Singles & Downloads
Get ready, kids, it’s New Morrissey Single of the Fortnight time! And this one’s a stormer, all taut and driving, and laced with that familiar austerity which, you suspect, hides a well of uncertainty somewhere just below the surface. And it’s got these great synths grinding away over it, too. Hold up, that can’t be right. It appears we’ve been listening to ‘The Balance Company’ (Biphonic) •••• by Edinburgh duo Swimmer One after all, whose impression of Moz would be laudable, were it not for the electronics turning up and sending things a bit Mark Hollis. It’s very good, though, and the B-side - ‘The Dark Ages’ - is oddly even better.
Oh, there is a New Morrissey Single of the Fortnight, though. It’s called ‘All You Need Is Me’ (Decca) ••••, and it’s exactly as anticipated up there in the first paragraph. Minus the synths, of course, and with the added thrill of hidden vendettas being exorcised.
Yet more deceptively soulful pop can be found in even stranger places – namely the B-side of Thao’s sweet ‘Swimming Pools’ (Kill Rock Stars) •••• which is a stunning cover of Smokey Robinson’s ‘You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me’.
A clutch of fellow newcomers are hanging around impressing us in May. Black Mountain, while not strictly newcomers, are still unknown enough that the gristly shoegaze-sludge of ‘Stormy High’ (Jagjaguwar) ••• deserves some drawn attention. Black Lips’ ‘Bad Kids’ (Vice) ••• is also a notable piece of quirky indie-pop, while the garishly racketeering and often-recommended White Denim’s ‘Let’s Talk About It’ (Full Time Hobby) ••• is a noisy number which probably still doesn’t do justice to the legendarily frantic live show.
Let’s stay close to home for the Joint Single of the Fortnight award, though, and first draw attention to Glaswegians Isosceles and the frantic, Franz Ferdinand-approved post-punk of ‘Kitsch Bitch’ (Art Goes Pop) ••••. Crossing the M8 and the gender divide, we’d also like to rave about Edinburgh’s girl-group The Gussets with ‘Goretex Erotique’ (Golden Eagle Recordings) ••••, which is like The Slits with an outdoors-wear fetish. Both are truly original singles by fine young bands, although we reckon the girls could take the boys in a fight if they wanted.