Wednesday, 31 May 2017

They'll Always Be Singles To Me


A free-streaming tune? A pre-release download? A lead track? Or perhaps, an instant gratification song? What does one properly call a radio-playlisted individual piece of music these days? I've seen all of the above used at one time or another. Of course oldsters like me still call them singles, even in the absence of a physical product, and I guess we always will. Here are three singles that I've been particularly digging in recent weeks.

'All Hail' by Pins is the brilliantly insistent follow up to the also brilliant 'Aggrophobe', a song famously graced by the vocal stylings of the mighty Iggy Pop.

 

Mac DeMarco's 'On the Level' boasts a beautifully woozy, retro vibe, not a million miles from Thundercat's recent, and equally gorgeous, 'Show You the Way'.

   

Nadine Shah's 'Out the Way' really has crept up on me. It's not necessarily what you'd immediately think of as being single material, but once this splendidly dramatic tune lodges itself in your brain, it's a mighty tough one to shift. Pete Wareham of Polar Bear and Melt Yourself Down provides the muscular brass riff.

 

12 comments:

TheRobster said...

I heard that Nadine Shah on Steve Lamacq's show last night. Caught me by surprise, not what I was expecting at all. I need to her it a couple more times to tell you what I think of it, but let's just say for now that it's 'intriguing'...

John Medd said...

Singles, EPs and albums. That's all there is. Surely?

Rol said...

"Impact tracks" is another one I've heard.

Love Pins. Not sure about Mac DeMarco. On the surface, he's doing all the right things to appeal to my record collection... but I bought his last album and found it boring. Nadine Shah sounds like PJ Harvey on this one.

The Swede said...

TheRobster. It wasn't an immediate one for me either, but it has reeled me in. I'm also an admirer of Pete Wareham, which helps.

John Medd. Those were simpler times.

Rol. Adding 'impact tracks' to the list. If you catch me saying any of those things, or describing a tune as 'dropping', please take me aside for a quick word.

Rol said...

I find if you drop a record, it breaks. I'm always eager to point that out to anyone in the younger generation who I hear using that term.

C said...

Thanks for introducing me to these three very different but strong (and in the case of Nadine Shah, quite disturbing) singles. Yes, singles - can't think of them as anything else apart from non-specific terms like track, song, release or tune. Definitely not 'impact track'!
As you and John say, back in the olden dayes, we just had our simple 'single', 'EP' and 'album'. Oh but then again we also had 7"s, 45s, 10"s, flexis, 12"s, picture-discs, LPs and maxi-singles...

Alyson said...

Watching Pins (which I enjoyed by the way) it reminded me of getting dressed up to go out and thinking we looked the bees knees. In retrospect we probably just looked silly but hey, when you're a young fashionista an' all that.

I still have my parents 78s which play on my little portable turntable. My loft is bursting at the seams with all the stuff I keep, but just can't get rid of any of it!

charity chic said...

Physical over digital every time
Something tangible you can physically hold and admire
Another product of the disposal and throwaway society

CC - age 55 and 3/4

Swiss Adam said...

I still call them singles even when the boundaries seem so blurred.

John Medd said...

I've said this before - but we saved up for them. We hopped on a bus into town and bought them. We then caught the next bus home and listened to them over and over. A sides and Bs. Until the grooves wore away. We had invested in them - both emotionally and financially. We were then linked, bonded if you will, to both the song and artist/group. Any talk then of singles being 'throwaway' would have been poo pood by me. Buying a single in 1973 was like having a tattoo. OK, maybe that's pushing it a bit, but you know what I mean. That's why every single single I ever bought between say 1972 and 1978/79 is hardwired into my soul. There, I've said it. Again.

The Swede said...

Rol. I'll write that down for later use too.

C. Good point! It could get complicated at times!

Alyson. If Mrs S hadn't been by my side to guide me, I'd still be sitting in my parents' house, surrounded by their stuff, not knowing what to do next. In the end I kept a few bits and pieces and dispatched a great deal. I still have several of Dads records for example, but the majority went to charity. I knew I couldn't keep everything, but if I could've, I would've.

CC. Ultimately it's all about the music, but yes, I prefer to have something physical to hold on to.

SA. Me too.

John Medd. I've used precisely the same example on many occasions. Except for the bit about the tattoo.

Brian said...

Singles. Always singles. Always a physical copy. When I got my first iPod I got caught up in the novelty of the download and bought some albums and singles on iTunes. I now own every one of them on vinyl or CD. Have to be able to see and hold it.

Greatest Hits