Our Single Of The Week this week comes via SHADER and their cover of the Simple Minds classic (Don’t You) Forget About Me. Not only do they do the anthem justice, they expand on the song by putting their own stamp all over it. Not too different in terms of the format of the original, which is a positive, Shader have released perhaps the best ‘lockdown cover’ we can recall. Stream here.
Onto this week's other releases and Houdini is the second single release from Jade Bird’s forthcoming second album and much like her last release Headstart, this one is a middle of the road affair. Her sound is fabulous and the quality of Jade’s first album will endear us to her indefinitely but one can’t help but feel that this is lacklustre. Hopefully there is more to come in the vein of early hit Uh-Huh...Liam Gallagher has the big release this week with Christmas charity song All You’re Dreaming Of. Liam fans will lap this one up, but for a man who is usually the epitome of cool he has lost a few stripes on this one. The vocals sound speeded up where a notch faster he would be in chipmunk sounding territory and ultimately the sing a long rousing chorus this song is crying out for never materialises...Talented songwriter Tom Swan demonstrates his erm talent on Belong - a beautifully produced laid back tune that takes its time to get to the chorus but when we do get there the song explodes like a firework...We wrote about Sad Eyes from The Shop Window the other day on the site and needless to say, with several more listens since then we can confirm that this is a solid slice of jangly guitar pop. With emotion akin to The Farm’s All Together Now, especially in the verses, this is a big big song...Pinlight is the latest export from Edinburgh, following on the heels of other bedroom pop artists like Indoor Foxes. Grow Slow has a FAT beat and is blistering with 80’s sounding synth. This is how you revisit the 80’s and re-create an almost perfect sounding pop song that sounds contemporary...Southampton four-piece Regent go all dark and gritty on No Going Back, a Nirvana inspired tune that just woke me up more than this coffee is doing. Opening with crashing open guitars, the song morphs into a moody grunge monster, perhaps bordering on parody territory in places with the vocals. I really like this side to Regent...Paul Nixon says he’s Coming To Get You on his unashamedly Oasis inspired new release. This sounds raw and hungry; a song that puts a swagger in your step. Nixon snarls over a sold drum beat and a guitar riff straight out of Columbia. Paul Nixon has captured a massive sound here...Say What You Want is delivered by Pioneers, an energetic indie rock band if ever there was one. The song sets out its intention with thumping drums giving way to The Libertines inspired guitars. Say What You Want is clearly a well crafted song and is lyrically in the upper echelon of songs released by similar bands this year. One for your playlist...Charity Stow is a singer-songwriter from Nottingham and Wake Up is her third release. Kudos to Stow for not going the usual singer songwriter route on this, Wake Up is dark, brooding and showcases her fine vocal talent..Midnight Alleys hail from Dundee and are here with organ driven Sick Clown. It gets you bopping this one; I get the sense however that they likely have stronger tunes than Sick Clown up their sleeve. Worth keeping tabs on...Please Be Cruel is a lockdown written song that tugs at the heartstrings. Tom Sail knows how to tell a story within his music, that much is clear. Don’t listen if you’re going through a break up for God sakes. Beautiful...Nadia Sheikh, who has supported The Stereophonics on their European tour, impresses on Fire Away. Nostalgic and intimate with just a hint of Snow Patrol, it doesn’t get much better than this...Ebony Buckle is fine vocally on You’re Loved but the song itself is painfully uninspiring...Look Both Ways is the screechy guitars one from OrangeG - a DIY musician from Philadelphia. This is fine for the most part but Jesus that guitar is giving me earache...We forgot about Artesan and Feel Like Myself Again last week because we are silly Billy’s, there again it was released back in February so we don't feel THAT bad about it. If it wasn’t for Shader’s release this would have been our Single Of The Week. Artesan are a band that sounds together and assured like they are on their third album or something. Vocally this is sublime - Ronnie Bissett has one of those voices, you know? You’ll know when you listen to Feel Myself Again. Solid songwriting, stripped back but big sounding acoustic guitars, what’s not to like. A triumph..Quiet Marauder come at us with a nine track EP (album?) in the form of Tiny Men Parts. It is an eccentric collection of songs that is firmly tongue in cheek and very fun. They sound a lot like the B-52’s - strong male and female vocals, jaunty, quirky - quite brilliant..sticking with music with a sense of humour, yer man Birrell Or Biscuit has released Top Of The Pops. You have to feel sorry for the kids of today not having a TOTP; we watch the repeats on a Friday night and bask in the nostalgia, a feeling Craig Birrell has recreated here himself. It is entertaining Scottish indie/punk...Addicted To Crazy is the current single from American indie poppers Monday’s Mona Lisa. It is a bland radio friendly effort that has been done a zillion times before. Your eleven year old sister would have been into them for a month in 1999, that kind of thing..Maya Lakhani brings us back on track with The Line, a straightforward rock tune with a tinge of industrial in there. Lakhani is hard working, doing her own photo and videography, as well as being able to write a decent rock/pop tune too it seems...Children Of The State have released an EP, headlined by stunning single release Hot Money. This four song collection is influenced by the likes of INXS and New Order to our ears then along comes a Stones-esque stomper like Baby Can You Dig Your Man? - Children Of The State are a hard to pigeon hole band; a fine collection of songs here...Headshrinkers and Caught Between Two Stools us up next, a narrative driven song that demands concentration from the listener. There are a few similar bands around at the moment and luckily for them Headshrinkers do it better than most on Caught Between Two Stools..VANTA is an extraordinary talent and the collaboration with Ruyi on Blue September is a pleasant enough listen...Madeline from LIverpool band Honey Motel is a surprise and a delight. It opens with some suitable open chords but instead of leading us to standard indie fare what lies here is a quality guitar driven pop song...and finally we finish up with Waiting For Smith and his latest tune Lost In Your Light. It is tender and melancholy, if not entirely memorable.
Most of the songs reviewed here can be listened to on our Spotify Playlist here.
WIGAN BAND RIVVER RELEASE AMAZING NEW SINGLE 'SMILE BACK' ON 4TH DECEMBER. PRE-SAVE HERE.