Single of the Week: MIA – Paper Planes
This song actually feels like it’s been around forever now. Thankfully it’s finally seeing a physical single release, and so I can finally award it its thoroughly deserved Single of the Week. You’ve almost certainly heard it by now, and if you haven’t, well, click the link above because it’s pretty much unmissable. As a card-carrying Clash-obsessive, I was initially sceptical about any song sampling the sublime ‘Straight to Hell’. This one uses that classic as a basis, and transforms it into a new song that’s, improbably, equally great. The bullish use of cash registers and gunshots as rhythmic/lyric-replacing samples is initially distracting, but on repeated listens makes perfect sense. I’d imagine the repeated release date delays were in order to push this song closer to the summer, as that’s when it will really come into its own. Laid back, yet not lacking in energy, an instant classic on release, and easily one of the best singles of the year. 10/10.
Archive for March, 2008
Single of the Week: Sonny J – Enfant Terrible
I have to say this has been my least favourite week for singles so far in 2008. No discredit to Sonny J though, as this is one of the more interesting things I’ve heard all year. Not French, as the title might suggest, Sonnington James III is in fact a Scouse turntablist, seemingly with a penchant for throwing every sample in the box at a song. A sensible recent touchpoint is The Go! Team, and while this track isn’t quite the finished product, it has some gloriously deranged moments, and on occasion recalls some of the better moments of Stereo Total.
Single of the Week: Mystery Jets – Young Love
While the Mystery Jets had a couple of standout moments on their debut, this single sees them re-emerging as an almost entirely different band. The base materials are nothing special: it’s a middling guitar band with a straightforward love song, and a female guest vocalist. But somehow it all turns into gold, and it’s one of the sweetest, catchiest, most immovable little songs I’ve heard in a long time. It’s tempting to attribute its power solely to Laura Marling’s star turn in the second verse. But though Laura’s lovely vocals certainly help, there’s more to it than that. It sounds standard, but the repeated shimmering fade-in guitar licks elevate an ok tune into something spine-tingling and brilliant.
A couple more good songs and some other crap if you click ‘Read more’ below…
Single of the Week: Hercules and Love Affair – Blind
Another tough week to choose, with excellent pop (Alphabeat), top-notch indie (MGMT, Vampire Weekend, Late of the Pier), and other-worldly beauty (Martina Topley-Bird) that would all have been contenders in another week. Sometimes you go with your personal indulgences, and sometimes you just know that however enjoyable the rest are, one single is clearly the best. By virtue of it sounding entirely, fantastically new. This week’s top record is based on the sort of idea that can’t really fail: quirky but poppy disco with Antony (and the Johnsons) Hegarty on vocals. It’s subtle rather than stomping, but like nothing else you’ll hear this year. Predictably, but gloriously, excellent.
Many more great singles, and a bit of a reviewing system cop out from me, if you click ‘more’ below…
I’m still playing catch-up…
Single of the Week: Les Savy Fav – Patty Lee
Aside from the odd song here and there, I’ve never really given Les Savy Fav the time of day. I’d probably written them off as overly arty. If that’s the case elsewhere, it certainly isn’t here. Perfectly judged dancefloor post-punk, with subtle, shimmying guitars carrying a great vocal, while once again proving that all the best songs have girls’ names in the title. The video is either beautifully minimalist, or entirely boring, depending on your point of view. The song is spot-on though, one of those great pop moments that shuffles away unnoticed, out of the glare of the general public on a limited vinyl release. More people should hear this, and I should hear more Les Savy Fav. Now where to start?