I think in the year or so I've been doing this monthly singles round up, February 2011 has been the most good-single-intensive month thus far. It's also the month that bore witness to Charlie Sheen going somewhat insane yet coming up with some of the best quotes ever. He's continued his strong form into this month too.
Anyway, enough about attention seeking celebrities. I raved about the new single from The Chapman Family in January already so that won't be getting any more love here but there are plenty of singles of the jump that deserve a listen. I've also embedded a YouTube playlist featuring the official videos of the singles at the end of the post.
Noah And The Whale - 'L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N' (Release: Feb 28th)
STREAM: Noah and the Whale – L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N
The new Noah And The Whale feels like it's been out forever yet still feels fresh. Which is perhaps doubly strange seeing as it's basically a glorified cover of Tom Petty's 'Don't Come Around Here No More', with a splash of 'Lola' by The Kinks thrown in. So no marks for innovation but full marks for creating a wonderful folk anthem. Single of the month.
Crystal Fighters - 'At Home' (Feb 28th)
STREAM: At Home (Radio Edit) by Crystal Fighters
Moving a fair distance away from their dancier roots to deliver a swooning ballad. It's as lovely as a warm cup of tea and a biscuit (hobnob for its dipping strength, naturally) on a cold afternoon. I quite fancy one now actually...
Visions Of Trees - 'Sometimes It Kills' (Feb 7th)
STREAM: Sometimes It Kills by Visions of Trees
Kieran name-checked Visions Of Trees in his review of Offset '10, mentioning that they were particularly impressive live. Which is quite interesting seeing as I wonder how they pull off the heavily sample based nature of the tracks. Anyway, they're in the capable hands of Moshi Moshi and perhaps well on their way to becoming a British version of The Knife.
Dog Is Dead - 'River Jordan' (Feb 28th)
STREAM: Dog Is Dead - River Jordan
It almost feels like 'River Jordan' should be in a grandiose musical in London's West End or on Broadway. It has that kind of overwhelming melodramatic ambition to its pop. Another glorious single from one of my tips for 2011.
Beat Connection - 'Silver Screen' (Feb 28th)
STREAM: Beat Connection - Silver Screen
I'd kind of black-boxed Beat Connection as some kind of hipster heroes and consequently forgotten all about them. Then came this single, released on Moshi Moshi imprint Tender Age, which made me drop my previous prejudices. A hypnotic piece of laidback synth-pop.
DeVotchKa - '100 Other Lovers' (Feb 28th)
STREAM: DeVotchKa - 100 Other Lovers
I'm pretty sure most people would consider DeVotchKa most famous for soundtracking the wonderful indie "dramedy" 'Little Miss Sunshine'. And perhaps having awkward capitalisation. Maybe their newest album from which the single comes can change that. '100 Other Lovers' is something like Animal Collective meets Vampire Weekend, and hence, sounds rather good.
Let's Buy Happiness - 'Fast Fast' (Feb 28th)
STREAM: Let's Buy Happiness - Fast Fast
I was expecting Let's Buy Happiness to really kick off following their appearance at last year's In The City festival. That didn't quite happen, although they are another of tips for 2011. And they're certainly building up an impressive resume. This entrancing single is characterised by the shimmering guitars, hyperactive percussion and, as ever, bewitching vocals.
Fixers - 'Iron Deer Dream' (Feb 21st)
STREAM: Fixers - Iron Deer Dream
I'm still annoyed about the fact that their management made me remove a Soundcloud stream of this track back in October that I'd embedded, without providing any justification for doing so. Particularly infuriating as the stream was still up on Soundcloud for some time and The Independent even had the track up for free download! Talk about picking on the little people. Anyway, it's a great single, despite being very much in the thrall of Animal Collective.
Eagulls - 'Council Flat Blues' (Feb 14th)
STREAM: Eagulls - Council Flat Blues
Another Moshi Moshi single of sorts, this time on the Not Even imprint. Eagulls have been one of Manchester's most talked about bands for the last six months (or more) and this is their debut single. I have no idea what the lyrics are as the band have opted for a lo-fi approach but it comes off well. No Age fans take note.
Purchase the singles at iTunes, Amazon, HMV, your local record shop etc.