Leon Jean Marie releases his Mark Ronson produced single ‘Bed Of Nails’ March 31st (digital, with a physical release on April 7th). Imagine if Madness were formed today with the same pop sensibilities of old but minus that little infusion of ska that made them what they were. There’s a workman like vocal which suggests a certain tired of life sentiment set over a mixture of ragtime piano and the lightest shimmer of electronica. Infinitely likeable stuff and while it adheres to the present day model for a pop record it does shift left of centre just enough to become one of the more memorable releases of late. If you’re out and about on the 1st May you can Leon as part of the wonkypop tour alongside Frankmusic and Alphabeat and The Clik Clik.

Incidentally if you want to sample Leon Jean Marie for the princely sum of nothing he’s offering a free download of his track ‘Make It Right’ (link below)

Proven chart troublers Scouting For Girls also have a single out on 7th April. ‘Heartbeat’ should do little to dim the fires of interest that have built around them of late. Sure to be a favourite of tired old radio warhorses like Jo Whiley with its jaunty barrelling piano motifs and that strangely slick production. There’s a catchiness factor that won’t let go and you might find it one of those guilty pleasures that sticks around.

Next up is The Secret Handshake with ‘Gamegirl’ which is out on March 17th through six seven nine (the label that brought you The Streets). It’s a prelude to a debut album that is out in the summer. As singles go it’s radio friendly with a doubtless club appeal sounding more than a little like Daft Punk done on a Tandy budget. Urgent vocodered vocals, over a minute of elasticised drums before things finally settle down and drop into what would be deemed an acceptable rhythm. Its alright as singles go rather formulaic but catchy all the same. This has potential on the remix circuit and I daresay the non snobbish clubbers will cavort around handbags to this with no problems whatsoever. The head nodders will hate it though. It does have the best sleeve of the week mind you.