Single-Play Stretch

Single Play (Week of 6/17/13)

“W-O-E,” Little Comets

Quirky, off-kilter, and a bit funky. That’s pretty much Little Comet’s “W-O-E” in a nutshell. This UK band has been compared to the Talking Heads (I don’t hear it), but they do share a love of odd vocal phrasing nestled squarely in a pop structure. “W-O-E” is quite catchy and will most likely hit big across the pond. But if North American radio gets on board, Little Comets might be more of a household name in my neck of the woods very soon.

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“I Taketh Away,” Mark Mulcahy

Mark Mulcahy hasn’t lead a charmed life since the death of his wife in 2008. He stopped recording music to take care of his kids and was supported, in part, by fellow musicians who recorded a tribute album of his songs. It took a few years, but Mark eventually came back to music — and the world is better place because he did. “I Taketh Away” is the lead track from Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You, and the one I keep listening to. There’s a kind of “three chords and the truth” vibe to it and will find a home on a Triple A format in short order. Welcome back, Mr. Mulcahy.

Caro Emerald
“Tangled Up,” Caro Emerald

When was the last time there was a good tango pop song? Let’s see, I think Shakira had that part of the musical market cornered…in 2002. I think 11 years is enough to revisit that particular genre, and perhaps that’s why Dutch artist, Caro Emerald (aka Caroline Esmeralda van der Leeuw) created “Tangled Up.” Her jazzy voice brings a certain sophistication to the song, and she’s clearly accomplished enough not to overdo it with vocal gymnastics to get the audience to listen. Rather, she leaves it to the tango rhythm to hook the listener. Smart move.

Bronze Radio Return
“Down There,” Bronze Radio Return

“Down There” was released in 2011, but is now part of Bronze Radio Return’s “best of” album that just came out. “Down There” has shades of Mumford & Sons with its celtic vibe, but there’s more than a splash of Americana in their music that makes them less of a scion of Mumford & Sons and more a kissing cousin. Kissing cousins or no, Bronze Radio Return are on the precipice of stardom with their music being used on the PGA tour, being featured on NPR and getting an impressive number of views on YouTube. “Great,” you may say, “but is their music any good?” Glad you asked. In a word: yes. While this “best of” album features the band’s heavy hitter tunes, “Down There” is, to me, one of the best on this collection. Have a listen and see if you agree.