Jason Gregory

20:12 15th June 2008

This weeks Singled Out! sees the return of The Strokes Julian Casablancas. Read that review and more now…

Julian Casablancas, Santogold, N.E.R.D– ‘My Drive Thru’

With the possibility of a new Strokes record looking more and more doubtful by the second, the thought that the world would never hear the voice of Julian Casablancas again was becoming a chilling possibility. Alas, however, don’t fear; Converse is here. Yes, Mr Casablancas’s step back into the spotlight comes thanks to his favorite shoemaker, NYC hipster Santogold, N.E.R.D and Pharrell Williams. It’s an awesome line up; it’s an awesome song. When speaking to Gigwise earlier this year, Santogold, sniggering, described ‘My Drive Thru’ as “such a Pharrell track”. She’s not wrong either. You wouldn’t have to listen to too much of his production on Madonna’s ‘Hard Candy’ to realise that Williams has absorbed much of that record on this song. The beat is repetitive, even a bit boring at times, but what saves it is the interaction of Santi White and Casablancas. They may have recorded their parts separately but you wouldn’t tell from the outcome. A must download.

Read what Santogold told Gigwise in full about the collaboration here.

Cage The Elephant – ‘Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked’

Never has a song about the relentlessness of life in the 21st century sounded as chilled or as mellow as ‘Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked’. Cage The Elephant’s lament about getting “nothing in this world for free” and “having mouths to feed” is the audible equivalent of sipping on a Sangria in the Deep South; the warbling guitars are mellow and tinny, while the song grooves thanks to a rattling percussion backdrop. If your life’s a busy one, stick this song on – just don’t pay attention to the lyrics.

Check out Gigwise’s breakdown of Cage The Elephants album here.

John Digweed – ‘Gridlock’ (Henry Saiz remix)

‘Gridlock’ originally surfaced last year, has been remixed with the intensity of every other song by John Digweed and is now, rather deservingly, getting a rebirth. It’s come back on rotation thanks to a superb remix by Henry Saiz, which absorbs all the progressiveness of Digweed’s original but simply revs it up. There are videos on YouTube of clubbers losing it sensationally when this song emerges from its haunting breakdown to unleash an unholy bassline. Don’t bother watching the videos though, go and experience it for yourself.

The Subways – ‘Alright’

Maybe it’s the heady mix of sun, sand and surf but why is it when a British band pack their bags to go and record with an American producer in Los Angeles they all come back with a first single that wouldn’t sound out of place on an episode of Saved By The Bell: The College Years. The latest group to fall victim to this phenomenon is The Subways. Thankfully, however, it’s actually done them a favour. ‘Alright’ is a great power-pop record thrashed out on guitars and, in the latter stages, a euphoric helping of piano. “It’ll be Alright,” sings Billy Lunn as the choruses progress and, you know what, you’ll probably end up believing him as well.

Read what The Subways told Gigwise about their new album here.

Gnarls Barkley – ‘Going On’

It was unexpected to read recently that Gnarls Barkley are already recording their third album; they have, after all spent much of 2008 cancelling and postponing shows in support of their second one. It was always going to be hard for them to top the success of ‘Crazy’, but, listen to the songs on their latest album ‘The Odd Couple’, and one can’t help but think that Cee-Lo Brown and Danger Mouse aren’t even trying to. ‘Going On’ is an enchanting listen; a conglomeration of evocative harmonies, rapid Motown drumbeats and deep gospel choruses emitted from the bottom of Brown’s soul. It won’t come close the success of that single but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve attention.

To read Gigwise’s review of ‘The Odd Couple’ click here.

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