Singles round-up: The Forest & The Trees, Sia, Junior Prom, Blende

photoThe Forest & The Trees – Putting Down the Gun

We’re a bit sceptical of husband/wife duos since the Civil Wars ended up being so annoying and the Magic Numbers were, well, the Magic Numbers (although they could have been brother and sister, we can’t care enough to look it up or remember). But that’s by the by; restoring our faith in musical marriages are Swedish (of course) pair The Forest & The Trees and their gorgeous new single. Add a bit more electro in there and this could have been off the CHVRCHES album, that’s how nice it is.

artworks-000059007800-55o47r-t500x500Sia – Elastic Heart feat. The Weeknd and Diplo

We don’t think we’re ever going to see eye to eye with Sia. There’s no denying her ability to write a good pop song, but we just can’t seem to squelch over her the way most do, and clearly being the industry’s latest rent-a-hook is taking its toll. While we admire the Hunger Games lot for trying to mimic the success of the excellent and original Twilight soundtracks, this one is a bit irritating if wholly inoffensive… at least until local eunuch The Weeknd chimes in to completely deprive it of any decency. Diplo’s beat deserved better.

artworks-000059006542-uscw7x-t500x500Junior Prom – Sheila Put the Knife Down

As both the band name and track title suggest, this lot are as impudent as you like. The Brooklyn duo bring with them three-and-a-half minutes of fun with a bouncy slice of indie-rock. But the raucous vibe hides the generation-meh indignation: “We’re all fucked up some or other way,” they sing. “Some of us collect but most of us pay.” Well, quite.

artworks-000058431622-4476ji-t500x500Blende – Rikki

When we first heard the sublime Rikki from Blende, we actually googled ourselves into a stupor, convinced that the London outfit had covered some sort of excellent Horse Meat Disco-style 70s gem. But our suspicion was pleasantly unfounded, as this is both gloriously original and a charming homage to disco, and one of the catchiest choruses since Sinitta’s So Macho. We’re gonna run right back, Rikki Rikki. (That’ll make more sense after you play the song.)