Singles & Downloads

A pair of lovely lady sounds open this issue’s whip through the short players, which has a strange males vs females dynamic incidentally. ‘Mr Blue’ (Tallgrass) *** by Catherine Feeny ambles along in a loved-up winsome haze, its head lost in a cloud of mellow brass and keys. Liz Green’s ‘Bad Medicine’ (Humble Soul) *** snaps at the scoundrel that scorned her, like a bluegrass rattlesnake with the voice of a 1920s jazz chanteuse.

Speaking of the fairer sex, both Gossip and Maxïmo Park are concerned with girls this week – covetous ones in the former’s case: ‘Jealous Girls’ (Back Yard) ***, the axe-wielding type in the latter’s: ‘Girls Who Play Guitars’ (Warp) *. Beth Ditto and co win easily in the head to head, stomping the Newcastle indie fraudsters’ pallid three-minute bore flat with a razor sharp soul-punk stiletto.

Kaiser Chiefs
’ tabloid-barracking lads-anthem ‘The Angry Mob’ (B-Unique) ** isn’t much of a riposte from the blokes, coming across like a rubbish Blur, as they so often do. Ample back up arrives, at least, in the shape of off-kilter nugget ‘Beatific Visions’ (Rough Trade) *** by Brakes, and hot new prospects Foals’ ‘Mathletics’ (Transgressive) *** which is a scuttling clash of creepy-crawly high-fretted guitars.

But enough with this crazy battle of the sexes already. Wink’s dancefloor classic ‘High State of Consciousness’ is given a refit to relaunch legendary label (Strictly Rhythm) ***. This is very much a case of trying to better something that was near perfect already. While the new mixes are fine, they only help to show how timeless the original was. Better still is that we’re all off to cheeky Dumfries chappy Calvin Harris’s gaff for a knees up. ‘Merrymaking At My Place’ (Sony) **** might be achingly reminiscent of LCD Soundsystem’s ‘Daft Punk is Playing at My House’, but it is undeniably fun, and unerringly funky. What the hell, let’s call it Single of the Week. Because we’re not prejudiced here. Are you?

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