Thee Single Spy, These New Purtians - Singles Round Up - 09/08/2010
Bill Cummings 11/08/2010
POP. It's a fickle beast, one minute you're grooving to the delights of Broken Bells' quite awesome 'High Road' the next you flick on the R1 chart show, presented by some gormless idiot called Reggie only to be faced with track after track of dire sludge rehashed and reserved for public consumption. One prime offender is Professor Green with his hideous reworking of 'Just be good to me' this despicable wankers ego knows no bounds not only has he removed the original's fun rap, with his own ring tone nonsense but he's written some ego stroking lyrics about 'being good to green' then got his mate Lily Allen to sing them to him, it's the aural equivalent of watching of a couple doing the bump and grind in a club, it left me feeling physically sick. If that wasn't enough another poor piece of teamwork ensued later in the run down with old Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dawg and her useless piece of pop pap 'Californian Girls' I guess what I'm trying to say is the good doesn't always out in the charts. But here at GIITTV we've got this ere singles round up to sort the wheat from the not inconsiderable chaff. Think yourself lucky readers!
Here's a fella that likes a good colab or two, its US 'superstar' B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams(yes her out of Paramore) Airplanes and its alright, slab of skittish dark hip pop but Williams' velvty vocals add little the to mix apart from a supcion of Glamour, it also bare a suspicious resemblance to Eminem's vastly superior recent single 'Love the Way you Lie' with Rhianna. B.o.B's questionable 'rapping' skits remind me of Coolio's work on Gangsta's 'Paradise' which is rather worrying considering this guy is according to (some misinformed people), the future of commercial RnB and hip hop?! Get.Cape.Wear.Cape.fly aka Sam is back with Collapsing Cities yes you guessed it another collaboration (sigh when will they learn?!) this time Shy Fx, he's peddling his usual blend of glitchy indie/folk, its a pleasant enough ditty, with predigous use of brass at the end of single lifting it from just alright into, 'yeah that's not bad that'. But really Sam isn't it time to move on? This sounds postively like he's on mainstream 'autopilot' compared to his early demos, and no name mixer is going to change that old son.
Next up we have three contenders for this week's quirky female singer crown, first off is Edie with 'In My Bed' its a slickly produced slice of jazzy pop that rather obviously is attempting to cash in on the recent commerciality of this sound, replete with hand claps, and warbling vox, from Edie's painful closing notes one can only assume that someone stood on her big toe(ouch). 'In My Bed' is quite mundane, and leaves you with a slightly sickly feeling in your mouth it doesn't even reach the(modest) Paloma Faith let alone trouble Amy in the category of soulful popstresses. Much better is Charlene Soraia's 'When We Were Five' because whilst its clearly not single material, this gentle mixture of dulcet wistful singing and gently caressed guitars floats one away to a more restful place. Even better still is London based Anita Maj's rather awesome Out of Control' which on repeated listens really grabbed me as a soaring piece of immaculately crafted gutsy pop balladry that's tinged with the midnight glamour of all the best 80s and early 90s pop ballads, it totally hit the spot this week in terms of tuneage. And hey it's even got a Vampire related video with not a miserable looking Robert Pattinson in sight!
I half remembered Manchester new wave collective Performance were one of a slew of groups that emerged amongst the rush to revive the New Order sound a few years back. Well they return this week with 'Unconsoled' It's significantly more poppy than their previous work, harking back to the more commercial glammy synth pop of the 1980s, earnestly wheeling out a cliched lyrical couplet about soldier's 'bleeding' on the war ground above cascading keys and pounding drums, which feeds into the feeling that this is rather workmanlike in general, its insistent verses bleed into a rather flat chorus. When you consider another Manchester act like Everything Everything are really pushing the sonic pop barriers at present, then you get the feeling that Performance are being rather left behind in the rush to be heard.
I toyed with the idea of making the almost jazz pianos and fractured percussive lines, versus surprising vocals of These New Puritans' new single 'Hologram' my single of the week simply because its one of the more experimental, and disarming releases this week, but I fear it may have been a vote for Hidden as an album rather than this release per say, so I decided against it. Thee Single Spy's rather bloody great single "OK Coral"(video below) has taken this week's coveted 'single of the week crown by a short head, an aching bittersweet lament to past love, and being caged by mistakes. Front man Alex Mattinson's literate, weary croak is complimented by deliciously addictive boy/girl (woo oooo ooooo) backing refrains, plus a rich plethora of instrumentation, including French horns, organs, pianettes and clarinets, that reach multiple crescendos it somehow manages to be reminiscent of both Nick Cave, Neutral Milk Hotel AND Bill Callahan which is quite some feat! 'Ok Coral' is ultimately bloody glorious wide screen baroque pop and you don't hear that every day!