Singles, EPs and downloads - April 2014
New releases from Seafieldroad, Jamie xx, Tuff Love and Michele Mininni reviewed
Seafieldroad – 'This Road Won’t Build Itself'
Confessedly wary of contributing to the perception that, in his words, the Scottish independence movement is ‘an army of sentimental nationalists’, Yes-voting musician and one third of Edinburgh trio Swimmer One Andrew Eaton-Lewis here contributes what’s possibly the first overt, contemporary protest song in favour of independence. An evocative piano ballad, its persistent, lullaby-like chorus of ‘this road won’t build itself’ is marked more by a sense of hopeful resignation about a task ahead than blind, chest-beating optimism, and he notes it could just as easily be about raising children. Kids, countries, they’re all the same.
Jamie xx – 'Sleep Sound'/'Girl'
(Young Turks) ●●●●
Mercury Prize-winner, Numbers alumnus and producer to the stars (Alicia Keys, for example), Jamie Smith – better known by the name of his band – returns here to solo production with a bright and shimmering lead track in ‘Sleep Sound’. It’s a ghostly type of two-step built quite uncannily on beats made from processed human vocals, a soundtrack to late urban nights that’s as weird as it is warm on the ears.
Tuff Love – 'Junk' EP
(Lost Map) ●●●
Good-value debut EP action here from Tuff Love, the latest (and in fact debut) signing for Pictish Trail’s Eigg-based label venture Lost Map. Over five low-slung, guitar-crunching tracks, the trio channel a fog of 80s and 90s alterna-indie icons, from Sonic Youth to Pavement and Throwing Muses – the latter particularly so, seeing as guitarist Julie Eisenstein and bassist Suse Bear share some thrillingly nonchalant harmonies.
Launched at the Old Hairdresser’s, Glasgow, Fri 2 May, with Trash Kit and a Pictish Trail vs Josie Long DJ set
Michele Mininni – 'Tupolev Love' EP
(Optimo Trax) ●●●
Housed on Optimo’s dancefloor-facing Trax label, it would be intriguing to see just which dancefloor Italy’s Michele Mininni might thrive upon. The title track of three here is a measured, insistent slice of futurist instrumental Italo which takes its time about things, while ‘Telekomdisco’ is an extended, harmonica-led edit that reminds of The Grid somehow. The latter Boot & Tax remix of the main song picks up the pace, but it’s still moody, slow-build material.