Noah And The Whale take the crown

Here we go again...

Another week, another batch of singles. After a dry run to start the year off the quality of singles being released throughout the summer has been stunning, with superb seven inches flying every which way.

This week Noah And The Whale claim the honours, with their new track 'Blue Skies'. Named after an Old Testament story there is something Biblical about the scale of 'Blue Skies', the first taste of their sensational new album 'First Days Of Spring'.

File alongside The Horrors under 'stunning comeback'. The race for Album Of The Year is on...

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Single Of The Week

Noah And The Whale - Blues Skies

Well this is unexpected. Alright, so Noah And The Whale had previously excelled at chirpy indie-pop but the sheer emotional weight of ‘Blue Skies’ is breath-taking. Backed by a choir singer Charlie Fink‘s voice drips with sentimentality, of missed chances and regrets. Painfully personal, it seems to draw something out of you. Hugely cathartic ‘Blue Skies’ hints at the glorious orchestral vision of Arcade Fire yet seems uniquely British. An astonishing primer for their new album ‘First Days Of Spring’ Noah And The Whale have suddenly become one of the most interesting bands in the nation.

Noah And The Whale - Blue Skies

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And the rest...

Biffy Clyro – That Golden Rule
As many Clash readers will no doubt already know, we have one office in Scotland and one in London. Whilst living in Jockland has its benefits, there are also numerous drawbacks – dreadful football teams, near constant rain and Biffy Clyro. Seriously, you will hear this band everywhere you go. A trek to the Outer Hebrides will no doubt come across the Lewis branch of the Biffy Clyro fan club. ‘That Golden Rule’ is a decent slice of alt-rock, which is set to adorn the CD player of virtually everyone North of Hadrian’s Wall.

Black Lips – Drugs
There are few new groups as well equipped to sing about narcotics as Black Lips. Having digested more pharmaceuticals than a cocaine fixated racehorse the band dwell on the topic with their new single ‘Drugs’. Two minutes of psych-punk follows, in what is actually one of Black Lips more cohesive statements. Perhaps lacking the visceral edge that made ‘Good Bad Not Evil’ so entertaining, ‘Drugs’ is nonetheless a superb tribute to the wonders of the chemical world.

Dananananaykroyd – Some Dresses
Duelling drummers, two frontmen and tunes to die for. Dananananaykroyd were dealt a blow recently when singer John Baillie Jr broke his arm when touring Down Under, but nothing can hold this Glaswegian gang back for long. Pounding drums, huge vocals and a song which continually evolves, shifting and changing without ever losing its turbo-fuelled energy. Forget all about the post-hardcore mechanics and the much talked about live show – this is gleeful pop music, pure and simple.

Pearl Jam – The Fixer
A Pearl Jam single? In 2009? Thing is, ‘The Fixer’ is a dose of perfectly adequate grunge, albeit lacking something in the way of invention. Pearl Jam have become the grand old men of American alt rock, but the music seems to be matching their hair – slightly unkempt and pretty grey.

Dizzee Rascal – Holiday
Summer ain’t over until Dizzee Rascal says it is. Having conquered the charts the UK’s most mental MC could well have control over Mother Nature, after all he’s got a famous way with the laydeez. Over some trance synths Dizzee Rascal tells us all to head off on holiday. In the middle of a recession? No chance, it’s a caravan in Bognor Regis for me. Another smash hit in the offing, rather limp rhymes mean you can’t help but feel that Dizzee Rascal is sleepwalking his way through this.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Come Saturday
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are awesome. ‘Come Saturday’ is the new single by the Brooklyn group. Therefore it, too, is awesome. Gently rocking in a tame version of My Bloody Valentine kind of way, ‘Come Saturday’ is all fuzz guitars and half-sighed vocals. Pretty heavenly, in other words.

Tiny Masters Of Today – Real Good
There’s probably milk in my fridge older than Tiny Masters Of Today, which makes ‘Real Good’ all the more remarkable. The band have won admiring glances from Sonic Youth and Karen O, which is down to their talent rather than the novelty of their age. Chiming 60s style guitar pop put through a shredder, Tiny Masters Of Today are youthful without being fey, innocent through simply being honest. ‘Real Good’ is, well, real good.

Art Brut – DC Comics And Milkshake
Eddie Argos has always talked a good game, yet Art Brut’s clattering punk inspired racket has often fallen short of greatness. Taken from their recent album ‘Art Brut Vs Satan’ new single ‘DC Comics And Milkshake’ is diverting enough, but if these post-Fall types are our last line of defence against the scaly one then Lucifer could well have the upper hand.

Passion Pit – To Kingdom Come
Anyone remember when Clash put Passion Pit on the cover? Well, ‘To Kingdom Come’ is yet another spectral delight from debut album ‘Manners’ and showcases everything that is great and good about one of the year’s finest newcomers. A great big massive ‘we told you so’.

Passion Pit - To Kingdom Come


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