This week's new singles

Alex Clare | Brandt Brauer Frick | James Blunt | Hadouken! | White Lies

PICK OF THE WEEK

Alex Clare
Up All Night (Island)

Shoving out a single in the first week of the new year says you're either as mad as a lorry or in possession of oodles of chutzpah. Alex Clare is (we think) of the latter persuasion. Clare has been hooked up with dancehall/hip-hop fusionists Major Lazer – Diplo & Switch – and tasty dancefloor disorder ensues. Skirls of grunge guitars, air-horn blasts, reggaeton beats and Clare's vocals slam against each other so viciously that they burn out, exhausted, after three minutes.

ALSO OUT THIS WEEK

Brandt Brauer Frick
Caffeine (!K7)

They may sound like a German pharmaceutical company and dress like lecturers in applied maths, but Brandt Brauer Frick have been beaten with the cool stick. That said, you may harbour doubts when we tell you that their music mixes classical with techno and jazz. The reality's better than the concept though. Hunkered down in a converted garage in Wiesbaden, they no doubt discuss approximation theory and asymptotic methods while thumping on pianos and laying down acoustic, percussive grooves. When teamed up with their touring classical ensemble, the result is a bout of sustained, intensive euphoria.

James Blunt
So Far Gone (Atlantic)

Waddabout that Tank Commander Hero™ Blunty eh! Saving Earth from Armageddon by refusing to kick off with Russia in Kosovo? Swivel on that, Bieber! And Blunty has a way better fringe. Of course, if he had obeyed orders from a bellicose US army general and popped a couple of caps into some Russkie asses in the late 90s, he'd have been blown to kingdom come. And then we'd have missed out on this piano-plonking, pappy, pop puffery. Can he be court-martialled retrospectively?

Hadouken!
Oxygen (Surface Noise Recordings)

Hadouken!'s First! Two! Albums! Were! Top! 20! Records! Can! You! Believe! That!? Ahead of album number three, the prolific Leeds outfit appear to have stopped flirting with grime but are still defiantly 'aving it. This bouncy sortie into Pendulum-like stadium dance-rock tells the tale of a girl who is, like, oxygen. Not a novel lyrical conceit, we grant you and besides, being like oxygen's a bit crap as it only makes up 21% of the air we breathe. Maybe Oxygen is James Hadouken!'s bit on the side and his main squeeze is, like, Nitrogen?

White Lies
Bigger Than Us (Fiction)

The band with the poshest names in rock music are back! Harry, Charles and the double-barrelled one were likened to Interpol and Editors first time around, but New White Lies sounds like Old White Lies, which is no bad thing. Bigger Than Us splices early Depeche synths to a Hooky-style bassline and twangy guitars before hitting a chorus where everything goes WHOOSH! It's accompanied by a rather queer video starring a giant, girl-sized choccy bar, out of which a girl-sized girl is extracted by Harry, all covered in chocolate, marshmallow and biscuit. He'll be off to dunk her in his tea.

Stephen Worthy

The GuardianTramp

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