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singles/eps - january 2015


Demob Happy – Succubus (Milk Parlour)

What the hell is this? It sounds like something seriously broke down during the recording process. Happily, the result is amazing – a near sub-audible flappy bassline over a rather funky guitar part that barely all hangs together. But it does. 9/10


Paris XY – Wytching Hour

Like traversing some dystopian dream, Paris XY come across like Bjork doing a David Lynch film sound track. Luscious brooding synths and loops definitely bring to mind the TrentmØller influence and the drama in Alice Smith’s voice depicts a certain grandiosity which demands attention. A fine start to the year. 8/10


New Cowboy Builders – Black Moses (Function Room)

I’ve sat on this one with a little while longer than I wanted to but it just seems to have got better and better in the meantime. New Cowboy Builders sadly do not feature Melinda Messenger or even Dominic Littlewood but are instead a rather feisty guitar band. There’s a driving, head band inducing riff underlying ‘Black Moses’ and the punky vibe chops right through the 2.44 minutes like our builder John sawing through a 4 x 2. 8/10


The Twilight Sad – I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want (Fat Cat)

Another tour de force from Fat Cat’s premier Caledonian miserablists cum euphoricists. Taken from the typically pithily titled album ‘Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave’, there’s a driving tempo to this which provides the classic counterpoint to the nihilistic message. On tour in February, I recommend you stock up the Tennents and seek them out. 8/10


Jape – Seance of Light

Throwing off the opening overtures of a suspiciously Stock, Aitken and Waterman beginning, Seance of Light flourishes into a wonderful springtime festival of disco pop. Like Ireland’s answer to Hot Chip, Jape maintain a freshness yet complexity which keeps you gripped to the very end of the track. 8/10


Kodah – Forever (Coffee Jingle)

Next to the polished pop of Jape, Kodah scratches and scrapes ‘Forever’ into its awkward existence. The choppy guitar chords are very Bleach era Nirvana and the whole track has that early DIY vibe. You might find the nasally vocals a bit tedious after a while, especially then they start to veer seriously off pitch, but it’s a pretty decent stab for a debut single. 6/10


Allo Darlin - Bright Eyes

Bright Eyes is a more poppy and upbeat song that some of Allo Darlin's previous offerings, but it's still recognisably them. It starts with guitarist Paul singing, which is a nice change, but then we get Elizabeth's gorgeous tones to reassure us that they're still the same band. The guitar is stronger than in previous songs, too, which is a good indicator for the rest of the album. The chorus has a nice call-and-response between Elizabeth and Paul, and the video, while surreal, suits the band perfectly.

I saw Allo Darlin' at the Deaf Institute in Manchester and was pleased to find that the new songs, from 3rd album We Come From the Same Place, fit perfectly alongside older songs. I could see Allo Darlin every night for the next hundred and never get bored - you'd never get the same gig twice. Bright Eyes and Paul taking centre stage for the first time is only one of the very many excellent reasons why.

Rebecca McCormick


Troyka - 'Life Was Transient'

'A really engaging mash up' says the PR and I'd go along with that, loungecore stylings given a rhythm track that while it jars a little on my headphones probably works alright when played through a club sized system. Edgy grooves to help get 2015 underway and Troyka are, as the saying goes, ones to watch.


Moulettes - 'Glorious Year'

Blissful harmonies, the rattle of a tambourine and Moulettes optimism is of a pretty infectious sort, 'it will be a glorious year, I can feel it in my fingers' sings the tambourine player as the rest of the band knock out a bouncy folk tune that's sufficiently memorable to figure in the New year celebrations for 2016. Some smooth violins add an authentic kletzmer touch and it all sounds very merry round at Moulettes pad, all year long.


Emmy The Great - 'S' ep

Why name your 4 track EP after the 19th letter of the alphabet? Why give yourself the soubriquet 'the great' when, in fairness, not an awful lot of people are actually aware of your existence? Questions, questions, but I already am acquainted with Emmy and am pleased to hear that she can still bring herself to share her most heartfelt moments with us. Her voice, always delicate, even fragile, has many things to tell us and her music is just superb, blending alt.folk stylings and electronica like it's never been done properly before, until now. 4 tracks isn't quite enough from one of the true originals of the singer songwriting world, but don't just take my word for it, find out for yourself exactly what it is that makes Emmy actually Great.


Little Lapin - 'Remember The Highs'

Already drawing comparisons with in-their-prime Pretenders, and that isn't such a bad thing from the already well regarded New Zealander, with Tom Robinson giving her a plug on his R6 show and her confidence just shines through on this track. Actually it does sound more than a bit like the Pretenders, sort of 'Back On The Chain Gang' speeded up and given a more power pop treatment but I for one never turn off the radio when Chrissie Hynde makes an appearance and while we're waiting for Little Lapin's album, we can dig out that CD of their second album and wonder why no one makes red coloured bike jackets anymore.


SeaWitches - 'Stars'

From Liverpool, proper old school indie redolent of Pulp that was uploaded to Youtube almost a year ago and is only finding its way into our hearts now, at least 10 months later. A glorious guitar riff and the video is really quite good, what has taken Jo, Laura and Jamie so long to bring it to us? Probably none of our concern but 'Stars' is classic Britpop from its elegiac guitar intro, to its Shalala chorus, to the fading keyboard that it ends on. Maybe its their last but SeaWitches have left us a memorable legacy. Proper stars, all of you.



St Vincent – ‘Birth in Reverse’ (Loma Vista)

‘Birth in Reverse’ is the new single from singer-songwriter-guitar genius Annie Clark’s much acclaimed current eponymous album. Coming on like a cross between Talking Heads and King Crimson, St Vincent is many critics’ favourite release of 2014 and this song manages to be both bat-shit crazy, with it’s math rock style riffs and strange rhythms, as well as being insanely catchy. It’s not the best track on St Vincent but it is a perfect introduction to her weird and fascinating music.

Matt Brown