Gulp - "Play"

Now it's up to Pulp to release a single titled "Glay"

The best of this week’s singles: Gulp, of Montreal, Shy FX and more!

Published on July 30th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams

This week’s singles threw up some bloody lovely ones and some bloody horrible ones. Here are the bloody lovely ones…

Clean Bandit – “Dust Clears”

Listen to the solemn-looking beardy man. That’s what we think, at least until he dresses like a rabbi and starts ice skating; then we don’t know what to think.

Initial scepticism is soon swept away by the string section-assisted digi-Soca, which is a description we don’t expect to use again in a hurry. This is quite a peculiar package all in all, and for that we applaud it.

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

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Straw Bear – “Snobbery”

Threatens unbearable tweeness but throws in some brilliantly effective chord changes and lands in Belle and Sebastian territory.

Snobbery well and truly deactivated. Another victory for melody!

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

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Shy FX feat. Liam Bailey – “Soon Come”

Benevolently parping reggae that feels like a kind of sunshine you can drink.

Just lovely, not to mention nothing like what we were expecting.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Bridie Jackson & The Arbour – “Prolong”

Winners of Glastonbury’s most recent Emerging Talent Competition, this haunting chamber-folk-pop-thingymabob is all smothered in exquisite harmonies and a gently huffing string section, stopping and starting again with a majesty not always associated with something so soft.

Beautiful, although be warned: Black Sabbath it ain’t.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Kings of the City – “Grave Digger”

Imagine if Linkin Park had actually been really good, with proper rappers, proper riffs and very real senses of menace and dread.

There’s a psychedelic breakdown section too, further separating Kings of the City from the rock/rap animals. “Grave Digger” comes from their new double EP No Guts No Glory, which they’ve been kind enough to make available for free download. We daresay it’s worth checking out.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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of Montreal – “Fugitive Air”

We’d describe this as ‘back to basics’ if of Montreal hadn’t always been in a separate universe entirely to what constitutes the basics.

Certainly, the madness of Kevin Barnes appears to have subsided somewhat. That’s neither a good nor bad thing because, as “Fugitive Air” proves, the results are glorious either way.

Wonky slide guitar, rasping ‘bluesman’ vocal, and of course the usual black belt level melodies and lyricism: here we get all this, and more! of Montreal would have to try pretty damn hard not to be wonderful, so it’s with no little excitement that we await the release of parent album Lousy with Sylvianbriar.

On this evidence, it’ll sound a damn sight different to last year’s sprawling, electronic soundscape-infused therapy session Paralytic Stalks. The new Dismemberment Plan album is also soon upon us, so it’s set to be a great month or two for genius-pop.

At this stage “Fugitive Air” doesn’t feel like a cast iron of Montreal classic, but it’s a ray of lysergic, bittersweet sunshine nonetheless. Appetite whetted.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Gulp – “Play”

“We feel the real deal” declares Lindsey Leven in the sultriest of sultry voices, and – if you’ll forgive the verging-on-Yoda syntax – the real deal Gulp most certainly are.

Underpinned by the distinctive, sophisticated plinks of Super Furry Animals bassist Guto Pryce and gently swarmed in deliciously twinkly high-end synthery, “Play” is like some kind of space-pop Spaghetti Western, one that adds a pinch of Tropicália here, a dash of vintage Bond theme there and winds up as our single of the week.

Even better – and believe us, that’s going some – is the luxurious B-side “Hot Water”, in which Leven gets going with an airily blissed-out delivery of “Once in every while, I like to take a dip / You should see me smile just when I think of it”.

Not only does “Hot Water” manage to sound just like a submergence in sun-warmed waters, but you should see us smile when we listen to it. It’s like SFA circa Love Kraft but with a supremely honeyed female vocal as its focal point: wonderful, just wonderful.

We were already looking forward to Gulp’s debut album, now we’re champing at that there bit. Fall in love with it, fall in love to it, whatever: just get Gulp in your life.

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half 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.