Liverpool Sound City-bound Lightspeed Champion knows his way around a big chorus, and that’s more than enough to delight Alan O’Hare.
Lightspeed Champion: Galaxy of the Lost – Single of the Week
I like a big chorus. Remember them? Lightspeed Champion does – and it’s a cracker of one that dominates his new single.
Soon to be in Liverpool for Sound City, this bittersweet love song ( a combination that always makes for good pop music) features a driving melody, helped on its way by some understated harmonies and a comedown of a middle eight that combines early Badly Drawn Boy with a bit of 70s McCartney.
“I hate to think what would happen, If I started to drink like you…” An ambitious song that will send Lightspeed Champion over the top. Hopefully.
Broken Records: If The News Makes You Sad, Don’t Watch It
Debut single from Scottish seven-piece who could have taken Single of the Week with this – but need to step out of the shadows first.
It’s all a little bit Arcade Fire and The Killers at points. No bad thing, true, but at times – especially with the Brandon Flowers-esque falsetto on the chorus – it borders on pastiche. Good song though – stinging string riffs, punchy horns and a great melody. Good song title too.
Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova: Falling Slowly
It’s hard to avoid the Damien Rice comparisons for this, Oscar-winning, tune – so I won’t.
Delicate lament, featuring just piano and acoustic guitar and some lovely boy-girl harmonies, from The Frames singer Hansard and his Czech actress muse. The syrupy chorus is a bit much but, generally, it hits the spot. Not as good as The Frames though.
The Ting Tings: That’s Not My Name
Indie-disco sounds of right now, provided by the cult boy-girl duo from Salford.
So post-modern it hurts, Jules and Katie at least provide a good pop tune for their new single though – and they’ve come a long way since last year’s limited edition release of the same song. As home-made as it comes, but still a little boring though. Blah.
Future Of The Left: Manchasm
Bleeping keyboards, staccato beats and an annoying vocal. It says post-hardcore on the tin and Kerrang like it – that’s enough for me. A rock version of Klaxons? Keep dreaming boys…
Santogold: L.E.S Artistes
Gwen Stefani would kill to be this cool: Santogold, her voice a ringer for the former No Doubt star, has supported Bjork and appears on Mark Ronson‘s last record.
The tune? A good’un – all analogue synths and funky beats, with some funny noises thrown in for good measure. A great sounding record.
dan le sac vs Scroobius PIP: Look For The Woman
The single is backed by two so-so remixes from DJ Yoda and Zane Lowe – but the material they’re provided with ain’t all that. The vibe is engaging – think REM‘s The Outsiders from Around The Sun (nope, can’t remember that – Singles Ed) – the lack of a tune grates, as does the heavy-handed message and delivery.
More subtlety required methinks.
Los Campesinos: My Year In Lists
A great title, as you’d expect, from Cardiff’s answer to Belle & Sebastian. On speed. Great, shouty BV’s, lovely harmonies and lots happening underneath – 1:53 later, and it’s all over. A great pop song.
Cajun Dance Party: The Race
Imagine taking your A-Levels while Bernard Butler (The Libertines, Duffy) was producing your debut album? There’s promise here – but not much depth.
A song that try’s too hard to tick all the right boxes, The Race is a little bit Kooks-light for me. And The Kooks-heavy is bad enough …
Born Ruffians: I Need A Life
Second single from WARP outfit – funky, with a call and response chorus (always a winner) and the singer’s got a good voice.
Melody hovers, rather than soars, but there is enough promise here to warrant a second listen and keep an eye on them. As the likes of Zane Lowe and Colin Murray are. Nice.
The Rivers: She Gives It Around
From Brighton. Supported The Kooks. Want to be like Pete and Carl. Next.
Adele: Cold Shoulder
Mark Ronson (who else?) has been acquired to produce Adele‘s next attack on the mainstream – and with 200,000 records sold and Q declaring her “the new queen of British soul”, who’s gonna’ stop ’em.
It’s all getting a bit boring this though; being told who’s the next big thing, five minutes after you’ve been told about the last one.
What happened to just discovering a tune? Shimmering strings and an Unfinished Sympathy vibe try and pull this over the hurdle of the singer’s annoying pipes, but soul needs warmth. This is freezing cold.
And relax – straight in with the comforting sounds of Tim Booth‘s declarations and Andy Diagram‘s piercing trumpet. A lively mix of old James and new – but a welcome comeback all the same.
The Feeling: Without You
The world would be a better place.
The Wombats: Backfire At The Disco
Ok, Moving To New York grew on me – but this won’t. Trying every pop trick in the book – “Woo, Woo” BV’s, “she left me” lyrics and dynamics galore – still doesn’t make the marsupials interesting. Go away. Already.
Parka: Better Anyway
Critically-acclaimed, Scottish pop-rockers – think a less well-defined Rumble Strips – bring their pop horns to the front of the mix for their new single.
It’s a little bit fluffy, with a Fratellis chorus and melody to boot, but once them horns are developed further, we could be on to something.