Torches – Sky Blue & Ivory
This is Torches’ debut single but you’d never guess. They have seemingly arrived fully formed, enveloping you in their gothically menacing and ominous brand of rock and creating a sparse and intriguing sound. Frontman Charlie Drinkwater’s baritone vocals are front and centre and through their dark allusions there shines a warmth and humanity that draws you in. The song begins with a rumble and sharp, jagged guitars before the skyscraping chorus hits. It’s one that is being chanted in stadiums throughout a parallel (darker) universe: ‘I can hear an echo in your voice’. Sky Blue and Ivory is a song shot through with drama and character – and it’s a pretty special debut.
Blur – The Puritan
I make no apologies for choosing a Blur song. They returned this week on a rainy, windswept roof to play two new songs which seemed to prove that the more time you spend apart, the closer you get. While everyone fell for the effortlessly epic (some claim mawkish) Under the Westway, The Puritan is the song that shows Blur are still pop connoisseurs of the highest order and that Damon can create weird pop shapes at will. ’The Puritan’ is part Great Escape lost gem, part Gorillaz and part the bag of guitar effects pedals that Graham used on 13. It’s the chorus that gets you, a frenzied and frazzled mix of bass and synth that won’t leave your head once it gets inside.
Patriarchy over & out – Planningtorock
The first single to be released on Rostron’s DFA imprint, Human Level, is a brain smashingly catchy ode to equality. From the first crack of the snake like rhythms it jumps out the speakers with its hissing beat strangling you. Then Rostron sings “I don’t want to wait/ Patriarchal life, you’re out of date/ Patriarchal life, get out of the way” followed by the yelping “yeah, yeah, yeahs”. The song bristles with life and power in a seductively threatening fashion until submission is the only option. That is until we get to 4 minute mark when it gives way to a more emotional and affecting pace, her vocals more plaintive, the impact just as devastating.
- Danny Wright