Friday, April 18, 2008

Popsongs


As the Greatest Pop Song Of The Year So Far, a giddy, summery fairground ride round pop’s candyfloss stands, came out in January, we can all be forgiven for overlooking Big Umbrella by Kings Have Long Arms (featuring Candie Payne).

Big Umbrella has the instant pop quality of The Lightning Seeds’ Pure, the effortless, horn-drenched reverie of The Pale Fountains’ Thank You and the brutal wistfulness of Pulp back in the days when they were, you know, a different class.

There’s a video, which is, naturally, ace.

Can’t think where they got the idea basing a summer pop song on an umbrella motif, though. It’ll never work....

The b-side’s rubbish and they have no other good songs, but in Swan Lake Thomas Tantrum have made a glorious single that takes the ramshackle drive of The Cure’s Just Like Heaven and steers it towards snarling buzzsaw punk. Oddly – marvellously – the quiet bit in the song sounds exactly like Go For Gold! by Girls At Our Best!. The singer you suspect wants to sound like Kate Bush but – gloriously – sounds like Clare Grogan. So what if they never make another song this good. I doubt if they will. I’ll have forgotten about them by next week and something else shiny and new will have seduced me by then. That’s pop music, and Swan Lake is a great pop song.

2 comments:

Simon said...

Great call on the Big Umbrella tune...love the brass line, and Candie has a great voice. I'd wondered where she had gotten to...

jonathan said...

Only one good song! I make "Swan Lake" the third amazing single in a row by Thomas Tantrum. They're ace.