Single releases – 10 March
Phil Lickley takes us through his pick of this weeks top single releases, featuring new tracks from AlunaGeorge, Hurts, Phoenix, MS MR, Ke$ha, Nicole Scherzinger and more…
AlunaGeorge – ‘Attracting Flies’
Buy: Attracting Flies
Following up the addictive ‘Your Drums Your Love’ and their collaboration with Disclosure, ‘Attracting Flies’ is a more accessible, poppy song than their debut. Showcasing more experimental and enjoyable production, blended perfectly with Aluna Francis’ vocals. With a hooky instrumental riff it’s not a bombastic number or as stand-out as their first but is a smooth, pleasurable three minutes of chill-out pop and the nicest paraphrasing of ‘talking shit’ I’ve ever heard.
Caro Emerald – ‘Tangled Up’
Buy: Tangled Up
The first single from her new album, ‘Tangled Up’, once more nails the genre. With a bouncing tango beat and a perky set of lyrics, it might not be as immediately sellable as ‘On A Night Like This’ but its mix of instrumentation and 30s-film vibe make it for a constantly evolving and interesting single. If you’ve enjoyed her previous singles then it’s more of the same but that’s not really a problem with songs as good as this.
Hurts – ‘Miracle’
Their 2010 single ‘Stay’ was a masterpiece of a single but this lead single from their new second album is a big shift in style. Faster, much grander and less obviously downbeat, ‘Miracle’ is a much more anthemic single with a bigger focus on grandiose production and an ear for a tune. With a hooky chorus and a great indie sound that has shades of a poppier Depeche Mode, this is very much different from ‘Stay’ but just as enjoyable and listenable.
Ke$ha – ‘C’Mon’
Written by more people than is surely necessary for one song, this is Ke$ha on autopilot, with a poppy sexy vibe and plenty of autotune. It’s fun and catchy but ultimately too familiar and forgettable with too many shades of her previous singles and not a patch on the cracking ‘Die Young’. It wear its pop on its sleeve and ticks all the boxes of such a song and it’s not a bad way to spend four minutes, but this is Ke$ha just living up to her reputation and going through the motions.
K Koke feat. Rita Ora – ‘Lay Down Your Weapons’
Buy: Lay Down Your Weapons [Explicit]
Sounding a little like Dizzee Rascal in his early, less commercial form, K Koke’s second single conforms to the familiar rap template of alternating rapped verses and a sombre female-led chorus. It’s an enjoyable example of the style but doesn’t do anything more than we’ve heard many, many times before. Its message is noble but again it’s something that’s been said in a similar way before, and lacks the emotive elements of, say, Eminem’s ‘Like Toy Soldiers’.
MS MR – ‘Fantasy’
‘Fantasy’ mixes up elements of a Maverick Sabre music track with the vocals of someone like LaRoux or Rihanna to create a piano and drum led indie anthem, but one that lacks any staying power after a few listens. It’s a nice enough distraction but nothing that’ll blow you away, but is a promising sound if they can find a unique shtick. The chorus is a grower but it’s not really that stand-out.
Nelly – ‘Hey Porsche’
Buy: Hey Porsche
On the lead single from his upcoming album ‘Hey Porsche’ Nelly unveils cheesy car metaphors that haven’t been heard this much since Rihanna released ‘Shut Up And Drive’. With a cheeky nod and a wink to whether the song is directed towards a car or a woman, this is far poppier than we’d ever expect from Nelly and I quite enjoy his new direction – though I can see it as divisive for his fans. Much more commercial than we’d expect from the artist, it’s poppy and cheesy and a little bit catchy – a fun return, but one that will split his fans.
Nicole Scherzinger – ‘Boomerang’
Speaking of songs written on the back of a cigarette packet, Scherzinger’s first cut from her upcoming second album features a chorus that you could probably make up yourself from the title. Outside of the predictable lyrics, it’s a by-numbers pop track that lacks the attitude or killer hooks of her previous hits and strangles the metaphor several times as it heads to the conclusion. It’s a grower after a few listens due to its electronic groove and ‘oh-oh-oh’ section but it’s not as strong a lead single as I’d have hoped.
Phoenix – ‘Entertainment’
French alternative rock band Phoenix release ‘Entertainment’ though its inspiration comes much further East. A considerably different Japanese-style opening that bursts with attitude is followed by a middle-of-the-road indie series of verses, with the eastern instrumental forming a sort of instrumental chorus. A good enough listen with a strong eastern theme, it has its moments and is worth a listen.