melody calling ep

This Week’s New Single Releases (11th August 2013)

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

2 Chainz feat. Pharrell – ‘Feds Watching’
As 2013 continues to turn into the year of Pharrell, he pops up here with 2Chainz. Far from his best moment, ‘Feds Watching’ is a cliché-ridden one-note tediously-written song with a chorus that fails to even lift the mood. It’ll have its fans, mainly down to its moments of production highs and chantable chorus, but as a whole sparks very little interest. If the feds are watching expect them to need plenty of coffee to stay interested in this sub-par release. (3/10)
Watch the video.

Axwell – ‘Center Of The Universe’
Axwell, one third of Swedish House Mafia, blasts into space for this piano-led number that sounds like the sister track to Avicii’s recent ‘Wake Me Up’. And, just like that, it has its moments and balances radio-friendly with club-friendly but once more follows the familiar pattern of indie-tinged attention-grabbing vocals and then a repetitive, heard-it-all-before, chorus. Fans of the Mafia will continue to enjoy his work and those who were grabbed by Avicii’s recent number, but the genre needs a bit of a kick up the behind now. (5/10)
Watch the video.

Ben G & Waka Flocka Flame – ‘Activist’
Set over a rejected theme for a horror film, ‘Activist’ is choc-full of the clichés we’ve come to expect so far this week, sitting alongside some massively distorted vocals and a disturbing, surreal sound.  An uncomfortable, unenjoyable listen this is difficult to hear for four minutes. It’ll have its followers but it feels like a really uncomfortable trip of a song. (1/10)
Watch the video.

Baby Blue – ‘Bump’
Most famous for her appearance on ‘Magnetic Eyes’ from Matrix and Futurebound this second single from Baby Blue feels much more refreshing after three lacklustre songs so far. With a searing retro vibe flowing through it, the simple titular riff is pretty catchy, supported by a Mark Ronson / Amy Winehouse-vibe. With a well structured and written set of lyrics, a slick, slow RNB feel, and a fair whack of emotional impact, this is a definite grower. (6.5/10)
Watch the video.

Dan Croll – ‘In / Out’
His earlier song ‘Compliment Your Soul’ was a song that wormed its way into your consciousness. ‘In / Out’ is not quite there but the Jason Mraz chorus and the Talking Heads-feel are certainly selling points. The lyrics feel a little twee and back-of-a-fag-packet but there is a pleasant sunny vibe to the chorus and a nice, soothing innocent feel to proceedings. (5/10)
Watch the video.

Dirty South feat. Joe Gil – ‘Until The End’
From his debut album ‘Speed of Life’, ‘Until The End’ sounds like the bloke from Owl City has discovered low-level dance music. Like Axwell before it, it once more balances an indie-style verse with a dancier chorus, though manages the juxtaposition a little better here, and is much more subdued and listenable, with Joe Gil doing his best Mark Owen impression on vocals. It’s hardly revolutionary but it’s a smooth, enjoyable four-and-a-half minutes. (6/10)
Watch the video.

Ellie Goulding – ‘Burn’
The fourth single from ‘Halycon’, actually taken from its re-issue, was originally recorded by Leona Lewis but omitted from her album. Light on sound, action and words in its chorus, this is a gentle and atmospheric number, minimal on bombast but making good use of Goulding’s unique voice. Her best solo number in a while, it’s not going to win over any new fans, but should keep the middle ground pleased with its radio-friendly chorus, strange familiarity and club remix potential. (6.5/10)
Watch the video.

Martin Solveig and the Cataracts feat. Kyle – ‘Hey Now’
“I just came to say Hel…”, oh, it’s not that song, but it certainly shares a similar vibe, which isn’t such a bad thing considering the success of that record. Almost falling into the Calvin Harris trap of identikit dance music sound but avoiding it with some more interesting instrumentation than the Scot has created recently, Solveig manages to stay on the right side with a warm, easy-going summery feel created by his work with the Cataracts, and even Kyle’s rap works smoothly. It lacks the big crowd appeal of ‘Hello’ but should be enough to continue the party for fans of that record. (7/10)
Watch the video.

MGMT – ‘Your Life Is A Lie’
The second single from MGMT’s third album is probably going to be remembered more for its well-edited surreal video than the short, raw sounding track it was designed to accompany but that shouldn’t take it all away from the single. Taking a couple of listens to really settle in, the gruff production values make it sound like an indie band just starting out, but aside from a couple of moments where the music sounds like a printer having a breakdown the gritty values and experimental nature sells it and feels like their best number in a while, and should garner a cult following. (6.5/10)
Watch the video.

MK1 – ‘Let Go’
X Factor contestants from last year, now appearing as a duo, MK1’s ‘Let Go’ manages to twist the vocals of the two members into an addictive balance, that switches styles and tempos more than Simon Cowell will soon be changing nappies. With a punky, memorable but slower-than-expected chorus, it perhaps struggles with cementing many ideas together into one cohesive feel, but as a perky, poppy, three-and-a-half minute hit it wins. (6.5/10)
Watch the video.

Ray Foxx feat. Rachel K Collier – ‘Boom Boom (Heartbeat)’
Medically speaking Collier should be concerned about the heartbeat she displays in the chorus, but musically this isn’t a half-bad summer anthem. The repetitive club-focussed chorus perhaps belies the gentler Florence and the Machine-like verses but by the time we flatline about two minutes in the song has grabbed you. ‘Boom Boom (Heartbeat)’ will certainly get your foot tapping. It’s not the biggest tune this week but perfectly pleasing to the ears. (6/10)
Watch the video.

Texas – ‘Detroit City (EP)’
Though there are four remixes supporting the title track on the EP, it’s only the first you’ll really need as ‘Detroit City’, which has seemingly taken an age to get to the single release stage, is an absolute corker. The city might be bankrupt, but there’s plenty of value in this song that is happy to drive straight-ahead through a simple guitar-bottomed verse to a singable, live-friendly chorus. A brilliant hit from a well established band that will grab you from its early riff, to its ‘oh’ section, to classic Texas chorus. (8/10)
Watch the video.

To Be One – ‘Wherever You Wanna Go’
‘To Be One’, or ‘Honey! I Shrunk The Wanted’, sound like a four-piece Justin Bieber, which probably tells you all you need to know about whether you’ll like the song or not. It’s a harmless slice of studio-engineered pop but it’s as forgettable as their band name. Tweenie boppers will lap it up, but if you’re older than twelve then this just feels like bland imitation-pop with pre-pubescent kids talking about older issues. They sound like they have talent so in a few years may grow into something more interesting than this cheesy hit with off-the-shelf melodies. (3/10)
Watch the video.

The Vaccines – ‘Melody Calling (EP)’
A bridge record between albums #2 and #3, the ‘Melody Calling’ EP features three tracks and a remix of song number two. The title track is a foot-tapping entry into the band’s discography and will win you over with its simplicity. A quirkily catchy number, the repetition of the title will settle in pretty quickly and there’s even time in its short running time for a guitar solo. A subdued song, it settles into your conscious nicely. It’s not going to be a stand out number for the group but should keep the fans happy until their next LP. ‘Do You Want a Man?’ and ‘Everybody’s Gonna Let You Down’, a gruff low-key groan of a track, round off the release. (6/10)
Watch ‘Melody Calling’.
Watch ‘Everybody’s Gonna Let You Down’.

The Wanted – ‘We Own The Night’
The fourth single, yes fourth, from their unreleased third album, lacks the pep of ‘Walks Like Rihanna’ but has a more intriguing musical sound to go with the chants. Ticking the singable and poppy boxes, ‘We Own The Night’ is a middle-of-the-road ballad designed to end a long night, it seems. It’s not a bad song, and continues a list of strong singles and feels a little like ‘Auld Lang Syne’, but it’s just a little average. (6/10)
Watch the video.

Post Author: Philip Lickley