Frightened Rabbit: Swim Until You Can’t See Land/Fun Stuff (Fat Cat)

Single of the Week this time out comes from Scottish indie heroes Frightened Rabbit. Adding strings to their sound has, erm, added another string to their bow, but Scott Hutchison’s plaintive yet emotive vocals are the star of the show as ever. Next year could and should be their breakthrough year if the spellbinding quality of this track is anything to go by. Fun Stuff is a nice diversion, if a little stuck in the band’s past and much less progressive than its brother, but the stand-out track by a mile this week is Swim Until You Can’t See Land. It wasn’t even close.

 

Marina And The Diamonds: Mowgli’s Road (679)

Jesus Chris, have the Florence clones started appearing already (more on her later)? This seems even more deliberately kooky than Ms Machine, and I’d never have believed that was possible. This little effort has owlish ‘hoo-hoo’ vocals, a baby crying, a cat, church bells and all mannfer of other spurious bollocks that add nothing to the tune. Marina herself has a decent voice, probably, under all the auto-tune computerised rubbish it’s been fed through. The song itself doesn’t seem to mean anything. Hopefully this is the first and last post-Flo woman in bad make up with band effort, as I think I’ll rip off my ears and feed them to my dog if I have to listen to any more of this vacuous bilge.

 

Florence And The Machine: You’ve Got The Love (Island)

Has she run out of her own songs already? This twinkly re-run of the 90s dance classic is full of sound yet oddly, emotionally empty. For a singer who plays constantly on her quirkiness, this could really be anyone. Mariah Carey-esque warbling irritate rather than impress, and you have to wonder what’s gone wrong if she’s already releasing covers before her debut album campaign is even done. It was a fun idea to attempt the track but sticking it on Lungs was a step too far, let alone as a single as this cash-and-grab attempt proves. Despite the vastness of the collection on Lungs, this shows a worrying lack of foresight from Flo’s record label. You’ve got to put trust in her own songs, as poorly conceived as they are, or you’ll turn her into a show pony, wheeled out to do crap covers alone forevermore.

 

Little Boots: Earthquake (679/Atlantic)

Attempting to catapult up the charts on the back of the fabulous Remedy is the latest prime cut from Victoria Hesketh’s debut record as Little Boots, Hands. It’s not quite up to the highs set by Remedy but it’s getting there, a tremendous break down before the final chorus making it perfect for daytime radio. Success may have been as slow to build as it was comparatively immediate for La Roux, but as they say; slowly slowly, catchee monkey. Hesketh may have gone behind to two early strikes from the bequiffed Elly Jackson after uber hits Bulletproof and In For The Kill, but Remedy got Team Boots back in the game and this is a late equaliser for the Boots camp. Extra time will be the rest of the two pop stars’ careers. I’m on about football, by the way. Don’t ask why.

 

Manchester Orchestra: Shake It Out (Columbia)

You can see why this lot are supporting Biffy Clyro on tour this winter. While the Scots have enjoyed one of the slowest rises to the top in recent Brit-rock history, they seemed to miss the bit where they combined the ROCK with the lilting melodies on their mega-selling album Puzzle. This track fills in the gaps, containing a sumptuous quiet bit from frontman Andy Hull (has there ever been a more inconspicuously named lead singer?) before bringing back the crunching guitars and crashing drums (in short – the ROCK). It’s all very emphatic, very earnest, and very, very good.

This article was written for TMM and you can view it, complete with videos for the songs, here.

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