Singles & Downloads

Singles? Downloads! Seeing as 2007 is the year when MySpace makes it really big, so much so that your mum and dad will be using it to check out that fun new pop act they heard on Jools Holland, let’s celebrate new music. Without wishing to bark in your ear like Zane Lowe, there’s a preponderance of great new stuff lurking in Singlesville this half-month. Please, allow us to dingy the same old, same old likes of Snow Patrol and the Chili Peppers in order to share.

But first, a couple of great and worthwhile singles by bands you will have heard of. There’s Bloc Party’s ‘The Prayer’ (Wichita - 4 stars), a strident, doomy paean to being the life and soul of the party built on what sounds like a mournful backing chorus of praying monks. The Long Blondes’ ‘Giddy Stratospheres’ (Rough Trade - 4 stars), meanwhile, is just a righteous piece of catchy, fun-loving indie-pop that grabs you by the ears and won’t let go. In a good way.

It wouldn’t be a Singles and Downloads column without a bit of the best of Scottish, so how about Popup’s spiky, downhome, refreshingly Glaswegian-accented ‘Chinese Burn/Stagecoach’ (Art Goes Pop - 4 stars), or Errors with the bleepsome and strangely very danceable ‘Saluti France’ (Rock Action - 4 stars)? One name you’re going to be hearing a lot more of is Dumfries’ Calvin Harris, whose five-track ‘EP’ (Fly Eye/Columbia - 4 stars) is sublime eighties-oriented electro-pop, which makes the Mylo comparisons all-but-inevitable.

Coventry’s The Enemy would quite like to be Kasabian, it seems, but the skyscrapingly shouty ‘It’s Not OK’ (Stiff - 4 stars) is quite frankly loads better. In the end, they take second spot in the race for Single of the Fortnight to the sublime Kate Nash - think Lily Allen with an acoustic guitar - whose AA-side ‘Caroline’s a Victim/Birds’ (Moshi Moshi - 4 stars) begins with already the most irritating song you’ll hear this year - the title, sung in a snotty, overdramatic, spoiled little girl voice over a minimal synth beat. She redeems herself, though, with ‘Birds’, one of the most wondrous and original acoustic love songs of ‘07, and we’ll hopefully be seeing her down the front at the Brits in ‘08.

Hear a snippet of Kate Nash

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