Philip Lickley’s round-up of the biggest new singles released this week…
Single Reviews – 6 January
Bat For Lashes – ‘A Wall’
Buy: A Wall
The third single from Natasha Khan’s The Haunted Man album is an unusual listen. Taking the sound of Kate Bush but ramping up the eccentricity, it’s not so much a song as three-and-half minutes of ethereal and sonic noise. Interestingly produced with an enjoyable, floating sound, it’s a nice piece of background music but doesn’t really have any hooks to grab hold of though the chorus, for what there is of it, does slowly emerge after a few listens – but isn’t particularly memorable.
Deacon Blue – ‘That’s What We Can Do’
Buy: That’s What We Can Do
The latest cut from their album ‘The Hipsters’, it’s dominated by a forceful and determined simple drum line. For a band releasing an album outside of their “famous” period it shows they still have the ability to make a decent song with a relatively listenable chorus even if the lyrics do seem detached from the music. It’s not their strongest material ever and it sounds too disparate between words and tune, but it’s a fun enough listen and sounds very much like The Smiths in parts.
Jessie Ware – ‘If You’re Never Gonna Move’
Buy: If You’re Never Gonna Move
The newest release from her ‘Devotion’ album, ‘If You’re Never Gonna Move’ (formerly ‘110%’) builds from a Big Punisher sample (not that you’d really be able to tell). It’s a very light track with the vocals rather dream-like and melding in with the simple, gentle backing. Occasionally interrupted by a random speech sample, it’s another musical piece of moving wallpaper that is a soothing enough listen but doesn’t really head in any exciting directions. The chorus is stronger than in other examples this week, but still isn’t enough to support the song to become anything other than a three-minute distraction, but it is a grower so stick with it.
Josh Kumra – ‘Waiting For You’
Buy: Waiting For You
Having appeared as a guest artist on Wretch 32’s ‘Don’t Go’ in 2011, here is Josh Kumra bringing you an early solo effort and it’s in the style of Jason Mraz and similar artists. Again, lacking any real energy like a lot of this week’s releases, it does make up for it with some thoughtful lyrics and well-put together production though ultimately doesn’t grab you with what’s within its four minutes running time.
Vato Gonzalez vs Lethal Bizzle and Donae’O – ‘Not A Saint’
Buy: Not A Saint [Explicit]
His third non-album single, coming after last year’s Godzilla-sampling ‘Badman Riddim (Jump)’ – a big club song from 2012 that will be instantly recognisable – ‘Not A Saint’ continues the dirty house sound but pops it up more, and though it lacks the distinctive hook of its predecessor and wallows in some rap clichés, it’s a potential strong contender for a popular club track in early 2013. With a distinct chorus as a positive but a lack of cohesion as a downer, but overall a catchy, if short, club hit.