Single of the Week: Joan as Police Woman - 'Chemmie'

Charlie Simpson, Howler, Letters, The Last Battle and more reviewed

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Single of the Week: Joan as Police Woman - 'Chemmie'

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.

Charlie Simpson - Parachutes

Howler - I Told You Once (from the This One's Different EP)

Letters - Flash! Lights!

The Last Battle - Springwell EP

Portugal. The Man - Got It All

Death Cab For Cutie - Codes & Keys

Joan As Police Woman - Chemmie

Joan As Police Woman and Krystle Warren

Former Anthony & the Johnsons collaborator, who lives by the slogan 'beauty is the new punk rock'. Part of the Edge Festival.

Charlie Simpson and Sebastian Dangerfield

The former Busted and Fightstar frontman in more reflective, acoustic solo guise. Part of the Edge Festival.

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