In an unintentionally animal-themed week of new music, Getintothis’ Matthew Wood lets loose the tracks with the biggest bite in the latest edition of Singles Club.
Single of the Week
Dan Wilson – Leave My Baby Alone
A fine piece of succinct, powerful songwriting here from Liverpool’s Dan Wilson and his band, The Counterfactuals.
Wilson channels the dusty snarl of Nick Cave painting dark, religious imagery over a rhythm that moves steadily like a freighter across the American landscape.
On the whole a track for the night time, it feels dark and gloomy, but beneath the surface it offers a sentimentality towards sweeter tendencies; Wilson’s passion to protect his ‘baby‘ strikes a chord and his measured, sun-kissed licks throughout offer a beacon of hope across a dusty landscape.
Major Lazer – Blow That Smoke
Prestigious electronic dance trio Major Lazer are no strangers to collaborations, having worked with some of the biggest names in dance and hip-hop over their decade-long career.
In Blow that Smoke they team up with Swedish vocalist Tove Lo, whose raw lyrical content has earned her the title ‘the saddest girl in Sweden‘, but it seems Major Lazer’s tropical electronica bring out a contradictory side of Tove in this sun-drenched and punchy number.
Tiger Twins – Was Is Worth It?
Leeds-based outfit Tiger Twins with strong Liverpool connections reveal their debut single Was It Worth It? – a charming blend of guitar pop that channels a warming buzz throughout, with sweet layers of Smiths-esque guitar work and a powerful lead vocal, Tiger Twins show great potential with this one.
Demonstrating their admiration for a solid hook and music’s escapist qualities, this track is as inviting as a gentle breeze, blissful and serenely mastered, there’s an addicting quality to their produce, even if it is a tad inoffensive.
A quality debut from a band who clearly have much to offer, but let’s hope for a grittier follow up.
Yak – Bellyache
Wolverhampton-trio Yak make their return with Bellyache, their second single of 2018, released amid the momentum of a UK tour seeing them storm intimate venues with their electrifying live antics, as they are well known to do so.
Bellyache is typical Yak, dark, brooding with a sinister, snarling vein of unpredictable menace at its core.
Frontman Oli Burslem admits he and the band pumped their everything into this track, physically as well as financially, and during the fanfare of horns that finalise this piece you can sense the cathartic release felt by the band.
Alfie Templeman – Like An Animal
At the tender age of 15, most of us were trying to forget about our impending GCSE doom, clinging to the roots of our childhood and figuring out who on earth we were meant to become.
Alfie Templeman seems to have simplified the process, appealing to a brand of songwriting not dissimilar to Mac Demarco and Boy Pablo and turning heads with his mellow sound that is mature way beyond his years, skipping straight to the part where he becomes a rock star.
Like An Animal is a sprightly, jangly number with a strong rhythm section but surprisingly dark lyrical content, “this feels like death to me” he proclaims, his vocals resembling an Oracular Spectacular-era MGMT track. Paying homage to his heroes is clearly on the agenda, and Templeman is quite a way off breaking through into a genre of his own, but for the time being we can lap up the goods of a supremely talented youngster, who we can all agree has a long musical career ahead of him.
Tom Boy – How To Become A Drug Dealer
Born out of the life perils that grow with prominence when spending day in, day out, touring the world with the same folk; this one is a hefty dose of metal-tinged, explosive rock from the Toronto lads, one built around extreme highs and the ever impending lows.
Tom Boy give us an evocative insight into a rock & roll lifestyle, sharing bowls of pills as well as intimacies, and facing up to big life decisions while you’re face down against a mirror bearing mind-altering lines of glitter.
Beirut – Gallipoli
Zach Condon of Beirut has always had a knack for providing jubilant fanfares that can accompany anyone trampling the cobbled streets in one of Europe’s fine capitals, his music is often built around vintage organs, simple layers of pounding percussion and a great use of brass.
Gallipoli is, you’ll be pleased to hear, in a very similar vein. It’s ebs and flows with great swathes of horns joined by Condon who lays down his candle lit phrases throughout, carefully guiding us to a steady finale.