Singles Round-Up 14/11/11

factory floor press 3

When I accepted the (poisoned?) chalice of reviewing this week’s singles I didn’t know what I’d let myself in for?! A blandathon of Ellie Goulding-soundalikes, skinny indie types churning out what amounts to pop punk?! Or maybe countless Ed Sheerans trying to abuse my eardrums with kindness?! You see the common conception is that the single is a dying art form: listen to the charts and you’ll hear a succession of the bland, the bad and the well Dappy. Hideous ringtone music or bland anaemic songs that lack the courage to offend anyone will be forgotten all about in years to come: Unit Shifters.

But I maintain that every now and then a great song that’s been bubbling ignored under the surface CAN gain it’s time to shine and just maybe intrude on a mainstream in dire need of great songwriting and personalities. Step forward Lana Del Rey and her recent release ‘Video Games’!

Anyway enough of the motivational speeches, with that thought hanging let’s see if any of this week’s singles have a hope in hell of making such a transition?!

Oooo spooky, sibling duo Colette And Hannah Thurlow better known as 2:54 return with ‘Scarlet’, an atmospheric swirl of thudding drums and rippling feminine tones, the effect drifts elusively somewhere between seductiveness of Goldfrapp and the electro menace of latter day Depeche Mode. It is pretty good but not quite the lo-fi buzz of their earlier material. Still, as an indication of their new EP, ‘Scarlet’ is cinematic and carries an other-worldly quality that could pin 2:54 as next year’s answer to Esben and the Witch, only time will tell…

Even more evasive is Mancunian composer/producer James Birchall aka Rough Fields and his new cut ‘The Harbour Wall’. A slinky, electronic folk song filled with twinkling percussion and dexterous bass lines which owes more than a little to the work of Four Tet. It’s perhaps a more interesting album track than a standout single, but does ripple with an inventive promise nevertheless….

Sam Brookes is a new name to me; apparently he’s been busy supporting Scott Matthews in the UK and apart from that I know very little about him. His new cut ‘Forever Absent’ displays a smoky voice and introspective words; it’s the kind of ‘ho hum’, weary, strumming balladry that you can hear currently playing on any of the one hundred million radio stations across the world. Sam’s earnest attempts at being ‘life affirming’ and ’emotive’ just ends up lost amongst the glossy production; it’s the sound of a man trying very hard to sound like David Gray, which is a shame because I’m nearly nodding off here!

So after three pretty un-memorable releases, at this point I’m wondering when this week’s single review will kick in; where’s the passion, the guts, the glory, the tunes – Dammit?! Well Londoner, Ruby Goe is giving it a bloody good go: her dance floor-ready tune ‘Get on it’ boogies on down on the party bus to the nearest open club shaking it’s tail feather like Lykke Li gyrating in her video to ‘Get Some’ as Goe‘s addictive chanting breaks into soulful euphoria in the second half. ‘Get On It’s only hamstrung for me is the derivative swirling ‘club beats’ and stuttering autune vocal affects that seem all too present. Apart from that, whilst it’s not quite Lady Gaga, it’s a passable party anthem in c-minor…

Goe – Get On It
by rubygoe

Hyde & Beast clearly have pedigree comprising the Sunderland duo of The Futureheads‘ Dave Hyde and ex-Golden Virgins drummer Neil Bassett. Their new single ‘You Will Be Lonely’ chugs along with a carefully constructed, quite muted countryish hoe-down, whilst shoulder-on-your-arm ‘Americana-esque’ vocal harmonies gives you that warm feeling in your belly, akin to having just had the one beer and a good hearty meal. It’s ‘nice’ but well, a bit inconsequential really; thus forgettable. Maybe the album is better eh?!

I have to be honest nothing this week had really done it for me up until now so I’m still ripe for the picking. Therefore, I was more than delighted by the scowling pop of Liverpudlians, The Cubical‘s Dirty Shame‘, as they harness the whiskey-soaked vocals and power of Tom Waits, Beefheart whilst the instrumental storm of brass fires up the Northern Soul boogie down depicted here in the multiple dance classes of this amusing video!

Stalking Horse possess the name of a rowdy bunch of bearded hardcore noise makers, but in reality this Leeds outfit is more tactile, dreamy disco-pop as ‘Waterhole’ earnestly grasps at the zeitgeist with a butterfly net: the song’s twitching falsetto harmonies and buzzing synths reminds one of both Everything Everything and The Postal Service. Whilst not quite hitting hit level status just yet, one can hear the promising shoots that encouraged I Like Trains to set up a new label to house them in.


Inventive duo Factory Floor have been a name to drop for a few years, whilst their Manchester peers have set about trying to dominate the airwaves (Everything Everything et. al), they’ve remained (save for remixes) relatively quiet on the release front. That’s about to change though with ‘Two Different Ways’, their debut release on DFA. A sterling nine minute shape shifting odyssey through modernistic rave beats, playful percussive samples, and swirling synth stabbs with Nik Colk’s other-worldly vocal samples encouraging a euphoric beat that enfolds you in it’s aura. Who needs the drugs eh?! ‘Two Different Ways’ is like a party in it’s own orbit and certainly the finest short playing release of the week -maybe even the month! Though whether you’ll hear it on your radio tomorrow is sadly doubtful.

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.