Single of the Week: Joan as Police Woman - 'Chemmie'
Charlie Simpson, Howler, Letters, The Last Battle and more reviewed
We are to be assured that Charlie Simpson is well and truly out of short trousers on ‘Parachutes’ (CSM Records ●●●). Lyrically, things have matured past his chart-friendly pop-punkster days and his light rock would perhaps appeal to admirers of piano-grubbers like Keane or Coldplay.
Howler sound very ‘of the minute’. ‘This One’s Different’ (Rough Trade ●●●) is basic, riff-heavy pop that doesn’t necessarily inspire on record but has enough jangly guitars and Strokes-style cool to find fans live, not least whilst supporting The Vaccines on tour later this year.
Edinburgh’s Letters have been busy, releasing early-Idlewild-esque single ‘Flash! Lights!’ (White label ●●●) only months after beginning gigging. Meanwhile, The Last Battle show that we’re still doing nu-folk on ‘The Springwell EP’ (White label ●●●) which should please fans of Fence babies Kid Canaveral or Fence papa (and Mercury nominee) King Creosote.
‘Got It All (This Can’t Be Living Now)’ (Atlantic ●●●●), the first single off Portugal. The Man’s new record, In The Mountain In The Cloud, comes with a bitchin’ speaker-panning guitar solo and proof that Alaska-then-Portland based John Gourley can really nail a falsetto line. Elsewhere, Death Cab For Cutie further cultivate an ever-more commercial fanbase with ‘Codes and Keys’ (Atlantic ●●●).
But Joan As Police Woman (Play It Again Sam ●●●●) outwrites and outsings them all, making this our Single of the Week. ‘Chemmie’, from latest LP, The Deep Field, outlines a more uplifting style for Joan Wasser, with sultry Philadelphia soul leanings and vocals which purr from the speakers.