This week’s Singles Club sees Getintothis’ Chris Burgess take lessons in curtain biting, dick swinging and Robin Thicke’s visual pandora’s box.
Ballet School: Crush – Single of the Week
As 80s nostalgia is currently segueing into a full blown 90s revival, Crush straddles both camps. It wouldn’t sound out of place in either a John Hughes’ USA high school montage or backing an ‘I Love 1995‘ TV show.
With a tremendously catchy chorus, foot-tapping tempo and soaring vocals, it’s such a simple song and familiar sound that you swear you must have heard it before, at some point when you were growing up.
The video is updated grunge, singer Rosie Blair (all teeth and cheekbones with a striking choice of hair colour) pouts, sneers, dances (and for some reason bites a curtain) before flashing a cheeky wink and a smile to the camera, letting us know it’s all in good humour. She’s not exactly conventionally attractive, but somehow you want to ask her to the school prom.
Bombay Bicycle Club: Carry Me
I feel I should like this more than I actually do. Disparate and layered, full of shifting beats and vocal loops, you have to credit Bombay Bicycle Club attempting dance music, but ultimately there’s just something unfulfilling about this song.
It’s a real shame, as they’ve been one of the more intriguing bands of late – giving you something unique on every album, while still maintaining their own sound. I’ve seen this song wow a live audience too, but it’s just a bit too soulless for my liking.
But hey, there’s an interactive video, where you get to make bored-looking dancers move about a bit! So they got that going for them, which is nice.
We Are Shining: Wheel
If you don’t start dancing to this, there’s no hope for you. A solid psychedelic stomper from start to finish, with a 1970s style trippy video, this bodes well for the London duo’s debut album, currently being completed. There’s more groove in the first ten seconds of this song than most bands manage in an entire career.
of Montreal: Fugitive Air
Spangly, light and breezy, of Montreal give us a slice of warm, inviting psych rock, with some dark and distressing lyrics to blindside you. Rather like drinking a nice cup of tea with the teabag still left at the bottom of the cup, you get suckered in before noticing things aren’t what they first seem. By then it’s too late to go back.
Warning – their NSFW video contains penis swinging and mild twerking. I’m not sure which I find more unpleasant.
Califone: Frosted Tips
Here’s another NSFW video – Robin Thicke must have opened the floodgates. At least this one’s mildly funny, rather than gratuitous.
Very Flaming Lips-esque in places, Chicago’s Califone know how to break a song down and build it up again. The subtle horns and glitchy effects bring this song to life – without it being overblown. Lovely stuff but why the fade out at the end just as it seems to be taking off again?
Metronomy: I’m Aquarius
Ostensibly an ode to astrology, Metronomy are back with a gloriously graceful track. As you’d expect, the band hit you with layered synths and Joe Mount’s unique vocal style, creating a blissfully evocative sound as only they can. Really good to see them back. I would say that though, I’m a typical Libra.
Crystal Fighters: Love Natural
If this doesn’t make it to Radio 1’s playlist, I’ll be very surprised. An energetic, rowdy and thoroughly entertaining romp of a song, Love Natural actually veers perilously close to Europop at times, but manages to just hold itself back enough to avoid cheesiness. Uplifting and joyous, the Londoners are bound for great things.
Crystal Fighters play East Village Arts Club on Thursday November 28.
An insanely pretty track from 4AD’s bEEdEEgEE, this slow, melody-filled song shifts and squirms as it goes along – throwing the odd curveball at you along the way. With vocals supplied by the versatile Lovefoxxx from CSS, this is a corker of a tune.
This is a meandering, upbeat debut from Cymbals, which suggests interesting things to come from the London dance-pop group.
There’s a distinctly Cure-meets-New Order vibe to this track, with a Peter Hook-style bass line driving the song forward. They’re certainly a band to keep an eye on.
Southern: Shout It
A twangy, guitar loop fuelled moment of blues from the aptly named Southern, rolling along without a care in the world. The Belfast-born, Liverpool-based brother and sister duo (featuring Liverpool-based drummer Jack Prince) offer a slice of pure Deep South rock.
Although there’s not much in the way of innovation here, the strolling Shout It doesn’t need to rely on effects or gimmicks to capture your attention. However, as good as this is, you get the strong feeling they have the potential to offer a lot more.