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. This time around, we bring you a very melodic number from a sometime Ministry collaborator, a complex one man show from a British prog musician, a quick hit of country, a near flawless slice of power pop, and more besides. As always, we hope you find something new to enjoy, or something that gives you the curiosity to dig a little deeper.


Chris Connelly is one of those musicians whom is the very definition of cult. He has dozens of releases to his name – solo, with his bands The Bells and Fini Tribe, but also as a collaborator with Ministry, Pigface and RevCo – but isn’t necessarily a household name. His new single, ‘Fini Chagall’ shares a very accessible sound which drives forth with a croon that’s lightly influenced by Bowie, whilst the semi-acoustic music itself never feels a million miles away from material found on Mark Lanegan’s first two solo albums. In keeping with past Connelly solo works, the track shares a strong narrative thread, but those who aren’t into the storytelling aspect can still be swept along on a timeless melody. Several decades into a career, it’s great to hear a musician still putting his heart into his work, and the flowing qualities of ‘Fini Chagall’ help to create a recording that could appeal to fans and new listeners alike.

Nadine Khouri’s ‘The Night Will Keep Us Warm’ is the very definition of “slow burner”. A single that values mood over hooks, it presents a quietly played, jazz toned guitar and a light drone during its first half, over which Khouri shares a perfectly pitched vocal that captures a late night mood. Although tonally different, there’s something about her presence and downbeat feel that occasionally captures the theatrics of a late 70s Marianne Faithfull, and even when the track branches out to include more guitar and a solid drum part, it’s the vocal that remains the main focus. With Khouri pulling in a slightly bluesier influence to compliment the guitar, the track really captures a genuinely great sense of atmosphere, and despite sounding quite similar to her ‘Broken Star’, it feels like an important addition to her catalogue.

The opening verse of Past Life Romeo’s ‘Drew A Heart’ is a little jarring with its minimalist drone and heavily autotuned vocal. It immediately throws the listener into a world where the band’s music has almost no human qualities. If you’re able to ride that out, the single blossoms into a catchy piece of indietronica where a flowing pop-ish melody weaves in and out of heavy beats, and a pleasingly catchy chorus rises from within a busy sound. The band’s crossover approach takes a little adjustment time on behalf of the listener, and although this doesn’t provide a hugely different approach to their previous single ‘Sometimes, Most Nights’, it appears more obvious that they know their way around a strong melody, even if that’s sometimes being masked by a very detached style.

An up and coming rock band from Aberdeen, French For Something share a pleasing rock-pop sound on ‘What’s Coming Next’. From the outset, the jangling rhythms juxtaposed with soaring lead guitar sounds share a very 90s feel, and as the track progresses, its retro moods never subside. There’s something within the overall atmosphere that broadly calls back to bands that moved in the same circles as Evan Dando and Buffalo Tom (circa 1995), whilst a more obviously Scottish vocal gives this band more of their own identity. As tracks go, this never aims to hit hard; it merely uses its melodic charm to slowly win over the listener, but with a couple of big musical hooks and a strong chorus where a counter vocal beefs up an already great idea, this is the kind of radio friendly tune that deserves to help a band with an un-Google-able name rise through the ranks.

With over a decade spent on the road, Jenny Don’t and The Spurs consider themselves stalwarts of the country scene. Unlike a lot of country acts circa 2024, however, they don’t especially champion a modern sound, or feel that their brand of country needs serving with too much of a new twist. ‘Pain In My Heart’ continues along a similar musical path to the band’s 2021 album ‘Fire On The Ridge’ in that it supplies a busy rhythm augmented by a good, honest twang, dressed in sharp production values. Occasionally offering a hint of something that sounds like Jenny Lewis going full country crossed with the spirit of Loretta Lynn, the track rattles along apace with a world of steel guitars and chugging basslines joined by a spirited lead vocal. In some ways, it’s that vocal which is the recording’s true star, since Ms. Don’t applies a great tone that carries the ghosts of the 1950s throughout. For fans of a trad style, this track promises a world of entertainment…and also good things for the album ahead.

A snapshot of their upcoming album ‘To Follow Polaris’, the appropriately named ‘The Single’ from much loved British proggers The Tangent laments a world where attention spans are short, some peoples’ social media experience represents an echo chamber, and explores how we need to take the moments that matter and make them last. Although it could be said that the idea that GB News offers people an alternative news outlet is laughable, the sneering tone of the lyric also suggests that multi-instrumentalist Andy Tillison isn’t endorsing their world-phobic views, and he’s actually commenting more on the way the media loves sensationalist sound-bites. Beneath the lyrics, a spirited melody gives parts of the track a very accessible feel, but Tillison isn’t about to sell his fans short, since ‘The Single’ also features various complex keyboard fills and busy bass parts that draw heavily from the 90s prog scene, and moments that feel decidedly Flower Kings-esque. It’s the kind of tune that’ll offer a different experience on each successive listen; something that aims to be more than an easily digested sugar hit, musically speaking, but it’s very obviously the kind of track that extant fans will love.

Championed by members of Biohazard, Manowar and the Pat Travers Band, US metal band Somebody’s Hero formed during the pandemic lockdown of 2020. It only takes a couple of bars before their ‘Broken Doll’ signifies the arrival something absolutely huge. The track’s vocals fall somewhere between a classic hardcore shout and metalcore rasp; the chugging guitar work owes a huge debt to ‘Vulgar’ era Pantera, and both elements combined set up Somebody’s Hero as a band to keep an eye on. If anything really sells this track, though, is the shift into something slightly more melodic for the chorus. Taking on board some extra harmonies and a vague hint of a post grunge melody, the big hook is more accessible without diluting the band’s sound. By bringing in something a little more traditional, this becomes the kind of track that should appeal to a broad range of metal fans.

Last up, here’s the return of a favourite band. The Shang Hi Los released one of the best albums of 2023, and have returned with an insanely catchy slice of power pop. ‘Op-Operator’ flaunts Cars-esque handclaps and keys against a muted guitar that borrows heavily from other new wave and power pop sounds from the early 80s. With a familiar melody in place, Dan Kopko adds a slightly scratchy vocal which is offset by a superb melody from Jen D’Angora. Between them, they create something that’s perfect for their style. Better still, there’s an incessant hook that runs throughout the number. The chorus line works the harmonies perfectly, and its stuttering lyric allows for an earworm that provides a cheeky twist on a tried and tested, wordless “bah-bah”. If you liked the Shangs before, you’ll love this. If you’ve missed the band previously, you’ll love this. It’s their best tune to date – and they likely know it.

April 2024