Single of the Month Sep 2013: Matthew Collings - 'They Meet on the Subway'
Carbs, Campfires in Winter and Mutya Keisha Siobhan also reviewed
Matthew Collings – 'They Meet on the Subway'
(Fluid Audio Recordings) ●●●●
More strange and stirring stuff from Edinburgh composer and sound artist Collings, taken from his debut album of earlier this year Splintered Instruments, which featured members of Sigur Ros’s backing band and the Icelandic Philharmonic Orchestra among others. Feeding distantly dialled-down vocals My Bloody Valentine-style and amp-blowingly overdriven Sonic Youth guitars through a deep, dark tunnel of electronic drones and twinkles, this is shoegaze plus, or post-post-rock.
Mutya Keisha Siobhan – 'Flatline'
Apart from Sugababes – of which band these three ladies were once-upon-a-time the founding members – who didn’t want this to be an absolute belter of a tune? The Dev Hynes-produced ‘Flatline’ aims for über-pop with indie cred, but perhaps inevitably proves terminally so-so – neither plainly glorious enough to openly embrace, nor infuriatingly dodgy enough to secretly love to hate. Could have been another ‘Overload’, instead it’s just underwhelming.
Carbs – 'Salty'
Bedsit electronica meister Jonnie Common teams up with Jamie Scott of Conquering Animal Sound as Carbs, whose forthcoming debut album Joyous Material Failure promises ‘odd and broken sounds’ embellished by ‘sabotaged processes’. ‘Salty’ pairs a half-rapped lyric about emotional and physical insecurity and the secretion of certain bodily fluids over a Tom Hanks film – tears, sicko – with delightfully gloopy bleeps and beats. And there we were just thinking it’d be about crisps.
Campfires in Winter – 'Picture of Health'
‘Won’t you take off my head,’ repeats singer Robert Canavan throughout the refrain of this EP title-track from the beardy Croy quartet, as it builds towards a noisy release. Wishing decapitation on himself seems extreme, but some much milder reprieve is deserved for such a conspicuous Frightened Rabbit knock-off. Frustratingly downplayed beneath pounding drums and overegged thick Scots accents, the more unique elements of ‘Picture of Health’ – ambient textures and drones – hint at CiW being well capable of honing a sound of their own.