Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore some of the individual mp3s that have appeared in our inbox over the past few weeks. As we approach the middle of 2024, the submissions haven’t slowed down. This week, we bring you a pop laden treat, a couple of melodic punkers, a really great jazz track, an absolutely gold standard offering from a great singer songwriter, and more besides. As always, we hope you find something new to enjoy. If you do, then why not drop by and tell us? We’d love to hear from you…


Rosalie James released the impressive ‘Girl I Was’ earlier in 2024, and potentially became the only singer-songwriter to name check Egon Spengler as part of a musical confession. ‘Soft Target’ is a little more upbeat and actually manages to be more impressive, but without drawing anything away from Rosalie’s lyrical approach. The lyrics retain her distinctive turn of phrase as she likens her boyfriend to a sedative, personal paranoia to a circling, and drops in an unexpected punchline about furniture. Musically, this is a real treat, as a wall of jangling guitars weave a rock-pop sound that harks back to the 90s, but still feels massively pleasing at the time of release, and – most importantly – is a perfect melodic counterpart to the vocalist’s distinctive tones which bristle throughout this really catchy piece. Its release may well come just six months in, but this has the potential to be this year’s best single.

US punks Chaser aren’t messing around on ‘Fault Lines’, a track taken from their current long player ‘Small Victories’. Sharing a muscular yet melodic approach, the song’s arrangement draws heavily from the 90s scene with a speed driven rhythm that’s easily comparable to classic Pennywise and the melodic skate chops of 98 Mute. In addition, a harmony filled chorus and enthused lead vocal offer a few obvious call backs to the much-missed No Use For A Name. The influences are obvious, but that doesn’t weaken the number in any way. In some ways, its familiarity is what makes this such an instant hit, and with some really tight musicianship on show throughout, this shows why Chaser are on of the greatest acts on the US scene at the time of this release.

By weaving a strong pop vocal into a world of synth sounds, Rebecca Lappa grabs the listener’s attention the moment ‘Underneath Me’ latches onto its core melody. As the single slowly builds, she begins to share a very soulful influence, whilst the lyrics drop into a very personal space where the song’s protagonist awaits the return of a loved one, and clearly hopes their arrival will make everything feel whole again. The performance is gently mournful but never feels overdone, and in a world of over-shone, autotuned pop, Rebecca offers something that feels pleasingly natural whilst retaining a very contemporary edge. With a world of steady beats and a great voice vying for dominance, this feels just a little slicker than the material on Lappa’s 2023 release ‘Tales of A Taurus’, but retains a very familiar voice. Fans will love this, and those who’ve yet to hear anything from this artist will discover a superb pop-fuelled treat.

Building towards the release of their ‘Midnight Garden’, Frenchy and The Punk have released the excellent ‘Like A Dream’ as a pre-album single, and for those already familiar with the duo, it’s a track that will not disappoint. From the outset, the heady beats and synth-like bass convey a very 80s feel, and once Samantha’s Siouxsie-like vocal comes into the musical frame, the retro feel of the track really blossoms. Her voice is certainly the main feature here, working some clear, high notes on a surprisingly sparse chorus, but Scott’s guitar work adds extra interest throughout with a world of reedy notes that are far more restrained than the genre would normally require. Despite the familiar elements, F&TP continue to put their own slant on a classic sound here, and by the time the track reaches its end with a combination of crying vocal and slightly crashier rhythm, it sounds like the next album will be a worthy successor to the well received ‘Zen Ghost’.

With its sweeping piano lines and jazzy bass, ‘Gry Maritha’ by Kelsey Michael channels material from Joni Mitchell’s ‘Court & Spark’ and ‘Hissing of Summer Lawns’ period, but with the help of a swooning melody and vocal choir, this single quickly takes on more of its own identity. Michael’s rich vocal joins a really great sounding tune, and although and the way her voice is used very much carries the melody (as you’d expect), it never dominates the track as a whole. The middle section gives way to some brilliant harp work capturing a dream-like quality, and an unexpected coda finds the band launching into a jazzier groove where the piano and bass come together in a way sounds like a welcome throwback to a McCoy Tyner recording. You might know Kelsey from her previous collaborations with The High Llamas, but this wholly collaborative affair between a great band and strong vocalist is in a whole different league.

Despite being promoted as a blend of emo and classic pop punk, the guitar sound that dominates Only Love’s ‘Downpour’ sometimes makes the track seem more like a throwback to ‘Black Market Music’ era Placebo. That, obviously, is not a bad thing. The pounding rhythms and overdriven guitar sound often take centre stage in a way that really suits an energised vocal, and that’ll be enough to attract the attention of a broad spectrum of alt-rock fans. The emo elements are here, too, of course: there’s an occasional scream to the vocal that cuts through everything with a real force, and a brattish chorus hook that is very much of the early noughties mould, which Only Love sell with a massive amount of enthusiasm. For those hoping for just a little more, a heavier breakdown calls back to the 90s style emo and fuzzy bass powers a moody final verse, making this feel like an especially full-blown four minutes.

British/Norwegian duo amilost offer pop with a rather busy quality on ‘Bloom’, a track that is “a bittersweet anthem to being single”. There are a lot of elements present with the three minutes that stand in line with the contemporary pop of 2024 – there’s a filtered vocal, a soul-ish undertone, and a big, layered chorus – but the way these pop-fuelled moments are underscored by an off-kilter UK garage rhythm makes the track also feel a little like an unexpected throwback to the late 90s. Either way, it’s very well put together, and the busier moments never stop Sigrid Zeiner’s vocal performance being the big draw here. The clattering drum loop won’t appeal to everyone, but the synthy bass sound and layers of keys put in enough hard yards to make this feel a little more grand.

The return of Mourning Noise back in 2022 was probably one of the more unexpected reunions, but the horror punks appear to making the most of their overdue comeback, and 2024’s ‘Screams/Dreams’ single offers a great blend of melodic punk and slightly gothic overtones. A mid tempo allows plenty of space for a huge vocal to croon, but the best moments are supplied by a strong harmony filled chorus that captures a late 80s rock vibe, but dresses it in slightly darker clothes. Despite not being hugely spiky, this is very much the kind of thing you’d expect ex-members of Danzig and Samhain to deliver, and although it isn’t especially flashy, it’s a number with a strong melodic heart which more than shows this long overdue return will not be wasted.

June 2024