Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore the various individual tracks and mp3s that have landed in our inbox over the previous few weeks. Now thirty weeks old, the Singles Bar shows no sign of slowing down, or skimping on the variety. This week, we bring you a great singer songwriter, a couple of interesting electronica themed tracks, a couple of strong rockers, and more besides. As always, we hope you find something new to enjoy…


There’s a whole world of timeless pop rock vibes cutting through Sam Palladio’s brilliant ‘Something On My Mind’. The general tone harks back to 90s radio fare, but the sometimes laid back mood takes just as great an influence from 70s pop. There’s even more of a 70s approach in the way a grand chorus explodes from the quiet and, then, with the help of a very Beatle-esque middle eight, Sam creates something even more classic. The way the singer takes the elements and blends them into something more of his own – and something very coherent – results in some great pop for the present, and despite the track’s sometimes downbeat lyric, it’s a great listen all round.

A month on from the release of ‘Tune Out, Turn Off, Drop In’, The Noise Who Runs return with ‘Mars Attached’, presenting an even moodier sound than before. On this third single, the duo venture deeper into electronica, loading up the track with massive beats to drive a slow rhythm. Their contemporary sounding EDM is offset by a vocal and tone that’s very 80s/90s in its approach, with hints of goth and darkwave affecting the slow, almost dour melody. The slow tempo and equally slow vocal could’ve resulted in a track that wouldn’t immediately engage with the listener, but the use of a brilliantly repetitive hook and well placed counter vocal ensures that this becomes something of a dark electronic treat.

Following ‘Normalize’ and ‘To My Heart’, Mother Mother’s ‘The Matrix’ continues to build excitement for the band’s next album. The third single to be lifted from ‘Grief Chapter’ – due for release in February 2024 – shares an enormous sound where alt-rock guitars are placed against deep stabs of dirty synths, which creates a semi-industrial feel, but increases tension without drawing away from the band’s melodic core. The layered vocals are more of an indie/pop rock persuasion, but this collision of styles only heightens the exhilaration further, whilst an expletive laden chorus hook conveys frustration and angst in a pleasingly simple way. Never content with being pigeonholed, this track dances between alternative rock, darkwave and emo with ease and a relative glee. [Lyrical content makes this NSFW]

Not shy of a riff, Highwayves crank up the guitars throughout ‘Evie’, creating a massive twist on a 90s alternative sound. The single’s combination of crunch and melody is perfect for an equally big vocal, and although it might seem very familiar, that’s not to say that any of the elements sound like easy recycling. Between a huge chorus and layered instrumental break, the number has a huge presence, but with an undercurrent of wavering shoegaze guitars, it manages to rise above standard alternative rock fare, sharing a sound that has a huge potential.

By opening with a rumble of drums and swelling strings, ‘Sugar & Spice’ by Amber T immediately sells itself as being much bigger than your average pop track. With the help of a great rhythm and understated guitar flourishes, her huge, curling vocal reaches similarly epic heights when required, and the results are massively uplifting. There’s so much about the track that draws from the same well as the brilliant Lissie whilst sharing a strong pop rock DNA with the likes of Sam Fender, ensuring an easily radio friendly appeal and an immediately likeable sound. With Elton John already among her fans, it’s clear that Amber is on the road to even greater things…

There aren’t many bands who’d choose to open a single with a guitar part and woodwind sound that owe more to a spaghetti western theme than an easy rock/pop tune, but ‘This Path Through The Meadow’ by And Also The Trees isn’t your average single. It starts slowly and ominously, then ambles through four minutes in a similarly dark manner, its music creating haunting atmospheres whilst a crooned vocal adds swathes of Nick Cave-esque darkness to its already slight sonic palate.
Like the very best Tindersticks, or something from Johnny Cash’s late resurgence, it all works brilliantly, of course – and when almost carny-esque accompaniments swell to create a climax at the track’s mid point and end, it only makes the track sound even more epic.

Contrasting a light jazz piano and a heavy downtempo rhythm, Nina West’s ‘Trouble’ straddles different musical styles, but manages to work thanks to a very emotive vocal. The lyric explores emotional red flags and troubled relationships on a pleasingly downbeat track, which allows West plenty of space to adopt a soul inflected/R&B croon. The music occasionally drifts a little too far towards the mechanical, but the moments of piano definitely help to keep things interesting. It’s definitely a number that will appeal to those who enjoy more modern pop, but listeners willing to keep an open mind might just discover someone with a talent for sharing a frank insight into human emotions and for exploring haunting electronica vibes in a very effective way.

Adult Leisure’s debut EP gained very positive support from a few key places, including the BBC and the Louder Than War website. Their second release, 2023’s ‘Present State of Joy and Grief’, continues a very melodic streak, and none more so than on the single ‘All For You’. Despite an abrasive opening suggesting a shoegaze mood, the track quickly slides into some very friendly indie rock where a new-wavish rhythm akin to ‘Synchronicity’ era Police meets with something of a Killers persuasion. This allows plenty of room for a solid drum part to push a great rhythm forward and a bright sounding guitar to add some very 80s textures. With the help of a Kings of Leon-esque vocal, the track also feels a little more contemporary, and its huge chorus sells a brilliant melody. It’s almost everything you’d want from a four minute slice of indie tinged pop-rock.

December 2023