Singles and EPs – June 2015
Featuring FFS, Years and Years, Man of Moon and Twilight Sad
Before we dive headlong into this summer's new singles and downloads, let us address the Elliphant in the room. She's a Swedish singer / rapper also known as Ellinor Olovsdotter, and her new single 'Love Me Badder' (●●● TEN Music, out now) is part Robyn-esque machine ballad, part Shaggy-evoking 'Mr Loverman' tussle, with a clear nod to MIA thrown in for good measure. It makes for an excellent urban pop dirge.
Years and Years' latest is a rather more gleaming pop affair. 'Shine' (●●● Polydor, out Sun 5 Jul) is less jarring and self-consciously banging than their all-conquering previous single 'King', and sees the London electro trio bring down the tempo and ramp up the longing (and Vangelis / Climie Fisher echoes) to fine effect.
Edinburgh duo Man of Moon's debut 7” 'The Road' (●●●● Melodic, out now) is a heady psychedelic jam that lives up to the myriad whispers of greatness surrounding the enigmatic pair, and the new offering from Glasgow's disco post-punk renegades WHITE is similarly promising: 'Future Pleasures' (●●●● RCA, out now) is a glittering, glam-strutting, Postcard-toting non-stop thrill.
Or, if you prefer your Scottish pop replete with vaudevillian post-punk kicks, then look no further than 'Johnny Delusional' (●●●● Domino, out Mon 8 Jun), which comes courtesy of Franz Ferdinand and Sparks (FFS) and is every bit as arch, dramatic and rock-operatic as such a dream alliance might suggest.
Jenny Hval's new single is more suited to the bedroom hour. 'That Battle is Over' (●●●● Sacred Bones, out now) sees the Norwegian artist take on socialism, consumerism and war, via the medium of exquisite alt-pop. Similarly swoon-inducing is the new short-player from Natalie Prass, whose skipping, flute-toting 'Bird of Prey' (●●●● Spacebomb, out Fri 31 Jul) is an upbeat highlight from her lovely recent self-titled album.
Our Single of the Month garland will have to stretch that bit further, so as to accommodate the combined brilliance of the Twilight Sad and Bdy_Prts. The Twilight Sad's haunted-pop masterpiece 'It Never Was the Same' (●●●●● Fat Cat, out Mon 15 Jun) comes replete with a cover of 'There's a Girl in the Corner' by the Cure's gothic-pop kingpin himself, Robert Smith. Meanwhile, Bdy_Prts' 'Cold Shoulder' (●●●●● self-released, out Mon 15 Jun) is a kick-ass indie R&B classic from Glasgow's Jill O'Sullivan (Sparrow and the Workshop) and Jenny Reeve. Think synths and violins; think spandex and unicorns; think Sons and Daughters duelling with Destiny's Child. They're better than that.