Singles and EPs - May 2015
Featuring Röyksopp, Nocturnal Sunshine, Stereophonics and Kloë
Echoes of both Michael Jackson and Peter Gabriel feature in the lovely new single from techno-pop dreamboats, Röyksopp's, 'I Had This Thing' (●●●●, Dog Triumph, out now): Jacko's brooding command of the dancefloor, and that gorgeous, aching melancholy that 80s-era Gabriel once made his own. 'I'd give it all for a second chance,' the Norwegian duo (aka Svein Berge and Torbjorn Brundtland) lament, and leave us break-dancing with tears in our eyes.
It's a rather more diffident sentiment on the excellent new single from British-Japanese producer Maya Jane Coles, here moonlighting as Nocturnal Sunshine, and unfurling a dread-beat lullaby in 'Believe' (●●●●, I/AM/ME, out Mon 25 May). It features enigmatic singer-songwriter Chelou, and it's underscored by heartfelt lines such as, ‘Passion ain't no virtue of mine.’
At the brighter end of the electro spectrum, shimmering Glasgow pop vocalist Kloë's 'Feel' (●●●●, Soundcloud, out now) offers more of the Prides-produced lambent R&B that made last year's 'Grip' such a glorious debut. 'Feel' builds on that promise, and builds to a climax that variously invokes 'Enjoy The Silence'-era Depeche Mode and 1990s Central Belt rave favourites The Time Frequency. Yep. That good.
The Stereophonics' latest single, 'C'est La Vie' (●●, Stylus, out now) is not, alas, a cover of B*Witched's jig-pop classic of the same name, but rather a characteristically chugging, rasping ode to that woefully under-represented species, the alpha male. Because we need another one of those.
With that in mind, let us give copious thanks for a triptych of righteous Glasgow(ish) femme-pop duos who overturn rock's Status Quo. The Van Ts' thrilling, guitar-scything ‘Fun Garçon’ EP (●●●●, Shoot The Moon, out now) is equal parts Siouxsie Sioux, Breeders and brilliant; Honeyblood's low-slung axe-pop double-header 'No Big Deal' / 'The Black Cloud' (●●●●, Fat Cat, out now) further propels them to global (or at least, counter-cultural) domination, and the sunshine harmonies of Tuff Love's grunge-pop reverie, 'Groucho' (●●●●, Lost Map, out now) are joyous.
Meanwhile, local gossamer-pop bard Finn LeMarinel has teamed up with the wondrous Electric Honey (Belle and Sebastian, Biffy Clyro) for our Single / EP of the Month. LeMarinel's ‘Love Is Waves’ EP (●●●●, Electric Honey, out now) is a(nother) mesmeric collection of fragile psalms and guitar mantras that are minimalist, sublime and uplifting. 'Should we start over again?' he ventures on the title track. Röyksopp would jump at such a chance.