This week’s single releases – 14 April
Reviews of all of this week’s top singles from Phil Lickley.
The Brand New Heavies feat. N’Dea Davenport – ‘Sunlight’
Very much nailing an audio sandscape of the song’s title, ‘Sunlight’ sounds like the cousin of many a summer chill-out tune matched with Jamiroquai and, at times, the beat from South Park’s chef’s ode to his chocolate baked goods. Singer Davenport captures the mood perfectly too with a smooth, seventies feel. It perhaps doesn’t have a standout strong chorus, but the uptempo jazzy nature of the song brings a warm smile to your face and it’s an enjoyable four minutes of relaxing but danceable pop. .
Glass Caves – ‘I Knew It’
As seen on BBC Introducing and seemingly from my birth town of York, Glass Caves bring ‘I Knew It’, a raw-sounding but well produced slice of indie rock. With a nod to Biffy Clyro in the guitar work, the mix of instruments is clear from the block work to the heavier guitars. With a quickly catchy chorus, the vocals are perhaps drowned out a little in the chorus, but it’s a number that quickly grows on you and builds throughout its three minutes to an enjoyable crescendo. Very promising track from the band.
Josh Kumra – ‘The Answer’
His third solo single, Kumra’s ‘The Answer’ is a slow, acoustic-led ballad that showcases a smooth voice and a gentle, chill out chorus. The song doesn’t particularly boast a hook that will grab you, but it’s still a calming, well-written tune that will be enjoyed by fans of singer-songwriters in the style of James Morrison, and one that reveals more with each listen.
Kacey Musgraves – ‘Merry Go ‘Round’
Musgraves country-tinged song certainly fills all the conventions of that genre from her familiar sounding voice, the twanging of the banjo and the story told through its lyrics. The chorus lifts its words from a selection of old nursery rhymes, adapted for the new purpose, in some instances quite cleverly. It’s quite a plodding song but the lyrics sheet that harks back to an older time adds more to it that lifts it up a little. A familiar sounding track covering familiar ground, but one that is still worth a listen with some passages that might choke you up a little.
Mat Zo and Porter Robinson – ‘Easy’
‘Easy’ feels like something we’d expect from the returning Daft Punk if they had gone back to their ‘Discovery’ era. A synth-heavy club track, it doesn’t really get boring even with its limited range of lyrics thanks to its layering of styles and elements. It’s not going to win any awards for originality or genius, but for fans of the genre it’ll tick the boxes.
Noah And The Whale – ‘There Will Come A Time’
Noah And The Whale return with the first song from their upcoming third album. It’s not a huge departure from what we’ve heard from them before but their formula continues to be listenable. As sombre as you’d expect from the band in the first part, the song does perk up half-way through. It’s not a classic tune from the group in the style of some of their bigger singles, but the instrumental solo and chorus are great parts of the song and it feels like a grower to become up there with their other singles.
Platnum – ‘Love You Tomorrow’
The latest single from the Manchester bassline trio sounds much more pop than dubstep. The lyrics aren’t particular high-brow and the tune feels like it’s been ripped from ‘club music for dummies’ but it’s bridge feels like something special, even if what sits either side of it isn’t particularly inspiring. A pleasant distraction but nothing ground breaking, and also disappointing that he only loves you for half of the week.
Primal Scream – ‘It’s Alright, It’s OK’
The first single from their soon-to-be-released ‘More Light’ album is a slick piece of indie-rock that shows its memorable side after a few listens. Resorting to some of its hooks from its ‘ooh la la’ section, it feels like the commercial successor to ‘Country Girl’ though not feeling quite as catchy. With a better second half, this is a song to give a little bit of time to. And with a title like it has, you can probably guess what my verdict of the song is.
Rascals feat. Professor Green – ‘Fire Blaze’
Taking a photocopy of Labrinth’s ‘Earthquake’ and distorting it slightly, ‘Fire Blaze’ starts off promisingly with a roaring tune and Green’s opening rap balances cliché and catchiness well, with an opening verse that sounds like Eminem at his tongue-in-cheek best. Sadly, after the first chorus, the song fails to do anything exciting. As it name-checks the Fantastic Four and London Town the song holds your interest but doesn’t really go anywhere else. It does, however, have several hooks and amongst its absurder moments actually works and by the time you hit replay you’ll be looking forward to hearing it again.
Rudimental feat. Ella Eyre – ‘Waiting All Night EP’
With the EP featuring three extra tracks and a couple of remixes of the titular track, the main song featuring Ella Eyre, the third single taken from their debut album, is a fast-paced Basement-Jaxx-esque track that sounds like ‘Good Luck’ with a little less power but with more trumpets as if Mark Ronson got suddenly called on. An addictive, speedy tune it grabs you quickly. Fun, perky and with some neat tempo changes, it’s poppier than you’d expect but all the better for it, even if it runs out of steam before its closing moments.
Will.I.Am feat. Justin Bieber – ‘#thatPOWER’
Here is a song where two artists come together that will surely will set the Twitterverse alight – especially with the Tweet-friendly hashtagged song title. Thankfully better than his lacklustre Britney Spears collaboration, the song proves to be quite fun with Bieber’s catchy hook, but as soon as Will.I.Am starts rapping with his forced rhyming and bad lyrics it descends back to the floor, even if the beat does keep your foot tapping. Bieber saves the song, as much as he can, and it makes you wish for the camp and fun the former Black Eyed Pea had with something like ‘The Hardest Ever’. Will.I.Am should stick to producing rather than forcing his badly written lyrics and autotuned vocals onto us.