Singles Reviews

Primal Scream -‘2013’

The new single, ‘2013’ from alternative rock band Primal Scream, has already been described by NME as “maybe the most important song of the century”. It is a brilliant piece of music.

It starts with unsettling keyboards which lead into raw, grinding guitars and a saxophone melody, which I cannot seem to get out of my head. The lyrics do not pull any punches: they seem to make bold statements about the society we live in, calling for a revolution, speaking of a “peasant underclass” and “Thatcher’s children”.

Primal Scream are certainly not being discrete about their political stance. There are two versions of different lengths. One is accompanied by a very harrowing video. My only qualms with this track involve an over-use of reverb. I look forward to hearing the album. MICHAEL COOPER

Yeah Yeah Yeahs -‘Sacrilege’

Characteristic of the YYYs, ‘Sacrilege’ begins serenely, with plucked strings overlaid by Karen O’s ethereal vocals. Brian Chase’s irresistible drum rhythm drives Nick Zinner’s signature guitar work – simple, without a note wasted.

O’s vocals rise and fall between quavering high notes and strident punk-rock shouts, and halfway through the song, seemingly out of nowhere and hitherto unknown to the YYY’s musical arsenal, bursts forth thunderous, backing vocals. “Sacrilege! Sacrilege! Sac-ri-lege!” they chant, providing a resonant backdrop that O’s vocals counterpoint violently and brilliantly, and as it reaches its crescendo, the song is a glorious, post-punk prayer.

If this is a taste of what is to come from the YYY’s forthcoming album, it is safe to say fans will not be disappointed. PHILIP WATSON

Balthazar – ‘Do Not Claim Them Anymore’

Balthazar’s ‘Do Not Claim Them Anymore’ is a weird song. From the funky rhythmic opening that demands headbopping along to, it immediately undermines your expectations with its drawling Arcade Fire-esque vocals. Just as you’ve got used to that dissonance, they hit you with what sounds like a panpipe solo and haunting rising harmonies.

It all blends together to create an eclectic song that is somehow simultaneously relaxing and energising. You can imagine it as the soundtrack to a TV show for the post-Skins generation, where instead of dropping pills, binge drinking and domestic problems, effortlessly cool teenagers do wholesome activities in the great outdoors.

It’s a gloriously original bite of musical joy, give it a listen, it just might be a foundational song within your summer soundtrack.