The Big Pink – Hit The Ground (Superman)
It’s not often you hear a song for the first time by a band you’re not familiar with and really like it. Built around a scratchy repetitive synth backing and echoey vocals it employs several hooks to pull you into the indie rock track. It’s not the most bombastic of songs and the chorus is only what you see in the title but the track builds well to bring all its elements to a great crescendo as the track comes to its climax.
Florence & The Machine – No Light, No Light
I will be the first to admit that I’m not a big fan of Florence & The Machine as, outside of ‘You’ve Got The Love’ I find her a little eccentric for my tastes. However, I find myself pleasantly surprised by ‘No Light, No Light’, which is perhaps more straightforward than her usual releases.
Throwing in a choir and a gentle, church-sounding opening that belies the shift change a minute in, it’s very much distinctly Florence but much more catchy and poppy than before. Sadly, from the buzz on the internet, it seems that the content of the video is going to overshadow the song which doesn’t stray too far from the path set by her first album but is, in my opinion, much more enjoyable to hear and a touch more commercial.
The Rifles – Sweetest Thing
Not as you might expect a cover of the U2 track of the same name, this is a psychedelic slice of rock that seems determined to push the guitar at you, rendering the vocals secondary to the piece and often incomprehensible. Lyrics aside it’s an interesting three-and-half-minutes to listen to that sounds like The Beatles crossed with Oasis with some indie stylings thrown in. It’s fun enough to listen to but with the words of the verses lost in the overall mix it does lose something and doesn’t really do anything to make it stand out.
Swedish House Mafia vs. Knife Party – Antidote
Swedish House Mafia join forces with members of Pendulum to deliver this, a song that, naturally due to their choice of collaborator, doesn’t have the same commercial appeal as their Tinie Tempah featuring hit. Channelling the Chemical Brothers’ ‘Galvanize’ and Daft Punk it doesn’t really outstay its welcome at three minutes long but in that time does deliver the goods for a song that will score well on the dancefloor but it’s not a particular success for either artist who have both done better.
The Ting Tings – Hang It Up
Returning this year with their second album and proceeding to take inspiration from Dizzee’s ‘Fix Up Look Sharp’ sees lead singer Katie and Jules discovering rap and making a song that is far removed from the tracks that made their name four years ago. In a move that reminds me a little of Robbie’s career diversion of ‘Rudebox’ it’s perhaps not as crowd-splitting as that single and it’s difficult to deny that the chorus, despite its repetitiveness or perhaps thanks to it, is catchy and the emphasis on drums and bass is clear and crisp and adds to the track.
It’s certainly different to their earlier singles but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Oh, and for a change, you can hear what Jules raps on this.