Singles Round-up | Kyla La Grange, Wild Nothing, Dog Is Dead, Simone Felice, Athena

When Kyla La Grange last appeared in a singles round-up, she was compared – positively, it should be noted – with the likes of Bon Jovi of Bryan Adams for the grandstanding sound of ‘Heavy Stone’. Now she returns with ‘Vampire Smile’ and things are a little more intimate. From an echoing opening, this song unfurls over rasping horns as La Grange sings of a twisted love. The sound is still expansive but far from echoing the stadium giants of the 80s, this one sounds much more comfortable in a darkened room. Either way, its another fine song.

After recording their debut album Gemini in Jack Tatum’s home, the Wild Nothing are taking a step forward as they prepare for the follow-up with the band decamping into an actual recording studio. The first results are in with the delightfully lush ‘Nowhere’. It could hardly be further from the mood of ‘Vampire Smile’, being instead a bright, breezy track with which to usher in the spring, featuring the vocal talents of Twin Sisters’ Andrea Estella.

Listening to the Dog Is Dead’s ‘Two Devils’ it takes me a while to first get past the fact that Robert Milton’s opening vocal sounds so much like Noah & the Whale’s Charlie Fink. But the similarities between the bands largely end there. The Nottingham quintet have a fine knack for uplifting melodic pop which might not be far off NOTW’s debut but they have a darker strain that gives them a character of their own.

There are few albums on the immediate horizon that I’m more excited about than Simone Felice’s solo debut. The first taste, ‘New York Times’, is a typically beautiful, haunting song that takes me back to Yonder Is The Clock Felice Brothers. I might have taken this as a sign of things to come on the album were it not for the far different ‘You and I Belong’, which bears the hallmarks of his tie-up with Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett, so we’ll have to keep guessing for now.