Singles Club #20


Getintothis’ Greg O’Keeffe discovers the ‘feel good hit of the summer’. Shame it’s frickin Autumn. And we’ve not had any summer. And he’s off enjoying the sun in the Med…

Iglu & Hartly In this City: Single of the Week.
Lots of record companies PRs like to claim that the new single by any particular band is the ‘feel-good hit of the summer’. Yeah, yeah, blah, blah. But wait, this actually is the feel good hit of this summer and chances are you haven’t heard it. By rights you shouldn’t be able to switch on commercial radio without this ice-cold slice of synths, rock and rap from the L.A. five-piece. But for some reason it hasn’t happened?
Either way you really should try and listen to this track. It’s got hints of early Beastie Boys, flashes of Outkast, and glimmers of 80s songs you shouldn’t like but do.
To quote Jermain from Flight of the Conchords: “It’s flipping great.”
Lykke Li: Breaking It Up
Pop music can be many things to many people but to be cool, it has to bust a gut in these days of asymmetrical haircuts and day-glo sun glasses.
OK it helps if you’re Scandinavian and have an enigmatic name. And it helps if your lyrics avoid the obvious. So check, check, and a big fat check for hotly-tipped Swedish chanteuse Lykke Li who delivers this heaving, sighing, breathy gem.
Add a sing-a-long chorus (using an all girl choir formed with Japanese rock band The Suzan) and you’ve got one cool customer.
The Maybes?: Summer Time
My friend loves The Maybes? She and her mates follow them around with a zealous pride all around town. I caught some of one set once in a bar on Berry Street. I really, really want to like them. But maybe this isn’t the single for me.
Nevertheless it’s an up-tempo, foot-tapping straight-rock track about wild, sweaty summer nights and it definitely has a feel-good vibe.
Just doesn’t seem to have any extra edge to it.
Cut Off Your Hands: Expectations
It’s not easy being in a new, on-radar band at the moment – “Oh these expectations are pulling at me, Oh I just can’t hold on,” sings front man Nick in this heartfelt, urgent debut single.
Its angular, throbbing guitars and nagging drums give this a very ‘now’ feel. Fans of Foals and Les Savy Fav need apply.
Vampire Weekend: Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
Joyous, understated, catchy as measles and possibly one of the singles of 2008. There I’ve said it. Vampire Weekend‘s collegiate naivety may irk some but their debut album contained so many pearls, like this, that they deserve proper attention and longevity.
Fusing indie guitars with African beats may be novel but importantly it works and doesn’t seem contrived. All together now…”She’s a young girl, Louis Vuittooooooon…”
Alphabeat: Boyfriend
You know what I was saying about pop having to try hard to be cool? Sometimes a song crackles with such pure, unrefined pop energy that you’ve just got to embrace it for what it is.
This could be an early Madonna hit, it could be what Abba would have written if they were born in 1990.
It’s a load of old nonsense about teenage love and boyfriends and stuff. There’s even a sort of beyond-cheese rap in it. It should be really, really bad. So why can’t I stop nodding my head and tapping my feet?
British Sea Power: Waving Flags
This was the first time I’d heard these Mercury nominated indie kids. No pre-conceptions here then. Waving Flags is a stomping, big, euphoric anthem about the idiocy of nationalism and the old adage that life is short so let’s all get along. It’s euphoric and intelligent. As they say “We are not here for long and it’s all a joke – so let’s have a drink.”
I’d liked to have heard this track at BSP’s own festival at the highest pub in the British Isles earlier this summer. They even sold their own beer on the day.
Angus and Julia Stone: Just a Boy
Chilled-out, delicate, Aussie-rock which twinkles with chiming acoustic guitar and piano. There may be more than a whiff of Radio 2 to this single from the antipodean duo but it’s so easy-going it’s impossible to dislike.
The Eye Jab : Still Believe in Love
So these are from Newcastle hey. But wait – where’s the juddery beats, staccato rhythms and angular guitars?
Where’s the pasty-looking frontman twirling a top-hat? This can’t be right? It’s very off-scene. Actually it’s very brilliant and lovely. It’s like Sigur Ros except The Eye Jab sing about Gregg’s pasties and trying to believe in the concept of love when it’s all about one-night stands.
There is more of a nodding hint of early Arcade Fire in this debut too. If that’s not enough to get you interested you’re an evil, evil idiot.