The Stepkids

The Stepkids... Three guys, five quails

The Best of This Week’s Singles: Stepkids, Duckworth Lewis Method, Atoms for Peace and more!

Published on June 19th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams

What a simultaneously amazing and appalling week for singles this has been. Seriously bipolar, you know.

Let’s start with the highs by introducing you to the best of this week’s singles…

AlunaGeorge – “You Know You Like It”

We do indeed. This dreamy infusion of rubbery synth bass, clacking beat, fluttering synthy bleeps and skittering/gently heaving interludes is all tied together – much as the rug ties together the room – by AlunaGeorge’s honey-glazed vocal and characterful lyrics.

A lovely spread of colours for the synaesthetically inclined, and a steamy sort of smoothness for the lovers: this ‘un’s got you covered.

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

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Atoms For Peace – “Before Your Very Eyes”

This paranoid, probing shuffle from their Amok album finds Messrs Yorke, Godrich, Flea, Waronker and Refosco (what a law firm that would be) sounding much as you’d expect them to, which of course means it’s pretty masterful stuff.

Goodness knows how much more juice Mr Radiohead can continue to wring out of his very particular approach, but the buzzing ‘Whac-A-Mole’ synths and ghostly vocal exhibited here don’t sound tired yet.

Wouldn’t it be great, though, if he wrote and released his very own “Wake Up, Boo!”? The very thought of it might bring you out in a rash but the shock value alone would be priceless.

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

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Ground Pilots – “Talk to Me”

This is the Liverpool singer/songwriter’s third single and his third appearance in our Best Singles category, which should make for all the recommendation you need. “Talk to Me” is his best yet, its staccato stabs of serene psychedelia throwing quite the curve ball in terms of our expectations for what his forthcoming debut album In the Way of the Oceansmight sound like.

Come to think of it, each of the three singles have sounded very different from one another. As such, we couldn’t tell you what the album holds in store, but after hearing this laterally conceived gem we can’t wait to find out.

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

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The Duckworth Lewis Method – “It’s Just Not Cricket”

We give it roughly three quarters of a second before an ear-shredding grin takes to your mush. Cricket blah blah blah Divine Comedy blah blah blah Pugwash yadda yadda yadda. All you need to know is that the new album Sticky Wickets lands on July 1st and, whether you’re a fan of the gentleman’s game or not, a whole heap of fun and songwriting genius awaits you.

Love, love, love, love, LOVE.

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

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The Stepkids – “The Lottery”

The Stepkids’ eponymous debut album was so dazzlingly brilliant that it still gets regular spins at Rocksucker HQ despite the reams of new music that we have to trawl through every week.

Equal parts ’60s psychedelia and ’70s porn soundtrack, even that illustrative description only tells part of the story: there’s time signature trickery, three-part harmonies and all sorts of delightfully synaesthetic colours flying about the mix, and “Lottery” gives every indication of another belter to follow in the form of album two.

They’ve ramped up the Innervisions-era Stevie Wonder influence on this one, dragging it in all sorts of crazy directions while never feeling in danger of sounding cack-handed or contrived, which really is the mark of a truly great band. Along the way, we get scratching, wibbly funk synth, an easy-listening guitar solo, a faintly ‘old school Super Mario game’ riff, some strange kind of plinky percussive motif, a female exhortation to “roll the dice” and their usual, super-fun approach to videomaking.

We’re damned tempted to go the full five quails on this one but we don’t want to get too carried away just yet; let’s see what the album holds. Goodness knows it can’t come soon enough; Rocksucker has a summer that needs soundtracking.

(Checks album release date)

September?? Gah!

(Claws at the wall)

Ah, screw it. We rarely do this, but…

Rocksucker says: Five Quails out of Five!

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TV Girl – “She Smokes in Bed”

Everything that made us fall head over heels in love with their The Wild, The Innocent, The TV Shuffle mixtape is present and correct on this lead track from their new EP Lonely Women, along with a darker hue to the production and a whacking great heaving groove.

It’s a damned fine EP to boot: “Laura” is an adorably barmy shuffle, “My Girlfriend” an almost impossibly sweet ode to a depressed girlfriend, “Easier to Cry” like some early ’90s club hit cross-pollinated with a sophsiticated heartbreak ballad, and “Melanie” boasts perhaps this year’s greatest opening line in “Melanie, looks a lot like Stephanie / She looks a lot like Jane, who looks a lot like Amy / Who looks a lot like Emily”.

Top-notch summer playlist fodder from a band we look forward to hearing much more from.

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

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Washed Out – “It All Feels Right”

Ooh, bask in all those lovely colours and that gorgeous, shimmering psychedelia. Drape it over an agreeable loping groove, throw in some disorientingly effected vocals and synths, and it’s another triumph for the historic Sub Pop label.

From its opening swirl of harp to its closing swirl of chattering voices – bookended by swirls, how lovely – it’s a surefire mood-brightener. We shall have to investigate further.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Yo’True – “Pilot Light”

This is like some divine melting pot of Prince, ELO, Darwin Deez, Death Cab For Cutie, Stevie Wonder, of Montreal, The Stepkids and goodness knows what else. Heck, it damn well near defies description with its relentless deluge of good ideas. Sure shows us for the scepticism with which we greeted its opening bars. This is seriously refreshing stuff, even if it is a tad on the ‘smooth’ side.

So, who the hell are these guys? We intend to find out.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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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.