Caitlin Rose – Shanghai Cigarettes (Watch)
I don’t think I’ve ever written about a song that could be described as indie-country before on this blog, but there’s a first time for everything and Caitlin Rose undoubtedly deserves a mention. Shanghai Cigarettes has a really nice vibe about it – very cool but in a relaxed, unpretentious way, and the same can be said for Caitlin herself. While singers like Taylor Swift have made country music (including songs written by Caitlin’s mum, a well known country songwriter) that fits in on mainstream radio stations, Caitlin is bringing the country sound to another new audience, the ‘hip young things’ who buy their music from Rough Trade and idolise Zoeey Dechanel. Caitlin’s music would certainly be a good fit for the soundtrack of a kooky indie rom-com and since that’s one of my favourite kinds of film then that should definitely be takem as a compliment.
Sirens – Stilettos (Watch)
Observant pop fans may remember these Geordie girls for their top 50 ‘smash’ Baby (Off the Wall), but a little research tells me they’ve been continuously making music since then. They’re now back with a new look and sound which is very clearly influenced by Lady GaGa. Sirens are an interesting girlband as their music is edgy in a more genuine way than All Saints or the Sugababes ever were, yet the problem I think is that it doesn’t particularly fit into any other genre than pop so they don’t have that ‘we’re not pop, we’re…’ get out clause to excuse not having the success of your typical pop girlband. It’s a shame they’ve resorted to copying another artist to try to escape obscurity, but the song is still reasonably enjoyable on its own merits. If you have to copy someone you may as well make it someone amazing like Lady GaGa, after all.
Chapel Club – All The Eastern Girls (Watch)
I pride myself on being open to music of any genre but it’s been a long while since I’ve found a British indie song I really liked. The only reason I listened to Chapel Club’s new single was cos I’d confused them with the ace Irish group The Chalets, and although I quickly realised my mistake (the two bands don’t have much in common!) the song managed to capture my attention and I soon found myself quite enjoying it. Paul Lester compared Chapel Club to indie dullards Editors, but I think that’s quite unfair – singer Lewis’ deep voice and simple delivery reminds me of my beloved Jens Lekman, while the pounding beat of All The Eastern Girls makes this an indie song you can dance to – obviously the best kind of indie music.