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Single reviews: August 2012

We've listed singles/EPs/demos in order of star rating. Best first.

Reviews by Pete Whalley


The future looks bright for former Brit School student Kimberley Anne.

Following a debut EP produced buy Julian Simmons (Ed Sheeran, Guillemots) and a nine month sabbatical during which she decided to 'go back to basics', her new five track ep is garnering comparison with Tracy Chapman.

Those comparisons are well deserved and the self produced EP, recorded at home with her guitar and percussive effects courtesy of an Ikea £5 table (if I hadn't read the PR blurb I would have thought one of my car indicators had gone faulty) is a model in clarity and vocal recording.

But it's the material and delivery that lifts Kimberley Anne above her contemporaries. With a style not altogether dissimilar to Sheeran and with that peculiar stilted vocal phasing that's in vogue (breaking up words and adding capital letters - so, for example, Princess becomes Prin-cess-S, 'say' becomes 'say-A', and 'fire' becomes 'fi-ire') she's going to appeal to the youth market. But there's also a depth that's going to give her far wider mainstream appeal.

More power to her alphabet. ****½

Review by Pete Whalley

CRYBABY We're Supposed To Be In Love EP

The third single taken from Crybaby's acclaimed debut album includes a new track Water To Wine, a cover of Daniel Johnston's True Love Will Find You In The End, and a version of Gloomy Sunday, a song originally made famous by Billie Holiday in 1933.

The collective makes this ep a 'must have' for fans and one that sees Crybaby displaying some of their biggest influences - the Big O, and Morrisey - proudly. There's also a more than passing resemblance to Richard Hawley (or vice versa).

Crybaby (Bristol songsmith Danny Coughlan, and friends) will head out on their first tour this September. Destined to attract a cult following, and one to watch. ***½

Review by Pete Whalley


The debut EP from Peterborough based 'high tempo melodic rock crew' White Clouds & Gunfire is a strange brew.

With praise from the likes of Kerrang! and plenty of touring under their collective belts, the line up of Eveline Verdegaal on vocals, Lewis Fountain and Rob Woods on drums and bass, and Jake Matthews and Ben Scarr on guitars, produce a high energy punk meets pop, meets indie NME sound.

But the strangest of all are the Eveline's weirdly pitched vocals which have either been tweaked or she has a bloodline that somehow connects back to Alvin And The Chipmunks.

But as a four song, 14 minute, 'good time' blast that is the perfect antidote to a damp summer, Zero To Hero should have festival goers pogo-ing in delight. 'Of it's time' it's a fun packed ride that gives instant gratification but perhaps isn't destined, or designed, for longevity. ***

Review by Pete Whalley


Ruarri Joseph may not be a singer songwriter you're immediately familiar with, but he's had three critically acclaimed and well received albums - his 2007 debut Tales Of Grime and Grit, Both Sides Of The Coin (2009), and Shoulder To The Wheel(2010).

Bother, his fourth - and one inspired by the loss of a close friend in 2010 - is preceded by the free download single Anyway (

Inspired by Dylan and with a more than passing resemblance in style to the likes of Clapton, Ray La Montagne, and Damian Gray, Ruarri will be on tour in support of the release throughout October. A quality singer songwriter. ***

Review by Pete Whalley


The buzz created by her 1st single Heartbeats featuring on the film soundtrack of American Pie: Book Of Love has provided a platform for the launch of Ortnerís solo career.

The four tracks on this EP showcase a quirky singer songwriter that sits on the cusp of pop and serious song writing, in the same way as Pink and Paloma Faith.

Itís catchy affair but itís hard to judge whether itís going to be strong enough catch the publicís imagination. Itís a jungle out there and I suspect Ortner may struggle to establish a place in the record buying publicís heart. **1/2

Review by Pete Whalley


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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