Single of the Week!
Sam Lee - ‘The Ballad Of George Collins’ (The Nest Collective)
Even the most glancing knowledge of murder ballads should leave you in no doubt: if you spot a 'fair maid' with 'red ruby lips' you should immediately scarper; tales like this never end well. Which makes the George Collins of Sam Lee's imagining all the more stupidy-stupid; with his insistence on kissing the unruly cow - which, of course, does end in tears (as well as his own death, and a modest female massacre). I like this single because it has got loads of mouth harp on it, and because Sam Lee has genuinely, truly, PROPERLY done something remarkable with the folk tradition, spinning it into something thoroughly modern, by use of glitches, drama and a sense of theatricality which would shame Derek Jacobi. Also, as a former member of the Berkshire County Youth Contemporary Dance Company (oho, yes), I know pure meaningful interpretive dance when I see it, and there is LOADS of meaning in the Naked Man Writhing About Under A Sheet With No Clothes On in this video. Wonderful.
Dirty Projectors - ‘About To Die’ (Domino)
Despite - or perhaps precisely because - 'About To Die' has a percussion section that sounds like it is being dropped down the stairs by a cack-handed simpleton, Dirty Projectors continue to prove they are the BEST BAND. The fact that they can have backing vocals this slinky; and get away with lyrics like 'Look, there's some goblins dressed up like a wound'; as well as having a video that displays the band as if they were in a Paula Rego tableau or darkly strange Vermeer: no one else is doing what they are doing or furiously juggling ideas like them.
Egyptian Hip Hop - ‘Yoro Diallo’ (R&S Records)
Aimless drifters Egyptian Hip Hop are better are noodling about for four minutes and fifteen seconds, and then calling it a single, than you are. So don't you try to do it because your noodling will be rubbish.
Chvrches - ‘The Mother We Share’ (National Anthem)
Chvrches are using not using the letter 'u', they are using the letter 'v' - just like they used to in the olden days of yore. This is because they are modern and much more keyed into typographical trends than you, who is well old. I think this is why 'The Mother We Share' sounds so bloody youthful, to the point that the vocals sound like they were sung by toddlers. It's a really nice pop song, if you can put Ellie Goulding out of your mind and convince yourself this is Pop Music Palatable Enough For Indie People Who Normally Are Allergic To Fun.
Stay+ feat. Queenie - ‘Crashed’ (Black Butter)
Stay+ are not afraid of the nineties, they are not going to mess about and only take half now but let you take a whole one so they can watch if you go all wrong so they know not to take the other half. No, like me and my tortuous knack for stretching out a metaphor for the entirety of one single review; they are going to indulge their love of 90s arm-waving and housey-housey ravey-davey diva guest-voxed wicked-good bullcrap, thereby plunging your face in all the drama that entails. This is not a single you can take or leave, and I will happily go with it into the loos and sell my spare for five quid and/or a nice shoulder rub.
The Walkmen - 'Dance With Your Partner' (Bella Union)
The Walkmen are the band who know PAIN and MISERY and CHRISTMAS and ROMANCE better than anyone. And if you have failed by now to appreciate that noone sings a lullaby quite like Hamilton Leithauser, I have no time for you; nobody can sing like him, or make your stomach halt and churn like he does. And when I say 'Christmas', I do of course mean to indicate that it is both the most romantic, and AWFUL time of year mankind ever fixed to celebrate; equal parts sickly torment to ghastly, gurning happiness. All of which makes The Walkmen a band for bacchanals, if ever there was one.
Crystal Bats - ‘Arabella’ / 'Tonight'
If, like me, you miss the early work of Mr. Green Gartside; and wish you could hear something of that ilk, with all the unnecessary (necessary) sax solos and cloyingly sweet performance that implies, you could do a lot worse than Crystal Bats. While we are on the subject of Christmas, they are quite like the cherry liqueur chocolates you find yourself popping into your facehole without really knowing why; it is perfumed pop poncery of the most earnest kind, as if someone had pickled Crystal Bats in aspic, in 1982. And yet, I think they mean to mean it, which makes all the difference in my book.
Also out this Week!
Melody's Echo Chamber - ‘I Follow You’ (Domino
Patrick Watson - ‘Blackwind’ (Domino)
Dawn Hunger - ‘Billowed Wind’ (Mourning Joy)
Of Monster & Men - ‘Mountain Sound’ (Island)
FaltyDL - ‘Straight & Arrow’ (Ninja Tune)
Dinosaur Jr. - ‘Pierce The Morning Rain’ (PIAS)
Splashh - ‘Vacation’ (Luv Luv Luv)
The Massacre Cave - ‘Winds Of Death’
Band Of Skulls - 'You're Not Pretty But You Got It Goin' On'
TCTS - ‘1997’ (Justus)
AC Slater - ‘Party Animals’ (Party Like US)
Skinny Lister - ‘Forty Pound Wedding’ (Sunday Best)
Dr Meaker - ‘Fighter’ (V Recordings)
The Plea - ‘Stagger's Anthem’
Bela Takes Chase - ‘Rough Luxe’ EP
Severin - ‘Ways To Distract’ (Tip Top Recordings)
Maia - ‘The Grandfather Plan’ (Vandal Records)
Swim Deep - ‘Honey’ (Chess Club Records)
Crushed Beaks - ‘Breakdown’ (ASL Records)
Panama - ‘It's Not Over’ EP (Future Classic)
White Bone Rattle - ‘Miss Mist’
The Getaway Plan - ‘The Reckoning’ (Warners/UNFD)
Lolas Bad - ‘Drown With Me’
Jennifer Left - ‘Diggory’ EP (Singing Hinny Music)
Prince Fatty - ‘Ali Baba’ (Mr Bongo Records)
Sambassadeur - ‘Memories' / 'Hours Away’ (Labrador Records)
Poliça - ‘Lay Your Cards Out’ (Memphis Industries)
Club Smith - ‘Lament’ (All Sorted Records)
Jon DeRosa - ‘Birds Of Brooklyn’ (Rocket Girl)
Dead Sons - ‘Hangman’ (BeReyt Records)
Scout Niblett - ‘No More Nasty Scrubs’ (Drag City)
Findlay - ‘Your Sister’ (Joyeux Anniversaire)
The Murder Barn - ‘Gotta Good Man’ EP
Wendy is on the internet, here.