Aidan Moffat & Bill Wells and Malcolm Middleton are pick of September singles
Jens Lekman, Josh T Pearson and Django Django also among highlights
The humble lyric is oft-overlooked in the quick-fix rush of the singles market. Come hither, then, as we salute the month’s most loquacious quality popsters.
No such discourse would be complete without a nod to Swedish indie-bard Jens Lekman, whose ‘An Argument With Myself’ EP (●●●●, Strictly Canadian) is a tropical boogie through picturesque rhymes (‘galaxies of taxis and back-seats and drunk suites and half-Greeks’), while the beautiful beardy heartbreaker that is Josh T Pearson says ‘Sorry With a Song’ (●●●●, Mute) and we fall for his alt-country self-hate all over again.
Edinburgh alt-rock miscreants Cancel the Astronauts strike a loveable balance between upbeat clamour and morbid introspection on ‘Seven Vices’ (●●●●, self-release) and there are further erudite alt-pop gems from local heroes We Were Promised Jetpacks with rock-conquest ‘Medicine’ (●●●●, Fat Cat), Django Django’s woozy electro-groove ‘Waveforms’ (●●●●, Because) and Wounded Knee’s seafaring folk voyage ‘Helmsdale Herring’ (●●●●, self-release).
But The List is thrilled to reunite Arab Strap’s Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton for Joint Single of the Month. Moffat’s outstanding tryst with Bill Wells continues apace with the ‘Cruel Summer’ EP (●●●●●, Chemikal Underground) which allies their stifled-jazz take on Bananarama with a brand-new lovelorn serenade and a Hallowe’en dog-collar fantasy, while Malcolm Middleton lavishes us with a series of deadpan, gorgeous, down-home odes on ‘10x10:08’(●●●●●, De-Fence), an excellent split EP with FOUND’s electro-deviant River of Slime.
‘It turns out we’re exactly who we thought we were,’ sings Moffat. ‘The whole world’s gone to fuck’, sings Middleton. Praise be, say we, for Scotland’s articulate saviours of pop.