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This Week’s New Single Releases (22nd September 2013)

My round up of the new singles available for digital download this week.

Ben Pearce – ‘What I Might Do’
Given a new lease of life due to its appearance in a television commercial, this slick thick-bass number headed up by the Barry White-sounding Ben Pearce is a funky, laid-back number. It doesn’t really become a huge track at any point, treading a more understated path but its foot-tapping, head-nodding and pulsing electronic elements really sell this. (6.5/10)
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Bondax – ‘Giving It All’
‘Giving It All’ is a low-key funky summer track arriving late to the party. Built over a gloopy synth line and an energyless vocal track which actually suits the way the track is built up, its downbeat, almost lazy feel, knocks it back a bit but it’s a refreshing chill-out number as the nights get darker, and is summery enough to bring a smile to your face and some energy to your feet. (6.5/10)
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Capital Cities – ‘Safe and Sound’
Taking two years to hit these shores from America, this feels like we’ve gone back ten years to the golden age of modern indie. With an instantly catchy chorus and horn line, it’s difficult to find fault in this memorable, poppy tune that mixes a plethora of styles together and succeeds in weaving them. There are definite hints of other songs including the work of MGMT, but this is definitely one of the best songs in a few weeks. (8/10)
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Dave Stewart feat. Martina McBride – ‘Every Single Night’
Former Eurythmics chappie Dave Stewart releases another cracking and under-rated solo single, teaming up with McBride on the piece. With a strong piano and drum backing that drives Stewart’s dry vocals forward and a well-produced duet on the chorus, this pulls you in. The song perhaps doesn’t capitalise hugely on the building verses but there’s still plenty of power and moments to enjoy and a noticeable Bryan Adams feel, but McBride’s contribution is very minimum but does its job where it’s needed. (7/10)
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G Fella – ‘Got A Guy’
Sounding like the musical accompaniment to the Sopranos, ‘Got A Guy’ is a classic example of a list song as the stereotypically titled ‘G Fella’ talks about all the guys he’s got to do things. The song’s beat is very repetitive and the shouty rap relentless and one-note. The song does a well-observed tongue-in-cheek feel, combining the clichés of the genre with some dry lyrics. The humour isn’t quite pointed enough to really stand out, but it’s an amusing four minute diversion. (6/10)
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Haim – ‘The Wire’
The fourth single from their debut album ‘The Wire’ sees Haim going all T-Rex and glam rock, in a mix of a Corrs-song with Sara Bareilles, and shades of Goldfrapp. The repetitive guitar riff keeps the song flowing and the finger-clicking breakdown holds your interest just as it gets too familiar and by the end the combination of vocals and production effects cements this as their best single yet. (7/10)
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The Hoosiers – ‘Somewhere In The Distance’
With their long-awaited third album finally out next Spring, The Hoosiers are back with a brand new single and though it lacks the uptempo kick-out pop that their singles usually employ, this is no less of a great single from the band. Though it may lack the immediacy of ‘Goodbye Mr A’ or ‘Choices’ as a must-hear first cut, the musical riffs including the downbeat, saddening synth moments, and the chorus soon settle in after a couple of listens, and the mariachi-esque horns show a multi-layered approach to the production. Not their best single, but a welcome and enjoyable return and Irwin Sparkes vocals are as involving as ever and their ear for a good structure all present and correct. (7.5/10)
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Hugh Laurie – ‘Junco Partner’
Comedian and actor Hugh Laurie releases a new single, taken from the deluxe edition of his ‘Let It Rain’ album and it certainly well showcases an extra string to his already impressive bow – or perhaps that should be a key to his piano. Though it’s a song that’s been covered many, many times, Laurie’s version is certainly strong and the combination of instruments and his surprisingly emotive vocals make it. With elements of gospel it’s a well done cover and captures the retro style and if you have even a passing interest in the style then you’ll be home here. (7/10)
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Jenn Bostic – ‘Missin’ A Man’
Taking a lead from ‘Walking In Memphis’, this touching ballad shows off Bostic’s vocals and a simple, cut back musical track, though the repetitive chorus becomes quite grating by the time the four minutes are over. A beautifully performed song and another this week with a nod towards Sara Bareilles. If the chorus had a bit more to it and there was a little more spark this would be unmissable but it’s still an emotive listen. (6.5/10)
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Jonas Brothers – ‘First Time’
The second cut from their upcoming fifth album is a much more mature sound than you’d expect from the Jonas Brothers with its intriguing dark opening. But unfortunately the rest of the song doesn’t capitalise on that opening and the rest of ‘First Time’ is a little bland. It certainly has its hallmarks of dark-gritty-pop and it’s probably the first of their hits that has really perked up my interest, but their attempt to sound like The Wanted is only half-way there and it sounds like the band is bored. It has its moments but not enough to sustain your interest beyond a couple of listens. (6.5/10)
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Paige Morgan – ‘Never Change’
Dial-up internet may have died out many years ago but at least it’s found a new place to reside as the backing for this heard-it-all-before dance tune. Ticking all the expected boxes of a dance record, this is a perfectly fine example of the genre but doesn’t particularly stand out. Worth a listen but don’t expect things to have changed. (5.5/10)
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Paul McCartney – ‘New’
The former Beatles bassist is back with another new album and new single, both called ‘New’. But there’s nothing massively new about the sound. Though it can certainly be described as jaunty and has shades of the Zutons and much older, 1960s influences, it lacks the power of his other solo hits. Not a dislikeable return but it’s forgettable. (5/10)
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Sub Focus feat. Kele – ‘Turn It Around’
The fifth single from his upcoming sophomore album, Sub Focus teams up with Kele from Bloc Party with his distinct vocals weaved through the record. Putting Calvin Harris and similar producers to shame, ‘Turn Around’ manages to both fit into the club genre but without jumping for safety to most of the current clichés. With a chiptune style for the chorus and an ear-pleasing build up through the verse, it’s perhaps not the hugest club banger you’ll hear this week but for a fifth cut holds its own. (6/10)
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The Weeknd feat. Drake – ‘Live For’
‘Live For’ is hardly the most exciting release of the week with some awkward transitions between the lead vocals of The Weeknd and of rapper Drake. With multiple mentions of one expletive, it helps sum up the song. Musically dark and competent, any atmosphere is just destroyed by the bland, lazily written lyrics. The falsetto vocals are neatly balanced by Drake’s deeper raps but you just can’t avoid the quickly-written, almost laughable, lyrics. (3.5/10)
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