"I had one music-geek qualm..."
Du Blonde

Du Blonde launched her debut album 'Welcome Back To Milk' earlier this year, a vivid, creative and often challenging return from the artist once styled Beth Jeans Houghton.

Out now on Mute, the record has been supported by some spectacular live shows, with Beth proving to be just as magnetic as always.

Closing the year in some style, Du Blonde is set to play London's Village Underground on February 24th.

The project's biggest show to date, Clash decided this was a suitable moment to hand Du Blonde the keys to our Singles Column.

- - -

- - -

Ariana Grande - 'Focus'

I love me some Ariana Grande. Like a chain store cappuccino she comes in a warm, fuzzy, consistent package with just enough of a kick to wake you up without giving you anxiety or diarrhoea. However, ‘Focus’ seems a little boring compared to such offerings as ‘Problem’ with it’s memorable horn section and catchy chorus. It feels like something someone swept up off the cutting room floor and accidentally filed as an album track. Which is a shame because I always felt like Grande was one of the more interesting pop bae’s of the moment.

- - -

Jason Derulo - 'Cheyenne'

I like the ridiculous video. It’s a kind of mix between a watered down version of the video for ‘Closer’ by Nine Inch Nails and the best ‘burn pictures of your ex’ scenes from ‘The Craft’. I don’t have much to say about the song but there is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it guitar part at 1:41 that I really appreciated. The song definitely has more creative substance than the Grande track but it’s not something I’d run out and buy. And by ‘run out and buy’ I mean use my fingers to press ‘buy’ on iTunes like I did with Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’. Because, Drake.

- - -

Fay Hield - 'Green Gravel'

Is Fay Hield a spoonerism? Starting a song with a bass groove with bends reminiscent of Serge Gainsbourg’s ‘Melody’ is always a good idea. I must say with an intro like that I was surprised by the trad-folk vocals, but genre cross-breeding is one of my favourite pursuits so props to Fay Hield for going in a direction other than the obvious. This is something Richard Dawson also does very well.

- - -

Soldiers Of Fortune - 'Campus Swagger'

Never having heard of Soldiers of Fortune I was tempted to do some research before reviewing this track but decided it would be more honest to review it based on the quality of the track and not on any band history I may learn about. Here are the notes I made while listening: Country, Rock, Velvet Underground. I had one music-geek qualm which was the vocal being set so far back in the mix. However in spite of this, it’s my favourite track of the group and represents my daily listening habits a lot better than the other songs.

- - -

Butterfly Child - 'Lost In These Machines'

First of all, I have to say I’ve never been a fan of the old U2-style epic sound-scape guitar sound. I like the "lost in these machines" line but the song in general lacks the melodic hooks or groove it usually takes to reign me in and want to listen again. It’s not bad, just not my cup of tea.

- - -

Otherkin - 'Love’s A Liability'

I like this track. I think it could have done with a little fleshing out and the production is quite small and restrained. It would have been good to go all-out with the dirty heavy sound. Like jumping into a lake without wanting to get wet. I like the breakdown in the middle though and it sounds like it could be a good thing to go and see live.

- - -

Catch Du Blonde at London's Village Underground on February 24th.

Buy Clash Magazine

-

Follow Clash: