Clean Bandit feat. Louisa Johnson – Tears
After almost a year out of the spotlight, Clean Bandit are back with the first single to be taken from their as-yet-untitled second studio LP, and have enlisted the help of most recent X Factor winner Louisa Johnson on guest vocals.
What’s most striking about ‘Tears’ is its structure. The track is multi-layered and a minute in, completely changes direction. Clean Bandit’s production is slick and innovative but it’s Johnson’s vocals that really take the limelight. It’s a resounding comeback that has every potential to be one of the songs of the summer.
A band’s second album is often dubbed their most difficult, especially if they’ve enjoyed success with the predecessor. It would appear, based on ‘Tears’ alone, that Clean Bandit look set to dispel this theory, as they have managed to evolve their sound effortlessly, whilst not losing complete track of their identity. With ‘Tears’ already a top ten hit and growing in airplay, it would appear that Clean Bandit have a very bright summer ahead.
Mumford & Sons feat. Babba Maii – There Will Be Time
Mumford & Sons are a funny one. Their first two albums drew widespread critical acclaim and even propelled the band to a headline Glastonbury slot, despite sounding extremely similar and at times mundane. It was last year’s ‘Wilder Mind’ album that grabbed my attention though, a breath of fresh air and an album that ditched the banjos in favour of a more guitar driven sound. Following a recent tour of South Africa, the band are gearing up to release new EP ‘Johannesburg’, and from it comes first single ‘There Will Be Time’.
‘There Will Be Time’ begins with Senegalese artist Babba Maii with an introduction that doesn’t sound too dissimilar to that of ‘Circle of Life’, before the distinctive vocals of Marcus Mumford take centre stage. The song builds before a rousing finale, a typical Mumford & Sons singalong chorus. Whilst ‘There Will Be Time’ is soulful and enjoyable and benefits well from its clear African influence (mainly thanks to its feature from Babba Maii), it’s far too reminiscent of the band’s early work for my liking.