Singles: May 2011

on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Words: Saam Das

Now that I'm in substantial employment, I have a reasonable excuse for the delayed collating of May's finest singles but I apologise nonetheless. The battle for Single Of The Month came down to Clock Opera and Charli XCX. To find who won and plenty of other brilliant singles, simply read on.

Oh and thanks to Paul Lester for quoting us in his piece in The Guardian on To Kill A King, who released a single themselves in May. My top ten singles of the month are below, (mostly) in a random order. Enjoy.

Charli XCX - 'Stay Away' (released on May 16)

STREAM: Charli XCX - Stay Away (90 Sec Edit) by charlixcx

I recommended Charli XCX as one to watch at the recent Brighton festival, The Great Escape but she's been performing for a surprisingly long time considering she's still a teenager. Her new single is a markedly different offering, with a darker, almost industrial vibe. More importantly though, it has a majestic chorus making it our May anthem and consequently, SINGLE OF THE MONTH.

No idea why they're restricting the song to a 90 second sample on Soundcloud though, listen to the track in full on YouTube.

Clock Opera - 'Belongings' (May 9)

STREAM: Clock Opera - Belongings

Combining Guy Connelly's comforting falsetto with an enveloping piano melody results in Clock Opera's most serene single yet - before metamorphosing into pulsating, hypnotic electropop towards its thrilling conclusion. Such a magnificent band. SOTM RUNNER UP.

Noah & The Whale - 'Tonight's The Kind Of Night' (May 16)

STREAM: Noah And The Whale - Tonight's The Kind Of Night

A former winner of Single Of The Month, Charlie Fink and company return with another brilliant single with an uplifting chorus and Americana tinge. Perhaps a bit too MOR for some but very enjoyable for me, especially the gospel-esque backing vocals.

The Jezabels - 'Hurt Me' (May 16)

The debut UK single from an Australian band who have been hitting our shores hard in the last few months. Driven by a pulsating drum rhythm, 'Hurt Me' is a strong statement of stirring indie rock intent. If they have similar such songs in their locker, they should manage to succeed in not only the UK but the rest of the world.

Boy Mandeville - 'Gorilla' (May 30)

STREAM: Boy Mandeville - Gorilla

Despite the annoying lack of a release date in their press release, it's hard not to continue our support of this wonderful London band. We were one of the first to write about them last June, and also put them forward when we were helping out with the Glastonbury Emerging Talent comp. This is more laidback than their usual fare but yet another joyous Larrikin Love-meets-Vampire Weekend offering.

Austra - 'Lose It' (May 9)

FREE DOWNLOAD: Austra - Lose It by DominoRecordCo

One of the most universally popular "alternative" acts I've been hearing about in 2011 has been Austra. This single sounds like an electro pop Enya, and I mean that in a good way. Their ever brilliant record label Domino are even giving the away the track for free.

Ghostpoet - 'Survive It' (May 16)

STREAM: Ghostpoet - Survive It

I'm neither afraid nor ashamed to admit that hip hop isn't really my thing at all. Not even ironically, which is probably a good thing seeing as that's a bit patronising anyway. But alongside DELS, Ghostpoet seems to be providing a compelling narrative for UK hip hop currently. Similarly, the ace new video from Wiley has proved there's fresh life in what I foolishly believed was something of a rotting corpse.

Alex Winston – 'Sister Wife' (May 16)

STREAM: Alex Winston - Sister Wife

More simplistic-yet-brilliant pop from one of my tips for 2011. Another production with The Knocks, 'Sister Wife' comes across like an electro pop of your favourite nursery rhyme. Sweet.

Barbara Panther - 'Moonlight People' (May 16)

STREAM: Barbara Panther - Moonlight People

Blog confessional time: I never really listened to Janelle Monae properly. Not that I ever claimed to but it just seems like I should have. But in my head, she sounds a bit like Barbara Panther - which is definitely a good thing, because judging from this single, BP has a rather intriguing take on dance music.

Towns - 'Fields' (May 23)


I was immediately reminded of the recent Creation Records documentary 'Upside Down' upon listening to the debut single from Towns. The common comparisons of My Bloody Valentine, Ride and The Jesus And Mary Chain seem apt yet reductive. Towns certainly have the potential to breakaway from their comparisons and really make a name for themselves.

2nd: Young Legionnaire - 'Numbers' + The Computers - 'Music Is Dead'
9th: Ra Ra Riot - 'Too Dramatic'
16th: These Dancing Days - 'Can't Find Entrance' + Justice - 'Civilisation' + Lykke Li - 'Sadness Is A Blessing'
23rd: Battles - 'Ice Cream' + Patrick Wolf - 'House' + Treetop Flyers - 'Things Will Change'
30th: Young Knives - 'Human Again' + Arctic Monkeys - 'Don't Sit Down, 'Cause I've Moved Your Your Chair' + Cosmo Jarvis - 'Sure As Hell Not Jesus'

2nd: Duologue - 'Get Out While You Can' EP
9th: Christian AIDS - 'Stay Positive'
16th: n/a
23rd: Beat Connection - 'In The Water' + CLOUT! - 'CLOUT!' EP + Mogwai - 'San Pedro' (download the mp3 for free)
30th: Death Cab For Cutie - 'You Are A Tourist' + To Kill A King - 'Fictional State'

Click to read our past singles reviews.

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