Alice Levine Reviews The Singles

On cowbell technique and production-line sass…

Hi, Alice Levine! Thanks so much for doing the singles for us this week. We like your Radio 1 show – brightens our weekends, so it does, when it airs on Saturday and Sunday from 1pm. Oh, look! Here’s a website with all sorts of information and clips and listings and stuff.

We know you’ve done a bunch of other things in your career, too, but you’ve done such a great job of summarising those projects here that we really needn’t re-list them all. We also like your YouTube funnies with James Cooper, so here’s a video for everyone else to enjoy, ahead of your views on this week’s new tracks.

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Circa Waves – ‘Fossils’

“There is just something so charismatic about this band’s frontman, Kieran Shudall. The first time I saw them perform was when they played live on my radio show. I was sold. They just embody this young, boyish optimism and ‘Fossils’ is no different. I wouldn’t be so 2014 as to compare them to The Strokes, but the bouncy guitars, that unmistakable intro, the confidence and attitude definitely channels some of that magic. They can’t put a foot wrong – at least I, hope they don’t.”

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Meghan Trainor – ‘Lips Are Movin’’

“I have nothing against sugary, colourful pop. In fact I often enjoy it. But for me this is evidence that Meghan (and/or her team of writers/producers) might have a one-hit wonder situation on their hands. And to describe ‘All About That Bass’ as a ‘wonder’ is being rather hyperbolic.

“This is again the same factory produced sass and pseudo-feminist empowerment that we heard on her number one hit – but hearing it a second time round loses some of its novelty.”

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Astronauts – ‘In My Direction’

“This is Kings Of Convenience doing Radiohead circa ‘Weird Fishes/Arpeggi’, but a folky version. Catchy, right? Why don’t they just put that on the record sleeve?”

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Mariachi El Bronx – ‘New Beat’

“This is from Mariachi El Bronx’s third album, the alter ego of LA hardcore band The Bronx… and sometimes it's best to just to stick with the ego That God Gave Ya.

“I spent far too much time assessing the cowbell technique here. And that’s a sentence I never want to say again. Mariachi with a dash of punk is not a recipe I am keen to repeat.”

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The Coronas – ‘Just Like That’

“This is the boys’ first foray into the world of major labels – and is perhaps their chance to leave the big fish-small pond days behind and conquer a new market. After all, they have basically done everything a band could want back home in Dublin. But a fan of college pop-rock I have never been.”

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Words: Alice Levine (Twitter)

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