Band: union of knives
Single: evil has never
Does the world need more indie bands trying to make dance music? “Genres are so irrelevant!” I hear you scream from your oh-so-cool discotheque. Well then, here’s some more indie with synths and a house beat. There are hypnotically repetitive swirly bits and brooding build-up-and-WHAM bits that make it tick along quite nicely. Is this a non-rubbish direction The Killers could have gone for? Only just.
single: what would steve do?
More synth. More break down/build up bits. But somehow this is really, really great. The anthemic sing-along chorus with a profusion of ah-ah-ing and the naive yet burningly confident vocals of the improbably named Noo
means that this is smiling instead of glowering, a tune that pogos instead of performing a hairstyle-preserving nod to the beat. What more could you expect from a band named after the baddie from the Thundercats?
band: willy mason
single: save myself
There’s a lot to be angry about at the moment: war, inequality, and, on a more local level, the disintegration of the portering system. So where are all the protest songs? From the incomprehensible moaning of Thom York to the brasher American offering of Neil Young’s ‘Let’s Impeach the President’, there’s not much new for the demonstrating crowds to sway to… until now! Willy Mason is back to lull you out of apathy. ‘The culture’s drowning in a bad dream’, but he is offering you a raft.
band: Herman Düne
single: I Wish That I Could See You Soon
Calypso horns, bongos and swaying acoustic guitars evoking flip-flops, sandals and people with dreadlocks sitting round campfires could be painfully teasing in arctic York, but the charm of the male/female harmonies and chirpy love story of this single means that the beach scene actually seems a tantalising possibility. With flavours of Belle and Sebastian and ‘Graceland’-era Paul Simon, this is a fantastic tune for summer dreaming.
band: nelly furtado
single: say it right
Thank God all that Chris Martin nonsense is over. It’s back to the good stuff with Timbaland; crunchy beats and barely-there instrumental accompaniments ripple under floating vocal harmonies. Slower and not as club-driven as ‘Maneater’ or ‘Promiscuous’, and apparently inspired by the Eurythmics, this song captures a different side to the collaboration, with a subtlety that the current crop of British popsters can only dream of.