What a week. Cheryl Cole devastated the dreams of a million tiny indie PR’s by storming to the top of the singles chart, before they all got their dreams restored again by getting nominated for a Record Of The Day Award. Life is, as someone once said, a roller-coaster. To add to all that, it’s a rather mixed bag of singles releases this week. Never mind though, with releases on the albums front from Local Natives and Julian Casablancas things can’t go too wrong, can they?
Fenech Soler – Lies
I loved Fenech’s debut single The Cult Of Romance, a dizzying combination of dirty synth lines and ultra-digestable vocal melodies. It’s certainly the pick of the bunch this week but it’s also conspicuous in being able to be described with exactly the same closing sentences as it’s predecessor. This is pop for girls that dance like Debbie Harry without realising who she is; for boys that will never know their glitter make-up makes them look a little like Bowie.
The Horrors – Whole New Way
Now don’t get me wrong, The Horrors released one of the best albums of 2009. I think at the time I called it “Hitchcock directing Romeo & Juliet, Ian Curtis directing Lolita”, which might have been a bit vague, but I was clearly getting at how exciting it felt. In complete opposition to that Whole New Way sounds tired, replacing the fuzz and decadence of Primary Colours with a sea of soul-sapping bleeps and empty vocal delivery.
St Vincent – Marrow
A magnificently dizzying gem from one of the most exciting female artists of the last half-decade. Taken from her latest album Actor, it effortlessly skips along to an electronic marching band while being layered through with Annie trademark gentle yet effective vocals. Utterly magical, but not however the greatest song from the album.
Royksopp – This Must Be It
If any vocalist was made for Halloween it must be Karin Dreijer Andersson, her work either as The Knife or Fever Ray has formed the backbone to too many autumnal mixes to count. Here though, she adds her voice to the beats of Royksopp, a duo that have completely passed under my radar since about 2001. Completely and shamelessly omitting the period of time between then and now, this is a great little slice of electronic collaboration. Now if only Karin would record something with Kieran Hebden instead I’d be happy.
Mirrors – Into The Heart
This is like listening to a rubber-band powered version of The Futureheads, half exciting with a barely tangible whiff of a catchy chorus. Thing is they’ve clearly got better songs, the dashing swagger of Somewhere Strange being a prime example, yet somehow this is how they choose to assail us just as winter is rolling in. Shocking.