Singles Roundup – October 2014
- Rachel Devine
- 14 October 2014
Featuring Sinead O'Connor, The Son(s), Jon Hopkins and Twin Atlantic
(Nettwerk Music Group) ●●●
Though not quite a reinvention, Sinead O’Connor’s sound of recent years is a notable shift in musical terms. The fragility of her early work remains elusive and the anger and thrust of mid-era works tempered. Much of her latest album I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss sounds as though she downloaded the combined greatest hits of the female pop singers who’ve hogged the charts for the last five years and reworked the general idea with better lyrics and more engaging vocals. ‘8 Good Reasons’ has plenty of both set to a fairly ordinary pop-rock track vaguely reminiscent of Skunk Anansie. Still, the arguments in favour constitute a victory for substance over style.
(Olive Grove Records) ●●●●
Opening with a haunting organ refrain and fragile vocal intro before bursting into life in a rush of guitars and swirling harmonies, this is the most joyous, hummable song on the Son(s)’ exquisite second album The Things I Love Are Not At Home. A giddy, all-too-brief slice of bookish, psychedelic pop, it hints at a more refined sound for the band. Warm and full of stumbling charm.
Death, With Castanets available for download now, the album is out on Mon 27 Oct.
Recorded in Reykjavik earlier this year and originally intended to be a single 25-minute track, ‘Asleep Versions’ became four decelerated, dreamlike reimaginings of tracks from Hopkin’s Mercury-nominated Immunity, including the album’s titular single, ‘Form By Firelight’, ‘Breathe This Air’ and ‘Open Eye Signal’. Hypnotic, sensuous, coruscating loveliness abounds in the way we have come to expect from Hopkins. He is a master of sonic salve for weary hearts and keen ears. As calming and soporific as this EP is in parts, there is plenty of texture and spark to hold the attention. Superb.
(Red Bull Records) ●●
Like most of the songs from Twin Atlantic’s Great Divide album, ‘Hold On’ is light on subtlety and heavy on forced intensity. It’s catchy and far from impossible to sing along to, but it’s also ridden with clichés about emotional fortitude in the face of life’s turbulences (‘let me live in the eye of the storm/let me show how to it feels to be alone’) and it doesn’t really say anything about anything. The kind of song people listen to in their bedrooms post break-up when they should be out doing something interesting and restorative instead.