Singles Club #7

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Liza Williams invites Brooklyn hipsters to dance around her bedroom, but politely asks them to leave their chinos and deckshoes at the door. Elsewhere Nick Cave, The Feeling, Land Of Talk and Liverpool’s The Rascals drop under the singles radar.


Vampire Weekend: A-PunkSingle of the Week
These Brooklyn boys know how to make a girl dance, and forget the blandness of her northern English bedroom.
This African influenced little ditty is infectious, happy and refreshingly nothing like the dirty sounds normally exported from the fair American city. World music creeps into the mix more noticeably than in singles by bands like Foals and sounds surprisingly good. And I never thought Paul Simon-esque ooh’s would make it onto my CD player.
Can we all stop short of donning deck shoes and chinos though please, that would be taking the Vampire Weekend ethos too far.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
A spoken word marvel from the living legend that is Nick Cave. Chronicling the story of a modern day Lazarus, Mr Cave wryly tells us of Larry’s reincarnation, his life living in a tree with some blond lovelies, visiting outer space and ending up a drug addict on the streets of New York. He drawls, ‘Larry grew increasingly neurotic and obscene. I mean, he never asked to be raised up from the tomb, I mean, no one ever actually asked him to forsake his dreams,‘ – genius.
Jay May: Gray or Blue
This melodic and beautiful track lives up to the critical acclaim 26-year-old New Yorker Jay May has received for her first album Autumn Fallin. The emotive lyrics, chronicling love from a distance could so easily become trite and corny but instead capture something. ‘I watch you very closely and I saw you look away‘, she whispers. Delicate pings and pongs from a xylophone cut through the acoustic guitar and sound just lovely too.
Does it Offend You Yeah?: We are Rock Stars
Too cool for school electro kids Does it Offend You Yeah? put out this release after receiving rave reviews for their latest string of live shows. The track’s dance-rock-punk-whatever-other-genre-you-decide-to-add-to-this-list mix makes for a sleazy cocktail of sounds.
But are they as innovative as the bill boards make out? It’s hard to say, considering the word is used to describe any band using a synth and some zany sound effects.
Daft Punk have obviously had a huge influence and fans of Fischerspooner et al will probably be keen to hear more.

I Was A Cub Scout: Pink Squares
This track, originally released in November, has been reworked by Phil Collins’ producer, Hugh Padgham, but thankfully comes out more or less unscathed. For a couple of teenagers from the Midlands it’s an almighty epic number, with lots of crashing symbols and prog-style keyboards. But the duo’s age is exposed through the innocent vocals.
I Was A Cub Scout do have a certain charm, however the whimpering apologies are slightly annoying, ‘oh ei oh I am in trouble‘, moans vocalist Todd Marriott. But maybe that’s just the view of a cynical old goat, who never wants to remember the melodrama of being 17.
The Rascals: Suspicious Wit
The local lads’ debut single release shows a huge nod to psychedelia and has a dark, creepy sound with lyrics to match ‘The fear explodes on your face, suspicious I’ve become‘ – dear me.
The similarity to fellow Wirrilians The Coral, who the band have toured with, can’t be ignored but The Rascals still seem to be carving out their own identity pretty well.
Land Of Talk: Speak To Me Bones
Classic female fronted indie punk from this up and coming Canadian trio. Surging guitars and great hooks in the chorus draw you in, and there is a definite strong thread of PJ Harvey running through the band’s music.
But front woman Elizabeth Powell (pictured above) does it without the screaming and shouting, leaving the guitars to battle it out.
She’s also the daughter of North America’s first female alligator wrestler, which is a fact I like, even if a marketing person has made it up.
The Feeling: I Thought it Was Over
If you were at a wedding do and your ELO-loving dad decided it was time to prove to the world he still had it, this is the song he would choose to dance to.
Nauseatingly bad, and just as you breathe a sigh of relief, thinking it is over, the next power cord kicks in and the sickness carries on and on and on.

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