Singles and Downloads

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Were the Singles and Downloads desk to dish out an award for Most Obvious Candidate For Being in an Advert of the Fortnight, it would have to go to Zero 7 featuring Jose Gonzalez’ ‘Futures’ (Atlantic) ***. Just imagine that for a minute … it’s MOR squared, obviously, but kinda sweet too, in a way which washes over you like you hardly know it’s there.

Not like Psapp’s ‘Hi’ (Domino) ***, a charming and utterly incessant concoction of found sounds and exotic instrumentation by the pair of Gonzalez associates from London. Also emerging from the same stable is Vetiver’s ‘Won’t Be Me’ (Fatcat) *** - their bandleader Andy Cabic is affiliated with Devendra Banhart, and his own style is a similar throwback to the breezy, jangling guitar pop of the 70s. On the other hand Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly has nothing to do with Billy Bragg, but the lone Essex boy’s ‘The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager Part One’ (Atlantic) *** repeats Bragg’s acoustic mantra of romance meets polemic.

Onto something a bit more rocking, and who better for the job than Jet, making their comeback with ‘Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is’ (Atlantic) ***, vaguely reminiscent of a falsetto version of the identically-titled Oasis song? Why Wolfmother, of course. ‘Love Train’ (Island) *** sees the hirsute Aussies squealing and shivering their way through another grand take-off of Led Zep, whose derivative nature shouldn’t override the fact they’re more exciting than most of the guff out there. As are We Are The Physics - ‘Less Than Three’ (One) **** is thrashy synth-punk from Glasgow - and The Walkmen, whose ‘Louisiana’ (Nonesuch) **** is a mellow country anthem that suggests Music From Big Pink was on the stereo the day they wrote it.

Onto Single of the Fortnight time again, and it’s tough to see past The Aliens, with ‘The Happy Song’ (Pet RockI) ****. They have produced yet another gorgeously odd piece of psych-pop, whose simplistic euphoria is kind of like The Beach Boys on acid. Oh, hang on a minute …

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