Jeremy Williams-Chalmers, Arts Correspondent

Singles Of The Week: 15 May 2020

Music fans around the world are mourning the loss of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest. Having gone from strength to strength in recent years, the contest has once again started to really introduce an army of amazing new talent for fans to follow loyally. While there are many who feel Iceland would have romped to an easy victory (perhaps repeating the Bookies success at predicting both Salvador Sobral, Netta and Duncan Laurence), it would have been wonderful to see how they would have achieved it. Rather than lose ourselves in our sorrow over Eurovision, we have a whole host of new songs for you to enjoy in our singles of the week...

SINGLE OF THE WEEK: Eilís - Thank You Rating: 5/5

Northern Ireland's Eilís has built up quite a name for herself on her local scene. Having won numerous accolades and appeared at an array of festivals, her folk driven sound matches the ethereal quality of her rich vocal. While comparisons to some of Janet Devlin's folk-pop moments are possibly inevitable, Eilís proves on her new single Thank You that she is an artist destined for big things. Place her high on your to see list for post-lockdown as if this single is anything to judge on, this girl is going to be going places quickly. Wow. Simply wow.

LYR ft. Florence Pugh, Melt Yourself Down - Lockdown Rating: 4/5

LYR are releasing their debut album next month, but before they do they have teamed up with Florence Pugh and Melt Yourself Down for this charity single in aid of Refuge. Hauntingly riveting, this is very real and very moving. Perhaps the most powerful song you will hear this week, this month or even this year. More information about Refuge here.

Keir Gibson - Circles Rating: 5/5

19 year old Highlander Keir Gibson has made a big impression in the brief period since the release of his debut single last summer. Having already earned a champion in BBC Radio 1's Scott Mills, there is no doubt that he is destined to be one of the big names of coming years. With a vocal reminiscent of Bastille's Dan Smith meeting Coldplay's Chris Martin, his new single Circles takes it's lead from OneRepublic, but does not feel like it is taking its lead from anyone. Brilliant.

The Imbeciles - One Hand Tommy Rating: 2/5

The Imbeciles eponymous debut album was musical marmite. It is something you either get or you don't, and although their latest single is accompanied by an impressively surreal music video, One Hand Tommy is still something that leaves you a little confused. There is definitely something impressive about the group, but this wasn't necessarily the strongest song on a decent album.

The UMA - Wake Up Rating: 5/5

Pop rockers The UMA first unveiled Wake Up last year, when they proved themselves as the new good-looking 'boy-band' on the circuit. Having finally recorded a music video for the song, it has been unveiled as their official debut single. This is a firm bop with a real feel-good factor that will get your booty shaking and head swaying.

Roxen - Spune-mi Rating: 4/5

Romania's Roxen is still a relatively new name on the scene, but she made such a big impression on her home turf that she was internally selected for the Eurovision Song Contest with the audience selected Alcohol You. Her entry was strong, but would have been unlikely to win the contest. Her hypnotic new single, however, would have perhaps stolen a few more votes away from frontrunners Iceland and Bulgaria.

Ferris & Sylvester - Everyone Is Home Rating: 3.5/5

The lockdown single is becoming increasingly common, which means that the pressure to really deliver something special is now on. While Lara Fabian, Silbermond, Julia Kautz and Emma Gale have delivered some of our personal favourites to date, there is no denying there is real charm in the honest questioning and open thought process of folksters Ferris & Sylvester's Everyone Is Home. It may not be the most memorable of releases from the period, but it certainly is very pretty.

Duncan Laurence - Someone Else Rating: 5/5

Last year Duncan Laurence won the Eurovision Song Contest for The Netherlands with the stadium driven composition Arcade. As he releases his debut EP, Worlds On Fire, he releases one of the songs as the follow-up to December's Love Don't Hate It. With echoes of Troye Sivan and Harry Styles, this is a hooky little number that is definitely his finest release to date.

LANY - Good Guys Rating: 4/5

LANY have gone from strength to strength since their 2014 double A-side debut single Hot Lights / Walk Away. While they have shown on their albums that they are artists worthy of the hype they receive for their live shows, they are yet to have the hit single to propel them into the next phase of their career. Good Guys, the lead single from their third studio album, Mama's Boy, will do exactly that. With shades of early The 1975 and lauv, this is destined for radio domination.

The Devonns - Green Light Rating: 3/5

Chicago's The Devonns are building towards the release of their debut album and have looked to offer insight into their personal inspirations for their latest single Green Light. A cover of the Jamie Lidell song from 2008, Green Light  has a bigger sound than the original, but keeps the emotional core and feel-good uplift that made it such a strong song in the first place.

Hannah Grace - How True Is Our Love Rating: 3.5/5

Earlier this year Hannah Grace released the minimalist gem Wasted Love, which she has now followed up with How True Is Our Love. Premiered by Rylan on his BBC Radio 2 show, there is no denying that this is crafted for airplay but it lacks the heartfelt delivery of its predecessor. Nevertheless it is a jam that will get you moving uncontrollably. It may not be as impressive as what came before, but we are still on countdown for the album.

Moses Sumney - Bless Me Rating: 5/5

Moses Sumney is the new Jeff Buckley. He has the soulful tone, the ethereal compositions and the poignant lyrics. But Moses Sumney is not the new Jeff Buckley. He has proved time and again since his 2014 debut EP, Mid-City Island, that he is an artist unlike any other. Bless Me is blissful, beautiful and will move you in ways you would never anticipate.

Mahmood ft. Massimo Pericolo - Moonlight Popolare Rating: 4/5

Mahmood may have finished behind Duncan Laurence at 2019's Eurovision Song Contest, but his entry Soldi remains the highest streamed entry of the year. Having been propelled to a status where he can effortlessly sell out European tours, Mahmood has started to showcase songs from his upcoming second album. Moonlight Popolare builds on his instantly recognizable urban ghetto sound and continues his impressive track record.

Lea - Okay Rating: 4/5

Lea has gone from viral YouTube sensation to bona fide popstar over the last few years. Now a household name in Germany, she is appearing on the current series of Sing Meinen Song, where her stunning vocal is shining as bright as ever. Her latest single, Okay, may not be as instant as her last, the epic Treppenhaus, but it further builds excitement for her third studio album.

The 1975 - Guys Rating: 3/5

The 1975's new album has to date either seen very left-of-centre singles or those that hark back to classic tracks by the group. Guys does the latter. While lyrically it is a cleverly timed reveal, given that we are all longing for time with our friends, it is essentially a look back to their song Paris with a few extra twists and turns. While The 1975 never deliver a bad song, something bold and new, but with echoes of their past would be wonderful.

Kamara - Don't Call My Name Rating: 4/5

Born in Sierra Leone and raised in Bergen, Norway, Kamara is a rising name in Norway. Having already scored a hit with the demo version of her new single last year, the song has now been reworked and produced into a radio perfect gem. Kamara has a crisp vocal, which would see her filed next to Anjulie, while the playful beat draws comparisons to Seinabo Sey. She has been open about having big ambitions and there is little doubt she will achieve them.

Josh. - Wo Bist Du Rating: 5/5

Two years ago Austrian singer Josh. released one of the finest and funniest dance anthems ever. Cordula Grün was a stroke of genius, which saw him rewarded with huge radio play and chart success. His latest single is a taster of what is to follow after his impressive debut album, Von Mädchen und Farben. Wo Bist Du meets his usual high standards.

Alex Newell - Mama Told Me Rating: 5/5

Former Glee star Alex Newell recently joined the RuPaul Drag Race hall of fame as a winner on the Celebrity edition. While fans are now hungry to see more of Alex on an All Stars series, Alex returns to his recording career with frankly awesome Mama Told Me. With a Lizzo vibe and killer vocal, this deserves to be a huge hit.

Ane Brun - Song For Thrill and Tom Rating: 4/5

Ane Brun is an artist who breathes emotion into everything she sings. Having started sharing the stunning songs from her upcoming ninth studio album earlier this year, her latest single is a rather remarkable ballad which tells are very powerful story.

Brian Mackey - Keep The World Alive Rating: 3.5/5

New York based singer/songwriter is the latest artist to have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with an inspirational message. His words have heart and his voice conveys his sincerity, but the upbeat 'we're in this together' message is lost in the seriousness of the tone.

for KING & COUNTRY ft. Kirk Franklin and Tori Kelly - Together Rating: 5/5

Together is the euphoric anthem that is destined to be remembered long after the pandemic has passed. Recorded and filmed in isolation by Grammy Award winning sibling duo for KING & COUNTRY alongside Kirk Franklin and Tori Kelly, Together is not just a show of unity through this situation, but it echoes the need for togetherness through every tough time. 

Klára Vytisková ft. Lake Malawi - Gold Rating:4/5

Lake Malawi represented the Czech Republic last year at Eurovision with the irrepressible Friend of a Friend, while vocalist Albert Černý came close to representing Poland this year with the song Lucy. While he wouldn't have been on stage at the contest this week, his group are featured on the hypnotic Gold, which is a medal worthy release.

Tall Children - Why Should I Care Rating: 4/5

Tall Children is the pop pseudonym of Ben Hughes, who enjoyed his first sleeper hit with Prey last summer. His latest single Why Should I Care is Owl City for the new generation. Given how phenomenal an anthem Fireflies was, this is no bad thing. Why Should I Care may seem nonchalant, but that just adds to its appeal.

Lennon Stella ft. Charlie Puth - Summer Feelings Rating: 5/5

Bank Holiday weekend may have teased us into a false illusion that summer had arrived, but now that the temperatures have once again plummeted (by over 10 degrees!), we need a fresh summer anthem to perk us up. Thankfully Lennon Stella and Charlie Puth deliver exactly that on the aptly titled Summer Feelings. Surprisingly the huge contrast in their vocal styles works wonders. This is as close to pop perfection as you can get.

Chloé Caroline - Confetti Rating: 3/5

Los Angeles born, Nashville based singer/songwriter Chloé Caroline has the voice, but the song itself feels a little too predictable, especially following on from the stunning Forgive Me. It is well-constructed country-pop which lacks a unique bite. An artist with clear potential, finding the song that shows her unique identity as a performer would take her a long way, whereas Confetti is destined to sprinkle a short-term radio glory without the long-term impact.

Liza Anne - Bad Vacation Rating: 4/5

Nashville based Liza Anne first broke into the public consciousness when she released her sensationally insightful debut album, Fine But Dying, back in 2018. While she is still working hard on her sophomore record, she has revealed the revelatory Bad Vacation, which is incredibly addictive.

Achtabahn x Wincent Weiss - So Gut Rating: 5/5

Two years ago Achtabahn delivered a stonking remix of Wincent Weiss' An Wunder, now they have teamed up officially for this So Gut. As the title suggests it is really rather good. A dancier sound suits Wincent Weiss. Let's hope there are many more Achtabahn x Wincent Weiss singles!

Fade To Dark - Miracle Rating: 3/5

New York based Fade To Dark has taken their first steps to recording success. Their understated debut single Miracle showcases their strength as lyricists, but the production lets down what could have been glorious. Miracle is a strong song, it just doesn't quite pack the punch.

Kyanna - She Rating: 4/5

Kyanna is an independent artist from Sandwich, Kent. Having been heavily influenced as a young teenager by Amy Winehouse and Alicia Keys, she has used her time at home in lockdown to write and record her new single, She. An ode to female empowerment, She is more evocative of Martina Topley-Bird, Dido and Shelley Nelson than the aformentioned influences, but that is certainly not a bad thing.

Low Cut Connie - Private Lives Rating: 2.5/5

Low Cut Connie's Private Lives starts with so much promise. It has a gloriously shot music video with a strong narrative and the pulling beat of the song married with lead singer Adam Weiner's country-rock vocal. The issue is the song just doesn't go anywhere. As a listener you want to fall in love with it, and you very nearly do, but something just seems to be missing.

Imelda May - Home Rating: 4/5

Rockabilly icon Imelda May is at the top of her game, so rather than simply deliver another stunning album of heartfelt compositions, she has instead shaken up the formula and offered her audiences a new way to connect with her. Her forthcoming album is a collection of her poems, which is headed up by the questioning Home. As she explores the true meaning of love, she leads you into your own pondering towards all the warm, fuzzy means of a complex word.

The Jayhawks - This Forgotten Town Rating: 3.5/5

34 years have gone by since The Jayhawks released their debut album, and while there have been periods of hiatus during that time, they have managed to release ten studio albums to date. With their eleventh studio soon to be delivered, This Forgotten Town shows that the band are still able to deliver a very solid single.

Tamara & Robert - Svetot e Rating: 4/5

Tamara Todevska won the jury vote at Eurovision 2020 with the phenomenal Proud, and has since further showcased her versatility as a vocalist on the brilliant Monsters. For her latest single she has teamed up with Robert for the uplifting, up-tempo Svetot e. It further heightens her appeal and makes us crave the long-awaited album.

Chantel Jeffries ft. Shaylen - Come Back To Me Rating: 4.5/5

Chantel Jeffries is a DJ and producer who has steadily been building her name as a rising pop icon. Previous singles have seen her rewarded with chart success of the US Dance chart, but her latest release is the pop-tastic Come Back To Me, which should push it's way into the mainstream charts around the world. This is as singable as anything Ava Max, Bebe Rexha and Rita Ora have released recently.

DAY6 - Zombie Rating: 3.5/5

DAY6 have achieved a huge amount in the 5 years since they first formed. While their sound is usually a little bit punchier than their latest single Zombie, it offers their audience a moment to really appreciate the strength of their vocals as they explore mental health in a lyrically intelligent manner.

Jonas Brothers ft. KAROL G - X Rating: 5/5

Nobody anticipated the Jonas Brothers to come back as boldly as they have managed. While they were strong teen icons, their return as rather saucy adults has proved truly scrumptious. Their latest single X is pure fire.

ARK4AFRICA - It's Just A Memory Rating: 4/5

A couple of years ago Phathiswa Magangane auditioned for The Voice of South Africa, since then she has continued to build a name for herself as a voice over artist and talk show host. Returning to her musical passion in the name of a good cause, she is the striking voice delivering the Celine takes on Broadway ballad It's Just A Memory. It's powerful. To donate, click here.

Katy Perry - Daisies Rating: 4/5

Katy Perry's last studio album, 2017's Witness, started to take her sound into a new area of pop. A large portion of her fanbase resisted the change, despite the album boasting a fair few gems. Since then she has released some of her best singles, but they haven't made the cut for her upcoming studio album. Today she launches the record with its lead single, the dreamily resistant Daisies.

Will Callan - Waste Of You Rating: 5/5

16 year old Will Callan manages to tell an emotional tale of heartbreak and hurt with more emotional realness that many artists a decade his senior. This is effortlessly striking.

Alina - Bleiben für immer Rating: 5/5

Berlin based singer/songwriter Alina released her mesmeric debut album, Die Einzige, back in 2017. Since then she has released a couple of singles to tease where she is headed next. Her latest, a buoyant ode to friendship, will have you dancing in the supermarket aisles as you pine to be in a coffee shop with a close pal.