Janelle Monáe Janelle Monáe… Dominant

The best of this week’s singles: Janelle Monáe, Goodie Mob, Gabriella Cilmi and more!

Published on September 3rd, 2013 | Jonny Abrams

This week’s singles are bursting with intense flavours, luscious textures and fortifying minerals.

The best of ’em turned out to be many, if indeed that makes any sense…

Kiran Leonard – “Dear Lincoln”

Early of Montreal with more of a restless mania channelled into its eccentricity.

Touches of Ariel Pink and Deerhoof about it too, perhaps. This’ll never be a hit in a million years but that’s more an indictment on planet Earth than Kiran Leonard.

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

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Gabriella Cilmi – “The Sting”

Erm…surprisingly decent, this. Very decent, in fact, both musically and lyrically.

Surprisingly insomuch as we saw the glamorous-looking name, heard the initial ‘sass’ and thought we were in for another of the production line talent vacuums we have to put up with every week.

But no – compelling husk of a voice, sultry jangle of guitar, heaving shuffle of a beat, lyrical hooks like “if the Devil were a woman, maybe she’d understand me”…it’s all really good stuff.

You might say that “The Sting” took the sting out of us.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Grass House – “I Was a Streetlight”

Like some magnificent, brightly lit melting pot of Pulp, The Velvet Underground, Arcade Fire and probably much more besides.

Mysterious, multi-faceted, meandering, mellifluous and all sorts of marvellous things beginning with ‘m’. Mmmm, basically.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Summer Camp – “Fresh”

Seriously swoonsome disco-pop wrapped in an exquisite string sample and a simple yet sophisticated melodic progression.

Sssssplendid sssstuff!

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Scotti Brains – “Keep Your Eyes Open Boy”

When pastoral jangle-pop meets explosive post-rock, it turns out that rather nice things happen.

Takes a while to get going, this one, but it’s worth persisting with. We never thought we’d say this, but try to imagine Yo La Tengo meets Mogwai.

Spreads out into a warm, buzzing sensory immersion, rewarding patience with gradually more alien sounds and unexpected twists, racking up the quails as it goes.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Lost Midas feat. Taylor O’Donnell – “Love Undone”

Dreamy, technicolour electronica with, ooh, such delicious rattly bits in its gently heaving rhythm section. Like a more blissed-out Mount Kimbie, a more laid-back Flying Lotus…lovely stuff like that. So very lovely.

The Memory Flux EP that plays host to this should, we dare say, be worth investigating.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Goodie Mob feat. Janelle Monáe – “Special Education”

Yowsers – this is a madness!

With a beat that keeps ‘buzzing in’ like some pulverising, electrifying game show contestant and a procession of stellar verses, “Special Education” confirms itself as curriculum-worthy with Monáe’s divine contrast of a chorus.

What a great rapping voice Cee Lo Green has got, too. Hands up, we didn’t know that about him.

This is bursting with character, colour, originality and skill from everyone on it. Top, top stuff.

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

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Janelle Monáe – “Dance Apocalyptic”

How could this be as good as “Special Education”? Surely not two barnstorming singles in one week for Monáe?

Well **** our old boots, it’s every bit as good, even better perhaps…for, in terms of song and video, this is one of the funnest, most exuberant and downright life-affirming single packages since “Hey Ya!”.

If this isn’t a major hit then it’s time to give up on the music industry, and people’s tastes, completely. Single of the week.

Rocksucker says: Five Quails out of Five!

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Those were the best of this week’s singles. 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.