Is it really that time again? Monday mornings really do come around fast! However, even if you’ve run out of Weetabix and have no milk for your tea, So So Gay is at hand to cheer up your day with a handful of new single releases for your perusal. When we say handful, we mean four. Read, listen, download at leisure!
‘Payphone’ by Maroon 5 ft. Wiz Khalifa (Rating: **1/2)
Reviewed by Scott McMullon
If you were expecting to see Adam Levine in his latest music video and swoon at the sight of his naked chest like you did in ‘Moves Like Jagger’, you will be disappointed. However, the Maroon 5 frontman’s abs aside, we are treated to a surprisingly sincere and almost beautiful little track which will be a definite fan favourite in weeks to come.
Vocally it ticks all the boxes, and makes the most of Levine’s unique sound while still daring to be a little different with its musical treatment. The lyrics also have a decidedly poignant quality which anyone who has ever been through heartbreak will doubtlessly be able to relate to. Sadly however, though it obviously tries hard to be unique and interesting, the whole piece feels decidedly lacklustre and leaves us feeling a little cold.
Its true that fans will love it and people will like to listen to it once, but beyond that it does not have the quality that would make us listen to it over and over again. The music video for this song also seems to have been a misguided attempt to add in a layer of action to an otherwise dull piece of music. We are also perplexed by Wiz Khalifa and were left uncertain as to what he added to the piece other than a short rapping section that never really contributes to the overall effect.
It’s a tad confused and a little bit of a mess, but with one or two saving graces that stop it from being a total disappointment.
‘On the Run’ by Shake Tiger Shake (Rating: ****1/2)
Reviewed by Elliot Robinson
‘On the Run’ is the début single from London-based 5-piece, Shake Tiger Shake. They cite musical influences of the likes of Prince, Fleetwood Mac and Bryan Ferry, which you can certainly pick up on in the styling of their first release.
The song ‘On the Run’ is dripping in 80s synth-pop sensibilities; indeed, one could almost be forgiven for thinking this song hails from that era. The simple but serviceable accompanying video shows the lead vocalist reinforcing this confusion, as she drifts around in bohemian Kate Bush chic, big hair included.
The song’s lyrics are quite dark, dealing with the burden of carrying secrets and the associated guilt, only finding respite when asleep. ‘I’m going round in circles in the dark / My fears are holding me back / I’m stuck in a nightmare on my own / It won’t be long ’til I crack’
The vocal delivery perfectly complements the soft-rock/synth backing, producing an aural delight. The slight warble to the high notes give the performance a bit of texture and variety from the more solid delivery of the lower notes. There isn’t much in the way of backing vocals; rather, the lead singer’s efforts stand on their merits, carrying the listener effortlessly through the song.
Their début also comes bundled with a b-side called ‘Liar’, also a great track, though ‘On the Run’ is rightfully the lead song here.
‘Beeswing’ by The Futureheads (Rating: **1/2)
Reviewed by Elliot Robinson
‘Beeswing’ is the third single to be taken from Rant, the fifth album by Sunderland quartet, The Futureheads.
The band have taken quite a brave step with their latest album, basically ditching their post-punk, indie rock sound by stripping it all back to produce an entirely a cappella album. The guys certainly ought to get points for trying something different and unexpected; however, the a cappella delivery probably ought to be left to the more talented vocalists out there.
That’s not to say these guys can’t carry a tune, but their slightly strident accents are not exactly ideal for the a cappella style. They do a pretty decent job of creating successful four-part harmonies, sounding slightly reminiscent of a barbershop quartet, though as an overall production, their natural vocal delivery grates somewhat, with no instrumentation to soften their vocal harshness.
The song is about falling in love with a laundry girl, with the title ‘Beeswing’ being the quirky description of the object of affection: ‘Oh, she was a rare thing / fine as a beeswing / so fine a breath of wind might blow her away’. The lyrics in general are interesting and help raise the quality of the song to a degree, making up for the roughness of the vocals. That said, the track is a cover so unfortunately, the band can’t claim any credit for the saving grace of this underwhelming effort.
‘Lost and Found’ by Moya (Rating: ***)
Reviewed by Greg White
After a critically acclaimed EP last year, Moya is gearing up for a full album release this summer. Following ‘Telling Tales’, this is the second single from the Brighton-based singer-songwriter. ‘Lost and Found’ is lifted from Moya’s album of the same title to be released 2 July on Four To One Records.
The track starts off sparsely with some atmospheric guitar work and Moya’s rich voice. It’s a simply arranged track that slowly builds on itself as the drums come in. Moya gives an excellent vocal performance, moving from a softer delivery to a passionate croon for the final bridge and chorus. The lyrics are a little bit of a dark mystery that are certainly left up to varied interpretations.
We really enjoy Moya’s brand of soulful pop and this is a nice track. However, it’s not the strongest material we’ve heard from her. While ‘Lost and Found’ is quite good for what it is, it’s odd that a song which may have made a little more impact wasn’t chosen to be the next single in this album campaign. Unfortunately, many listeners will probably hear it once and won’t be grabbed enough to further investigate the talented artist behind it.
Download the single from Amazon now.