Words: Saam Das
I've listened to at least 100 tracks to compile this list of my top ten singles of October. I could have saved myself the bother and simply declared Lana Del Rey the winner for her widely acclaimed 'Video Games' single. Except we were emailed about her last May and didn't think she was particularly amazing. And still don't. Yet. So instead check out ten other artists who we think are more worthy of your time below.
Alt-J - 'Bloodflood'/'Tessellate' (10th)
Calling your band Films isn't the best of names but surely you wouldn't change it to ∆?! Yes, that's a triangle. For ease of use/fans of keyboard shortcuts, they're more commonly known as Alt-J. Luckily their intriguing blend of electronica, trip-hop, soul, and folk makes up for their annoying name. SINGLE OF THE MONTH.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Tessellate (demo) by alt-j
Patterns - 'Induction' (3rd)
We wrote about Patterns about a year back. Since then, they've signed to Melodic Records, released an EP and produced a rather fine cover of 'Pure Shores' by All Saints. 'Induction' is their debut single and it's a stunning melting pot of post-punk, shoegaze and electronica.
Transfer - 'Take Your Medicine' (3rd)
Definitely feeling a Modest Mouse vibe on the latest single from San Diego's Transfer, with a large helping of Grizzly Bear. But those aren't exactly two influences steeped in mediocrity, and 'Take Your Medicine' is an appropriately sweeping single.
Caan - 'Now Hear This My Friends' (10th)
I talked about former Ou Est Le Swimming Pool man Caan Copan a few weeks back. His "gloriously hypnotic" debut single, 'Now Hear This My Friends', carries his former band's synth-pop roots but with a more serene outlook.
I Am Harlequin - 'The King's Daughter' (31st)
Let's be honest, this is very much in the vein of Florence & The Machine. Indeed, it's quite odd that Anne Freier's solo guise is not more popular as a result. Although it's probably because most of her other material is more electro-pop orientated. 'The King's Daughter' is beautifully triumphant and arguably better than anything Florence and her machine have managed thus far.
Theophilus London - 'I Stand Alone' (3rd)
I've never really paid much attention to Theophilus London but his Gasper Noé inspired latest single is making me rethink my previous stance. For better or worse, he is influenced by a variety of musical styles and figures ranging from hip hop and electro to the antichrist himself, Morrissey. It all comes together nicely on 'I Stand Alone'.
Rob St John - 'Your Phantom Limb' (10th)
The standout side of a split 7" on Song, By Toad records - the other side features 'House On The Hill' by Ian Humberstone.
Humberstone's contribution is far from terrible but it is overshadow by 'Your Phantom Limb', a track that is both melancholic and magical.
The Travelling Band - 'Sundial MMXI' (17th)
No matter how much anyone's been jaded by Mumford & Sons' success, I'd like to think everyone has a small place in their heart for warm folk ditties like 'Sundial MMXI'. It's rather lovely. Download the demo below, and the real thing at their website - where you can also purchase the vinyl release.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Sundial (Demo) by The Travelling Band
Trailer Trash Tracys - 'Wish You Were Red' (31st)
I'm not sure I'd ever bothered to listen to anything by Trailer Trash Tracys until this single. Their name doesn't exactly suggest anything promising. But 'Wish You Were Red' is pretty much a brilliant mash-up of 'Baba O'Riley' and 'Just Like Honey'. Not a bad choice of songs to "rip-off".
Fanfarlo - 'Deconstruction' (17th)
I wasn't overly impressed with the initial return of Fanfarlo, in the form of the free download 'Replicate'. However, I am much more on board with the spirited 'Deconstruction', an epic folk offering which brings back the favourable comparisons to Arcade Fire.
ALSO WORTH CHECKING OUT FROM OCTOBER:
3rd: Clock Opera - 'Lesson No. 7' // The Unkindness Of Ravens - 'Virus' // Givers - 'Meantime' // Marina & The Diamonds - Radioactive // Tellison - 'Edith' // Polarsets - 'Morning'
10th: Herman Dune - Be A Doll And Take My Heart // Real Estate - 'It’s Real' // Yann Tiersen - 'I'm Gonna Live Anyhow' // Veronica Falls - 'Bad Feeling'
17th: Asobi Seksu - 'Never Understand' // Kyla La Grange - 'Heavy Stone' // Cold Specks - 'Holland' // Driver Drive Faster - 'They May Talk' // Visions of Trees - Sirens (Novocaine) // Benjamin Shaw - 'Somewhere Over The M6'
24th: Noah & The Whale - 'Waiting For A Chance To Come' // Tribes - 'When My Day Comes' // The Coathangers - 'Hurricane' // The Leisure Society - 'Dust On The Dancefloor'
31st: Navet - 'Leave And Let Go' // Two Wounded Birds - 'Together Forever' // Ghost Outfit - 'Tuesday' // Justice - 'Audio, Video, Disco' // Born Blonde - 'Radio Bliss' // Dog Is Dead - 'Hands Down'
Click for previous monthly singles roundups.