Los Angeles punk crew hit a sweet spot between hedonism and poignancy on a multi-layered second album
This Week's Singles Reviewed (20/10/12)
Villagers, Jessie Ware, JLS
Villagers – ‘The Waves’
The trick, it seems, to bagging yourself a Mercury nomination is to mix up as many things as possible that shouldn’t go together, but somehow do. This year, check Alt-J and Django Django. Back in 2010 it was Villagers. ‘The Waves’ combines minimal electronics, warm, folky, slightly bitter vocals, and bits that sound like Beirut. Then it turns in on itself and expires in a fit of aggression and guitar squalls. All you need now is a rap cameo.
Yeasayer – ‘Reagan’s Skeleton’
A grower not a shower, this one. The chorus has a weird whiff of ‘Blame It On The Boogie’ about it and the end’s a bit Metronomy (always a good thing). But aside from that it’s pretty unremarkable. At first. Later, you’ll find that there are weird, squelching electronics humming through your brain and that you’re casually singing about dead presidents while buying stamps. Damn you, Yeasayer.
JLS – ‘Hottest Girl In The World’
Ignore the fact that this is JLS. Ignore the fact Oritsé, Marvin, JB and Aston are a Cowell-endorsed, arse-end-of-the-industry product. Ignore the fact that singing about sexy babes is about as innovative as Michael Kiwanuka. Ignore all of that, because this sounds like a classic Justin Timberlake slinker. And that’s kind of good. And, yes, we’re confused too. But, like, shut up OK?!?
Jessie Ware – ‘Night Light’
Jessie Ware might not be JLS’s hottest girl in the world, but she’s the hottest in the indie(ish) sphere right now. ‘Night Light’ is a slice of R&B-inflected pop, blessed with Ware’s smooth-as-Rachel’s-yoghurt vocal and enough kick to keep it out of the MOR danger zone.
Gaz Coombes – ‘White Noise’
Showbiz’s second most famous Gazza pulls one of his more melancholy moments out the bag. Supergrass were more famous for their kerrrrrazy youthful LOLs, but their slowies were always better. ‘White Noise’ is a lush slice of dappled guitar, and at least seven times better than ‘Fog On The Tyne’, which showbiz’s most famous Gazza had a go at.
The Invisible – ‘Generational’
In a parallel universe, London’s The Invisible are the biggest band in the country. They play the parallel O2 while the parallel Coldplay are told to pull their heads out their parallel arses and take a few notes. Dave Okumu’s smokey husk soundtracks Life-Defining Moments on TV, and ‘Generational’ is on the parallel Radio 1 A-list. None of these things will ever happen.
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