Singles & Downloads

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Sons & Daughters

Pop music. What’s the point of it all? Why, quite clearly to ensure that the horrifying likes of McFly can continue to be the beneficiaries of monumental marketing campaigns when all their original fans are surely thinking about starter mortgages these days. The band’s new single ‘The Heart Never Lies’ (Universal) • is three-and-a-half more minutes of flat-packed ennui in a plastic box (or on a hard drive, if you prefer).

At least nostalgia’s a vague excuse for the almost-as-dull Take That, whose ‘Rule the World’ (Polydor) • is your standard pick’n’mix ballad, while the previously commendable Sugababes tread the weary Europop route with ‘About You Now’ (Universal) •. It’s enough to make you, y’know, grow up.

Hold on, though, let’s not lose faith. There’s loads of great proper music out right now, starting with the brooding, Fall-like groove of Prinzhorn Dance School’s ‘You Are the Space Invader’ (DFA) •••, or the joyful home-made symphonies of Melbourne’s Architecture in Helsinki, with ‘Hold Music’ (V2) ••• sounding like The B-52s turned all the way up to 11.

Offering more leftfield thrills this time out are Cold War Kids, whose ‘We Used to Vacation’ (V2) ••• is no ‘Hang Me Out to Dry’, although it’s an angstful, dramatic tune which adds a bit more to the canon of a promising young band. Much like José González’ tender cover of Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’ (Peacefrog) ••••, which helps cement his position as so much more than the ‘bouncy-ball advert man’.

On the subject of track records, how about a couple of old-stagers who have chosen this fortnight to build on their past glories? ‘Here Comes That Day’ (W14) ••• by Siouxsie (of the Banshees fame) sounds rather gratifyingly like Amy Winehouse as produced by David Holmes, while ‘Kingdom’ (Mute) ••• by Depeche Mode returnee Dave Gahan comes suitably swathed in industrial drama.

As much of a joy as it would be to give Single of the Fortnight to The Best Pop Group In The World Right Now, Super Furry Animals’ ‘Runaway’ (Rough Trade) •••• isn’t quite as tremendous as Sons and Daughters’ typically filthy ‘Gilt Complex’ (Domino) ••••, and nor does it feature a monolithic rockabilly cover of Adamski’s ‘Killer’ on the flip-side. Now that’s pop music.

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