This week’s “Single Play” is brought to you in part by the letters J, G, M and W. Popdose’s editor in-chief, Jeff Giles, sent me a slew of new singles last week, and Matt “Oh, I have that album/song” Wardlaw was kind enough to share the new Eric Clapton single. So, in reality, I did virtually no digging for music that’s featured on “Single Play” this week. Rather, I was like a diner at a musical Dim Sum where Jeff and Matt came to my table with selections — and I either nodded yes or no to what was being offered. Alas, I had to say no to a number of songs that didn’t make the cut this week, but I think you’ll like what’s being served up on “Single Play” for it’s balance of the familiar and the new.
Soft Bullets, “Posterity.”
A duo (and a transatlantic one at that) who have teamed up to create music that combines some atonal electronica with melodic vocal hooks. For me, “Posterity” is one of those songs that quickly became “that tune” I kept listening to. Christopher Wall (vocals) and Dan Capaldi don’t go overboard with their love of atmospherics, but rather keep their pop sensibilities front and center on “Posterity.” If you like your electronica a bit more mainstream (in terms of song structure), then this one is a keeper.
Alison Moyet, “Changeling”
Alison was in the vanguard of new wave artists who would eventually go on to define the kind of synth sound that, for better or worse, became a hallmark of ‘80s music. Fronting Yaz (Also known as Yazoo outside the U.S.), Moyet’s lonely and detached vocals complimented Vince Clarke synth melodies to create some wonderfully introspective albums. Her solo career in the ‘80s was much more successful (with album sales) than anything she did with Yaz. After a bitter battle with her record label, she eventually signed with a new label and started making music again. This latest single has her teaming up with Guy Sigsworth (Frou Frou), and the two have created a very contemporary sounding single that combines Moyet’s powerful voice dropped right into the middle of a thickly layered, but diversely constructed soundscape.
Comparisons are kind of a cheat for music critics who have trouble describing a particular “sound” of an artist. I’m guilty of doing it, but in the case of Rachael Kilgour, I can’t ignore a comparison to Maria McKee of Lone Justice fame. Kilgour’s voice is not as helium-sounding as McKee back in the day. However, “He’ll Save Me” has the same earthy sensibilities of a mid-tempo Lone Justice song, but wears its political heart more blatantly on its sleeve. Kilgour’s new EP, Whistleblower’s Manifesto: Songs for a New Revolution, drops on 2/19/13.
This single made its debut on radio stations across the country last week, and the reaction by some on the Popdose staff was positive — but cautiously so. There’s no doubting the “radio friendliness” of “Gotta Get Over.” It contains the expected solid guitar work from Clapton, a bluesy vibe, and background singers who only enhance Clapton’s voice — which has remained impressively clear for all the years he’s been touring and recording. Slowhand needs no extra promotion for this song, but I include it because 1.) My tastes are fairly mainstream. 2.) It’s a really good song. Simple as that. If you haven’t heard “Gotta Get Over,” well, here’s your chance.