Words: ROBIN MUMFORD
Well, this is a bit different. With Adam taking a break from the weekly reviews, I’ve been handed the chalice. There’s lots of great singles out on this sunny week, so let’s get on it straight away.
To kick things off, The Spase throw us into the deep end and further with our Single Of The Week “Glue”. The track takes us on an immersive sonic experience that fades in and out of a boundary-pushing musical ensemble. Made up of three lifelong friends, The Spase continue to prove anything is possible with this firecracker of a release…moving on to another great tune, Skinny Lister ditch the sonic experience for a soundscape that claps and clatters it’s way through two and a half minutes of punk rock adrenaline. “Down On The Barrier” dials up the angst, and, although probably best heard live, it’s still a great way for those looking for that burst of energy to pour out some pent-up frustration. We think this one would go down well in one of those rooms you can rent out to smash things up in…Newcastle-born Jenny Lascelles slows things down for our next track by exploring the unfolding sense of foreboding around climate change and, in the face of it, the fragility of our mental health and our relationships. The solo singer-songwriter and pianist does a fantastic job in binding together dark undertones with a dreamy pop lacing that brings about a beautiful listen. “Strange Weather” definitely deserves a mention this week…next on the agenda, Nalgo Bay’s “Jealousy” will send your spirit into orbit, with lead singer Terri-Ann Prendergast’s grit and power on full, amazing, vehemently unstoppable, show. This is accompanied by the rest of the band’s northern edge, which brings roaring guitars, unapologetically addictive hooks, and a lick of tasty melodies added in for a little extra oomph to this all-encompassing visit to Scarborough’s hottest modern rock outfit…The Mysterines, as expected, also impressed this week. “Begin Again” is an immense precursor to the young band’s support slots with Arctic Monkey’s on their stadium tour this summer. Riding high on the success of their U.K. top 10 album “Reeling”, their latest single strips back instrumentation to produce a sound much more mature than previously heard. Yet, they are still only in their 20s, so are likely to continue to progress…“Are You Okay?” From Arctic Lake is another brilliant offering from the London duo, too. Out on 9th june, the power couple (in musical terms) build on their millions of streams by injecting their own brand of icy left pop into vulnerable undercurrents in their latest single. The release evokes thought and emotion by delving into the harsh reality that relationships can be both your greatest weakness, as well as your best strength. The accompanying video, directed by Marc Oller (George Ezra), is also just as good, as it takes viewers racing down a neon-lit highway that comes crashing down to a stunning light show crescendo..female leads have dominated this week and last but certainly not least is Xana, a Canadian pop powerhouse, who has produced a poignant and introspective shimmering anthem through “Babyblue”. The lyrics highlight a diary entry, while the soundscape polishes off the raw emotion by layering the song with delicate harmonies and guitars that drive the release home, over the hills and far away. Xana delectably narrates the painful and bittersweet realisation of of growing older, time passing and how it inevitably leads to becoming more distant with childhood friends.