Singles column 6 Aug 2012 - Pet Shop Boys, Blur, Grizzly Bear, Mariah Carey, SBTRKT, Bob Dylan & more
Jamie Skey @jamie_skey rounds-up all this week's most significant singles, plus the new songs that have surfaced online in the last seven days that you shouldn't miss...
Singles out today, 6 August 2012
Britpop's most brazen tinkerers, Blur, continue to stoke the will they?/won't they make a new album debate, but keeping our appetites properly whetted with Under The Westway which, ironically, lays claim to the Fab Four's throne more than Oasis ever did, it being a beautiful and elegiac echo of The Beatles' A Day In The Life.
Now that Hot Chip have picked up the Pet Shop Boys' mantle of dizzyingly dreamy dance-floor pop, Neil Tenant and Chris Lowe - who've incredibly sold over 100 million records worldwide - sound like they're struggling to stay ahead of the game on Winner, a synth ballad that nicely coincides with the final week of the London Olympics.
Lauded by Adele and apparently "dubstep friendly", Alex Clare has hit on a winning formula that fuses late-night soul, ethereality of the James Blake kind and mainstream pop hooks, and it can all be found on Hummingbird, a gospel-lite hip shaker built on a vibrating under-floor bass system.
Grizzly Bear, similarly to The Antlers, Alt-J and Wild Beasts, have painstakingly deconstructed pop piece by piece and reassembled it to fit a vision that is at once literate, bittersweet and foreboding. The medicated chamber pop of Yet Again - a new track from the Brooklynites' forthcoming album Shields (out 17 September) - also seems to suggest the finely honed, glitchy melancholia mastered by one-time touring pal Thom Yorke.
Nottingham five-piece Dog Is Dead, who've recently been signed to Atlantic, also subvert the sensibilities of pop music, but in a more clean cut, stadium friendly way - like The Maccabees without the quivering croon. You'll love Any Movement, from the band's forthcoming album, All Our Favourite Stories (out 8 October) if you have a penchant for indie-pop drenched in reverb and 80s-style gated drums, and coolly exhibited art-rock pretensions.
Aaron Jerome - aka SBTRKT - took a patchwork of urban styles - dubstep, 2-step, hip-hop - and converted it into silkily woven club get up for his debut album which featured refined dubstep banger Wildfire. Gloss, however, catches Jerome on a more experimental tip, reeling as it does with skittish stop-start beats and carbonated synths that'll leave you feeling rather light headed.
Octave-scaling diva Mariah Carey returns with rapping ex-prison warder Rick Ross on Triumphant (Get 'Em), an R'n'B cut on which Mariah surprisingly takes the back seat, only lending her honeyed tones to a handful of, admittedly dreary, choruses.
Aracde Fire multi-instrumentalist Richard Reed Parry last week shared his piano-based cover of Talk Talk's single I Believe In You, from forthcoming Spirit Of Talk Talk tribute album (out 3 September), which also showcases Grandaddy's Jason Lyttle, Depeche Mode's Alan Wilder and more. The solemn, downcast chords of Reed Parry's reproduction are at once haunted and haunting.
After his superlative set of hard-bitten bar room blues at Hop Farm festival this summer, Bob Dylan has returned with an sync-over for the explosive trailer of US war series Strike Back, previewing Early Roman Kings from forthcoming album The Tempest. Dylan sounds low down and dirty than on this skulking, leering blues number.
Lana Del Rey's cover of Nirvana's Heart-Shaped Box, which encouraged Courtney Love to tell the singer on twitter to "think of my vagina" next time she plays it live, might just win her back some much needed viral acclaim after all those Video Games' Youtube views didn't quite convert into genuine acclaim.
Baltimore psychedelic hipsters Animal Collective have announced they will regularly preview tracks online as they build up to the release of their ninth studio album Centipede Hz (out 3 Sptember). Today's Supernatural is one of the first tracks the cats have let out of the bag and it's a delightful head rush of synthetic textures, woozy Stranglers-esque keyboard rounds and half-screamed vocals.
11:37 AM | 06/08/2012
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