Singles for the week starting 9th July!
Dig your teeth into Hatcham Social, Arrows of Love, Little Gang and Seasfire this week
Most of us in the office would agree that Hatcham Social and Artrocker go pretty far back – my predecessor as reviews editor Richard Davis was a big Hatcham fan and when I started out a few years back I featured them too because, frankly, I didn’t know what the feck I was doing (“Imitate Davis!” was my mantra, I seem to recall). I soon developed a genuine admiration for the continually underground indie pop group however, not least when their second album ‘About Girls’ turned up loaded with classic tunes.
‘Lois Lane’ is pretty much the best of the bunch: its dizzy, summery verse is just relaxing enough to get you lying back and dreaming of Hawaiian maidens, before the most instantly catchy chorus of the year suddenly switches into view, like one of those chairs on The Voice spinning round and going ‘ah ha!’
It’s a classic tune indeed, and a pretty good lead review for me to say sayonara with. Will Artrocker still be giving Hatcham Social singles of the month in 2016? I wouldn’t bet your nanny against it.
Arrows of Love
Despite possessing a name that harks back to the days of ‘80s hair-pop, Arrows of Love is a dark and scuzzy clan of indie-rock noiseniks that may have a warm heart – but make you get past the cold stare to reach it.
Their new single ‘Honey’ reveals just why they’ve made a name for themselves as a formidable live act; it’s bruising and bloodied but also melodic and mesmerising in equal measure. With twitches of guitar, sinister thumping drums and a bassline that's darker than the Horrors' wardrobe, ‘Honey’ paints AoL as less of a London fivesome and more of a supergroup of villains (the line up could just as easily read: Darth Vader, the Bogeyman, Mr Burns, Bowser and Jeremy Hunt).
Also, if all that wasn’t enough, it’s only getting a physical release on cassette – and I need not explain just how fucking cool that is.
Ah Ha Haa
(Control Freak Kitten Records)
We’ll open this one with a disclaimer: there’s absolutely nothing funny about this single, regardless of what the title may suggest. But fear not, music fans! Despite the absence of musical LOLs (not to mention the distinct lack of ROFLs), there’s still much to be enjoyed on Little Gang’s ‘A Ha Haa’.
The track’s sultry vocal creates a captivating focal point - remaining on the right side of haunting, so as not to become trite - and is supported by atmospheric guitar swells and a slinky, snake-hipped rhythm section that weaves some delightful lines.
It won’t cause anyone’s LOLcano to erupt, but it does make for a wonderfully sinister little single.
They've been described as the 'UK Weeknd', and that's probably as close to a decent description as you'll get to Seasfire. Here keys float over a dubby underlayer while dreamy male vocals croon. Coming from Bristol, this group utilise the trip-hop history to make an accessible slow burning minimal pop track. For what is essentially an indie band in 2012, it's not small that they've already been picked up by the likes of Radio 1 for daytime radio play.