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This week’s new single releases (23rd June 2013)

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

Arctic Monkeys – ‘Do I Wanna Know?’
With its Fantasia-inspired video, ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ from the band’s upcoming fifth album, is both familiar and fresh sounding in equal measure. Clearly from the Sheffield band through its long, lumbering lyrical passages, but with a thicker, more satisfying riff that goes through it. The mix of vocals and the solid, tangible sound carry the single, even if the chorus isn’t as hooky as their bigger hits. Like most Arctic Monkeys hits the appeal is in the overall construction, composition and its feel rather than one big hook, and it’s very much the same here. It’s not one of their poppier numbers but the riff will keep you coming back. (6.5/10)
Watch the video here.

Biffy Clyro – ‘Opposite’ (EP)
The third main single from the band’s latest album, title track ‘Opposite’ is a clearer, more audible, more reflective number than we’re used to from the Scottish group. Continuing in a similar sounding vein to the last few singles, it doesn’t have the power of ‘Black Chandelier’ but the touching, emotive and honest lyrics hit home well. Simon Neil’s introspective vocals and the slow drum beat march hold the song together and though it doesn’t quite hit the heights of some stadium-friendly lighter-out ballads like Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’, it’s a strong contender. The track is supported on the EP by ‘Sorry and Thanks’, ‘A Tragic World Record’ and ‘Wooden Souvenir’. (7/10)
Watch the video here.

Bruno Mars – Treasure
The third single from ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ is possibly Mars’ most varied single yet. With a distinct 80s / Jackson Five sound, the throbbing bass and production values make this sound very much like an undiscovered record that has just been dusted off and sent to radio stations. Full to the brim of vocal and musical hooks, a spot-on summer feel, and certainly not outstaying its welcome at three minutes, this has the makings of an instant classic and – possibly – his best single yet. (8/10)
Watch the video here.

The Civil Wars – ‘The One That Got Away’
Not to be confused with the Katy Perry song of the same name, this is a much slower affair, full of twangy guitars, layered vocals and dark, ominous tones. Lacking the pop outlook of its namesake, this is a black, gloomy ballad whose lyrics build up a strong musical picture. With some subtle hooks that show themselves after a few minutes in the company of the piece, this is a beautiful slow hit that evokes more than you’d imagine, with the story told through well composed lyrics and some brilliant voices. (7/10)
Watch the video here.

Court Yard Hounds – ‘Sunshine’
Featuring two of the three Dixie Chicks, ‘Sunshine’ is the lead single from the sisters’ second album. The track is a light, fluffy, warm pop hit that doesn’t really grab you by the collar but does take you for a nice spin around a summer’s field. Musically layered and neatly produced, it’s not a song that will stick in your head much after it has finished but as a tappable, listenable slice of summer pop, it ticks those boxes, and pretty much lives up to its title. (6.5/10)
Watch the video here.

John Mayer – ‘Paper Doll’
The lead single from his upcoming ‘Paradise Valley’ album, ‘Paper Doll’ from John Mayer is a cut back, smooth single that tells a simple story through its drawly lyrics. But, through utilising such a casual style, it drifts off into the background. A perfectly nice and relaxing track to listen to, it doesn’t really do anything that urges you to buy it. Another summer evening track worth grabbing if you want a chill-out or are a fan of Mayer’s relaxing voice. (6/10)
Watch the video here.

P9 – ‘Love You In Those Jeans’
Mixing the sound of Nelly with that of a modern boyband, P9’s ‘Love You In Those Jeans’ is a perky, chiptune-sounding (in parts) pop hit. The Brazillian band nail the chorus – a catchy, singable classic pop moment – with a bridge that supports the style. It’s not the most revolutionary song you’ll ever hear even if it does fuse together a smattering of genres, but if you like your 90s or more recent boybands then this will slot right in to your music collection. (6.5/10)
Watch the video here.

The Wanted – ‘Walks Like Rihanna’
I’m not quite sure what is worse: the video that not only rips off – intentionally – other boyband music videos but also the general concept that Blink 182, Five and many others have done, making for a very tired music video, or the fact that the song is possibly a contender for the worst love song of the year: “I love you because you can walk really sexily, but good grief you look and sound like an idiot!” The weirdness of choosing such a song to sing aside, it’s actually a really catchy number, engineered to stick in your head, with the chorus and breakdown maximised to be singable. It’s just a shame that such a slick and enjoyable pop hit has such head-scratchingly weird lyrical choices. (7.5/10)
Watch the video here.

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