The first Singles Club of 2010 has five rampant slices of next-decade style pop that borrow liberally from the last century. Time-travelling pop you might say…
Private – My Secret Lover
Here’s the thing right. January is cold, grey, damp, depressing. So why do most people make it even worse by detoxing the whole month and walking around with a face on for the entire 31 days? Instead, why not take some advice laid down by Danish popsters Private in this short film to accompany their spangly new single My Secret Lover? Namely wear red, snog women in the loos (providing you are a woman already) and wear your hair in a natty bowl cut so you have to peer out from behind it like a deranged owl. This track glitters like an 80s discoball, a pitch-perfect rollerdisco track to savour. In fact, it’s so delicious I want to lick it.
Ash – Space Shot
I used to love Ash, with teeny-tiny singer Tim Wheeler fitting in singing on Top Of The Pops in between learning his four times tables and that. Ash were young, vibrant and sang about girls being from Mars. Fast-forward to nearly 20 years later and not much has changed. Sticking with the space theme, their latest song in a year that sees them releasing a single every fortnight comes with this whizz-bang video featuring dancing gas-mask-wearing spacemen and flying asteroids and spaceships like off of Star Wars. Plus, the accompanying song has enough ‘Oooooooooh-ooooooooooooooh’ moments to elevate it above most indie dross. It’s official: I still love Ash.
Hurts – Wonderful Life
After ping-ponging from the 80s to the 90s, Hurts slam us straight back into the 80s, looking like Johnny Hates Jazz and conjuring up sounds that have been airlifted direct from 1986. This is a painfully low-budget (and so hip, natch) video, shunning colour (wasn’t available in the 80s see) and movement in the main, elbowing both out of the way for a spot of quiet standy-still contemplation. Inevitable comparisons to Black’s Wonderful Life will follow, but this is a completely different song people so do keep up. Having longed for the 80s to return, I categorically love it. That is all.
The XX – VCR
So here’s a question: are The XX as snazzy as everyone’s making them out to be or are they just victims of the machine they call hype? A bit of both is the answer. There’s a lot to admire here though – the tinkly keyboard intro, the slouched guitar riff, the way the two vocals entwine and French-kiss through the entire track. Cool with a capital C, but again they go for black and white – we’re in 2010 people, what’s up with a spot of pink and some glitter? Perhaps we should introduce them to Private…
Girls Can’t Catch – Echo
Straight off the Polydor production line, welcome if you will Girls Can’t Catch who are to The Saturdays what they are to Girls Aloud, if you get me. A watered-down girl band for this decade then? You’d think, but actually having seen this trio supporting The Saturdays, we reckon they knocked the fivesome into a cocked hoop with their verve and not-quite-as-stiff dance moves. That’s not to say I love them or anything, but if you like your pop filed under Manufactured, January, this has a certain lifeless sheen about it. OK, it’s rubbish. But better than The Saturdays. Watch it here.