SINGLE REVIEWS: June 2015 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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I’ve always had a bit of an admiration for Gaz Coombes. Supergrass were capable of creating both perfect pop and memorable indie, and Coombes continues this tradition in his solo work. The Girl Who Fell To Earth is a dreamy, melancholic slab of atmospheric, retro indie that continues to mark Coombes out as one of the best songwriting survivors from the Britpop era.

So from a man who I do admire to one that I feel I should respect, but can’t. Everything I Am Is Yours by Villagers isn’t a terrible song, nor is it a particularly memorable one; it doesn’t instil me with the belief that the Irish singer-songwriter is as special as people suggest. Apart from a jazz-inflected piano after the twice-repeated chorus, it’s little more than pleasant, leaving me with the feeling that I’d rather listen to Sufjan Stevens’ latest LP. Skylark Song’s new single Only A Thought does folky breeziness with far more deft, combining beautiful, intricate guitar melodies with a more complex narrative. It’s stirring stuff from the duo.

Only a Thought

Posted by Skylark Song on Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cloud City Trap’s Walking Through leaves me cold with its attempt to combine Pearl Jam-esque rock with country elements to unstartling effect. It’s the same for Lonely The Brave’s attempt at atmospheric stadium rock on River, River and Orphan Boy’s From The Provinces. Using a loud synth constantly over a song and shouting in a chorus doesn’t equal stadium-filling success or atmosphere. It’s just uninspired.

Newcastle-based James Rooney’s latest single As You Do is a little piece of indie pop that harks back to the faux doo-wop rock of The Futureheads. While I don’t particularly care much for his voice, As You Do is nevertheless an infuriating earworm that burrowed into my head. I can’t decide yet if that’s a good thing…

It’s a good job then, that I have Courtney Barnett’s Dead Fox to listen to as a treat. It’s one of the best tracks on her debut album thanks to its pounding beat and Courtney’s languid, free-flowing lyricism, but it’s even more refreshing after listening to numerous forays into tried and tested musical formulas.

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