Miaoux Miaoux tackles January's singles pile
Requesting we keep the identities of the artists secret (“I’m going to try and guess”), Julian Corrie aka Miaoux Miaoux slips on his critic’s hat. “This reviewing gets harder as you go along,” he laughs. “I’m feeling my brain starting to melt a little..."
Biffy Clyro – Black Chandelier (14 Jan, RCA)
Is this Frightened Rabbit? It sounds a little bit like them, but he’s not got quite the same voice... I think if I was 14 I’d be mega into this. It’s alright, there’re some nice ideas… Is it Biffy? I have a lot of respect for Biffy Clyro, because they’ve been in it for so long. I wouldn’t buy it or choose to put it on the stereo but I think they’re very good at what they do. I’ll give that 7.
Sinéad O’Connor – 4th and Vine (28 Jan, One Little Indian)
I’m quite into a lot of folk stuff – I do like a bit of, you know, tales of woe and doom… This is fine. It’s just fine. She’s got a nice voice, so 6 out of 10. Who is it? Sinéad O’Connor, really? Wow, I’m surprised actually. The only thing I know about Sinéad O’Connor is when she went Rastafarian and did that terrible TV interview. I think we do need more of that sort of thing in music – people just being a little bit weird. Everything seems very bland at the moment and, I don’t know… actually, I can’t say everything’s bland, cause it’s clearly not, that’s a stupid thing to say. But I really like it when artists are just a bit more like an artist, in the truer sense of the word, where they create this sort of slightly strange world. I like eccentricity a lot.
Devlin Feat. Diane Birch – Rewind (28 Jan, Island)
[About a minute in] No, no, I’m done. Can you turn that off actually, I don’t want to listen to it. Eminem just did this so much better 10 years ago. It has that chord sequence that drives me fucking nuts, it’s in every song ever. It’s literally everywhere. We’ll give it a 3 because the production’s good.
Tomahawk – Stone Letter (28 Jan, Ipecac)
The production’s really good on this too – that’s really a skill, to make heavy records sound good. I don’t care for the song though. Who is it?
The Skinny: Tomahawk – one of Mike Patton’s bands.
Really? Somebody introduced me to Fantômas recently, and it was one of those occasions where I just thought ‘what the hell is this shit?’ I thought that the first time I heard Deerhoof, who went on to be one of my favourite bands, and Fantômas was the same – it just completely baffled me. I still don’t quite get it, but Mike Patton is definitely some kind of insane genius. I’m a little bit disappointed actually, having heard what he can do, with Fantômas and Mr Bungle. I think I’ll give it 4, because I know that he can do better. Actually, I said I didn’t want to be influenced by the artist, so I’ll stick with my first thought – 5.
Teleman – Cristina (14 Jan, Moshi Moshi)
They’ve studied at the XX production school haven’t they, with that reverby guitar. It’s a really popular sound just now. This is the first thing we’ve heard that I would maybe consider listening to for fun. But I’m not sure yet… There’s maybe a lack of personality, because I’ve heard those production sounds so many times before.
The Skinny: This is the band’s debut single.
Really? I’m surprised, because it doesn’t sound like a band making many mistakes; it sounds like a band being super-safe and ticking all the right boxes. I want a debut single to be a little bit risky, and this doesn’t really have any risk to it at all. But I prefer this sort of sound to other kinds of sound, so 6.
SINGLE OF THE MONTH #1: Roger Miller – Big Steam (7 Jan, Good Road Records)
I like those opening chords – that’s guitar how I want it to be played, like nasty and dissonant. Can you turn this up? That’s a good sound, it’s got a sort of swagger to it. It had me from the intro to be honest. That’s a guitar having a bad time… Yeah, that guitar solo is wicked. It’s got balls. We’ll give it 8.
Booty Luv – Black Widow (20 Jan, Pierce Entertainment)
Nah – it’s just the same as a lot of commercial dance music. I was half-expecting it to drop into an extremely dirty half-time bass line, and if it had done that it would have got an extra point. But it didn’t, it’s just really vanilla. I mean, it’s well produced again, so points for that, but I really don’t like it at all, so 2.
Villagers – Nothing Arrived (14 Jan, Domino)
This sounds like Arcade Fire – I quite like Arcade Fire, and I quite like this as well. They’re doing a lot with quite a small amount of material. That bass part is good – it’s the same sequence but just changing the root note, which I like to do a lot. Yeah, I like this, it’s nice. 6 and a half.
Christian Rich feat. Angela Mcluskey – XIX (28 Jan, Good Luck Chuck)
Is this Starslinger? No, don’t tell me! I like it, this is exactly my sort of thing. It sounds like Flying Lotus – it’s obviously not, but I imagine it’s someone related to Brainfeeder… I would chill out that compression a little bit though – I know that’s kind of the point, but it can make you feel a bit seasick sometimes. Who is it?
The Skinny: Christian Rich – production credits include NERD, Chris Brown…
So quite commercial… It’s interesting that they’re taking an edge from Brainfeeder, who’ve basically been doing this sort of thing for years. Yeah it’s nice – 7. I’ve got to stop using the word ‘nice’, it’s pathetic. Everything’s just really nice…
Delphic – Baiya (28 Jan, Polydor)
I simultaneously admire and detest this sort of homogenous production – it’s amazing how it falls onto your ears and everything just sounds right, but then you dive in there and there’s a ridiculous amount going on. So to be able to get that all to gel is a really good skill I think. But it’s like having sex with an android: it’s sex, but at the end of the day you feel a little bit used. Because music is a very emotional thing and this has been so well engineered that, while it gets you there, you feel a little bit dirty that you’ve let it. I’ll give it… 6.
Everything Everything – Kemosabe (14 Jan, RCA)
[Ten seconds in] This is Everything Everything. I think they’re a frustrating band because they showed so much potential on that first album, but didn’t quite realise it. [chorus starts] Yeah, that bit just kind of ruins it – it’s all going a bit V Festival 2013. Even though their first record was mega-produced, some of it was bonkers, with really interesting progressions. I don’t think this is their strongest song, but I respect them as a band – I’m just waiting for them to do something really, really good, because I think that they can. I like that bass line… [chorus starts again] and then it goes rubbish there. But I prefer this to their last single – 7.
SINGLE OF THE MONTH #2: Foxygen – Shuggie (22 Jan, Jagjaguwar)
Is this Foxygen? I heard this literally just this morning. I actually quite like it, it’s a bit like Beck crossed with Jonathan Richman. This is a perfect example of a debut single that has loads of character and interesting ideas; they’re making a statement about themselves as an artist, as opposed to that one earlier that basically sounded like The XX. This has life and energy about it. I’ll give that 8. Can we make that joint single of the month with Roger Miller? I really like his Mission of Burma guitar solo-y madness, but Foxygen’s good for entirely different reasons.