Stuart Murdoch has managed to update their sound by introducing almost Spanish guitar riffs, a nod to big-band and some synthesising. The beat in this track is also much quicker than older releases like The State I Am In. The band has experienced a wave of new fans (not that they need them, their last three gigs in Glasgow's Barrowlands were sell-out) due to their popular Get Me Away from Here I'm Dying which was used in 2008 rom-com Forgetting Sarah Marshall. A really modern twist on their already established sound.

The man behind Adele and Hot Chip has kindly given his mixing services to the Mystery Jets for their latest release Serotonin (another one out on the 28th of February, perhaps a full moon). This has a very funky beat and Blaine Harrison's vocals are both quiet and high pitched (sounds like a contrast but it works).They may be an English Indie five-piece but the Mystery Jets have a very American feel to their music - this song is no different and is very pop as it goes on. Very different from previous uber-80's release Two Doors Down, but in a very good way.

I always pick a strange 'un and this week is no different. Ex Libras Teenage Eyes was released this week (I'll give you three guesses when) via Wirebirds Records. The London band formed less than a year ago and this single is, well, odd...but absolutely beautiful. There are very few lyrics throughout but the music itself is breath-taking. The video is an interesting one as it involves a man constructing dummies (real people) to dance and be his companions/lost relatives etc. It's really quite a dark video but worth watching. It has an old-fashioned sound with lots of piano minors and vocals reminiscent of Muse's Matt Bellamy. Eerie but nice.

Despite this array of singles I haven't been able to find a favourite this week; I really do like the majority of what I've listened to. But lucky you, I have found an interesting video to go with a new release from Chilly Gonzalez. It's called You Can Dance and, as the video just goes to prove, sex sells and so does daft. Enjoy.