Soon to release a double-disc collection of early and hard-to-find recordings, ‘Ghosts’, London-based folk duo Smoke Fairies – Jessica Davies and Katherine Blamire – have taken up the challenge of reviewing this week’s batch of new singles for us too-lazy-to-bother-ourselves sorts at Clash.
Tracks on ‘Ghosts’ – some super rare and never-before released, some from long-sold-out material – come produced by an array of names you know, Leo Abrahams amongst them. Also listen out for guest contributions from Ed Harcourt. It’s all good – which is why the band has previously caught the ear(s) of Jack White, and opened for Laura Marling on tour.
Listen to the delicious (and previously unreleased) ‘Good Man’, from ‘Ghosts’ (released September 30th), below – and then read Jessica’s (pictured, right) opinions on the singles of September 9th below that.
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Biffy Clyro – ‘Victory Over The Sun’
I'm not really familiar with Biffy Clyro, but after hearing this I had to Google them to see if they were a Christian rock band. The song has a lyric about eating babies, so maybe not. I wasn’t aware people were still making music with this sound. If you really liked ‘Bring Me To Life’ by Evanescence from about 10 years ago, then this is the song for you.
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The Strypes – ‘What A Shame’
I enjoyed this. It’s got a fun riff, punchy lyrics and an extremely retro feel. The beat was a bit relentless, though. Songs with that drumbeat always tend to annoy me. Luckily, it’s only two-minutes-30, so I could just about handle it.
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Mikky Ekko – ‘Kids’
Who is this Mikky Ekko? I'm guessing it’s big budget pop to be able to drag that pinball machine all over the place for the video. Perhaps I am swayed by the beautiful pinball machine, but I actually quite like this. It’s light and breezy whilst providing an in-depth commentary on youth unemployment: “Send us out with nowhere to go”. It’s a song that could slot easily into the O.C. soundtrack compilations that still hold pride of place in my car CD wallet.
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Dreadzone feat. Mick Jones – ‘Too Late’
I like the start of this. The dark, flange-y guitar riff and the ‘80s drumbeat is driving and cool, but then the middle, dance-y, breakdown bit is just silly. It goes all Pet Shop Boys and reminds me of the start of The Clothes Show, which isn't where I wanted this song to go.
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The Orwells – ‘Who Needs You’
This is pretty much ‘Last Nite’ by The Strokes, but with different lyrics. You can sing The Stokes’ song over the top of it if you like. From the look of the lyrics it could be an anti-gun song, but I can't be certain. It’s definitely trying to say something about America and the video, with its slide show of archive footage, suggests maybe its a commentary on the whole history of America which is a pretty big subject to tackle. The lyrics are pretty generic and if it is a protest song, it’s rather half assed. Now I feel like an ass. Reviewing stuff is hard work.
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2 Chainz feat. Pharrell – ‘Feds Watching’
2 Chainz has just got some pants made out of snakeskin! This song is very boastful. I like the groove of it, and was bopping my head until he started going on about “bitches” and “hoes” and then I thought, “Nah, I can’t be bothered with the rest of this”.
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Smoke Faires release ‘Ghosts’ on September 30th. Find the band online here.
Smoke Fairies tour as follows:
18th – St Philip’s Church, Manchester
19th – LCM Concert Hall, Leeds
21st – Colston Hall 2, Bristol
22nd – Holy Trinity Church, Guildford
23rd and 24th – St Pancras Old Church, London
Find previous Singles Round Up columns here.
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