Its Friday. Lets have a listen to the singles which may or may not be floating your boat over the coming weeks. And what better way to kick off than with the charming Beth Rowley, although I am the first person to admit her particular brand of laid back soulful and slightly jazz infused offerings are not my cup of tea I have to give credence to her talent. Her latest single ‘Sweet Hours’ is an inoffensive late night offering mixing a slightly pouty and sultry vocal over a “two degrees above” lounge style piano. It seems she has been plugging away forever and I can’t help but hope that such hard work pays off in the long term. She’s a safe pair of hands in songwriting terms and oddly enough there’s a little bass segment in here that reminded me of ‘Failure’ by Skinny. That fact kept me interested. The single is out on August 11th on Blue Thumb/Universal and if you like the single you can also pick up her top ten album ‘Little Dreamer’ available in all good digital emporiums and record shops.
Next up is the new single from Jack Johnson, aptly entitled ‘Sleep Through The Static’. Its one of those songs with a playful enough backing and Johnson has an inoffensive enough vocal but the hackneyed lyric about love and so forth frankly bores me to tears, as a song it just never seems to get going. A most unusual choice for a single and not a wise one methinks. Out on the 11th.
Meanwhile elsewhere its another week and what seems like the millionth single from Mystery Jets, and like all the others its jaunty with allegedly witty and wry lyrics which Observer reviewers doubtless wet themselves over. For me however its just distinctly average pop for people who perhaps ‘like music’ but don’t ‘love music’. If you’re prepared to settle for second rate shenanigans then by all means, take this and run. A more discerning ear however will realise this is a bit crap. (Actually on a more positive note, they do shine up a bit better when remixed so keep an ear out for anything beat laden that drops from their camp).
Next up are fresh commodities Royworld with their single ‘Brakes’. You know when a vocalist starts a word or a sentence with that “croaky” little over dramatic vocal foible. Well this single is chock a block full of them. As a single its vying for some kind of sub Coldplay epic anthem territory and when you mix in some of the choppier guitar embellishments alongside the otherwise distinctly vanilla arrangements you have something that you can imagine Jo Whiley getting behind not astounding but not terrible either. This I suspect is the shining moment in a career which will otherwise be blighted by otherwise mundane offerings. Go on lads, prove me wrong.
Closing the current crop of singles for today are Gym Class Heroes, remember their last album? Not bad it was complete with an all conquering single ‘Cupid’s Chokehold’. The new single ‘Cookie Jar’ is no mere rehash of an old formula either, they’ve dropped the jittery kooky sometimes humorous hip hop and gone for a big polished euro synth sheen with this one. A very immediate, very very likeable single. The synth hook doesn’t quit and this bodes well for the new album which will be winging its way to us soon. Undoubtedly the best of the bunch today. Out physically on the 1st September, August 25th Sept on digital.
Gym Class Heroes will also be touring the UK soon as well…here’s the all important dates.
September 13th Garage, Glasgow
September 14th Mandela Hall, Belfast
September 15th Academy, Dublin
September 16th Academy 2, Manchester
September 17th Cockpit, Leeds
September 18th Astoria 2, London
September 19th Academy 2, Birmingham
September 20th Academy, Oxford
September 21st Academy 2, Bristol
September 22nd Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth