Welcome to a New Year...


Now, I know Christmas and New Year are times of celebration, for being with your family and friends, but do they really have to hurt so much?

Chocolate, turkey, selection boxes, wine, chocolate... it all mounts up to one massive comedown when the front door of the office swings back open. Gym memberships are bought up, resolutions are made and the cold month of January puts its hand on your shoulder...

To while away the time, here's the first Single Review Round Up of 2011...

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Jamie xx / Gil Scott Heron – NY Is Killing Me
I’ll admit I’m not the sharpest tool in the box. When it comes to spotting trends I tend to be a month behind everyone else (have you heard about chillwave?) so when I initially rejected this track I knew, ironically, that something important was happening. Taken from an upcoming remix project, Jamie xx re-boots Gil Scott Heron’s cry of urban despair to a London format. The beats are funky, with a definite tropical flavour while the synths are light and linear without losing their edge. Just as the track behinds to veer away into dancefloor territory, Gil Scott Heron’s gravel voices intrudes like a wake up to signify this is more than just noise. A superb primer for an exciting project.

Jamie xx / Gil Scott Heron - NY Is Killing Me

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Warpaint – Shadows
One of last year’s sleeper hits, Los Angeles group Warpaint have a ghost-like, midnight quality. Debut album ‘The Fool’ sneaked out, with their clipped guitars sounding like Interpol. Pushing forward into a New Year, Warpaint release ‘Shadows’. Taken from their recent debut LP, the track is a fantastic slice of down beat indie rock. Containing all the elements that made Warpaint so irresistible, it will hopefully trigger some new attention for their full length.

Julio Bashmore – Everybody Needs A Theme Tune
With the continents of UK dance music beginning to split, some exciting new sounds are being unleashed. Bristol’s Julio Bashmore is a case in point, managing to mash together house, shards of bass and hip hop on his debut EP. ‘Everybody Needs A Theme Tune’ is nothing if not varied, but what holds it together if Bashmore’s imaginative approach. Containing remixes from Ramadanman and Midland, if you can’t find your theme tune in here somewhere then you’re obviously not looking hard enough…

Cee-Lo Green – It’s OK
Blessed with an undoubtedly pleasant voice, it’s a shame that Cee-Lo Green uses it on such undramatic material. Sure, ‘Forget You’ had it’s cheeky charm but you can’t help but feel that Cee-Lo could do so much more. ‘It’s OK’ is another pleasant, melodic single which will be adopted by the nation but the middle of the road is such a boring way to travel.

Eliza Doolittle – Skinny Genes
So what she did there? The single is just as subtle.

Jim Noir – Zooper Dooper EP
Manchester maverick Jim Noir claims to have lost an album’s worth of material, necessitating the release of two EPs. Do we believe him? Well, to be honest it doesn’t matter. It makes for a funny back story, and also seems to have pushed the psychedelic troubadour into new, unfamiliar directions. ‘Zooper Dooper’ is typically mind-bending fare, from one of the country’s most under-rated and unpredictable songwriters.

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