Follow Us on Twitter

Music - Singles of the week - Friday, March 27, 2020

IndieLondon gleefully checks out the cream of the week’s singles

Major Lazer, Lay Your Head On Me

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 1: MAJOR LAZER feat MARCUS MUMFORDLAY YOUR HEAD ON ME: Described as a soothing track for troubled times, Major Lazer’s collaboration with Marcus Mumford does exactly what it says on the label: calms, soothes and offers reassurance. Lyrics include “this too shall pass, it won’t always be the same”, while the instrumentals combine a tropical vibe with folk guitar flicks and a toe-tapping drum beat. There’s elements of calypso as well as Mumford & Sons style folk-rock and even a nod to the type of collaborations the late Avicii put together over the chorus. It’s designed to offer comfort and it succeeds in doing so, the central refrain of “lay your head on me” encouraging you to seek comfort in the arms of the one you love [so long as they’re in your household!]. The track, which actually marks Mumford’s first ever collaboration, was co-written with MØ, who last collaborated with Major Lazer on their massive 2015 hit Lean On. This one looks set to be every bit as huge.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Night Flight

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2: NIGHT FLIGHTRYE: London-based indie-folk band Night Flight have released their new EP, White Noise, via CRC Records as the follow-up to their widely praised self-titled debut released in 2018. The songs on White Noise individually explore the nuances in specific pockets of life; exploring disillusionment, isolation and self-reflection in the midst of personal recovery. Evidence of the quality of what to expect comes in the form of beguiling and enchanting new single Rye, an homage to Sam’s hometown that also explores the raw themes of newfound solitude and nostalgia in the midst of grief. A folksy acoustic offering, this contains some beautiful guitar work, as well as a bittersweet sense of sorrow and loss (“baby come back to Rye… I miss our games, I miss being bored with you”). And while certainly melancholy in a lyrical sense, there’s something achingly romantic too… a wonderful juxtaposition of sentiments that sounds like Radiohead crossed with Elbow.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Marsicans, Sunday

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 3: MARSICANSSUNDAY: Fast-rising UK indie band Marsicans have dropped another incredibly infectious indie-rock anthem in waiting in the form of Sunday, through Killing Moon Records. Boasting standout harmonies from frontman James Newbigging and bassist Rob Brander, the song’s sentiment about togetherness is particularly poignant for the times we’re living through and has a reassuringly positive message behind it. A celebration of family, loved ones and home, this drops lines such as “wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, it’s who you’re there with that makes it special”, thereby wrapping a warm musical hug around the listener and making them stop and appreciate the good things in their lives. The guitar hooks are warm and breezy, while the melodies are tight and sing-along inducing. It’s a really charming listen. In what is proving to be a big year for Marsicans, the band have announced their debut album, Ursa Major, is set for release on May 22, 2020, as well as a run of UK headline dates for October 2020. Sunday picks up from the release of singles Juliet and Can I Stay Here Forever pt. II, which will both feature on their debut record. Commenting on the track, Newbigging explained: “Sunday is written about a time we spent in Toronto and upstate New York. Some of it was written whilst we were out there. We stayed in Koreatown in Toronto, and that was quite fun, and added to the song as the trip went on. The verses are about us having the best time ever, in a new place, and feeling pretty lucky that we get to experience that as a band. So, it’s a love song to Toronto and NY State – but it’s also me just missing my girlfriend, despite having the best time in the world. It’s two-love-songs-in-one basically. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, it’s who you’re there with that makes it special.”
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Kodaline, Sometimes

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: KODALINESOMETIMES: Kodaline have finally released the official video for current, anthemic single Sometimes – and it’s highly intimate and resonant. Directed by Mike Baldwin, the video get up close and personal with Kodaline’s frontman Steve Garrigan. Speaking about the video, he explains: “We’re happy to release the video for our new song Sometimes. We filmed it in London a few weeks back. The song’s about my personal experience with anxiety and we tried to capture that in the video in a fun way. It’s a little different to our other. During these strange times I hope everybody’s staying safe and keeping their distance and I hope you guys enjoy the video.” Delving deeper into the inspiration behind the track, Steve added: “Sometimes is a song I wrote while on tour in Asia last year. I had a really bad day dealing with my own anxiety issues and I let it get the better of me. I started writing the song in my hotel room to help me calm down, music has always helped me in that way. For me, it’s a song about accepting the bad days and trying to stay positive.” The track itself starts as a sun-kissed acoustic folk groove before launching into the kind of anthemic, larger-than-life pop hook that the band have now become renowned for. It also captures Kodaline’s rare gift for exploring a challenging topic within a song that feels both joyous and life-affirming. As the song admits, “we all get lost sometimes.” But it’s this resonant central motif that helps the song to strike such a chord, meaning that it’s ok not to feel ok sometimes. And yet, while conceding that point and reflecting on your own moments of being lost, there’s that anthemic, feel-good quality to the instrumentals, which come complete with stadium-sized sing-along harmonies and a really sun-kissed acoustic vibe.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Little Mix, Break Up Song

LITTLE MIXBREAK UP SONG: Written by Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne with Kamille, Frank Nobel and Linus Nordstrom, Little Mix’s comeback single Break Up Song is an anthem – somewhat predictably given its name – about getting over a relationship. It’s not a ballad, though, but rather a power pop track featuring an indelible melody and swirling 80s synths, all wrapped up in powerhouse vocals. If anything, it reminded me of a classic Sugababes cut, combining that easy to like pop melody with something a little more sassy to boot. The chorus sweeps you along in spite of the heartbroken sentiments underpinning it. But the girls seem determined to get over the loss and to move on, proclaiming that they’re going to “sing louder”. It’s pure pop confection, of course, but that’s also the very essence of girl band generated pop music.
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the lyric video

Dua Lipa, Break My Heart

DUA LIPABREAK MY HEART: Dua Lipa has revealed the super-charged pop art video for Break My Heart, the latest offering from her forthcoming album, Future Nostalgia, which is out now. The video takes the viewer on a rollercoaster of a journey through the trials and tribulations of relationships. A playful offering, the single itself reflects on the imminent danger the singer is placing herself in by embarking on a new relationship (“Am I falling in love with the one that could break my heart?”). But rather than offering anything downbeat, this is a disco-pop groover that has a highly infectious toe-tapping quality, befitting the style of a lot of Lipa’s recent material. It’s a cautionary tale, complete with a timely “I should have stayed at home” lyric, that contains a much needed bounce in these worrying times. The new album also includes the Number 1 global hit single Don’t Start Now and her current smash single Physical.
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Dust in The Sunlight

DUST IN THE SUNLIGHTDUST IN THE SUNLIGHT: Dust In The Sunlight release their eponymous debut single through Project Melody. An atmospheric offering, the song is designed to showcase their ability to combine ear-pleasing vocal harmonies with transportive instrumentals. Hence, those instrumentals provide a cinematic backdrop that feels epic in nature and quite often beautiful (never more so than during the instantly enticing intro). But the mix of boy-girl vocals also works well in providing some nice contrasts, especially when they occasionally collide with each other in the build up to, and during, the chorus. It’s an impressive debut that leaves you thirsting to hear more. Speaking about the song, they explain: “Dust In The Sunlight was one of the first songs that we wrote together, during a session at an artist warehouse in North London that Annie was living in at the time. The song speaks about being caught up with someone who’s emotionally unavailable and being prepared to compromise your own values in order to keep them around. We liked the imagery of the title so much that it became the namesake of the band.” Following a chance meeting at Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly’s studio singing backing vocals for his new album, singer-songwriters Billy Wright and Annie Rew Shaw quickly discovered how well their voices melded together. That evening, they wrote their first two songs together and Dust In The Sunlight was formed.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Siv Jakobsen

SIV JAKOBSENFIGHT OR FLIGHT: First, the bad news… A Temporary Soothing, the forthcoming album from Norwegian songwriter Siv Jakobsen, is being pushed back due to delays on various aspects of the album release caused by COVID-19 – including an 11th hour escape back to her home country while she was touring in the United States. Hence, the album is being released on August 21, 2020. Fortunately, there’s a silver lining.. Siv has released submersive new single Fight or Flight and succeeded in whetting our appetites for the new LP even more. Built around some beautiful instrumental layering and those lush, dreamy vocals, Fight or Flight is an examination of the nature of long-lasting love, life and relationships that was inspired from something very intimate. It’s strangely reassuring, even though it focuses on something that’s, sadly, nearing the end. But in a coronavirus infected world, it also offers hope that the human spirit and its ability for love and compassion can endure. Siv herself commented: “I had this image of a very old couple lying in bed together – still and stuck to the bed frame, at the end of their life, taking their final breaths together. The song developed into a broader look upon what it is to stay with someone forever, to make that decision and be certain about it. To love someone and to receive love isn’t always easy, and giving yourself to someone so completely can be frightening and all-consuming.”
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Red Moon, Slow Down

RED MOONSLOW DOWN: Pop artist Red Moon releases her comforting new single Slow Down, which assumes extra resonance given the current global health emergency. The song urges us all to use this opportunity to ‘slow down’ and take a moment for ourselves, to breathe, to make art… all the things we may not usually have time for in the chaos of our day-to-day lives. But it also takes its own time to deliver the message, contenting itself to provide the listener with the simplicity of a soothing piano arrangement and Red Moon’s own, serene vocals. It’s a reassuring listen that suggests we could all benefit from taking our foot off the pedal for a little while, if only to appreciate the simple things in life. She explains: “In a time like this, it feels more important to enjoy these little moments that we have. That things go in a slower pace might be a beautiful opportunity where we might be able to enjoy our own company, by reading a book, listen to music, or just by staring at our own feet. Maybe by slowing down, we can find out what truly matters and go back to our fast pace life, when things have settled. Whenever I feel stressed and need to go back to a place where I felt something really beautiful and calm, this song provides that for me. Somehow, it has become a mantra or meditation, a safe haven to travel back to, and I hope that others can use it in the same way.”
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Winona Oak

WINONA OAKANOTHER STORY: Winona Oak has shared an eye-catching video for new single Another Story, taken from her recently released debut EP, Closure (Atlantic Records). On Another Story, Winona explores how naivete can make you project your hopes on an unsatisfying relationship and decides to move on and rewrite her love story with someone worthy. The video, directed by frequent collaborator Andreas Öhman, uses modern dance and kaleidoscopic projections to create intimate dream-like images of Winona entwined with a pair of dancers, pushing and pulling against each other to echo the lyrics. The track itself has a kooky pop element that’s playfully endearing. It’s lyrics offer a bittersweet but ultimately empowering insight into the relationship in question, emerging from the sorrow of its break-up to the determination to re-write the rules and triumph over the sadness. The melodic backdrop further offers a sense of optimism that makes the song entirely charming. Born and raised in the Nordic forests of Sweden on a small crop of land called Sollerön – known as the Island of the Sun – Winona Oak is every bit as enchanting as her origin story. With a childhood spent encountering more animals than people, she grew up a trained horse acrobat and pursued creative expression however she could, writing poetry and songs from a young age. Born into a musical family, Winona sang throughout her youth and began playing violin at five-years-old and piano at nine years. She’s a major talent.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video

Morgan Joanel

MORGAN JOANELDISAPPEAR: Fuelled by self-belief and a passion that itself is fuelled by talent and hard work, Morgan Joanel is steadily building a creative empire that spans beyond her native art-form of music into visual and wearable art. An unbridled spirit, Morgan has been a creative force for the last decade Australia-wide and beyond, recently returning to her hometown of Perth to create her latest music release. New single Disappear builds on her love of intricate loops and rich husky vocal hooks. It’s deeply atmospheric, with those smoky vocals emerging as particularly hypnotic. But the backing electronics and moody beats offer a cinematic element that offers huge crossover potential. Hence, while comfortable calling itself pop, the song is just as capable of appealing to fans of Florence and the Machine as it is Vera Blue and Lana Del Rey.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Listen here

Sparks, One For The Ages

SPARKSONE FOR THE AGES: Alt-pop pioneers Sparks – aka Los Angeleno brothers Ron and Russell Mael – have dropped new song One For The Ages, as a taster of their upcoming 24th studio album A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip. As with most Sparks material, this has that off-kilter vibe, with an edgy vocal delivering foreboding lyrics such as “as I write my tome, every single night, my eyes show the strain, of computer light, but I’m pressing on”. The instrumentals, meanwhile, are built around a central rolling piano arrangement, as well as some jagged synths that lend a darker undercurrent and an insistent energy. It’s a strangely unsettling listen, evocative of the confused emotions at play. But it leaves you on edge, throughout, and never really lets you settle into anything remotely comfortable or comforting. Sparks fans will lap it up… but it’s one for the purists. The animated video is directed by Estonian animation director Chintis Lundgren. The new album is due on Friday, May 15, on digital platforms, with the release date for CD, vinyl and cassette now set for July 3. Pre-orders are available now, with all pre-orders joined by ‘instant grat’ downloads of One For The Ages and previous tracks I’m Toast, Self-Effacing and Please Don’t Fuck Up My World.
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website l Twitter

Watch the video


Heard a great single, but yet to buy it? Well, we may have reviewed it. Previous reviews: