Worryingly, it already appears to be May - we'll all be singing Christmas carols at this rate. To assuage our collective sense of panic caused by time passing at such speed, it's a bank holiday weekend with the added bonus of decent weather! We hope most of you are managing to take full advantage of it and aren't having to work. Whatever you're up to, why not spare five minutes to check out our reviews of the latest new music in today's Singles of the Week. Kicking things off today are the Swedish pop twins, Say Lou Lou.
'Julian' by Say Lou Lou (Rating: ****)
Reviewed by Jamie Clarke
Sweden has always offered us excellent pop music. ABBA, Ace of Base, The Cardigans, Alcazar, Roxette and Neneh Cherry to name but a few.
It seems that trend is set to continue with the country's latest export, Say Lou Lou.
Say Lou Lou are twin sisters and their sound would best be described as melancholic, echoey, heartbreak disco - destined to be played on dark, smoke-filled dance floors in only the most hip of locations.
The twins' harmonies are perfect and they have a kind of anger in their delivery despite the soft electronic backing tracks. It’s easy to see the duo’s sound becoming a hit at live gigs and and on the remix circuit.
Say Lou Lou were the warm-up act for Hurts on their recent tour and there are stark similarities between the two acts. Serious subject matter, dramatic and ethereal music, classic vintage styling. The only difference being that they're female.
'Julian' is a great track. With a haunting story, 'Oh Julian / I'll mend your heart / Once we get across the border'. It's well worth 99p of your hard-earned cash and you never know, Say Lou Lou may become your favourite Swedish bands since ABBA.
'Panic Cord' by Gabrielle Aplin (Rating: ***)
Reviewed by Sam Johnson
Ahead of Gabrielle Aplin’s forthcoming début album, English Rain, she presents third single ‘Panic Cord’ and it’s exactly what you expect it to sound like. Pretty, bouncy and acoustic. It’s a nice song, worth a listen, but we can’t imagine it sounding any different from anything else on the album.
Most famous for her cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s ‘The Power Of Love’, she has an all-round pleasant folk-pop sound that is genuinely really enjoyable. ‘Panic Cord’ is not a bad song, but we definitely prefer her previous single ‘Please Don’t Say You Love Me’. The ‘Do re mi fa so la ti do / That’s the way the story goes’ bridge is a bit uninspired and doesn’t add any real spark to the track.
Aplin has the potential to be the female equivalent of Ed Sheeran, which is a compliment considering his international popularity. We’re just looking for a bit more depth in her songs. Perhaps wait until next week to get the album rather than buy the single, because we have a feeling that will be a lot more worthwhile.
'Two Reasons' by Young Rival (Rating: ***)
Reviewed by Ben Kelly
Despite having made music for nearly five years, this is the first time Canadian based band Young Rival have ran with a single. ‘Two Reasons’ is a very accessible indie rock track, from their 2012 album Stay Young.
With a repetitive and memorable chorus line, ‘Give me two reasons why, I oughtta be giving you another try’, it’s hard not to . The heavy guitars buzz through the whole track, leaving the whole thing sounding like it’s being played through old speakers at a sticky floored rock hall, filled with boozed up twenty-somethings. There’s a retro element too. It’s reminiscent of 1970s rock, and the Britpop sound influenced by it, particularly acts like Supergrass and Suede.
At just over two minutes, this track is certainly short and sweet – but because of its repetitive nature and busy instrumentation, it’s almost enough. An album might prove to be heavy listening, but a single like this is just the right measure.
Download the single now from their bandcamp page.