It’s been a while since the last one of these. It surely isn’t my fault that nobody has released a song worth the name for six weeks though. They’re coming thick and fast now at least. Here’s Singles Club…
Eminem – Walk on Water
Eminem is one of the few artists in the world whose new music feels like a proper event. His music is disparate and interesting enough to make it nigh on impossible to guess what direction the Detroit rapper’s river is flowing. ‘Walk on Water’ starts off with an impassioned Beyonce vocal in the vein of Eminem’s recent hits with Rhianna. This kind of track is not always my favourite Marshall Mathers style but ‘Walk on Water’ has a stripped down feel that makes it stand out. The verses are just Mathers and a piano and this intimate tone suits his confessional lyrics. Speaking of which, the words cover familiar Eminem subject matter but they do so impressively, I didn’t cringe once which is the litmus test for latter day Marshall Mathers.
Overall, this is a low key but triumphant return from Mathers and bodes well for his upcoming album Revival.
The Wombats – Lemon to a Knife Fight
I love the Wombats. They seem to be much derided in some miserable corners of the internet but anyone who likes good quality, fun, guitar music should own at least one record by the Liverpool band. Third album Glitterbug was steady without being spectacular but new single ‘Lemon to a Knife Fight’ certainly sounds like a return to form. It is nice to hear a Wombats song that is led by guitar rather than synths and the song recalls the bands all conquering debut rather than the two albums that followed. This doesn’t mean that the song sounds like a step backward however, it is refreshing to hear a band obviously still enjoying themselves so much on their fourth album. Those live dates next year should be exciting.
Elbow – Golden Slumbers
Despite being seemingly ubiquitous I normally manage to avoid the drippy, sentimental world of the John Lewis Christmas advert. This year however I have had to at least listen to the music because it is Elbow covering the Beatles for chrissakes. Who can resist that? If we ignore the merits of a serious band like Elbow contributing to advertising for a second and concentrate on the music, this is a successful cover by any definition of the word. The original song is on Abbey Road, my favourite Beatles album, but the lush orchestration actually suits Garvey’s voice just as much as McCartney’s. Not often you can say that. A morally questionable but winning song overall then.
Teleman are a band I have long admired and have written about before. Rising from the ashes of Pete & the Pirates, the London band have surpassed anything their previous incarnation achieved with two catchy and irresistible albums. The band have just released a new EP entitled Fünf. ‘Repeater’ is the first cut off that record and it is everything one might expect from a Teleman single; catchy, melodic, weird. With the Maccbees and the Crookes sadly departed, Teleman might be the UK’s most underrated band.
Another band you can always rely on to remain interesting in a sea of mediocrity are Franz Ferdinand. ‘Always Ascending’ is the title track from Scottish bands new album, due February. Alex Kapranos’ Edwyn Collins croon gives way to a funky beat. To be honest, this isn’t my favourite Franz Ferdinand single, it’s certainly not as insistent as some of their earlier work.
Normally, a new Noel Gallagher song would be the lead single of this article. Because of laziness however it is taken me nearly a month to listen to this one so it’s stuck at the bottom. The intense rivalry between the Gallagher brothers has piled pressure on Noel and Liam to outdo each other and at the moment, anything Liam can do, Noel can do better. I absolutely loved ‘Wall of Glass’ but Noel’s single ‘Holy Mountain’ is a stomping, revelation of a song. Sure, it rips off ‘Lets Stick Together’ but that is the Gallagher way, at least he writes them all…