Singles Reviews: Darwin Deez, Youthless and Gold Panda

by Katherine

All of these are OUT THIS WEEK.

Darwin Deez – Constellations

The old adage may be ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover’ but bloomin’ heck Darwin, that is one ratty cover you’re sporting. Maybe it’s the tatty headband unsuccessfully pinning down a full head of eerily static curls (The raging debate over whether it is permed or otherwise continues) or maybe it’s the paedo moustache, or affinity for clothes that look like they stink of spliff and have been hoked from the very hellish depths of some Godforsaken charity shop bargain bin,but there’s something about poor Darwin that sets him squarely in the ‘Individual’ category – and by ‘Individual’, we mean less of a hip, gold lamé-wearing, Natasha Khan-esque maverick, and more of The Crazy Cat Lady from The Simpsons who babbles incomprehensibly and flings yowling moggies at unsuspecting passers-by. No offence, Darwin.

Funny then, that a crazy-dancing, head-band wearing, vegan-option-please kind of guy such as Darwin should be the proprieter of music this, well, boring. ‘Constellations’ is a slice of horribly uninteresting MOR rock that -bar the quirky lyrics about freckles and the likes, and wacky music vid – could easily be the output of such ambassadors of bland as Paolo Nutini and Jack Johnson, AKA The Albums Your Mum Listens To In The Car On The Way To Asda. I’m warning you – one moment it’s Darwin Deez, the next minute you’re slavering over the Per Una range at M&S and buying magazines with Kirstie Allsopp on the cover like it’s crack cocaine. Your decision.

Youthless – Golden Age

When I heard the title ‘Golden Age’, I was expecting something a bit pastoral and lovely – maybe some inoffensive, bucolic electronica act, maybe some banjo-strung, burbling folk? Not so, readers. ‘Golden Age’ is a wonderfully strutting electro-pop number, with rumbly guitars, thunder-crash drums and yelped vocals et al, recalling a Two Door Cinema Club without the confidence issues, or the endearingly boyish zeal of We Are Scientists.

The 2 Bears – Church

Apart from reminding me of one of my ultra-favourite 80′s twee-pop acts, 14 Iced Bears, The 2 Bears have the distinct advantage of being Really Quite Lovely.  Admittedly, the ‘Hey now, Hey now’ refrain that comes in near the end gets a bit too into happy-clappy/hippy-dippy territory for my liking, there are adorable, múm-esque keyboards and heavenly, honey-dipped harmonies galore.

And if you can stick the supremely irritating ‘Southern Fried Records’ voice-over man, you can have a listen to ‘Church’ here:

Gold Panda – Snows & Taxis

I’d gone right off Gold Panda ever since he slagged off Iggy Pop on twitter (Not Iggles! God knows he’s been through enough, what with him having to lord about with that horrific marionette on National Television and all) but ‘Snows & Taxis’ has made me completely regain my faith in the fella – it’s a beautiful, gauzy treat of a track, with everything I like in an electronic track –  throbbing piano, gently warping synth and delicate xylophone tinkles topped by shimmering, vestigial strings.

And, rarely enough in these pretentiously-named instrumental numbers, ‘Snows & Taxis’ is exactly like it’s namesake – it feels like sitting snug in a warm taxi, watching the envious city folk rush past, all bundled up in woolly scarves and bobble hats, and seeing the frosted buildings and the vast drifts of snow beat on your window like beautiful, sugary sheets. It’s that lovely. Have a listen:

Plain White T’s – Rhythm of Love

God, it only seems like yesterday I was having to have extensive psychotherapy after accidentally hearing a snippet of heinous stalker-anthem ‘Hey There Delilah’ on the car radio – well, perhaps that’s a little of an over-statement, but you remember that song, right? That song was RUBBISH.

But when I read quotes stating that newest single ‘Rhythm of Love’ was to have ‘a markedly gentler sound – gentler even, than ‘Hey There Delilah’ – I began to wonder. How, within the realms of possibility, could The Plain White T’s [sic] get any bloody GENTLER? Perhaps The Plain White T’s performed the single with all band members in a coma? Or maybe they were going to present to us a John Cage aping single of deathly silence? Maybe, just maybe – this single could be revelutionary!

This was (unsurprisingly) wrong, and ‘Rhythm of Love’ is the exact kind of MOR snoozefest I had imagined. From the gushing lyrics – ‘I love the view from here/ warm sun and wind in my ear’ – wind in your ear? That’s not romance, that’s a hearing impairment, Lopez – to that silly, twangy guitar, which sounds like that awful chill-out music people used to play at beach parties in the seventies.

And – oh horrors – the music video features Lopez and his band of pasty nerds swanning around some tropical shore, while lots of scantily-clad, wholesomely attractive people swarm around them like flies on dogshit. It’s kind like Jay-Z’s video for ‘Big Pimpin’ except RUBBISH – make no mistake about it, Plain White T’s induce Plain White Zs (oh god).

And with that hideous pun rankling nicely, I bid you adieu.