Ft. Jessie Ware, Sam Smith and more...
Rene LaVice

Each week Clash runs a Single Column, inviting guest artists to take a gander at the week's releases.

Rene LaVice is a Canadian producer, part of the North American drum 'n' bass scene. Coming of age in clubs in his native Canada, the beatsmith quickly developed a personal, individual style which has gradually translated to some vast spaces.

New track 'The Calling' is out now on RAM Records, with Rene LaVice taking his personal, individual style to our Singles Column.

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Jessie Ware - 'Champagne Kisses'

This track hovers in that sweet emotional realm that lies between riding the high of newfound love and a wicked coke comedown. It exists in the twinkling newborn daylight hours seen from sleepless eyes. Lyrically, Jessie sings us the bittersweet melody of a moment of love that exists in a space between feelings that 'dudes' like me often don't have the vocabulary to express.

Rest assured you can totally sink into the mixed emotions in this track and roll around in them like a big bed fully of fluffy pillows that taste like baleys, with the knowledge that you won't have the hangover that follows. For Jessie's sake I hope she stocked up on some paracetamol, and I hope she doesn't do this too often because her voice is like doves exploding in my ears. In a good way.

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Lonely The Brave - 'Victory Line'

There's often a big divide between people that do like emotional rock songs and people that don't. If you're one of the people that don't (often me) then just stop taking shit so literally, ok? Like, this dude is literally so in love with this chick he sees her as like some kind of godlike trophy at the end of a race. A race which involved a lot of danger and almost certain death.

I mean this dude is literally dying inside because he loves you so much and you're listening to this song like "duh, I don't get it, it makes no sense, it's dumb." What's you're problem? Just go with it, the goosebumps feel awesome. Even if you prefer "dat ignant shit" like me.

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MNEK - 'The Rhythm'

MNEK has one of those voices where I hear ten seconds of it and immediately stand up and yell out "yes!" and start clapping my hands. Then my flat mates get pissed off and I pretend I can't hear them shouting *turns up stereo*. What can I say, 'The Rhythm' is infectious to the core.

It's got that 'fun' vibe that 80s-90s rave music had with the sophistication of a dude who can actually sing in a silky well tuned voice, and production that sounds crisp with just enough clang to stay fly. It's a fun track, but don't get it twisted, this dude is serious. I fear what will happen when the rhythm does in fact, get to him. Actually, I don't fear it, I'm excited for it. Go on loose your mind! Count me in.

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Sam Smith - 'Lay Me Down'

Yeah yeah yeah, I know: Sam Smith. You say he's overplayed, he's all you ever hear about, he's everywhere. He bloody well should be, though! Forget when that Sam Smith song came on in the car instead of that Katie Perry song you wanted to hear. Sit in your room, shut the door, and put this on. That's what I did and it was like Sam's voice grabbed my head like a vice and electrocuted my spine. I also love piano, so the combination is pretty tough to beat.

Lyrics aside, there are very few people on this earth who can hush my emotions and then spark them to life in the same song. Sam's voice is a powerful instrument (lets call it The Force), and he totally respects The Force and uses it for good. He's like a vocal Jedi. Nah, he's more like a racecar driver. He takes the corners as they come, and just when you think you've pulled up along-side him, he slams on the gas pedal and leaves you in the dust like a true champ. So next time it comes on in the care while you're rolling through the hood with your G'd up homies, you just go ahead and turn it up and sing along, OK. In other words, Sam's a bod mon, innit.

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SOAK - 'Sea Creatures'

What's your problem? You a fish? Why you actin' all fishy? You sea creatures don't know what love is. An ex-girlfriend once said that to me so this song kinda resonates on a personal level with me. I get it though. Sometimes I walk through my thoughts, kicking aside my emotional baggage and I can't help but ask if I'm the only one around who knows how to love! Why do these strange sea creatures squander it? Then again maybe I'm one too... who knows, I'm too vapid to actually care. Or maybe too vapid not to... Who cares.

Don't be turned off by the initial sonic impression of this record which might be confused with super indy idiot rock that might fit as a DIY soundtrack for Amelie. There's actually some pretty coherent emotional insights in there that I for one, can relate to. The production is really great on this record too. Everything sounds super clear and deep, and the vocals shine like a star, leaving just enough space to fall into it like a sponge and soak it all up.

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'The Calling' is out now.

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