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Single Releases (2nd June 2013) – Part 2

Part 2 of Phil Lickley’s roundup of the week’s top new single releases

Mikill Pane – Chairman Of The Bored EP

A follow-up to the brilliant ‘Good Feeling’, ‘Chairman of the Bored’, flanked by a plethora of remixes on the EP, takes the structure of his original hit and substitutes the lyrics in a very similarly sounding hit. His ear for a good lyric and rhyme is still there and the chorus is pretty catchy, wrapped up as it is in a steel-drum led tune. It is, however, not as solid as its predecessor, with his vocals lost in the production. Too similar to his first hit in structure, but lacking that hit’s style and immediate hook, it’s still worth a listen and makes a fair stab at catching the summer vibe. (6/10)

Miles Kane – Don’t Forget Who You Are

The order of the day appears to be Postman Pat meets the Shadows in this retro sounding indie tune. With influences cherry picked from all over, the bridge is pretty catchy and the ‘la la la’ element hooks you in, even with its derivativeness, but it’s a little muddy in parts. ‘Don’t Forget Who Are You’ is a middle-of-the-road indie hit, enjoyable while it lasts but pretty forgettable. (5/10)

Muse – Panic Station

The fifth single from their latest album, ‘Panic Station’ is refreshingly a Muse track that doesn’t immediately shout out that it’s one of their songs, and equally doesn’t reference space for the first time in ages. Grabbing a sound that’s definitely Queen, Bellamy channels Mercury and Mika, and a little bit of Prince, in their campest hit ever. There’s still time for some of their trademark guitar work within the song, though, amongst the ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ and ‘Thriller’ lifts. Catchy because of its style thefts and influenced rather than influencing for a change; ‘Panic Station’ isn’t one of their strongest hits – and notably their first containing expletives – but is a change in sound for the band and they should be noted for that, even if that sound is clearly Queen’s. (6/10)

Olly Murs – Dear Darlin’

Murs continues to buck the trend and prove to be one of the better artists to emerge from a reality show. ‘Dear Darlin’’ is a well-written, emotive ballad with a simple, but engaging backing tune, constructed like a letter between loved ones. It does descend into sickly sweet at times and maybe doesn’t always fit with the music, though the musical breaks work well, and it has a slight vibe of ‘Unfinished Symphony’, but as the strings burst in it’s difficult not to be won over by the track’s sentiments. (6.5/10)

Phillip Phillips – Home (EP)

So good they named him twice, this ‘Mumford and Sons’ sound-a-like was the winner of last year’s ‘American Idol’. On here proves his strength as a singer on this engaging debut hit, though not written by Phillips. The simple tune isn’t particularly memorable or the song singable, but it’s a gentle, laid-back hit that is quickly appealing and has a chilled-out, warm summer evening, barbecue mix-tape vibe. Not the greatest to come out of the US reality show, but a nice enough tune. Second track ‘Hazel’ is in a similar vein but lacks anything particularly grabbing even for a ballad and feels very raw; and third track, coming before a live version of the title track, is a competent, enough cover of the seminal Chris Isaak song, though much more forced than the original and lacking the iconic music. (6.5/10)

Pierce The Veil feat. Kellin Quinn – King For A Day

‘King For A Day’ is another cookie-cutter screamo track, with loud, indistinguishable vocals and throbbing guitars, that we’ve heard so many times before. If you’re a fan of the genre then this isn’t dislikeable but the lyrical themes, words and music have been run through so many times before. They’re talented young men but not doing anything fresh for 2013. (4/10)

The Strypes – Hometown Girls

The second single from the Strypes, ‘Hometown Girls’ takes up back to an earlier age, with clear sounding guitars, straight forward, audible and structured lyrics, and a distinct sound. With elements of the Monkees but with a punkier vibe, a strong bridge and fun attitude make this an enjoyable post-sixties hit that’s well produced and shows lots of skill. A promising start for a young band and better than some of the songs released this week from established acts. (6/10)

Two Door Cinema Club – Handshake EP

With remixes filling up the rest of the EP, ‘Handshake’ is a perky and jaunty indie hit that continues along nicely for three minutes thanks to the appeal of the lead singer Alex Trimble’s voice and the well-constructed musical backing, though it lacks any big hooks to really lift it up to the next level. (5/10)

Union J – Carry You

The debut single from a new boyband, who are following in the footsteps of ‘One Direction’: a band who didn’t win the X Factor but who could go onto bigger things.  But they will only go onto bigger things if they write better songs than this, a by-the-numbers pop track whose only remarkable thing is that it’s so unremarkable. It’s an ok track with a repeated and memorable chorus, but it’s so familiar to every other boyband hit ever. Boring. (4/10)

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