New Singles of the Week

26th November 2015

10300269_806677886010690_4976518398233160339_nFlowers – ‘Pull My Arm’

London based fuzz-pop trio Flowers first came to my attention when they played a support slot at a small venue in Bristol a couple of years back. My enduring memory was that of lead singer Rachel Kenedy playing a bass guitar bereft of A,D and G Strings. Twas an instrument with just a solitary string – like an old relic one would fetch down from a deceased uncle’s attic or spy going for the princely sum of £12.75 in the window of your local CLIC Sargent.

Whether it was the liberal ingestion of wine or the pointless chump at the bar who distracted me with claims that it was impossible to top the experience of watching UB40 live, I don’t actually recall much about the music that night. Revisiting them later in the form of debut album Do What You Want To, It’s What you Should Do, it was clear that Kenedy’s near operatic vocals atop the Cocteau Twins influenced jangle-pop made for an often beautiful racket. Follow up album Everybody’s Dying To Meet You has just been announced and the short, sweet and rather simple ‘Pull My Arm’ is an encouraging sign of things to come.

Will Young – ‘What The World Needs Now Is Love’

Considering that the former Pop Idol winner has offered here a rather mawkish, string saturated treatment of a Burt Bacharach composed gem, it would be all too easy to have a pop at Will Young. However, it’s all for a good cause as Young’s latest single and video has been released in support of the WWF. Not the World Wrestling Federation – although someone surely needs to address the number of hirsute, spandex-clad beefcakes either dying of heart attacks in their 40s or going batshit mad on steroids.

No, the video of Young’s cover of Jackie DeShannon’s much loved original is part of the World Wildlife Fund’s campaign to raise awareness of declining animal populations across the globe. Cue a floppy fringed Young singing emotively along to slo-mo shots of lions, tigers, snowy owls and gorillas and some rather worrying statistics about endangered species and deforestation. Concerning, yes, but in the current climate of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism and the expanding conflagration of the Middle East, I still very much expect us humanoid numbskulls to be comfortably outlived by the leatherback turtle.

Richard Hawley – ‘I Still Want You’

His voice oddly sounding like a combination of Tom Waits, Johnny Cash and the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, the wistfully romantic ‘I Still Want You’ is the second single from the former Pulp guitarist’s latest album Hollow Meadows. Over the delicate guitar picking and pretty reverbs, Hawley sits alone at the bar staring long and hard into his pint of Guinness – seemingly he’s either carefully contemplating the age old glass half-full, half-empty scenario or his pint of Irish stout has hypnotic qualities akin to that dastardly snake from Jungle Book.

What Hawley actually seems to be contemplating is the love he still has for his estranged partner and, considering the video’s featuring of couples from across the generational ladder, the song serves as a warm ode to enduring romance. How lovely…although he totally ruins it with the lyric “Now I don’t want to lower the tone/But you know there’s still a little spare meat on the bone” – surely one of the most horrendous solicitations for a nosh job in popular music history.

Scott Hammond