Single of the Month: First Aid Kit's 'The Lion's Roar'
Woodpecker Wooliams, Little Green Cars, Matt Corby, Jamie Flett and Kid Cudi also reviewed
As we approach the end of the year, the inevitable petering out of single/album releases is to be expected but in these final few weeks, there is always the opportunity to sow a few seeds for the coming 12 months. As usual, it’s a mixed bag.
First up is Woodpecker Wooliams – aka Brighton’s Gemma Williams – with ‘Gull’ (Robot Elephant, ●●), a glitchy cut from her album, The Bird School Of Being Human. It’s almost too easy to peg this harp-strumming oddity as a Joanna Newsom wannabe but it’s just weird enough to warrant another listen. The same can’t be said, however, for Of Monsters and Men’s mind-crushingly beige folk jam ‘Mountain Sound’ (Island, ●) or Little Green Cars, who effectively play out like their Irish counterparts on ‘The John Wayne’ (Glassnote/Island, ●●).
The faux-folk implosion continues with lacklustre efforts from Matt Corby on the warbling, phone advert-ready ‘Brother’ (Atlantic, ●●), while Jamie Flett saves things a little with the glimmering and beautifully arranged ‘Bouncing Ball’ (Big Rock Candy, ●●●).
Meanwhile, Kid Cudi’s ‘Just What I Am’ (Island, ●●) featuring King Chip is equally disappointing in its gargling lyrical pointlessness, but the glassy synth textures and measured mid-tempo groove are enough to move a head or two.
This month’s keeper, and Single of the Month is from talented Swedish sisters First Aid Kit . Despite being an unabashed country/folk throwback in its own right, the title track from their album The Lion’s Roar (Wichita, ●●●●) just pinches it on the strength of the vocals alone, which are as sublime as ever.
Woodpecker Wooliams plays at Shhh!, ‘a day and evening of quiet music’ co-curated by RM Hubbert at Platform, Glasgow on Sat 1 Dec. First Aid Kit play 02 ABC, Glasgow, Sat 24 Nov.