Singles Round Up - May 31st

Featuring The Drums, The Like, Dead Confederate...
The Like.jpg
Well that was quick.

The coalition of the (un)willing lasts just seventeen days before The Daily Telegraph gets its mitts on some vital new information. Cue the exit of David Laws, yet more hand wringing from MPs and an implausibly smug press circuit.

So there's some pretty important stuff happening across the country. Crooked MPs, a salivating tabloid and what do this week's singles say about it? Not a hell of a lot.

Now, we're not expecting a manifesto here - the days of Billy Bragg like political diatribes are sadly gone (sorry Billy!). But some sense of clicking in time with the nation's mood should really be coming from the underground.

Except it's not. Some great music, which sounds oddly disconnected from the current mood. This week: The Drums, New Young Pony Club, Blood Red Shoes and more go under the critical microscope...

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Single Of The Week

The Like – He’s Not A Boy

Dumb 60s fun with no other agenda than to make you dance. The Like hail from Los Angeles and their debut album was apparently choked amid a maze of major label red tape. Hooking up with Mark Ronson for the follow up, ‘He’s Not A Boy’ is enjoyably free of ironic retro kitsch reference points. Simple to the point of being genius, ‘He’s Not A Boy’ puts prime era garage rock in its place with a little feminine charm.

The Like - He's Not A Boy



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And the rest...

Fun – All The Pretty Girls
Hailing from New York, Fun. Are the rightful heirs to the throne vacated by the Elephant6 collective. Gloriously pop, ‘All The Pretty Girls’ is three minutes of pleading vocals and sweeping strings. Standing in the lineage of guitar pop perfected by Brian Wilson, Roy Wood and more Fun are exactly that. Be warned, though, this is so full of sugar it could easily melt your teeth in three minutes.

The Drums – Forever And Ever Amen
The Drums have been heralded in some quarters as marking the return of ‘real indie’. It’s easy to see why – reference points include Factory Records and Orange Juice, hooked together with a ramshackle charm. Yet the band’s naivety is their main flaw, the sighing vocals bordering on apathetic. The chiming guitars rush along but fail to really get anywhere. Despite this, ‘Forever And Ever Amen’ could dominate the summer with its easy-going charm. Perhaps it really is better to just lose yourself.

The Drums - Forever And Ever Amen



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Dead Confederate – Start Me Laughing
According to lead singer Hardy Morris, ‘Start Me Laughing’ is intended to be a happy song. Oddly, we would actually agree. There’s something so completely cathartic about loud guitars that a blast of amplified power chords can put a smile on the most mournful of faces. Dead Confederate are louder than most, with the sheer visceral rush equating to unpretentious fun.

New Young Pony Club – We Want To
Pigeonholes. It’s a mug’s game. New Young Pony Club will forever be attached to the sinking hull of the good ship ‘nu rave’ despite their new single officially being ‘not that bad’. Sure, second album ‘The Optimist’ ain’t no Horrors style turnaround but this is bouncy dance-punk energy par excellence. If only they’d ditch the neon…

Men Of North Country – Man Of North Country
The North! Home of mines, Hovis and sweaty men doing fancy dancing to lost soul seven inches. Men Of North Country aren’t actually from the North of England, but Turkey. Hey, stranger things have happened. They also happen to be the latest discovery from a rejuvenated Acid Jazz., sounding not unlike The Coral sketching patterns in the talcum powder of a Stafford allnighter, Men Of North Country are a deeply pleasant yet unexpected surprise.

Emika – Double Edge
With Ninja Tune turning 20 this year, it’s acts like Emika that keep the label looking fresh faced. ‘Double Edge’ is taken from her new album, and re-visits the intense trip hop soundscapes of Massive Attack. Yet the glitchy electronica and bass rumblings mark this out as being something different. Not quite dubstep, a world away from trip hop Emika is a maverick talent leading the way for an illustrious label.

Emika - Double Edge



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Blood Red Shoes – Don’t Ask
Fast and furious, ‘Don’t Ask’ is everything great about Blood Red Shoes in three bite sized minutes. Storming drums, jagged guitar riffs and call and response lyrics have already made this a live favourite – look out for it blasting it’s way over a field near you this summer.

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