SINGLES REVIEW: April 2015 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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I’ve been pretty lucky this month, as the standard for single releases is abnormally high, with the local contingent in particular impressing.

The first track I encounter is However Much I Love You, I Love Lloyd Honeyghan More by The Artisans. It’s a delicious slice of guitar-jangling C86 wonderment that is both ludicrously catchy and wonderfully quirky that satisfies my lust for off-the-wall songwriting beautifully.

Kosoti’s Gone Too Far is less catchy, but makes up for it with an anthemic moment halfway through that employs some seriously pounding drums to raise it above just being another pleasant folk-inspired ditty. Peterlee man Alex Dobson’s Taking You Under captures the imagination more with its blues-inspired riffs and stripped-back nature; it’s a shame Dobson’s vocals aren’t more gravelly to give some extra bite, but it’s still catchy enough to be an indie dancefloor-filler.

I’ve never been particularly impressed by Dinosaur Pile-Up’s brand of cock-rock and although Eleven Eleven is a muscular slice of beefy guitar and shouty vocals, it’s almost instantly forgettable. Weirds Off The Hook is much more impressive thanks to their brooding, hazy vocals on the chorus and differentiations in tempo, showing Dinosaur Pile-Up how to make a modern rock song.

Nail On The Head, the latest offering from Duke Special, couldn’t be more different. Light, airy and unashamedly retro, with a cheesy Elton John-esque chorus, it’s almost impossible not to like, even if you could easily class it as a Guilty Pleasure. Drenched in early 90s electronics, including a underlying wobbly line that could have been taken from Fatboy Slim, Swim Deep’s To My Brother keeps the retro theme going. Thanks to its bombastic chorus and thoroughly sunny outlook, it’s impossible not to embrace it.

With its dark, atmospheric and ever-so-slightly creepy combination of strings and percussion, Bridie Jackson And The Arbour’s latest single, Far From The Tree, is a thoroughly captivating journey through luscious folk that couldn’t be any further from Swim Deep’s pop bombast. Though short, it crams in a multitude of ideas without feeling try-hard, making it another triumph for the group.

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