RGM Recommends – The top 5 latest single releases

Kids Love Surf – Faith

Dreamy and atmospheric, this track from newcomers Kids Love Surf is quite a fascinating listen. There’s a cloudy mix of synthesisers over an electronic dance beat but it’s genuinely catchy, with a vocal melody that I could hear in a vintage Moby track. Then come the overdriven guitars to lend it some crunch and you get a really interesting mix of genres.

I can imagine fans of more ambient dance enjoying this one but there’s a definite crossover into the indie/pop space. Having only started to release music together as a result of the first lockdown (remember that?!), we should hopefully start hearing much more from them.

Velvet Starlings – She Said (She Said)

Is this the lovechild of The Doors and Iggy Pop? Have I gone back in time? Maybe. All I know is: this is a great track. Velvet Starlings bring some manic energy to RGM in the form of an aggressive, sub-three minute rocket.

The fuzzy guitars and the vocal production in particular remind me of the Strokes in their heyday but this L.A-based group have delved even further back in time, into the ’60s and early ’70s and have returned triumphant, power chords and attitude in hand. The use of the Hammond organ gives it brownie points, too.

The Crooks – Better Days

Backed by the ever-reliable ‘This Feeling’, The Crooks have surprised me here. It’s an unexpectedly tender track that tugs at the heartstrings, helped along by the orchestral instrumentation, and swells until it becomes anthemic. There are clear DMA’s influences, which is never a bad thing, and the vocal performance is honest and cuts through the mix well.

Tipped as ones-to-watch last year, it is clear why. You can catch The Crooks on their UK tour throughout November and December 2021.

EMU – Like It Like That

A hard-hitting group from the depths of Middlesbrough, EMU have a slick modern sound that still retains that snarling bite found in classic punk. The lyrics are shoutable and memorable but their simplicity shouldn’t take away from the quality of the vocal performance. The actual vocal production’s a little harsh, maybe, but if you’re in the mood to stick it to the man then you won’t care.

It’s a rock & roll track stripped back to its purest form and would be best enjoyed in a sweaty venue with pints of Stella whizzing about. Great stuff.

The Tenters – Good Will

Peterborough’s feel-good indie rockers are back with a bouncing track apparently inspired by an iconic Matt Damon film (no prizes for guessing). It’s a real throwback to early-2000s Manic Street Preachers, with a catchy hook and tight instrumentation. Despite the slightly sombre lyrical content (It’s not your fault at all/You can’t help but be lonely), when listening it’s hard not to imagine the rest of the band with grins on their faces, it’s that kind of innocently upbeat.

It’s clear that The Tenters are just starting out on their journey but, with support already from BBC Introducing, they’re sure to be back with their brand of easy-listening indie bangers.