Single Review – Franz Ferdinand – Feel The Love Go

Prior to the release of Always Ascending, Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand dropped Feel the Love Go; a song founded in a squelchy synth bassline and the quickening *tss* *tss* of hissing cymbals. With lyrics seemingly written by just throwing together a bunch of repeated words – though undeniably pretty catchy – the band, including new members Dino Bardot and Julian Corrie, have put forward nothing hugely ground-breaking, but something a no-nonsense robotic rock record, perked up with some sax towards the end to round off the track in a more promising way than it starts. The instrumentals are definitely the best quality of the song, merging sizzling electronics with back-to-basics indie. The band’s fifth studio album is set for release on February 9th.

Eleanor Chivers

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Single Review – First Aid Kit – Ruins

The title track of their album to be released on Friday (the 19th January), Ruins, drops as the soothing final hint at First Aid Kit’s fourth LP. Glimmering with guitar and soaring with simply gorgeous harmonies, the country-esque ballad deviates somewhat from the more upbeat It’s a Shame, but not too far, pretty much guaranteeing that the track list will flow beautifully. Ruins puts Klara and Johanna’s lush, folky vocals at centre stage, floating laxly on top of the soft and simplistic instrumentalism. Both almost haunting, but also strong and grounded, Ruins is a wonderful track.

Eleanor Chivers

Single Review – Gaz Coombes – Deep Pockets

Three years on from releasing the critically acclaimed Matador; Gaz Coombes is to release his ‘Frank Ocean inspired’ third album The Worlds Strongest Man on May 4th. Once he added hints of experimentation to his ever maturing songwriting in 2015 he was in a new submersible phase. This earned himself a Mercury prize nomination amongst other accolades. His recent comments about his third solo effort only suggest more exploration for the quietly confident singer-songwriter. ‘Deep Pockets’ immediately smacks with a buzzing energy and throbbing beat. Gaz’s echoed and wiry vocals skate atop the accelerating feel of the track as it drives towards the chorus to be met with a more rooted, lower vocal to meet the expansive and growing sounds around him. His eccentric melodies and introverted lyrics deliver messages of unchecked masculinity. Supergrass are but a distant memory and it’s likely it grow ever more distant by May 4th.

Owen Riddle

This Week Music Video with The Killers, Manic Street Preachers, First Aid Kit, Jack White, Franz Ferdinand and Suuns

Single Review – Rae Morris – Push Me To My Limit

Following the punchy mechanics of Reborn and Atletico¸ and the pop-y energy Do It, we explore another avenue in the repertoire of Rae Morris. Push Me To My Limit takes us back to the ghostly ambience of select tracks on 2017’s Unguarded, but on an extreme level. The gorgeous, feathery tones of Morris’ vocal floats over calm waves of synth to form a simplistic but magical gem I worry will get lost amongst the louder pop ventures that make up the track list of the soon-to-be-released Someone Out There. It builds slowly but surely towards the end, with a quick bass synth line to softly erupt at the conclusion. It’s bare and vulnerable and an accolade to the sheer talent of an artist who should’ve got way more recognition when her debut was released.

Eleanor Chivers

Single Review – The Vaccines – I Can’t Quit

Since The Vaccines’ last album English Graffiti, drummer Pete Robertson walked out, and Tim Lanham and Ioann Intonti walked in. And despite the switch up, the change in the band’s sound is only that of the clocks being turned back to 2011, as new single I Can’t Quit roars with the same powerful enthusiasm as their earliest anthems. Opening with a head-bopping intro to bass drum and guitar riff, it’s not long before the lyrics of the infectious hook come into play, prepared to take up permanent residence in your head, and even more prepared to sell out massive arena gigs. The lyrics aren’t necessarily sophisticated – this arena filling chorus is a repeated 6-word hook – but you can always rely on the now-5-piece for some straightforward alt-rock to put a smile on your face.

Eleanor Chivers

Single Review – Joan as a Police Woman – Tell Me

With her fifth studio album as a solo artist Damned Devotion out on February 9th, Joan Wasser will look to build on the sophisticated Pop she’s plied for well over a decade. ‘Tell Me’ is the latest single from it and serves as another example of smooth chamber Pop and Soul influenced music. Smooth riffs and bass lines sink into each other, becoming a single entity with the grazing percussion and glistening electronica setting itself just above it. Joan’s dry and smooth vocals easily guide and mould the song around her to produce an alluring peace of easy listening music.

Owen Riddle

Single Review – Pale Waves – My Obsession

In new single My Obsession, Pale Waves bring together gravelly pop-punk vocals to glistening indie chimes to create something both emotive and musically brilliant. Recalling 2017-era Paramore and Clean Cut Kid, The 1975’s Matty Healy put his stamp on the ethereal synth undulations the verses are built upon, before the startling guitars slice into the chorus. And while the song is predominantly floaty and mysterious, there’s no denying the fervour behind the crisp voice of Heather Baron-Gracie, nor the bitter strikes of guitar. My Obsession’s release comes prior to the launch of EP New Year’s Eve, and this hearty, twinkling ballad promises a tracklist to look out for.

Ellie Chivers

Single Review – MGMT – When You Die

MGMT: the masters of seemingly pleasant, quietly aggressive electronica. This rings true in new single When You Die, a discordant robotic tune filled with odd fx and tuning to make you squirm. The track itself is very bizarre, with angry lyrics spoken against a jarring backing track – apart from the gritty harmonies MGMT always conquer, it all just seems quite messily done, as though they found anything that only just about works together and crammed it into one track. Is it meant to be a metaphorical ‘the music speaks louder than the words’ scenario? Very possibly. But I don’t get it. It just sounds off.

Ellie Chivers

This Weeks Music Video with Johnny Marr, Björk, MGMT, Brockhampton and Marmozets