This is the third singles round-up of 2022 which includes ten great songs released earlier in the year (yes we are still catching up!) from a group of artists from all over the world. Reading, New York (via Montreal), Buckinghamshire, Ireland (two of them), Berlin, Manchester, Hull, Canada and London. I think only Head Ballet have appeared on these pages before and while the rest are new to us I am 100% confident that their first appearance will not be their last appearance. It was also rather spooky and random that the artists at 9th and 10th in this list actually have 9 and 10 in their names, freaky huh?
“Laura” – Third Lung
This excellent track from Reading’s Third Lung reminds me of U2 at their best with its immense, soaring Bonoesque vocal and a barrage of riffs all underpinned by a huge rhythm section. Can someone let Third Lung play a set at Red Rocks please?
“I Was Made For Loving You” – Karine Hannah
Karine Hannah takes the classic Kiss power ballad and turns it into a steamy, sultry torch song. A truly magnificent cover version.
“Born To Rule” – Matt James
Matt James was the drummer and co-songwriter with one of the greatest British bands of the 90s, Gene. He left the music business for a while, but now he is back and based on this track, very much on form. This Latin-tinged, brass-driven beauty rolls over your ears nicely and bodes well for his first solo album, produced by Stephen Street, which will be out later this year.
“When I’m Not Awake I’m Dreaming Of You” – lullahush
This track from Ireland’s lullahush is, I suppose, electronica but a kind of dreamy, chilled, and at the same time dancey type of electronica. Vocally there is a folk-like element, which reminded me of Jon Marsh of the Beloved and the synth patterns are otherworldly, which maybe fits the dream subject perfectly. I love the contrasting female vocals towards the end.
“You, Me And Everything Else” – Friendmaker
This starts out as a soft lament and builds into a beautifully orchestrated crescendo, which evokes some of the great choruses produced by Semisonic back in the day. David Marron’s vocal performance is sublime and contains great emotional depth.
“Distant Shouts” – Donkey Kid
Berlin’s Donkey Kid’s songwriting for me compares lyrically, on this track at least, with Mike Skinner. But musically it has shades of some of the best alternative electro sounds from the early 80s. The sort of tracks that John Peel would have championed. I am now most definitely a Donkey Kid fan!
“To Know Yours” – Head Ballet
Supremely talented electro pop duo from Manchester Head Ballet were formed by Kiera Court and Danny Casio and with this single they have come up with another sublime stunner of a track. It refuses to leave your head after just a couple of listens. In a parallel universe this would be playing from every radio during a scorching hot summer!
“Eyes Wide Open” – Breeze
The opening to this rather fabulous ditty had me thinking of the Fountains Of Wayne at their peak twinned with the type of infectious hook and chorus that Noel Gallagher used to be good at back in the 90s. These Hullraisers can only get better, they have an average age that is just over 25% of my age! I am looking forward to seeing them live.
“That Was Yesterday” – J9
Janine “J9” Carter really is a very special talent. This track has everything from drum machine dance vibes, to dark electronic drone, androgynous vocals, a cinematic feel and a sweeping sound that would not be out of place on the soundtrack to “Blade Runner”. A bloody awesome tune! It also has a video that leaps right over the state line of Weirdsville!
“Demons” – 10 Guage
This is heavy, but not just heavy, we are talking FUCKING HEAVY! A tune that forces you to head bang along to its cascade of heart stopping riffs. Rob Jewson’s vocal performance is off the charts./ I will be first in the queue when the 10 Guage album hits the world and I hope they come and play up here in York soon.
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