Singles Round Up – April 15th

Featuring Psy, Nelly, Bat For Lashes and more...

There’s something in the water, and it ain’t right. A festering plague. An infectious addiction. A wave of hysteria. Psy’s got another song out…

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Psy – ‘Gentleman’
So the video to ‘Gentleman’ was published to YouTube on April 13. Twenty-four hours later: over 30 million views. What does this portly Korean popster with a penchant for crap dances have that so few of his superstar peers possess? He’s a recording career stretching back over 10 years, for one thing – neither Bieber nor Gaga can compete with that. He looks alright as a cartoon merman, too. Beyond that? Gotta be the crap dances.

Nelly – ‘Hey Porsche’
As his 40s grow closer, Nelly is showing distinct signs of maturity – and not for the better. What happened to the guy duetting so sweetly with that one from Destiny’s Child? What about those killer Neptunes hook-ups? Distant past. I blame Tim McGraw, the country star who appeared on Nelly’s 2004 hit ‘Over and Over’, because ‘Hey Porsche’ sounds like something the Nashville soundtrack could co-opt in a heartbeat: stick a ten-gallon on it, switch the subtle misogyny for a little heartbreak, and bingo.

Bat For Lashes – ‘Lilies’
While it’s nice that Natasha Khan’s got some clothes on here – some being the operative word – it’s a shame that ‘Lilies’ sounds about as formulaic as this otherworldly-at-her-best artist gets. Last year’s ‘The Haunted Man’ album might be the weakest Bat set yet; but at least the video for this single balances its outré-ness with an uncommon aesthetic beauty, hidden though it is at times by brazen bat-shittery.

Rascals feat. Professor Green – ‘Fire Blaze’
Imagine picking this up expecting to hear Miles Kane swapping lines with Hackney’s favourite constipated MC. Still a better proposition that the reality of hearing a distinctly ordinary track, which was already issued last year, given a leg-up by a rudimentary rapper whose ‘feat’ appearances are more commonplace than price-reduction stickers on supermarket value burgers. S’alright likes; but why waste four minutes on this when Death Grips remixed ‘Firestarter’ last week?

The Prodigy – ‘Firestarter’ (Death Grips remix)
Top YouTube comment: “10/10, it’s okay”. We’ll go with that. And if Death Grips means nothing to you: check out (an excerpt from) our cover feature of last year.

King Midas Sound – ‘Aroo’
From one act known for pushing bass bins to the very edge of breakdown, to another more than familiar with lassoing listeners in with luxurious low end. ‘Aroo’ is the lead cut from King Midas Sound’s new 12”, released on Record Store Day (which, being this coming Saturday, is why it’s here this week and not next). This wax represents both the group’s first new music since 2009’s debut album, ‘Waiting For You’, and the debut release through their new label, Ninja Tune. If this is what the next phase of KMS is set to sound like, we’re salivating for more.

Zoon van snooK – ‘The Verge Of Winter’
Clash already presented the Isan remix of this track last week. The original was described at the time thusly: “a track with a rare inner-peace – an electronic sanctum from an increasingly noisy world”. I don’t know about that, but it’s a pleasant enough distraction from all of these product-hawking pricks copying Psy’s moves on primetime chat shows. (At least, that’s what I imagine them doing – primetime TV is so depressing right now I’d rather write this round up.)

Words by Mike Diver

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