Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore the various individual mp3s that have landed in our inbox over the previous few weeks. We’ve gathered together another strong selection this time around, ranging from solid sounding electronica, to a drum loop oriented take on dream pop, to a brilliant piece of retro rock, and more besides. We hope, as always, you’ll find something new to enjoy!


The Pull of Autumn’s ‘I Was Just Dreaming’ – the first track to emerge from their fifth album ‘Memory Tree – comes with a pleasingly live sound. Its mix of mechanical beats and more organic acoustic work gives the song an interesting contrast, and it’s great to hear the sound of fingers sliding on frets on the kind of arrangement where such things wouldn’t normally be present. Ensuring the disparate sounds sit together more naturally, a mournful vocal is applied, and its semi crooned, rather sad tones are perfect for the job in hand, whilst a repetitive hook makes what could have been a slight melody become more infectious. This aims to make the listener think – or maybe withdraw further into their own world – rather than uplift, but the results are quite lovely.

In terms of cover versions, here’s something unexpected from Gagarin. He’s taken the Nico deep cut ‘Saeta’ and boosted its core in a way that makes the track feel like a timeless slab of electronica. The original cut had a simple and repetitive riff that gave it a great pulse, but the flat vocal and accompanying dream pop inspired guitars gave the recording more of an almost gothy quality. By removing the vocal and increasing the beat – but never the tempo – Gagarin’s recording takes on more of an electronica vibe, whilst retaining the original melody. By also removing the vocal, it allows the listener to be further absorbed by the repetitious groove that’s set in place following a brilliant ambient intro. By the time the beats increase and sound like a cross between one of Orbital’s more accessible melodies and a Future Sound of London remix, this actually eclipses the original cut.

Taking a sidestep from their usual guitar driven Arctic Monkeys influenced sounds, ‘Lights Go Down’ finds Merseyside’s The K’s in more of a sedate mood. Despite centring around a hugely melodic piano riff, the indie-centric power ballad still finds plenty of room for an accompanying guitar which adds some great soaring moments, but the track’s great power comes via a very natural vocal where Jamie Boyle shares a very broad performance, and his tones – whilst still retaining an unashamedly British twang – display far more melody than before. There’s a massive feeling of familiarity here; at the point where a perfectly formed guitar solo hits, older listeners might be reminded of a couple of legendary Faces ballads, but at the same time, this whole track feels pleasingly timeless.

Loaded with very natural harmonies and sharp edged riffs, ‘Something To Live For’ by Typhoid Rosie has more than a trace of influence of the best indie punk sounds of the 90s, and also from the noisier end of the Slade/Kolderie productions from Boston’s Fort Apache studios. Naturally, beneath the nostalgic sheen, you’ll find a great track that stands up well in the present, thanks to a taut riff, a ridiculously catchy melody and a sense of genuine drive applied throughout. Although stylistically different, this is probably the best song about canine trauma since PFR shared ‘Goldie’s Last Day’ almost three decades earlier. A brilliantly trashy track!

‘Fade’ by Jessica Wilde is a superb soul/pop crossover. It comes with the swagger of the more commercial end of early 90s new jack swing sounds, and yet it has a more retro feel within the vocal which blends elements of 70s soul and contemporary pop in a way that really sells the performer’s talents. Aided by some solid beats, a busy backing vocal and a chorus that sneaks up on the listener a little later on, it’s a single that feels very commercial in the best possible way. By dispensing with the dirtier grooves and rap-based elements of her previous track ‘Freak Out’, it’s certainly far more melodic and more accessible, making it more deserving of a wider audience.

With a massively overdriven riff and garage rock heart, there’s something at the core of ‘Ivy’ by Luna Kiss that captures the mood of Royal Blood…but with guitars. To write the track off so simply would do it a massive disservice, of course, since this not only has far more melody, but also a whole world of other great stuff spilling forth from a brilliant arrangement. Between a bright sounding lead guitar applied between a strong vocal and a huge chorus hook, it really sells itself, but by utilising some great stops and a strange carny-like interlude, this song also avoids being too predictable. Overall, this is a superb single that’ll catch the ear of fans and new listeners with ease. No matter what some of the supposedly “cool” websites insist on telling you, guitar based bands aren’t dying out, and this – along with Vendetta Love, The Black Vultures and others – provides solid proof.

Bristol’s Emily Magpie mixes dream pop vibes with light indie sounds throughout her brilliant ‘What’s Eating You’. With its hard beats and strident bass work, it instantly comes with a very rhythmic core, but this is boosted further by the use of incessant percussion which keeps the track feeling very busy despite Magpie’s rather lax vocal. Her contrast with the music is what makes it really work, however, and it’s great to hear an obviously dream pop inspired performance that doesn’t just rely on the usual tried and tested sounds or obvious influences. A few plays also uncovers a vocal hook that really sticks. Overall, ‘What’s Eating You’ is an alt-pop gem that deserves to attract greater attention.

Released earlier in ’24, Tuk Smith’s ‘Take The Long Way’ made an early bid for one of the year’s catchiest singles. ‘Glorybound’ takes on a similarly anthemic mantle with its simple hook and unashamed love of 80s glam/trash tones, and gives fans another track where Smith’s very retro vocal approach melds perfectly with a wall of ringing guitars and crashing rhythms. In the world of his band The Restless Hearts, it sometimes sounds like the early 90s never happened; but, as before, Smith’s ability to make such a retro sound feel relevant in the present comes through in massive waves. The sharpness of the riffs here is impressive; the punchy production, equally so. And Smith’s vocals? That Bret Michaels inflected sneer just never gets old. Overall, the whole sounds so much better than the sum of the parts, and for those who still love those albums like Warrant’s ‘Dog Eat Dog’ and Skid Row’s ‘Slave To The Grind’ where the big haired sound toughened up, this track will be another certified banger.

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April 2024