Singles round-up: Lily Allen, GEMS, Barnaby, Yasmin Green

lily-allen-hoh-video-650-430Lily Allen – Hard Out Here

We like Lily Allen (and we know she likes us) but we decided to sidestep that John Lewis thing, although we’ll admit that’s because we didn’t really like the original. But now the sass is back, full of the same salacious tongue-in-cheek Allen lyrics over a bouncy pop beat. There’s fantastic amounts of (not so subliminal) Thicke shade; there might be a teeny bit of Miley-baiting too, but visually the crosshairs seem more aimed at Jessie J and Rita Ora. And that’s something that, really, we can all get on board with.

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artworks-000062496813-6eavpa-t500x500GEMS – Ephemera

Seattle duo GEMS have been on our radar for ages, and every release has had us completely enthralled. They seem to have a knack for dream-pop in an assured way that we thought only came from the experienced; Ephemera continues their impeccable record with its wavy, woozy chorus and a tinge of the maudlin. We can’t get enough of this lot.

artworks-000062051068-vt597p-t500x500Barnaby – Bored

Despite having a name that evokes thoughts of a children’s TV character, Barnaby is producing some of that class R&B du jour that seems to be doing the rounds. After Fresh Like Lemonade, it’s a ballsy move calling your track ‘Bored’, but Barnaby neither sounds it, nor does he make us feel it in any way. A surprisingly funky ode to listlessness, then.

artworks-000062547741-y261j8-t500x500Yasmin Green – Into the Night

We’re all for supporting home-grown talent here, and BRIT-alumnus / super-songwriter Yasmin Green gets our full attention today for the excellent Into the Night. We’ll admit the husky vocals had us all confuzzled at first, but it makes such a massive difference from all the bedwetting R&B out there – Green comes across as a powerful, self-assured talent, primed for Jessie Ware-level success. More, please.