Singles Round Up - 7th March

Singles Round Up - 7th March
“Strollin in the park, watching winter turn to spring” may be enough to get Roberta Flack's juices flowing, but here it's enough just to bask in the extended hours of lightness and the accompanying endorphin boost that comes for free. Today at Clash we're feeling frisky and increasingly buoyant . Who are we kidding, we're damn near happy! Get it while it lasts...

Single Of The Week

Ólöf Arnalds (ft. Bjork)

'Surrender'


The classically trained Ms Arnalds is a prolific purveyor of spare sensuous Icelandic indie/folk. This acoustic offering is set against a background of harp and enviable backing vocals courtesy of a certain Ms Gudmundsdottir. Beautifully pared down in both respects, the two voices sinuously weave in and out of each other, almost becoming one. The video, shot in woods, is all Kate Bush/Lindsay Kemp arm mime and interpretive dance. Now that's always seriously dicey territory for me but in this instance it feels just right. As tender and trembling as a lone catkin on a branch. Enchanting.



James Blake
'The Wilhelm Scream'


Mr Blake continues to dominate the review charts with his fresh approach and dubstep producing pedigree. The title track from the album presents us with an introspective, melancholic, gospel tinged vocal over a syncopated backbeat; as beguiling as it is frustrating. On first listen, which seems like a long way back, it sounded noodly and unfinished but those are the aspects that have grown on me. The looped vocal, “fallin, fallin, fallin” is a bit like the woozy sensation of counting backwards on gas at the dentists. But without the downside of waking up with a mouth full of blood.



EMA

'The Grey Ship'


Former Gowns' singer/guitarist Erika M. Anderson has returned to the musical fray with, thrillingly, a seven minute single. We believe the word for that is chutzpah. It's an uncompromising, minimal, droning journey into an unnamed northern wasteland. At the outset, it's all breathy vocals and stripped back guitar but around the half way mark it's dark harmonies are bolstered by the introduction of bold bass and funereal drumming. Shiver inducing.



Cherry Ghost

'Only A Mother Could'


These Bolton boys are, lets be brutally honest, a backing band for the distinctively lovely vocal talents of Simon Aldred. But that's no bad thing. Working with Dan Austin (Doves, Massive Attack, which it's very much in the mould of) their sophomore album was released last summer to some critical acclaim .This song delivers a plaintive narrative on domestic abuse over a deceptively chirpy melody. The narrators resignation is affecting and sadly recognisable, rather than leave the perpetrator she stays, “tides will turn, and in time I'll learn to love, what only a mother could”. Bittersweet.



Baths

'The Nothing'


Compressed, glitchy electronica with soaring eighties strings and nihilistic vocals from Californian young gun Will Wisenfeld. Grainy distorted synths and an undulating upbeat melody propel it towards a ballsy finale. Pegged as 'chillwave' (which offends our sensibilities somewhat) it's by his own admission, dense whilst remaining spacious. We would liken it then to a decent cereal; crunchy and moreish with maybe the odd wee marshmallowy surprise but fundementally, all air. Light but strangely filling nonetheless.



Papercuts

'Do What You Will'


This follow up to 2009's 'You Can Have What You Want', will no doubt garner more attention now Papercuts have been signed to big boys Sub Pop. But we're sad to say it's a little bit disappointing. We like the muffled analogue sound, the whispery jangly guitars, the understatedness of the production. But ultimately it's just more of the same and follows it's predecessors template too closely for comfort. Dreamy but ultimately forgettable.


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