Singles & Downloads

(Picture: Asobi Seksu)

Yob poseurs the Kaiser Chiefs turn soothsayer this fortnight with ‘Everything is Average Nowadays’ (B-Unique, 3 Stars) forecasting a slew of unoriginality in singledom. They have, however, stepped it up from the workaday previous single ‘Ruby’ though still falling far from the idiot savant pop of 2005’s ‘Everyday I Love You Less and Less’.

Further mainstream radio playlist fodder, steadfastly refusing to buck existent trends, comes from Glasgow’s Parka and ‘If You Wanna?’ (Jeepster, 4 Stars), which follows in The Libertines’ tracks remarkably well with a fizzy, hyperactive ska-pop call to the dancefloor. Seattle’s Band of Horses in ‘The Funeral’ (KIDS, 4 Stars) fill the gentle, melodic pop quota with a lulling melody over a plaintively chugging rhythm section with the sound of Mercury Revving in the background.

In the Coldplay/Snow Patrol emotional epic mould there are multiple contenders. From Glasgow, Airspiel’s demo track ‘Losing Control’ (demo, 2 Stars) is serviceable yet as interesting as motorway driving. Despite obvious insider knowledge, Snow Patrol’s ‘Signal Fire’ (Polydor, 3 Stars) with all its emotive piano and swelling chords refuses to reach the band’s previous anthemic heights. Which leaves Montreal’s The Dears to take the epic aspirant prize with ‘You and I are a Gang of Losers’ (Chrysalis, 3 Stars). The singer’s even called Murray Lightburn ferchrissakes.

On the other side of the experimental fence lies the gothic fairytale ditty of ‘When We Fell Through the Ice’ (Kartel, 3 Stars) from dark folksters Fireworks Night and The Low Miffs’ ‘Earl Grey (art/goes/pop, 4 Stars), a wilful, if ingenious throw down of Kurt Weill-esque cabaret pomp and 80s pop coyness.

Leaving aside Runrig’s ‘Clash of the Ash’ (Ridge, 1 Star), a painful paean to shinty in their own indefatigable jock rock style, Single of the Fortnight lands on the Brooklynite heads of Asobi Seksu and ‘Walk on the Moon’ (One Little Indian, 5 Stars). While transcendent vocals crescendo over Japanese tonal melodies and insistent guitars, singer Yuki Chikusate rises above the mass emotional hysteria of the Snow Patrol-a-likes and poops on their heads with a sublime revelation of candy coloured sunshine. It’s download only, mind, so make sure you’re friendly with a computer.

(Suzanne Black)

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