Laura Mvula

Laura Mvula... Really should launch her own range of hoop-shaped potato snacks

The Best of This Week’s Singles: Laura Mvula, Vampire Weekend, James Skelly and more!

Published on May 7th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams

“This week’s singles!”

“I beg pardon?”

“The best of this week’s singles!”

By Jove, I think you’re right…

Dark Bells – “Wildflower”

If these Aussies were any more shoegaze they’d be taking it literally; you know, actually staring at their shoes every waking minute, never getting anything else done. They found the time to get this delicious, phosphorescent recording made up, so we can safely assume they don’t engage in literal interpretations of humorously dubbed sub-genres.

Is everyone in Australia a member fantastic psychedelic rock band these days? Fair play to ’em.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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James Skelly & The Intenders – “You’ve Got It All”

It’s James Skelly, front man of The Coral, indulging his classic soul instincts in straightforward yet utterly beaming fashion. Just a lovely, uncomplicated tune that’s ripe four soundtracking this here sunshine we’re having at the moment.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Jamie N Commons – “Rumble and Sway”

Good, quirky blues pop, this: a vocal that sounds authentic enough not to bring us out in a rash, a swinging brass section and even some jittery electronics. We like Jamie N Commons a lot more than Jamie T, for what that’s worth.

Is he better than Jamie xx, or even Jamie Oliver? We shall see.

Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Laura Mvula – “That’s Alright”

Just skip straight to the album, alright? It’s bloody brilliant, and you can read our thoughts on it simply by clicking the words ‘read our thoughts on it’. Clever, eh?

This song is so good that it managed to not just bring Michael Jackson back from the dead but a whole bunch of Michael Jacksons. Watch the video and see for yourself. We’ll leave it to you to decide how applicable the line “I will never be who you want me to be / And that’s alright / My skin ain’t light” might be to said deceased icon.

We may not have had any preconceived notions but Laura Mvula is very much who we want her to be: that is, the singer of a fantastic song that’s scored 282,000 YouTube hits at the time of writing. Hopefully this ascent will continue unabated because we could use a pop star or two with some actual substance.

Remember what that was like? You very well might not.

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Theme Park – “Ghosts”

Classic computer game, Theme Park, and the band’s not bad either: “Ghosts” manages to temper its own Afropop inclinations with a nice, sticky rhythm section and breezy classic soul chorus.

Substance over style, huzzah!

Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Vampire Weekend – “Ya Hey”

Oh, very clever, I see what you did there.

To be fair, Vampire Weekend are much, much better than some of the bands they get lumped in with. Their initial ‘pleasant Afro-pop’ didn’t do it for us but their more recent stuff has been well stocked with lateral thinking and unorthodox features, in this case those weird helium backing vocals that might irritate some people half to death. Oh, and what sounds like a synthesised choir.

You know what? Vampire Weekend are alright.

Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Young Rival – “Two Reasons”

Video of the week! Video of the week! Okay, we feel a bit like Homer Simpson advocating “Football in the Groin” there, but it is ace. Song’s good too, like some trashy cover of an early ’60s classic, Beatles harmonies and all. Pats on the back all round!

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Tune in tomorrow for The Worst of This Week’s Singles!

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.