Singles for the week starting 24th September!
A wide range of stuff on the Artrocker stereo this week, come and get your ears excited.
Dan Shears & The Velveteen Orkestra
Against A Sea Of Troubles EP
The variety of influences Dan Shears brings to the table on his delightful EP is one thing, merging them together and coming out on the other side with a unique style providing pleasant and easy listening is another. From The Smiths, to Dylan, to Radiohead, to Sea Shanty’s, Shears crams it all in and the combination is a winner.
Opener and single ‘In The Shadows of Better Men’ opens with an Um-pa-pa acoustic guitar and a rich vocal harmony- think Muse meets Flogging Molly, cool right!? The upbeat flow of the song is tinged with melancholia but the natural simple poetic flow of the melody ensures that this will undoubtedly be a live winner.
There is more than an incredible single. ‘Petrushka’ brings ‘The Velveteen Orkestra’ to the forefront with subtle piano and a building of strings; it’s haunting and often theatrical tendencies would allow ‘Petrushka’ to sit easily on the Moulin Rouge soundtrack…in a good way! Ending with ballad ‘The Devil’s Favourite Love Story’ accordion sits with strings and the vocals nod to early Radiohead. Despite the EP concealing one of those rather irritating hidden tracks, Dan Shears has created three little gems ensuring that we can safely assume to be hearing plenty more from him for a long time to come.
Goy Boy McIlroy
Black Glove/The Pilgrim
I’m honestly not sure what to make of a band name like Goy Boy McIlroy so instead lets pass straight onto the music which comes lurching out of the speakers like the zombified bastard child of Bauhaus and Kyuss. Wonderfully ridiculous, ‘Black Glove’ may introduce itself with a riff picked up from hanging around too many crossroads at midnight, but it’s ‘The Pilgrim’ that steals the show, a sonorous gothic western that walks tall in all its snakeskin boots and back combed majesty.
We’re Supposed To Be In Love EP
The modern fascination with ‘retro’ has become rather tiring of late. If it’s not a gauloises-smoking clotheshorse pretending to be Jackie O, it’s some idiot romping around East London with portable record player. We’re not going to lie: it’s made us considerably grumpy.
With this in mind, Cry Baby’s latest EP should’ve sent us into a blind fury; a whirlwind of flailing limbs and colourful language. Only it didn’t. Because it’s surprisingly excellent.
The bittersweet, reverbed guitar stomp of ‘We’re Supposed To Be In Love’ instantly thrills, before the EP jack-knifes back into the minor-chord lament of ‘Water To Wine’ – a song that genuinely wouldn’t feel out of place on a 007 soundtrack.
Bundled up with delicious covers of Daniel Johnston’s ‘True Love Will Find You In The End’ and Billie Holiday’s ‘Gloomy Sunday’, We’re Supposed... cements its place as one of those increasingly rare musical beasts: an honest, nostalgia-tinted EP that never threatens to become half-arsed pastiche of styles from yesteryear. More of this, please.
(Sweet Lime Records)
If 'Something Better' is what sprog-rockers Canterbury are after perhaps this mild release is their rough roadmap toward the highlife. Precipitating the mood here prematurely, lead singer Mike Sparks bleats “There's nothing to cry about, there's nothing to laugh about”. It's that vanilla sentiment which haunts the track with a musicianship inspired by 90s skateboarding promos, accompanied by reams of adolescently solipsistic lyrics. Despite the creative adversity, there's a professional adequacy to it all and Canterbury clearly possess the craft to try a more dynamic sound. For now this remains the scrappy groundwork for, well, you get the picture.
‘Rock Bottom’ delves intricately between lightly titillated guitars into a hard driven raucous and finally crescendos with a Mike Skinner citation. King Krule, aka Archy Marshall, oozes with a soulful jazz tone, whilst simultaneously erupting with a harsh vocal delivery that makes for an invigorating listen in todays musically challenged climate.