Song reviews

  No Regrets by Jenns Wennberg

No Regrets cover art

Swedish self obsession

Although part of a cunning plan to release twelve singles in a year, “No Regrets” is not really a single – in the sense of the song having any commercial viability or purpose – at all. It is just another example of a sensitive singer songwriter showing us all just how sensitive he is by piling on the melancholy. Distinctly dull.

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  Snow Angel by David Bayles

Snow Angel cover art

Literate songwriter

OK, so David Bayles pulls practically all his sonic influences from bigger and more successful bands but evident care and attention has gone into “Snow Angel” with the end result being something even your granny would like.  Nicely poetic lyrics too.

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  Signs of Life by Cop On The Edge

Signs of Life cover art

London art pop

London four piece art pop band Cop On The Edge have released this song, “Signs of Life”, ahead of the EP from whence it will come. It’s a jaunty – there’s a word I haven’t used for a while – song that has all those nice little touches like hooks and choruses that a lot of bands forget about these days. Even the rather obvious retro Talking Heads influences enhance rather than distract.

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  Lowlands by Father Sculptor

Lowlands cover art

Glasgow smithy

Pleasingly over emotive, in the Morrissey style, vocals by Thomas David lifts “Lowlands” far above its Glasgow eighties guitar pop roots and takes the song soaring off into near cabaret. The result is, of course, pretentious but it is also undeniably a performance.

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  We've Fallen Out by Silent Sleep

We've Fallen Out cover art

Sensitive hat

A sensitive singer songwriter with some obvious sonic ambition, Silent Sleep attempts to escape Liverpool with this stateless wanderer. “We’ve Fallen Out Again” is likeable and amiably aimless but lacks any real sparkle although the trumpet solo did suggest that Silent Sleep is somewhat ashamed to admit to his Britpop influences.

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  Riverview by The Pedaljets

Riverview cover art

The past is back

Revived from Midwest obscurity, the Pedaljets unleash a pretty good facsimile of their eighties proto indie rock sound. “Riverview” riffs along happily and makes a good accompaniment to things like beer and fast cars. The song has been released on vinyl, naturally, so add it to your menu.

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  Largs by Brown Bear and the Bandits

Largs cover art

Clyde coasters

“Largs” is nicely done with the occasional nice harmony thrown in and yet is indistinguishable from the music of a dozen other undistinguished Scottish bands. It’s a safe bet therefore that one or more of the band members was conceived to the music of Deacon Blue.

  Two Hearts by Soul of Gaia

Two Hearts cover art

“Two Hearts” provides more evidence that Sweden is the epicentre of European electro pop with Sanna Hallgren’s voice echoing all the right influences (like Bjork) whilst simultaneously showing a near Germanic avoidance of actual quirkiness. One day all computers will sound like this.

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  Swedish electro pop

  A song by Brittsommar

A song cover art

Sort of German

Courageously placing the male vocals completely at odds with the rest of the band, Brittsommar’s pseudo Americana sounds like an unfortunate karaoke version of a Chris Isaak song with the twang surgically removed.  In other words, it’s more than a bit unconvincing.

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  Do You Remember? by Josefina Sanner

Do You Remember? cover art

Swedish indie pop

Sweden does indie pop rather well these days and “Do You Remember” by Josefina Sanner is a nice, confident example of this style that cleverly remains just inside genre expectations. She’s easy on the ear and the song is catchy and that is about as much as you could reasonably ask for these days.

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  Blacker by Apash 2012

Blacker cover art

Acoustic Italian

Although apparently from Italy, Apash 2012 nonetheless delivers “Blacker” in the time honoured style free sensitive acoustic singer songwriter way. A guaranteed challenge to your ability to stay interested (or awake for that matter).

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  Bad Girl Blues by Sheila K Cameron

Bad Girl Blues cover art

Enigmatic singer

More talked rather than sung through, “Bad Girl Blues” is just about what you would expect - if expectations can be considered appropriate to an enigma – of Sheila K Cameron.  The song is like stream of consciousness poetry mixed with the French chanson style then baked in an oven with the blues. I’ll admit this song probably doesn’t have wide appeal but it is strangely satisfying.

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