We have a first in this week’s Heatseekers Chart – two songs sharing the No 1 spot. As you may know if you are a regular reader, the position songs take in the Heatseekers Chart is determined by my prediction of the peak position they will eventually reach in the main singles chart. You’d think I would be pretty good at making this prediction, but sometimes you would be surprised – ‘Through The Cellar Door’ for example never got beyond a peak of No 8 in the Heatseekers Chart and actually dropped to No 15 the week before it crossed over into the main Singles Chart. At this point I was predicting a Singles Chart peak of No 40 for it, rather than the 9 weeks at No 1 it actually achieved. I think to be fair that when I think a song is going to get to No 1, it often does. Two songs this week share the distinction of me predicting that they will reach No 1, and so they are sharing the top spot on the Heatseekers Chart as well. Avec Sans’ ‘All Of Time’ was on its own at the top last week, but the more you listen to Massive Attack’s ‘The Spoils’ the more you are drawn in by its orchestral beauty. Massive Attack have had two previous No 1’s in my chart with ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ (unsurprisingly) in 1991 and ‘Sly’ in 1995 – ‘The Spoils’ looks a solid bet to become their third chart topper.
Next up, let’s mention two songs which are going to be very major hits. I thought when I first heard Bat For Lashes’ should-have-won-the-Mercury-Music-Prize album ‘The Bride’ that ‘Joe’s Dream’ was the standout track. For the uninitiated (and given that I forgot to review ‘The Bride’ in this blog, you can be forgiven for that), the album is a concept work following the journey of a woman whose husband-to-be is killed in an accident on his way to their wedding. He had a premonition of this event, the aforementioned ‘Joe’s Dream’. It’s gorgeous and haunting. Natasha Khan has a beautiful voice, and the stripped back nature of many of the tracks on ‘The Bride’ showcases this to perfection. I’m really pleased that ‘Joe’s Dream’ has appeared as a single – it may well reach the top 10, something which neither of the two previous singles from ‘The Bride’, ‘In God’s House’ and ‘Sunday Love’ managed to achieve.
And then we have a song with a very difficult standard to live up to. ‘The Crawl’ is the third single from Lanterns on the Lake’s magnificent, majestic, outstanding album ‘Beings’. I should say immediately here that I suffer from the same bias when discussing Lanterns on the Lake as I do when I talk about Laurel, because they are my favourite band. I absolutely adore ‘Beings’ and the two singles taken from it so far, ‘Faultlines’ and ‘Through The Cellar Door’ both made No 1. I was keen to find a third single from the album but wasn’t quite sure which song would work best… ‘Stuck For An Outline’ seemed like one contender. ‘The Crawl’ is certainly an unusual single – gently paced and echoing, with lyrics that cut you to the bone. “Prize my ribs apart – and we can watch the blood drip dry” sings Hazel Wilde in that eerie, foreboding, slightly threatening style she shares with the Jezabels’ Hayley Mary. “I’m not the only one to have pieces gone” the song concludes. The imagery, the style, the atmosphere so unique to Lanterns on the Lake is all present and correct here, and the video is another thing of beauty. I am so happy that Lanterns are touring again this autumn: I know we’ve already seen them once this year, but frankly they are one of the only bands who I would go and see every single time they tour. We are going to see them in Cambridge this time because we are already tied up when they play in London (and you can ask Avec Sans why if you see them!)