Dance Apocalyptic

This Week’s New Single Releases (1st September 2013)

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

Editors – ‘Formaldehyde’
Download: Formaldehyde
Editors are back with the second single from their latest album and, though the voice of lead singer Tom Smith is recognisable, the sound is considerably different, possibly reflecting the band’s change in line-up. Though bringing some freshness to their discography it lacks the energy and pizzazz of their ‘An End Has A Start’ golden era but it’s more subtle, laid-back style compared to their previous material has a heart and it feels like a grower, thanks to the dual vocals of the chorus. I personally prefer the Editors with their more powerful all-out hits, but this isn’t too bad a new single but outside of the chorus it’s hardly as reactive as the titular chemical. (6/10)
Watch the video.

Janelle Monae – ‘Dance Apocalyptic’
Download: Dance Apocalyptic
Stepping out of the shadows after her minimalistic appearance on Fun.’s famous breakthrough song, this is the second cut from Monae’s upcoming second album. Feeling like a cross between OutKast’s ‘Hey Ya’ and Mark Ronson’s ‘Bang Bang Bang’, it’s completely different to what you’d expect from her previous guest appearance. Fast-paced and retro, it’s funky and stuffed full of attitude but ultimately feels quite bland and one-note. It’s classic-funk-sound serves it well and feels very danceable, but it lacks that spark, especially outside of its chorus, that lifts it up. It’s certainly not the end of the world but neither is a huge track. (5.5/10)
Watch the video.

Lady Lykez – ‘I Love My Butt’
Download: I Love My Butt (Original Edit (Explicit))
Containing possibly the silliest lyrics since the Black Eyed Peas released a song called ‘My Humps’ and were asked to be taken seriously, and only succeeding because it was wrapped up in such a catchy tune, here is Lady Lykez and her three minute ode to her derriere. I didn’t have much hope for the song just from the title but it’s either a tongue-in-cheek parody of the expectations of female RnB artists on a modern music scene wrapped in a simple but catchy bass-line-vocal combo with some strange, but well timed, lyrics, or a genuine extension of what we’d expect a week after Miley Cyrus was caught twerking in front of millions. Judging it musically it’s certainly well produced, catchy with its simplicity and certainly memorable, but I just hope it’s not meant to be taken seriously as it’s actually quite funny in parts, in a Bloodhound Gang way if they’d suddenly recruited Nicki Minaj. Take two points off if it’s meant to be serious. (6/10)
Watch the video.

London Grammar – ‘Strong (EP)’
An EP rounded off with one other track and lots of remixes of the title piece, ‘Strong’ is the band’s third cut from their debut album and it’s an atmospheric, emotive, Moby-esque produced piece. It struggles to establish a hook during its four minutes running time but as a gentle, soothing piece of art-indie with some genuine song writing talent it succeeds. The power of Hannah Reid’s voice carries the record and makes it sound genuine. (7/10)
Watch the video.

Lucy Spraggan – ‘Mountains’
Download: Mountains
The third single from her upcoming breakthrough album, ‘Mountains’ isn’t as fun as ‘Lighthouse’. Lyrically it’s well written and motivating, and its simply laid out production doesn’t drown the feeling in instrumentation but the latest from Spraggan doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere and bumbles along. Nice enough, but doesn’t hold my attention for its four minutes. (4/10)
Watch the video.

Neon Jungle – ‘Trouble’
Download: Trouble
Taking the model of ‘Icono Pop’ from a few weeks ago and copying it practically wholesale – so much so that I thought it was them at first – ‘Trouble’ is an attitude-filled girl-power hit that feels like Stooshe on crack. It’s pretty shallow and the producer struggles to nail one particular style but it’s a catchy, ballsy hit but one that’s over pretty quickly. If you enjoyed Icono Pop’s recent number one then this sound-a-like will appeal to you. It’s not quite up to that standard but still a catchy, enjoyable tune that will keep the teenagers happy. (6.5/10)
Watch the video.

Passenger – ‘Holes’
Download: Holes [Explicit]
Coming out at a considerable time after his massive ‘Let Her Go’ from earlier in the year, Passenger’s follow-up once more showcases his instantly recognisable voice and though it lacks the buzz and spot-on construction of his breakthrough, it’s still a neat little ballad, built up with some clapping and an increase in strings. Lyrically well-written it’s a grower but doesn’t quite hit the highs of his biggest hit. (6/10)
Watch the video.

Pet Shop Boys – ‘Love Is A Bourgeois Construct’
Download: Love is a Bourgeois Construct
After a couple of disappointing singles that didn’t sound like the PSB I love, here we are with them back on top form. Building from the classicial riff of Michael Nyman’s ‘Chasing Sheep is Best Left to Shepherds’ itself based on an element of Henry Purcell’s King Arthur, the song is steeped in history. But Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have transformed the riff into a danceable hit that echoes their golden era. Catchy, foot-tapping and a definite return to form after their recent more experimental numbers, I love it and so should long standing fans of the duo, even if at times it does nearly drown in its convoluted lyrics. (7.5/10)
Watch the video.

Rudimental feat. Foxes – ‘Right Here’
Download: Right Here (feat. Foxes)
Rudimental’s fourth single from their debut album starts with the sound of steel drums and a nod to Clean Bandit’s ‘Dust Clears’ but quickly descends into 2013’s clichéd dance sound and loses its credibility once the familiar dance-feel raises it head. Fans of the band or the genre will enjoy it but we’ve heard it all before. Multiple times. And better than this. (3/10)
Watch the video.

Wiley – ‘Flying’
Download: Flying
And speaking about familiar sounding records we end with Wiley’s latest single and, like Pitbull, he is becoming a parody of himself. This is actually a little bit of a riff on his familiar formula, with a faster more electronic pace, but there’s too many nods to his sound that make this lack the freshness of when he emerged on the scene. The rap equivalent of Calvin Harris, he seems to have run out of ideas. Better than some of his recent hits thanks to its repetitive, but attitude-filled chorus, and chip-tune elements, it’s slightly more bearable. (3/10)
Watch the video.


Post Author: Philip Lickley