It’s my birthday on Saturday. Now, I’m not usually one to make a big deal out of growing one year older, especially now the milestone years of 1, 10, 13, 16, 18, and 21 are out of the way. I usually like to spend my birthday sleeping, mulling or pottering around as usual. However, this year, I have been encouraged by various individuals to make more of an occasion out of the day. Taking this on board, I have decided to hijack this column in order to stroke my own ego, by regarding each single released on Monday the 6th of June as a personal present to me, for my birthday. SO THERE. They’d better be good guys. It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to.
Okay, so this one is actually released on Tuesday for some reason. Paramore’s latest movie-tie-in-song-that-is-actually-really-good sees them cut down to a three-piece, which is always a little sad. They’re on suitably dark form, with Monster possibly being the bleakest song in their canon. Don’t worry yourself too much, though; Hayley Williams’ chorus is as heartstopping as ever and guitarist Taylor York has done a remarkably good job in replacing former lead and co-songwriter Josh Farro. What you should be worrying about is this alarming trend for bands to name their songs ‘Monster’. I mean, first there was Lady Gaga’s Monster, and then Ne-Yo’s Beautiful Monster and Kanye’s Monster, and now THIS ? WHERE WILL IT ALL END ? Anyway, this song is ace and infinitely more enjoyable than sitting through another three hours of Michael Bay flogging a dead robotic horse that turns into a motorcycle that turns into my eyes bleeding out of their sockets and falling onto the already sticky cinema floor.
Beirut always can be relied upon for a miniature dose of nostalgic shuffle, and East Harlem is a very sweet draught indeed. As parping and twanging as you might expect, Zachary Condon’s first proper release since 2009 boasts both an insistently memorable chorus and a wintery, beagle-filled image on the cover. Also: I’m not sure, but we could be hearing the sound of a flugelhorn. What more could we ask for ?
This is the jam. Nine minutes long, ice cold but slathered in warm synth goodness. Glitchy, GIF-art video with wriggling worms, soft hologram lips and bright geometric sigils. This is the sort of record that gets you locked into a groove no matter where you hear it and bowls you over with the intricate, mechanistic beauty of the world around you. Check it out. Then check it out again. Then again.
Okay, I get the feeling I’m starting to take liberties with this Singles Column now. This isn’t even a single. What it is, is a 7” with ten ultra-short (averaging at about a minute) tracks jammed onto it. Now, I could write an entire article, maybe even a series of articles, on the beauty of the short song. I mean, are there many three and a half minute songs that feel as fully formed as this[link to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMQbzLrvwlE ] does after less than two ? So as you might imagine, I’m well into this concept. The Norwegian three-piece have put out a single’s worth of scrappy, wacky noise-pop that is well worth a listen…it’ll only take ten minutes after all.
Sophie Ellis Bextor
I love that Sophie Ellis Bextor is still making music. It feels like she’s been there, hooting softly into my ear over sophisticated, pulsing disco beats for my entire life. In fact, I feel I know her so intimately that I have a suspicion she may well have been present at my birth. In fact…MUMMY ?
Right There ft. 50 Cent
There’s something that bothers me a little about this song that I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe it’s Nicole’s jumping onto the good ship ‘let’s-all-sing-in-a-cod-Jamaican-accent-for-some-unfathomable-and-slightly-troubling-reason’ under that notoriously blackhearted buccaneer, Jessie J. Maybe it’s the presence of Fiddy, who seems so absurdly anachronistic in the pop music of today that before now I’d disregarded his existence as a fairy story from my youth, like the tooth fairy or the easter bunny (sorry kids). Who knows. Neither of these niggles prevent this from being a total banger, however. I’m hoping to see in my birthday in da club, and I can’t think of a better tune to hold my tropical VK aloft to. Carry on, Nicole.