Single of the Month: King Creosote and Jon Hopkins’ ‘Honest Words’
Also reviewed: Katy B, Ghostpoet, Anna Calvi, Airship, Ed Sheeran, Austra, Penguin Prison and more
As Mercury Price fever ensues, there’s a last-minute dash to make the most of this extra attention, however, the resulting singles are admittedly a bit hit and miss.
The latter is unfortunately the case for Katy B’s scatty, 90s dance rip-off, ‘Witches Brew’ (●●, Rinse). Ghostpoet suffers a similar fate with ‘Liiines’ (●●●, Brownswood Recordings) with its rather lazy rap flow, and an equally dishevelled guitar-led beat, yet it still manages to hold your attention.
Anna Calvi’s ‘Suzanne and I’ (●●● Domino) is altogether more ambitious and so spacious it’s like sound checking in the Sistine Chapel.
Manchester crew Airship’s ‘Algebra’ (●●●, Play It Again Sam) is a nugget of soaring power-pop thankfully devoid of cheesiness. Sadly, the same can’t be said for Ed Sheeran (●, Asylum) with ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’: a beatboxing abomination.
Canadian sorceress Austra ramps up the goth factor on atmospheric electronic number ‘Spellwork’ (●●●, Domino) while Penguin Prison make a just-shy-of-hideous attempt at all-out 80’s cheese with ‘Fair Warning’ (●●, Stranger).
Smith Westerns go the other way with ‘End Of The Night’ (●●●, Weird World) channelling the 70s like a vintage ouija board. while the legendary John Cale reclaims the retro throne with the brilliant ‘Extra Playful EP’ (●●●, Electric Drone).
The undoubted jewel in this slightly rusty crown is King Creosote and Jon Hopkins’ ‘Honest Words’ (●●●●●, Domino). Reworking the song ‘Bats in The Attic’ and packing it together with two new tracks, this EP thankfully brings a welcome bit of East Neuk beauty to the week’s offerings.