Hello. It's time to repress your debauched memories of the last few days and settle down for a brand new edition of DiS Does Singles.
This week Camera Obscura have penned a royally good track about unrequited affection, Laura Marling has harked back to her new folk guise with a Bruce Springsteen cover and Books Of Love are here with their first ever single of winsome retromania.
Also, Paramore have scooped Single of the Week. I apologise for nothing.
Single of the Week
Paramore - Still Into You (Atlantic)
Look officer, I know what this looks like and frankly I don't give a damn. 'Still Into You' graduated from the same irresistible school of upbeat pop as Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe' and Robbie Williams' 'Candy'. It's relentlessly positive, unerringly infectious and too joyous to comprehend without the use of an exclamation mark!
By virtue of having a Hayley Willliams, Paramore have always been a different proposition to their emo contemporaries. Lacking the pomp of Fall Out Boy or the ceremony of My Chemical Romance, they trained their tunnel vision on conquering the world’s arenas with the help of some stonking singles. ‘Misery Business’ was their calling card; a histrionic swirl of high school drama that’s clothed in shrieking guitars and mildly blasphemous references to the Lord Almighty.
‘Still Into You’ exists in a parallel universe. It’s about the ‘forever after’ side of love, instead of the brief and arduous heartbreak bit.
“Can't count the years on one hand that we've been together,” swoons Williams.
“I need the other one to hold you, make you feel, make you feel better.”
If you’re a sap like me, you'll have already fallen hook, line and sinker for this single by the time its chorus first gallivants into view. If you still need persuading, there are handclaps, double-tracked harmonies and lashings of cowbell to commandeer an awful-looking gurn across your face.
It’s chicken soup for the soul and I’ve lost count of what serving I’m on.
‘Still Into You’ is available to download from iTunes right now
Eddie Berman with Laura Marling - Dancing In The Dark
Laura Marling released a new track called ‘Once’ this week from her forthcoming album Once I Was An Eagle. It’s okay, but the more her songwriting matures beyond anguished strumming on an acoustic guitar, the more I realise I want to hear something like ‘New Romantic’ again.
Refreshigly, this Bruce Springsteen cover with Eddie Berman shuns Marling's current mid-era Joni Mitchell vibes to resurrect her stripped back ethos of old. Given The Boss’ original track is such a propulsive juggernaut of thunderous drums and synth-lead yearning, you wouldn’t bet on it working as a hushed duet. When the Brit Award-winning troubadour lets rip with her trademarked soft coo, it’s as though you’re reconnecting with an old friend over cherished memories and many an ale.
Books of Love - Space Time (Bandcamp)
‘Space Time’ riffs off classic girl band joie de vivre to launch itself into a dimension of retro-pop joy. An impromptu collaboration between Katy Goodman (La Sera) and Greta Morgan (The Hush Sound), this Bandcamp-only release is lavished in bittersweeet harmonies and antique organ chords. It’s better than anything on the new She & Him album, which is high praise in this realm of the galaxy.
The Replacements - Songs For Slim EP (New West)
Rockstars are the closest thing we have to superheroes, so it’s always horrifying when their illusion of invincibility is shattered. As the guitar superstar who charged The Replacements’ ‘Alex Chilton’ into life when it was played live, Slim Dunlap should be entitled to eternal riches and ice cream sundaes on tap. Sadly, life dealt him a stroke leaving him in need of 24/7 care for the rest of his life.
This means half The Replacements (Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson) have dragged themselves out of retirement to create a fundraising covers EP. More akin to the later day shuffle of Don’t Tell A Soul than the rebel-rousing clamour of Let It Be, Songs For Slim is a five song pub rock knees up in the company of the Big Star fan club’s longest-serving devotees. Fittingly, a rendition of Dunlap’s own ‘Busted Up’ proves the record’s highlight with its honky tonk piano and rambling, elastic bassline.
The circumstances surrounding their return are tragic, but it’s a thrill to hear The Replacements kicking back against the world with renewed purpose.
Camera Obscura - Fifth In Line To The Throne (4AD)
Lighters up. Camera Obscura are in full on lovelorn mode and this time it’s regal. It would be highly libellous to draw comparisons between the aching lyrics of ‘Fifth In Line To The Throne’ and Princess Beatrice’s lovelife. So whoever this song is meant for, let’s just say there’s always more fish in the sea, “the one” will never stop loving you and you probably won’t die old and alone.
Wolf Alice - Bros (Chess Club)
Not a tribute to the ‘When Will I Be Famous?’ hitmakers, ‘Bros’ is actually an ode to being bezzie mates 4eva with someone. Thankfully, Wolf Alice resisted the obvious temptation to finish... each... other’s... sentences over a rambling four minute monologue and instead stuck with a well worn template of wistful indie.
“Remember when we cut our hair?” asks frontwoman Ellie Rowsell. “We both looked like boys but we didn’t care.”
I do not. It sounds ruddy marvelous though. As does the lilting string-picked guitar lick that wraps round this song.
Igor Volk - Labyrinth (Fool’s Paradise)
Igor Volk used to be in New Young Pony Club and now he’s gone groove metal. Only joking, ‘Labyrinth’ is 80’s-tinged synth-pop through and through. What’s lacking in smutty innuendo is made up for in suave funk vibes that tremble through your headphones like a midsummer's eve thunderstorm.
The Weeknd - Kiss Land (Island)
On ‘The Fall’ and ‘High For This’, Abel Tesfaye was caught between his vociferous appetite for getting a leg over and the consequences of acting like a total knob. On ‘Kiss Land’, he’s just a total knob.
Production-wise the title track from The Weeknd’s first album of brand new material follows his bleak template of old. Murky synths and looped squeals set an uneasy atmosphere in which a predatory Tesfaye thrives, “You can meet me in the room where the kisses ain’t free, you’ve gotta pay with your body.”
Aside from the fact it’s all a bit grim, the Canadian lothario’s frequent hints towards non consensual or at least intensely pressurised sexual encounters are intensely distasteful. At least Mike Skinner had a sense of humour when he wrote about the vacuousness of celebrity. Tesfaye is too mired in excess to envision how his charmless bragging sounds to the rest of us.
Playlist: DiS Does Singles 20.05.13
Also released this week
Archive - Stick Me In My Heart (Dangervisit) Aufgang - Kyrié (InFine Music) Bonobo - First Fires (Ninja Tunes) Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs - Be Glamorous (Heavenly) Cloud Boat - Youthern (Apollo) Coasts - Wallow (Tidal) Du Tonc - Surging Memories (Cheap Thrills) Fat White Family - Special Ape (Trashmouth) Husky Rescue - Tree House (El Camino) Nell Bryden - Echoes (Warner) Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Mermaids (Mute) NO CEREMONY/// - HURTLOVE RDGLDGRN - Million Fans (Fairfax) SULK - The Big Blue (Perfect Sound Forever) The London Dirthole Company - Modern Ist EP (Outside Sound) Tribes - Dancehall (Island)
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