Singles & Downloads
That’s it. I’m officially breaking up with Kate Nash. I defended ‘Foundations’ long after everyone else had gone right off it, but the bathroom sink drama of ‘Mouthwash’ (Fiction - 2 stars) with its cringily self-aware opener ‘This . . . is my face’, is just an exercise in slappable adolescent posturing. It’s over, snooks, there are plenty of other sparky girl songwriters out there. Laura Marling’s witty, erudite ‘New Romantic’ (Virgin - 4 stars) sounds like a Bedales-educated Regina Spektor, while crazy elf Wallis Bird will do just fine if she resists the Tunstall makeover her producers have obviously tried to apply to her eccentric acoustic ‘Blossoms in the Street’ (Island - 3 stars).
Hot Chip win Best Remix for their sterling work on Martin Dear’s deadpan electro love-song ‘Don & Sherri’ (Ghostly International - 3 stars), remix. They’ve stripped away all the arch, Germanic distortion, leaving something wistful, yearning, and altogether lovely.
It’s all quiet on the Western front this fortnight. Glasgow-based trio Zoey Van Goey’s debut single ‘Foxtrot Vandals’ (Say Dirty - 3 stars), produced by Stuart Murdoch, is a sweet synth-edged slice of Scandic-sounding pop, sung in such sunny close harmony that you kind of wish it was summer again. And this is practically sacrilegious, but doesn’t the unusually subdued ‘Machines’ (14th Floor) make Biffy Clyro sound a bit like Snow Patrol? Eek. What’s happening, fellas?
Also mildly disappointing: Roisin Murphy’s ‘Let Me Know’ (EMI - 3 stars) is a glossy, housey slab of disco that would sound great from anyone else, but is oddly soulless, lacking her usual warped brilliance.
Meanwhile, while we were breaking up with Kate and angsting out with the Biffy, Single of the Fortnight was nicked by four hairy wee punks with a classy bit of rock’n’roll and a crap late 90s name. The Satin Peaches’ ‘Well Well Well Well’ (Island - 4 stars) is stompy, hooky, husky and fuzzy all at once, with some cracking piano action. Plus they’re from Detroit, which is always, inarguably, cool. The lead vocalist has a beautiful, cocky, honeyed voice. And that little chuckle he does on the last chorus? Kills me. ‘Course, I might retract that later. (Kirstin Innes)