Singles & Downloads

She & Him

Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, She & Him

You know times are tough when you have to resort to Tony Christie to get you through the day. OK, the climate’s shagged and the banks are collapsing, but it’s the piffling amount of brilliant tracks that’s really getting my goat this issue. What? Us lowly scribes never go outside or have any money anyway... Oh and talking of which, how about a payri ... (snip, Ed). Anyway, thankfully the beautifully soaring ‘Born To Cry’ (Decca/Autonomy) ●●●● with its sumptuous strings and melt-in-the-mouth chorus, makes it momentarily all better. Christie’s comeback is about as far away from Amarillo-ville as you can get, and for those whose old codger/credibility alert is flashing, the song was penned by Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley back in the heady days of Pulp – you remember – when £100 notes grew on shrubs and the streets were paved with love and motherly hugs and stuff.

Maybe I should be grateful for small mercies. Luckily, none of these offerings are as bad as the horrifically insipid ‘Wire to Wire’ (Vertigo/Mercury) ● from Bono-wannabes Razorlight. And honourable mentions go to Irish singer/songwriter Conor Mason’s debut ‘Falling Out Of Touch’ (Antimatter) ●●● which is kind of pretty, as is the light and breezy guitar pop of Hamper’s ‘Amsterdam’ (First Aid) ●●●, Rieser’s ‘Confusion Parade’ (Demo) ●●● and ‘Take An Answer’ (Demo) ●●● by up-and-coming Edinburgh foursome Sol. Frankmusik’s ‘3 Little Words EP’ (Island) ●●● does a perfectly passable trade in glittery electro pop, with Kids in Glass Houses representing the next pretty emo boy brigade admirably with the Glassjaw-esque ‘Fisticuffs’ (Roadrunner) ●●●

But it’s left to just a handful to wrestle for this issue’s top-spot. Friendly Fires’ shimmering disco stomper ‘Paris’ (XL) ●●●● almost made it, as did ferocious electro grime-merchants Spektrum with ‘Hotsteppa’ (StopStart) ●●●● Foot Village’s ‘Clubtraxxx 1-111’ (Too Pure) ●●●● – which scared us half to death with its relentlessly pummelled drums and zombie chatter vocals – and the return of Beyonce (albeit in drag) with soaring ballad ‘If I Were A Boy’ (MusicWorld/ RCA Label Group) ●●●●. But it’s She & Him with the majestic ‘Why Do You Let Me Stay Here’ (Double Six) ●●●●● which stands victorious as Single of the Fortnight; the rest lying bloody and battered, having taken a proper pounding from its squalling riffs, beguiling melody and sublime harmonies. What a knockout.


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