Music. It’s everywhere, but is it any good? In this occasional series I take on the weeks most interesting singles, or sometimes I just don’t bother because I am lazy. A bunch of big releases roused me from my breakfast food induced slumber this time out. Starting with…

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The Decemberists – Severed

I arrived late and poorly dressed to the Decemberists party but now I’m here, I plan on outstaying my welcome. Severed is the first single to appear from the upcoming album I’ll Be Your Girl, and it is a beauty. The reason the band are still so beloved after seven albums and a couple of decades is that they are able to musically adapt whilst still writing outrageously catchy melodies. Severed features a hypnotic synth line and an anthemic chorus that could only be the Decemberists. A raucous and rocking triumph.

Blossoms – I Can’t Stand It

After being dismissed by everyone from Sleaford Mods to my mate Ryan (not a band, just a curmudgeonly friend of mine), Blossoms continue to defy the haters by going from strength to strength. A solid debut album has led to various festival appearances and sell out tours.

I Can’t Stand It is hardly a lurch forward for the band, indeed, it could easily be dropped on their debut record without causing a ripple, but it is another satisfying slice of indie pop. This isn’t a song to change the world but it is pleasant summertime music and in these tumultuous times somebody needs to be making music to barbecue to…

Frank Turner – Be More Kind

OK this one has actually been out a while but the mawkish song title has put me off listening to it. As always, I was wrong to be so unreasonably judgemental. Be More Kind is a lovely song that actually recalls Frank’s earlier albums in its acoustic simplicity. An overly trite sentiment perhaps but one that is easily forgotten, as a message you can’t really argue with Be More Kind, as a song it might not be a show stopper but it is a welcome change of pace for an artist who relies on stadium sized choruses and massive guitar riffs a little too often.


The Manic Street Preachers have always looked to literature for inspiration and this ballad turns to the poetic due Dylan and Caitlin Thomas for their latest single. The only version I could find was both live and acoustic and it kind of sounds like every other Manics song. Not terrible but not groundbreaking either.

The Hold Steady are a band I fell in love with for one summer before pretty much forgetting all about them. It is satisfying to know that they are still going and still putting out great music. Eureka is a brand new song recorded for the K & L Guardian Foundation, which was formed to benefit a Hold Steady fans children after his sudden death in 2012. It is an exciting slab of rock ‘n’ roll goodness that will suit festival tents in the sunshine.

My wife once described Hinds as ‘that racket’. She isn’t a fan. Which is a shame because The Club is probably their best song yet. The racket is toned down a little as the harsh pounding of the Stooges is replaced by a breezy melody that recalls the Strokes at their best. One of many great female indie bands out there at the moment.