Single of the month: Alphabet Song by Panda Su
Singles and downloads review, April 2011
You join The List in a Central Belt end terrace on a Monday morning. And yes, it’s done up like a Dalston warehouse; yes those are over-active strobes: can we interest you in a whistling glow-stick emblazoned with Hello Kitty’s face?
Correct, we are having an old-school rave, and it’s all thanks to Darren Bailie and Sway, whose euphoric urban anthem, ‘Amnesia’ (Audioflap, ●●●●) is a nostalgic ‘club banger’. Bailie is a founder of the Guru Josh Project, and there’s a hint of Infinity’s piddly, irresistible hook amid Sway’s rap braggadocio. It’s ridiculous, lyrically repellent and brilliant.
It is, of course, followed by the mother of all come-downs, as supplied by Noah and the Whale, who simper into being like creeping dread (which is weird; they used to be lovely). By the end of ‘Tonight’s the Kind of Night’ (Mercury, ●●) you’ll require an antidote. Come hither, therefore, jazz-inflected avant-rockers Trumpets of Death – their ‘Teeth and Teeth equals Teeth’ EP (Tin Angel, ●●●●) is outstanding.
David Shrigley and Iain Shaw’s ‘Awesome EP’ (self-release, ●●●●) is equally diverting; it’s bundled with skewed-pop sketches and deadpan verbal vignettes; while fellow Glasgow inhabitants Blue Sky Archives pull a shimmering power-pop blinder with their ‘Plural EP’(self-release, ●●●●).
Lest this issue’s singles instalment be deemed lacking in animalistic designates, here’s Wild Beasts with the woozy beauty of ‘Albatross’ (Domino, ●●●), and Antlered Man, who claim they’re ‘Heavy as F’. The vitriolic, riff-pummelling rock of ‘Surrounded by White Men’ (Something Nothing, ●●●) suggests they’re not mistaken.
It is a rare creature indeed, however, who ensnares the Single of the Month. Electro-folk heroine Panda Su’s ‘I Begin EP’ (Peter Panda, ●●●●) is by turns darkly thrilling and heartbreaking. ‘Alphabet Song’ has us in tears in our post-rave environs, eyes on the dwindling light of a glow-stick, crying over ‘U’s and ‘Y’s. Panda Su? She gets an ‘A’.