The Pictish Trail Reviews The Singles

On Eminem and more: “Torch the hospital, mate. That’ll teach them…”
The Pictish Trail

It’s Monday! So it must be time for Clash’s round up of the latest single releases. And hooray! For that is exactly what this piece is. Really. Seriously. Look at the title.

Today’s guest reviewer is Johnny Lynch, aka The Pictish Trail (pictured), a lovely Scottish electro-folk artist who’s just this year signed to Moshi Moshi. Nice one, John! Here’s some news on that neat event in the man’s career – and just below are his words (and bonus scores!) on a bunch of songs. Thanks, Mr Trail, sir.

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The Pictish Trail, ‘Michael Rocket’

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The 1975 – ‘Robbers’

“Here we go. I like that synthy bit at the beginning. When the beat and guitar comes in, it goes a bit Breakfast Club soundtrack. This song would be really good if you were 15 years old and a bit of a tubby goth, standing alone in a school corridor, and banging your fists against a locker in pretend slow motion. I’m 32, however, and sat on my couch in my pyjamas – with Jeremy Kyle on in the background, on mute. Is this a single? What bit do you sing along to? I can’t understand what he’s singing. There’s a bit where he goes, ‘You look sooooo cold’. Actually, that’s quite perceptive. I am quite cold. I can totes relate to this.”  
9 out of 10

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Bombay Bicycle Club – ‘Come To’

“Ooh. Jangly chorus-fed guitar opening, like it’s 1991. There’s handclaps. All the best songs have handclaps. ‘Don’t you tell me this ain’t nothin’ new,’ the man who sings this song sings. I’m afraid I have to tell you, sir, that this is nothin’ new. That’s fine, though. Don’t start crying. It’s just that tambourine sound is very baggy. Is this a single? What bit do you sing along to? I like that hooky ‘bow-wow’ guitar/synth bit that comes in every so often. If you play the synthesiser in this band, how do you play it? Do you have the synth on a really low table, so you have to hunch over to play it? It’s hard to play keyboards and look cool. If you can do it, I will award you a 9.4 out of 10.”

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Clean Bandit – ‘Extraordinary’

“Ah, now this is the stuff. It sounds like Bon Iver is taking a dump. Now it’s gone all Jive Bunny for ’90s and ’00s music. I’m listening to this, and I just know that everything is going to be okay. It’s going to be okay, everyone. Take me into the night, Clean Bandit. I totally trust you. Wow, I’ve never felt this way before. Kiss me. Not on the lips. Not yet. Kiss me on the chin first. Right, work your way up. Lovely. Okay, let’s go on the dodgems. ‘Don’t say it’ll all be fine, in only a moment you’ll say goodbye, aye aye aye aye ayeeee.’ I like these Scottish lyrics. Or are they Geordie? Either way, it’s a solid 14 out of 9.”

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Eminem feat. Nate Ruess – ‘Headlights’

“Is this Eminem singing? That’s surprising. (We’re pretty certain it’s not – Clash.) Oh, now there’s rapping. His singing is much better. Go back to the singing. Oh god, he’s shouting a wee bit now. Calm down, Eminem. How is anyone going to relax to this song if you’re shouting? Ah, now you’re singing again. You’ve got such a pretty voice, when you try. Ah, he’s just angry cos his mum is dying. My mum’s dead too. I can totes relate to this. You should be angrier, Emmy-em. Are you visiting in a hospital? Torch the hospital, mate. That’ll teach them. That’ll teach ‘em all.”  
12 out of 29

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Kwabs – ‘Pray For Love’

“Deep voice. This has got some spiritual vibes going on. I’m on my knees, Kwabs. Jesus Christ, I’m actually praying. And I’m praying for your love, Kwabs. Now I’m waving my arms in the air. I’m healed, Lord. It’d be good if Kwabs was given a peerage, and became an actual Lord. Lord Kwabs. If he had a wife, she would be Lady Kwabs. ‘Hello. I’m Lord Kwabs, and this is my good wife, Lady Kwabs.’ I can totes relate to this.” 
0 out of -13

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Sam Smith – ‘Stay With Me’

“This video has almost five million views. It’s got the same melody as ‘I Won’t Back Down’ by Tom Petty. I’m listening to Tom Petty instead of Sam Smith now. The Tom Petty video I’m watching has almost five million views, too. Maybe this melody is the key to five million views. Right, I’m gonna watch Sam Smith again now. I like his puffy face. I’ve got a puffy face, but covered in beard. I wonder, if we were in a room together, if Sam Smith would stay with me. I bet he would leave. Cheers, Sam.”  
1 out of 1

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Tuff Love – ‘Flamingo’ 

“Top indie-comic, Josie Long, takes centre stage in the video for this gem. Is this the greatest summer-starter tune of all time? Yes, it is. Have I just released it on my own label, Lost Map? Yes, I have. Have I no shame? Look, just listen to this five times in a row and tell me that you’re not addicted. And, no. I don’t have any shame.”  
10,000,000 out of 10

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Moshi Moshi release The Pictish Trail’s ‘Secret Soundz’ volumes one and two on June 9th. Two albums, price of one, bargain. Find the man online here and check out his latest tour dates here

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