Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore some of the individual MP3s that have landed in our inbox over the previous few weeks. In this instalment, we bring you another fine selection, ranging from retro sounds to punk to singer-songwriter fare and even a little rap. As always, the Singles Bar has been a great place to share things a little out of our usual remit, but also celebrate a few upcoming releases from the kind of bands people might expect to see featured at our site. This twelfth Singles Bar is one of our most varied to date, but hopefully people will still find plenty of new music to enjoy, and follow up a couple of the featured artists.


The artist formally known as Nick Murphy, Murphnick opts for a hazy 60s feel on his ‘Double Agent’, a tune where busy basslines subtly dance over a mid tempo rhythm. By not aiming for the immediate, the song weaves an almost dream-like layer of pop on a verse where a gentle vocal meets a twangy guitar, before a slightly more optimistic chorus pulls a melodic heart from various cult sounds of ’67. Like An Australian Matthew Sweet, Murphnick is guaranteed to win the affections of retro lovers everywhere.

The current single from Judo Chop! celebrates a hard edged crossover punk sound. It doesn’t take long after hitting the play button on ‘Conquer’ before the huge guitar sound brings forth welcome memories of melodic hardcore/skate bands like Strike Anywhere and Chaser, and the concession to melodic harmony vocals celebrates the great 90s sounds of No Use For A Name. The core sound might be familiar, but this band serve their punk with a real energy, and the addition of a slightly gruffer rock infused vocal further makes the track accessible. This is great, and should give fans of the style another band to look out for in the future.

Muck And The Mires have already made their mark with a very retro sound on several albums and singles, but ‘Cool Imposter’ ranks among their catchiest tunes to date. Armed with a very retro guitar sound that borrows from the Merseybeat movement then amps the volume and a hard power pop bassline, the track comes with solid groundings, but its real infectiousness hits via a repetitive chorus, which the band sells with gusto. As with previous Mucky fare, it’s a little ragged in places, but for retro rock-pop fans, its charm should be more than evident. Sometimes music should be about fun, and that’s certainly the focus here.

On a couple of her earlier singles, Scottish singer-songwriter Mads Sayce presented herself in a shiny pop mould. Beneath the sheen and the soft dance rhythms, however, it was always possible to hear a more mature voice keen to break out. ‘Why You Cry’ revisits the jazzier tones of her 2021 track ‘Green Pen Guy’ and improves upon them, adding a further layer of jazzy sophistication when soft trip hop-ish beats underscore a smoky vocal. There’s still an undertone of youth, but this blend of jazz and pop really brings out the very best from a voice on the rise.

On another of this week’s lighter tracks, there are three part harmonies galore on Good Lovelies’ ‘Find Our Way Home’. The trio waste no time in sharing a world of floaty vocals and smooth melodies, and although its ultimately those voices that are the track’s big selling point, the single’s minimalist arrangement – driven by an understated upright bass and gently brushed drums on a waltzing time signature – adds a jazz-tinged element to a soft country-folk tune. Some listeners might hear past echoes of Shawn Colvin and Lucy Kaplansky here, but that’s rarely a bad thing…

Here’s some great metal with an alternative slant. The jagged approach to lead vocals on Waterlines’ ‘Anti Human’ are a strong call back to early Disturbed tracks, but the UK based metalcore band adds more of a distinctive twist to their metalcore sound. A layer of deep electronica via some mechanical synths gives the number a quirky melody during the verse, and a massive hardcore breakdown in the middle of an already superb track reinforces a brilliant, heavy chug. The real heart, though, comes from a chorus that isn’t shy in sharing a very strong melody and clean vocals, helping to make something aggressive more accessible.

Rap based material has never had a massive presence at Real Gone, but we know what we like, and this current single from Nealo & Jehnovah comes as a welcome surprise. By mixing a busy vocal with a very melodic backdrop, it’s immediately a much more interesting listen than most. The track’s combination of positive lyric and jazz oriented tune owes more to the 90s vibes of Tricky than a lot of the genre’s aggressive traits going forward, and the mix of groove laden beats and saxophones really holds onto a melodic core that’s unexpected, occasionally reminiscent of artists like Maxwell. They’ve also made the number sound even fuller with the help of a soul inflected chorus, which might pull in a few other people who are often on the fence when it comes to rap.

From the moment ‘Cut Ties’ opens with a bendy bassline and post-punk groove, melodic punks Pure Trash are set to get your attention. The rhythm of their current single is almost arty in its own way, but they’ve not used that in any way to create style over substance. As the track gains momentum with a full compliment of grubby riffs and retro leads, their punk rock sound has plenty of muscle. With a few muted chords and a huge chorus thrown in, this very British sounding track has an almost timeless sound. A very gruff vocal might split opinion, but there’s plenty here that suggests a more than solid set up, and a band who genuinely knows their way, fuss free, around a great hook or two.

August 2023


Do you have a new or recent track you think would suit the Singles Bar? We’re always on the lookout for new submissions to keep this popular feature rolling from week to week, so please get in touch via the contact form on the home page, or drop by our Twitter/X account @realgonerocks. We’d love to hear from you.

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