Philip Lickley take us through another batch of new single releases – what will you be downloading this week?
Single Releases – 10 February
Avicii V Nicky Romero – ‘I Could Be The One’
Buy: I Could Be the One
Fresh from big hits like ‘Levels’, Avicii teams up with Nicky Romero on this track but fails to capture that magic. Discounting the interesting, well-done and thought-provoking video, ‘I Could Be The One’ is an enjoyable enough track while it lasts – with a memorable chorus and strong dance-vibe – but it lacks the catchy hook of ‘Levels’ and doesn’t really head in any particularly exciting directions in its lengthy five minutes. It’s a fun dance track that sticks in your head but it’s too similar to their previous singles, but is a grower and the video in conjunction with the vocals really lifts it up a notch.
Charli XCX – ‘You (Ha Ha Ha)’
Buy: You (Ha Ha Ha) [Explicit]
English synthpop artist Charli XCX delivers her sixth single but her first one to major attention and from her upcoming album. After a promising start it dissolves into a confused track. With the occasional sound of Gwen Stefani and Florence and the Machine but with even more eccentric production values, its drawling vocals struggle to fit with his off-the-wall backing. It’s a song I enjoy for 60% of its time but the chorus doesn’t quite work with the music. It certainly has the most varied sound and care-free vibe of this week’s records but it struggles at times to hold it together.
Disclosure feat. AlunaGeorge – ‘White Noise’
Buy: White Noise
For their fourth single Disclosure have teamed up with AlunaGeorge who released the great ‘Your Drums, Your Love’ late last year. ‘White Noise’ mixes the sound of that with a more 8-bit feel. Like the Avicii track it’s an enjoyable listen as a piece of music but never becomes anything more than a piece of background distraction. It’s a good example of house mixed up a little but I’m hoping AlunaGeorge’s solo work improves on this.
Emilia Mitiku – ‘You’re Not Right For Me’
Buy: You’re Not Right for Me
With a singing career spanning fifteen years, Swedish singer-songwriter Emilia Mitiku releases ‘You’re Not Right For Me’. With shades of Dolly Parton but with a lighter-country feel, this stripped-back ballad pulls out the swelling strings to pull at the old heart-strings. For what it lacks in bombasticity and a stand-out chorus it makes up for in good old fashioned production values and styles and a smooth, touching feel that takes you back through the years.
Fall Out Boy – ‘My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ‘Em Up)’
Fall Out Boy return after a four year absence with another one of their long radio-unfriendly titles but with a radio-friendly sound. Though lacking the big hook and powerful guitars they are known for, they still have an ear for a tune and the choral effects that punctuate the record alongside the drum beats separating the sentences, and the extrovert sound of ‘I’m On Fire’, build it up to something great. It’s not as strong a first single as ‘I Don’t Care’ or ‘This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race’ but it’s not a disappointment.
Gabrielle Aplin – ‘Please Don’t Say You Love Me’
Buy: Please Don’t Say You Love Me
Aplin’s second single and first original song after her John Lewis cover of the Frankie classic ‘The Power of Love’, ‘Please Don’t Say You Love Me’ is a much more interestingly produced track than the stripped back original, with a simple but memorable chorus with a neatly rhyming line. With elements of Sandi Thom and a weirdly familiar feeling, it’s a slow and introverted track but has a happy vibe running through it and, though the message is the reverse of what it should be, fits in neatly with Valentine’s Day this week.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz – ‘Thrift Shop’
Buy: Thrift Shop (feat. Wanz) [Explicit]
It’s usually the summer when we get the novelty tracks released into the charts, but here we have one in February. Built around a Mark Ronson-esque repetitive trumpet-track with a Timbaland-style chorus from Wanz and a rap that sounds like something even Eminem wouldn’t touch, and he did ‘Ass Like That’. It has its moments, mainly thanks to the chorus from Wanz, and the sense of humour from Macklemore, even if it is a little too crude at times, and it’s a grower, but it’s difficult to know whether it’s serious or not. There is something a little bit addictive about the elements as they come together but it’s a weird one.
Rita Ora – ‘Radioactive’
The fourth single from her album, ‘Radioactive’ is one of her more enjoyable tunes. With a distinct Guetta-esque sound but Beyonce-like vocals it flows nicely though the chorus lacks a major hook to stay memorable. It’s a strong fourth-single and is at times a little bit of a fist-pumper, but needed something else to carry it to the next level with verses that amble along too much.
Suede – ‘Barriers’
After ten years away Suede return with a track available to download for free. It’s a relatively straight-forward track that on first listen doesn’t really do anything for you, but after a handful of listens becomes much more listenable. With a simple but catchy chorus the production is a little muddy and indie but this heightens the appeal. It lacks any killer hooks and isn’t a classic Suede track, but it’s still a great listen and comes together well in a multi-layered ending. Nice to see them back.
Tegan & Sara – ‘Closer’
Tegan and Sara are identical twin sister singer-songwriters, and if this record is anything to go by they sound like a female One Direction crossed a little with the musical hooks of Alphabeat – but with more credibility. With some space-age sounding synths, a great building bridge and a huge chorus this is immediately memorable on its first listen thank to its poppy-catchy vibe. A cracking hit that bodes well for their new album.
Toploader – ‘Turn It Around’
Buy: Turn It Around
Another band returning this week after a considerable absence, ten years and only one album, Toploader’s ‘Turn It Around’ is one of those songs you could easily label ‘a return to form’. Built around a distinguished synth riff with support from lead singer Joseph Washbourn and his distinct vocals, ‘Turn It Around’ works as a strong piece of pop-indie. With a slight Simply Red sound to proceedings, I see this as a good start for 2013 for the ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ band.