Singles of the month: Blood Orange - Sutphin Boulevard

Emeli Sande, Dam Mantle, Radiohead, Seafieldroad, Bright Eyes, Hudson Mohawke and more reviewed

Single of the month: Sutphin Boulevard by Blood Orange

Blood Orange

It’s a good month for Scots musicians, both electronic and otherwise. Probably the best ever, in fact, for 24-year-old Aberdonian Emeli Sandé with ‘Heaven’ (EMI) ●●●●, her instantly recognisable, ‘Unfinished Sympathy’-like major label debut after high-profile guest appearances alongside Wiley, Tinie Tempah and Magnetic Man. Despite the rather obvious reference, it’s a fine pop song set off by a great voice.

Perhaps destined for less mainstream success is River of Slime’s ‘Volume One’ (Phuturelabs) ●●●●, a brain-melting 17-minute epic of hip-hop-redolent glitch electronica from FOUND’s Kev Sim with excellent remixes from local collaborators including Glasgow’s S-Type. Dam Mantle’s ‘We’ EP (GETME!) ●●● meanwhile, is an extended odyssey of four quality uptempo ambient soundscapes. Both are acquired tastes, but still smart and forward-thinking slices of synthesised songwriting, which means they might file easily alongside Radiohead’s double A-side ‘Little By Little (Caribou remix)/Lotus Flower (Jacques Greene remix)’ (XL Recordings) ●●●.

Briskly sidestepping Mona ‘Shooting the Moon’ (Zion Recordings) ●● on account of their not being the American Glasvegas let alone the American U2, let’s ponder how well the tender Seafieldroad ‘Cramond Island Causeway’ (Biphonic) ●●●● stands up to Bright Eyes’ ‘Jejune Stars’ (Polydor) ●●●. Both are intelligent, literate songs from skilled songwriters, but tender piano ballad beats rock song with too many words levered in this time.

A definite contender for Single of the Month is Hudson Mohawke’s ‘Satin Panthers’ EP (Warp) ●●●●, if only because it features five brand new tracks from Glasgow’s retro-redefining cut-up producer, but nothing quite touches Blood Orange with ‘Sutphin Boulevard’ (Domino) ●●●●. The brainchild of Lightspeed Champion Devonte Hynes, it’s a laidback touch of Oriental electronic soul with a definite touch of the Terence Trent D’Arby about it.

Emeli Sandé - Heaven

River of Slime - Volume One

Dam Mantle - We (short mix)

Radiohead - Little by Little (Caribou remix)

Mona - Shooting The Moon

Seafieldroad - Cramond Island Causeway

Bright Eyes - Jejune Stars

Hudson Mohawke - Satin Panthers

Blood Orange - Sutphin Boulevard

Dam Mantle, Silk Cut and Lumpen

Organic electronics from Glasgow-based Dam Mantle launching a new single at this gig. Plus Errors DJs.

Mona and Strawberry Ocean Sea

Rocking Nashville combo who sound just a tad like Kings of Leon. Part of the Edge Festival.

Jonnie Common Vs GRNR and Flaccid Haus

Fence Collectee, formerly known as Down the Tiny Steps.


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