Singles Round Up - April 13th

Camera Obscura triumph this week...
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Sure, sensible folk realise as much, but if not: the below is really just one person’s opinion, y’know. If you read that Band X is awful below but great elsewhere, it means that different people are expressing different opinions.

I’ll give you an example: I think the latest U2 record is unmitigated, unimaginative, unmistakeable turd. But I’ll concede that my view does not FACT constitute. Indeed, others have told me it’s “okay”, “better than the last Coldplay record”, and “not as awful as I expected”. Wow. Amazing.

So, below: some words about some things that maybe you have a different perspective on. It’s just unlucky for you that it’s ME writing this column. A HA HA HA HA… cackle, snigger, chuckle and so forth.

Blergh…

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Single of the Week

Camera Obscura – ‘French Navy’
Tracyanne Campbell leads her not-so-merry men out for album four (‘My Maudlin Career’, released next week) with a single that features the front-gal delivering a selection of wriggly “oooohs”, like she’s become a wind-‘n’-grind pop newbie blathering on about how good she’s gonna be for your wee fella. Of course, she’s not, but all this talk of not being able to hold it, or control it, is getting someone this side of the creator-critic divide uncomfortably steamy. And that’s despite the premise of meeting in a dusty library. Such thoughts aside, rightly, this is a sublime slice of indie-pop gorgeousness, full of highs and lows enough to send the heart on the sort of journey it typically takes across an hour and a half of a classic black-and-white weepie. But then again you knew that, because you’re well versed in the ways of Camera Obscura. Right? Right.

Camera Obscura – ‘French Navy’



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Also out today…

HEALTH – ‘Die Slow’
Noise annoys, so some elderly relative might tell you. Tell them to shut the fuck up and crank ‘Die Slow’ out your bedroom at full blast for its three-minute run. You’ll get grounded, sure, but what a thrill this track is, turning as it does the LA foursome’s riotous percussion-core into a glitchy synth dream. Somewhere in its heart there lies the formula for perfect pop; on the surface, however, HEALTH’s music never veers far from wickedly aggravational decadence.

A Place To Bury Strangers – ‘Missing You’
Sheet metal on sheet metal on top of a bass guitar that’s fired up on rocket fuel and vocals swimming in barbiturates: this, essentially, summarises the stock sound of Brooklyn’s A Place To Bury Strangers. ‘Missing You’ plays to type, but that’s no bad thing given how scintillating the band’s tried-and-tested technique can be.

Prego – ‘The Longest Calm’
The slowest from the blocks he may be when compared to his guitar-toting siblings Charlie (Fightstar) and Will (Brigade), but Edd Simpson’s making up for lost time superbly well here, as Prego’s ‘The Longest Calm’ neatly tempers bluster and bombast with melodic sensibilities straight out the handbook of next week’s arena rockers of choice. As frontman Simpson sits pretty in the swirling mix, but the music around him crackles with an energy – post-rock contours meeting sharp indie angles – that’s never overpowered by a strong vocal performance.

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Prego – ‘The Longest Calm’


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Calvin Harris – ‘I’m Not Alone’
In which Calvin tries to sing. He shouldn’t. Singing didn’t make him acceptable first time around. Retro-beatery: yes. Singing: no. So it’s a relief when this track breaks into flashback trance and every doubter reconsiders their opinion for a minute, arms aloft and face gurning like a chimp, lost in a disco vortex. It’s entirely conceivable that this will be heard rattling the innards of a modified Vauxhall Corsa stopped at a red light near you soon.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Zero’
Karen O and co pull on their legwarmers and make like its 1983, shaking it less like a Polaroid picture, more like a Brat Pack beau coming good in the final reel after so many predictable teen tribulations. ‘Zero’’d be great if we’d not already had the fiery, in-yr-face YYYs, all smeared get-up and punk ‘tood. By comparison, this song’s plenty pretty but peculiarly unremarkable.

The Enemy – ‘No Time For Tears’
“Revolution”, “solution” – these words are easy to pronounce, honest, even if you come from Coventry. Someone needs to send Tom Clarke back to school to do away with the horribly affected drawl he lays all over this track. And the rest of the band: off to a tar pit where they can sink, slowly, taking depressing throwback ‘state of the nation’ rock like this down into the sticky black depths, ne’er to return. Yes, we know we’re in the shit. But if we need skidmarks like you to tell us so, then we’re all fucked.

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The Enemy – ‘No Time For Tears’


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Frankmusik – ‘Better Off As Two’
Splendiferous synth pop that’ll either turn its maker massive or flop awfully when Joe Public prefers to listen to Cascada or some shit for their dancefloor kicks. Joe Public is an imbecile who needs a damn good hiding. Frankmusik is shiny-shiny new-new, so clean you could eat your dinner off him. Tasty.

The View – ‘Temptation Dice’
When you say out loud that you like The View, a Genuinely Brilliant Band Somewhere misses out on their big break one way or another. It works like fairies, y’understand? So quit buying this wearisome by-numbers guff. It’s not that it’s terrible; it’s just… so… very… dull. Give bands a chance: leave The View alone.

Delphic – ‘Counterpoint’
Super-slick electro from Manchester, ‘Counterpoint’ finds the middle ground between the glistening indie of Friendly Fires and the local pride hedonism of prime New Order, i.e. it’s the sort of introduction to a band that’s sure to have masses calling for more, and quick sharp.

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Delphic - 'Counterpoint'


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