Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Hannah's Single of the Week (27/02/06)

I've heard an uncharacteristically HUGE number of this week's releases, making just picking a few really tricky. So I've picked a few more than usual. Marathon post time. Sorry about that. Oh, and as for the self-indulgent and disturbingly badly written Chico record and it's godawful video - the less said, the better. Oh, other than it's heading to number one. People, are you mad?

Special Mentions:
Graham Coxon - Standing On My Own Again (official site and video)
All things considered, most of the members of Blur are doing pretty well for themselves. One's an influential songwriter hiding behind a few cartoons and selling millions and the other has joined forces with Betty Boo. Graham, meanwhile, is a rising solo megastar supporting Kaiser Chiefs, the band that cleaned up at the Brits and also happen to be a bit of a Blur rip-off. After the triumph that was 'Happiness In Magazines', I'm expecting big things for his followup album, 'Love Travels At Illegal Speeds'. 'Standing On My Own Again', this lead single, is a promising sign of what is yet to come, even if it's just basically Graham doing what he does best, and that hasn't really changed that much for the past ten years. Then again, I'm not complaining - this is great.

MP3 time:
The fantastic Mr Red Penguin has this single, plus another track, from Graham's recent Xfm session.

The Feeling - Sewn (official site)
For fans of Athlete's altogether chirpier first album who thought their second release was a sleep-inducing cheap Coldplay imitation, this is for you. Despite being your average slice of MOR indie, tailor-made for excessive radioplay, 'Sewn' has a certain charm. Maybe this is because it was recorded in a shed...or maybe not. Maybe it's because the phrase 'shake that ass' sounds as much out of place as certain four letter words in Belle and Sebastian songs, but it's there anyway. Yep, it's possibly that. The song's your typical mid-tempo affair, complete with obligatory Kasabian/Kaiser Chiefs style 'nananana' element so even the most forgetful among us can sing along. The video's also one to watch, especially for those of you who might get some sadistic thrill out of seeing mainstream indie rock sewn up into silence. Literally.

Hot Chip - Over and Over (official site includes video - scroll down!)
The first great alt-dance record of 2006 comes in the shape of 'Over and Over' by Hot Chip. Accompanied by a truly excellent and rather daft-but-clever video based around just what you can do with a green screen, this is a catchy piece of electro by a band who prove you never can have too many synths and sound effects. The chorus is bizarrely hypnotic, the middle-8 is something of a distorted intrumental freak out and the video really does add a whole new dimension to the song, so make sure you watch it. It's fantastic, it really is. In fact, this is soooo good, it should probably should be single of the week, but I'm just too lazy to move the review down a bit.

The Rakes - All Too Human (official site - includes video)
So here comes the stopgap single. In a similar style to The Zutons, Razorlight and Bloc Party before them, The Rakes are releasing a song previously not included on their debut record. This is until next week, of course, when the albums on the shelves will have it tacked on the end, delighting all those jumping on the bandwagon and irritating all those who have had to fork out again for the single because they bought the album AGES ago - including me. Not that I mind buying the single, of course. It's a good single and the b-sides look promising, too. Mind you, for those expecting another shouty 'Strasbourg' or claptastic '22 Grand Job', think again. This is an altogether quieter and more sophisticated affair, showing a definite development in the Rakes' musical style, steering away from their punkier roots and sounding even more like Pulp. Hopefully it'll allow the band to be recognised as yet another of Britpop's new-wave.

The Young Knives - Here Comes The Rumour Mill (official site)
I got very confused when I originally saw the video for this song, because my image of the Young Knives came from this promo photo. Amazing what you can do with a bit of airbrushing and a strategically placed bush, eh? So what if The Young Knives are potentially the least-rockstar-looking-rockstars since Tom Chaplin of Keane - they happen to be bloody good. With lead singer Henry's erratic vocals and angular guitar riffs, vocal harmonies and driving bass provided by pretentiously named bassist 'House of Lords' and drummer Oliver's frantic beats, 'Here Comes The Rumour Mill' is a maddening musical jaunt about gossip and paranoia. Everything about it is completely and utterly perfect...apart from the very end where the song just crashes weakly into oblivion. That's the only reason why it's not Single of the Week.

Single of the Week:
Orson - No Tomorrow (official site)
Okay, so hear me out. Very, very rarely do I lay praise on a single that's been bigged up by Jo Whiley/ridiculously overplayed on Radio 1/is likely to reach the top 5. I have a good explanation for this - I loved this song long before Radio 1. In fact, I loved this song back in August when the track was available on Life Of A Spuckle. Admittedly I'm a little more sick of it now it's everywhere (and am on a semi-boycott of Radio 1 as a result) but it's still one of the most fun party-anthem songs I've heard in the last 12 months. It's like Maroon 5 (but less wet), like Jamiroquai (but with a less extravagant taste in hats) and essentially the best bits of several different genres all mishmashed in a tasty musical smoothie. Oh, and its as catchy as hell, complete with a-cappella section...and hold on, Steve from TOTP has pinched our entire review, again! :P

And even with all of that I've still not mentioned the latest single from the wonderful Charlotte Church, the song from the On Offs that sounds like it's a nineties indie anthem, and the song from myspace favourites Panic! At The Disco that I really shouldn't like, but I do. Oh, and Jim Noir. And White Rose Movement. It's just one of those weeks...

All Releases: (ones I've heard in bold)
65 Days Of Static - Radio Revolution, Above & Beyond - Alone Tonight, Addison Industries - On The Moon, All-American Rejects - Move Along, Archie Bronson Outfit - Dart For My Sweetheart [7" Only], Babyshambles - 32nd Of December, Blind Guardian - Fly [Digipack], The Boy Least Likely To - Be Gentle With Me, Brian Jacket Letdown - Piratas/A Light Array [7" Only], Charlotte Church - Moodswings (To Come At Me Like That), Chico - It’s Chico Time, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - In This Home On Ice, Composers - A Way Of Being Free, Dan Sartain - Walk Among The Cobras (Part 1), Dios Malos - I Want It All [7" Only], Far Cries - Stepping [7" Only], The Favours - One Up On You, The Feeling - Sewn, Flip & Fill - 6 Days (On The Run), Freelance Hellraiser - Want You To Know/Pound For Pound [7" Only] , Freemasons Ft Amanda Wilson - Watchin’, Gliss - Rugby Road, Gogol Bordello - Start Wearing Purple/Sally, Graham Coxon - Standing On My Own Again, Hot Chip - Over And Over, Howling Bells - Wishing Stone, Jack Johnson - Better Together, Jim Noir - Key Of C , Jono McCleery feat. Hijera - Bet She Does/Ten Thousand Eyes [7" Only] , Keisha White - The Weakness In Me, Last Stop China Town - Just Ashes, Little Man Tate - Agent [7" Only], Loungs - I'm Gonna Take Your Girl [7" Only], Love Bites - He’s Fit, Martha Redbone - Future Street, Matchbox Romance - Monsters, McQueen - Running Out Of Things To Say, Michael Jackson - Rock With You, Mitchell Brothers - Alone With The TV, Mystery Jets - The Boy Who Ran Away, Neon Plastix - Prick Tease/Neon Invasion, On Offs - This Town/Grow Your Own [7" Only], Orasio Garcia feat. Young Musicians Aware - Outer Space [7" Only], Orson - No Tomorrow, Panic! At The Disco - I Write Sins Not Tragedies, Peven Everett - Stuck, Pussycat Dolls feat. Will-I-Am - Beep, Rakes - All Too Human, Sarah Harvey Smart - Blinding, Scary Kids Scaring Kids - Only Medicine [7" Only] , Shakira - Don't Bother, Stellastarr* - Sweet Troubled Soul, Teddy Thompson - Everybody Move It, Toreros After Ole - After Ole [7" Only], Trabant - Loving Me/Galdur [7" Only], Upper Room - All Over This Town, White Rose Movement - Girls In The Back, The Wrens - Faster Gun,Young Knives - Here Comes The Rumour Mill, Zounds - Go All The Way

What's your single of the week?