Ft. Bryan Ferry, Erasure, Sam Smith + more...
Bear's Den

Each week Clash invites a guest act to offer their thoughts on the latest single releases.

This time round Bear's Den have agreed to hop into the hot seat. The London band are part of the Communion family, with their rootsy, gutsy take on Americana scooping all manner of acclaim.

New single 'Agape' will be released on April 6th, but ahead of this Clash invited the group to cast their gaze over the week's singles.

Catch Kevin Jones' thoughts below.

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Bryan Ferry - 'Driving Me Wild'

As I'm writing this review, I'm listening to 'One Note Samba' by Antonio Carlos Jobim, the revered Brazilian songwriter. It's a clever song which as the title suggests, comprises parts of the melody being based around one note.

I mean, it's got plenty of other notes in it - especially the bridge, which has all sorts of notes in it - and the verses are beautifully supported by delicate chord progressions that allow the 'one note' to sing out.

'Driving Me Wild' by Bryan Ferry shares some of the features of 'One Note Samba'. Well, one of them: the note. There's only one note. In the melody. Everything about this feels casually and hastily assembled, the transition into the bridges sound like a two minute copy and paste job. Musical flat-lining.

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Erasure - 'Sacred'

Has this song's release date accidentally been delayed by 20 years? Has someone at whichever record label decided this was appropriate for public consumption suddenly awoken out of a 2 decade long coma and pressed the big red button marked 'RELEASE' before running out into the street and screaming "WHAT YEAR IS IT???' to alarmed passers by?

This is song is the visual equivalent of staring at a puce wall from the age of 4 years old until retirement.

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Giorgio Moroder feat. Kylie Minogue - 'Right Here, Right Now'

Something that Bryan Ferry has in common with Giorgio Moroder is the resurgence in geriatric Daft Punk collaborators cashing in on the French duo's recent success in a last desperate bid to bump up their pensions.

This song from the Album '74 Is The New 24' (yup, you read it right) is a pastiche of the pastiche that is 'Random Access Memories' intertwined with Moroder's synth legacy to create a, er, cheese and onion pastiche?

Fortunately it features Kylie Minogue who always seems to surf the wave of credible pop music well, and it's hard to not feel some warmth towards Moroder given that 'Highway To The Danger Zone' by Kenny Loggins wouldn't be in existence without his involvement, but ultimately this is just wallpaper for winebars.

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MNEK - 'The Rhythm'

This song sounds like something that I would have to non-consensually endure whilst attempting to buy ill-fitting jeans at Topman.

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Sam Smith - 'Lay Me Down'

I really like Sam Smith, I'm generally speaking, happy that he is in existence. We recently covered 'Stay With Me' as a band and despite the obvious similarities between the song and a certain Tom Petty classic, I still think it's a well penned piece of pop music.

Sadly I feel like he's let the side down a bit here, mainly due to the over-indulgence of his ejaculatory vocal style on every part of the song. We know you can sing Sam, no need to over-egg it.

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Bear's Den are set to release new single 'Agape' on April 6th.

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