Fuck Buttons, worriedaboutsatan, Race Horses, Future Islands, Ganglians - Singles Round-Up 12/04/2010

Simon Jay Catling 15/04/2010

Apologies for the tardiness last week old chaps, I was off seeking fame and fortune down in the 'big smoke'. Whilst fame didn't come a-knocking, nor fortune not even fleeting, I… hang on, I'll knock off this thespian rambling style I seem to have picked up this week shall I? Yes, anyway, I was in London, things happened; one of those things WASN'T doing a Singles Round-up. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Dry those watery peepers though readers for we return this week, with a startling battle of human emotion versus thrillingly relentless machine wielding types. Eek. “But what else has already been reviewed for this week?” I hear you fall to your knees and cry. Well, this:

Coco Sumner & Fyfe Dangerfield- Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Luv Luv Luv Records) “this unusual coupling of I Blame Coco meets Guillemots has provided here a moving and, perhaps unexpectedly, imaginative cover of a classic song. What projects these two immerse themselves in now is anyone's guess, but for the time being we have the first great cover of 2010.” For Dan Round's full review head: here

Eliza Doolittle- Skinny Genes (Parlophone)

“The track has a catchy melody thats glazed over with laid-back carribbean xylophone beats and an inescapable whistle sample; this is perfectly complimented by Eliza's voice which is sweet but soulful.” For Antonio Rowe's full review head: here

Ok, so in this battle of brute force versus light flittery (I might've just made that word up), it seems only rational to split the dark from the light (though Fuck Buttons might feel aggrieved here, their offering this week is utterly euph- oh wait it's not time to review it yet.) And this is an awesome week for singles by the way, you can probably tell by the fact I won't even have to cast my withering stare on Ash, Kate Nash OR Paul Weller. Let's dive in ey?

Kicking off things for the brighter side are, rather appropriately, Sacramento dream-poppers Ganglians; I'm not quite sure what chillwave is yet, but 'Candy Girl'(Weird Forest) might be it; a wonderfully stoned haze of 60s flower pop percussion and veering noises punctuated by silly noises, it's a tune that causes a grin probably as large as the spliff the group were smoking when they concocted it. Another group bathed in a hazy hue are Future Islands, though their colourful fog masks more synth-indebted pop than Ganglians' organic sounding shuffle. Ok, so 'In The Fall' (Thrill Jockey Records) is technically an EP but it deserves mention here anyway, why? Well because it's wonderful of course, the overall feel of the four tracks here being similar to that of an up surging buoyant force attempting to break through a misty cloak…I'm not having what the Ganglians are having I swear…

A little more down to earth are the survivors from Welsh twee-pop band Radio Luxembourg, Race Horses. Race Horses are…erm, a Welsh twee-pop band; 'Pony'(Fantastic Plastic) is, so I'm reliably informed, a story about a maths geek who becomes obsessed with a girl. They sound like Super Furry Animals at their less bombastic (think maybe 'Do Or Die'? Or don't! It's entirely up to you) which is fine by me, a concise and delicate pop song that flutters about in the summer sun…but hold on now…'cos things are about to get dark..

..the very of thought of mountains becoming machines is pretty terrifying, the thought that these mountains could be the hills around my fair city of Manchester is underwear-changingly so; and Mountains Became Machines are from Manchester. Oh lord. Thankfully they're just a band, not a War Of The Worlds-style underground craft- though 'The Screening' does sound like the ensuing carnage that came from that. And it's utterly consuming, a maelstrom of industrial brute force and plunging atmospherics stretched out amidst its near seven minutes of post-metal. There are slight glimpses of hope amidst the black but they're soon throttled, blotted out of existence. A pretty resounding start for the dark side this week then…

Bradford duo worriedaboutsatan join Mountains Became Machines in the murky caves, though they're far more content to sit in the shadows and wile away the time than attempt to bring the rocky foundations to its knees. The nine minute long 'Heart Monitor' is a departure for the pair though, if only thanks to the addition of some dreamily translucent vocals. Aside from that it's business as usual, which means all kinds of scene-building awesome. That worriedaboutsatan manage to create such vast expanses and moods from what really is very little- the pitter patter of glitchy percussion, the dull thud of bass, the occasional spindly guitar line- is nigh on miraculous. Each element feels each other out, touches, withdraws, and eventually combines to build a completely understated but momentous climax.

Which gives Fuck Buttons a bit of a benchmark to aim for and they surpass it- in terms of song length at least- with 'Olympians' (ATP Recordings). Over ten minutes of constantly juddering electronics that shift in such ways as to be initially barely noticeable; yet somehow every few minutes you jolt to life and realise you're listening to a completely different mood of sound, and that mood just keeps going upwards. Yes, I feel bad for throwing the Bristol duo in with the dark side, because 'Olympians' leaves your heart wanting to burst out of your ribcage with emotion; whilst it is machines they wield- they put them to thrillingly rapturous use. Waves of rising and falling noise interspersed with glimmering drops and hums, it puts an end to the accusations that Fuck Buttons are wilfully inaccessible, 'Olympians' is an ocean of sound that anyone can just immerse themselves in, allowing the waves carry them out to sea. Cor.

Single Of The Week

AN INAUGURAL SINGLE OF THE WEEK! Ok, so Wild Beasts kind of unofficially won it last time round, but we didn't properly hand them the laurel. This makes it explicit! And so, the numero uno of this week is…

Fuck Buttons- Olympians

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