Singles Round-Up 23/05/11

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This week has been a pretty hectic one for me. It’s involved driving around a fair proportion of the country without a great deal of sleep (it’s all been my own downfall though.). Driving from Edinburgh to Newcastle on Thursday to see the same band I watched on Tuesday was, in hindsight, a bit odd. However, the grogginess and the cold I have at the minute is a tiny price to pay for the brilliant week that has been sampled to myself. It’s pretty staggering what music does to the soul – the all-powering desire to witness some strangers make noises on instruments is intoxicating for some reason. Done badly and it’s enough to make you want to rip off your leg and beat someone over the head with it. Done correctly and it’s almost numinous. The worst thing that happened was that the speakers on my car have blown so there’s no more music for me when I’m driving! Boo! Lets see if I can rouse myself by showing you all some lovely new music.

Battles have Ice Cream out this week. Taken from their album Gloss Drop (released 6h June), the track was somewhat of a pleasant surprise when I started to listen to it for the first time – mostly because I got Battles mixed up with the awful UK group Battle (apparently they went their separate ways a few years ago), so it came as a bit of a shock to discover that Ice Cream is actually a lovely little track. I’m not quite sure what they’re singing about…ice cream presumably…in a different language…but it doesn’t really make any difference. I’m not too sure about the Jackson 5-style accapella towards the end of the song, as it makes the whole piece sound somewhat disjointed, but apart from that it’s a fun song. There’s not much else to say really! Battles remind me of Mono Stereo…they’re certainly just as bonkers and equally as pleasant on the ears.

Bibio with K is for Kelson next, which is actually rather similar to Battle’s latest creation. There’s not a great deal of lyrics here apart from a few non-desript noises so it’s all about the instrumentaling (yeah just made up a new word). The composition of the track feels very deep and expansive, when in fact there isn’t a great deal of elements pierced together to create the song. The constant marracca percussion in the background adds a certain zesty feel, along with the other random clangings created by milk bottles and God knows what else. This comes across as sounding like a terrible statement, but K is for Kelson actually sounds like it could very easily be the theme tune for an old video game, and I mean that in quite a good way! It’s a fun and frolically track which “Makes you want to recycle or something” according to a YouTube user which, oddly enough, describes the track perfectly!

Now we have Crewdson and his “blissful-future-soul-2-step-glitch monster” single Trapdoor. We’re having a bit of an instrumental/quirky week so far for this round-up, with Crewson’s latest one continuing the trend. The track is delightfully weird, and the listener can’t help but be morbidly intrigued with what is invading their ears. Trapdoor is an excellent representation of electronnica music that could only ever be conceived in the 21st century – it works perfectly in embodying the Internet-fuelled and technology-driven surroundings that often asphyxiate us. The rhythm and full-on groove that perpetuates throughout the track is lovely. It’s accessible enough for everyday listening, yet holds artistic edges that are jagged enough to pierce even the most cynical critic’s skin. Trapdoor is BEGGING to be part of the latest ‘chill-out’ compilation album released for the Ibiza revellers – you know the ones I mean…Ministry of Sound (Presents) Ultimate-Chill-To-The-Max-On-A-Lazy-Spanish-Beach-Reading-A-Book-When-In-Reality-You’re-Still-Off-You’re-Face-Covered-In-Your-Own-Body-Fluid-On-The-Hotel-Room-Floor. One disappointment is that perhaps it is a little too long for a single of this kind, and could have been trimmed down a tad. However, Trapdoor is an excellent single and I look forward to hearing his album which is released early next month.

Back to normal service a bit more now. We have Pony Pony Run Run and their new release Hey You. It’s a ‘nice’ track that is never ever ever going to offend anyone in the slightest, which is certainly not a bad thing – one of my pet hates is people who complain about music that isn’t ‘challenging’ or ‘asking questions’ – sometimes it’s OKAY to just listen to some NICE songs. Your MP3 Player doesn’t have to be bursting to the seams with Antony And The Johnsons all the time. Again, it’s a very chilled affair (you can definitely tell that summer is well on it’s way with the tracks that are being shipped out). Hey You sounds a slightly (SLIGHTLY) like  Jamiroquai‘s vibe due to the soulful bass-lines throughout. I can imagine this being a hit amongst student halls throughout the land, as it embodies that indie vibe that seems to have entered the nucleus of a great deal of mainstream tracks. It’s almost indie-pop’s answer to what Hard-Fi is to rock(ish) music – the first steps into a genre that isn’t prodding or poking your side, but instead rubbing your face and smiling nicely in the corner.

Nerina Pallot has given us a gorgeous slice of folky-pop in the guise of Put Your Hands Up for us to listen too. It’s got somewhat of a 90’s feel to it, with the likes of Natalie Imbruglia coming to mind, or maybe even Paloma Faith for a modern-day comparison. The track is thoroughly charming throughout, with Pallot’s voice delicately cutting through the music like warm silk. The headonistic guitar compliments Pallot’s voice in a way that is neither overpowering or limp. The lyrics are soulful and easy to listen too – perfect for the hazy summer days that are soon to become abundant. Put Your Hands Up will probably be a hit amongst readers of Grazia magazine, which is fair enough! It definitely grows on you more and more. I imagine that Pallot would work quite well in a festival atmosphere also. If I was being super-critical? The song is maybe, MAYBE, a little bland and could have benefited with a couple different ideas being added mid-way through – if that was the case however, the lazy, effortless feeling that radiates within the track may have been lost.

My word…well SOMEONE’S been listening to Mumford & Sons haven’t they!?!? Common Tongues released Jumping Ships this week. It sounds harsh but to my rather terrible ears this is just a Mumford B-Side, unless I’m missing something. I mean sure, if something is working for a band then fair enough, gain a little inspiration, that’s fine! But if you’re going to do that then your tracks have to be stupidly good. That said however, if I had never listened to M&S before then I would be waxing lyrically (or, at least been more positive) about Jumping Ships (to be honest I find the sudden influx of this style of music over-rated in any case). It has an acoustic guitar, violin and a deep voice all atuned to folky folkness from Folkestone in the folk pub while people drink pints of the local folk ale…even if you never listen to the song itself then you’ve probably already worked out the tune. Jumping Ships is not a bad song by any stretch, but perhaps is something a collective of musicians would create if they were made the challenge of “write a Mumford & Sons song”.

That’s your lot for a thoroughly mixed-bag of singles rounding-up unfortunately. Although it’s bee nice to get my teeth into something a little different to the normal guitar-y stuff that we get sent at GIITV pretty much exclusively. My single of the week? Crewdson‘s Trapdoor. I just love how it’s a track (and artist) that would not exist during any other era – rather than recycling the tried-and-tested routines of quick-sale singles Crewdson has created a single that still holds down to his electronic routes whilst definitely forcing a head bob in those who normally wouldn’t indulge in tracks of this sort.

  Trapdoor by crewdson

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.