Charlixcx Franchesckaar Single Orange Red Green Yellow August 18

The latest in a seemingly endless line of obnoxious teens queueing up to snarl heavily accented rants through MySpace, Charlixcx proudly announces on her website that she's nervously awaiting her GCSE results.

But with any luck she won't be needing them. The 15-year-old already has an album under her belt, recorded last year, which she planned to sell to school friends. But it was soon snapped up by Orange Red Green Yellow, and Franchesckaar is its first single.

It has echoes of a pre-Foundations Kate Nash - the same minimalist, vocal-heavy sound that made Caroline's A Victim an underground hit.

But Franchesckaar sounds like three songs in one, and as Charlixcx skips along, busily mocking her posh, Ugg boot-wearing, glossy-haired rival, she throws scratchy beats and electro-funk into the mix - polishing it off shrieking rave sirens.

An exciting debut that should see her jump right to the front of the queue.


Vampire Weekend Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa Single XL August 18 [2605][2605][2605][2605][2605]

Vampire Weekend can do no wrong. Three startlingly original singles and a massively successful album have paved the way to them being both painfully hip and critically adored.

This their fourth, and hopefully last, release from their eponymous debut, is their most ambitious yet.

For the uninitiated it's a window into the New York band's soul. An eclectic mash up of Afro-pop, orchestral chamber music and preppy college indie.

Singer Ezra Koenig gets the chance to flex his vocals, rumbling his quirky, off-kilter range, over a stop-start shuffle beat that is as catchy as it is intricate and clever.

They've showcased new songs during their summer festival sets, and on first listen they still sound fresh and exciting, but only time will tell if they can extend their reign as alt-pop's golden boys.



The Automatic Steve McQueen Single B-Unique August 18 [2605][2729][2729][2729][2729]

Steve Mcqueen is being touted as a more grown up sound for The Automatic.

Trying to break away from being known as That Band Who Did That Monster Song, the lead single from the Welsh band's upcoming second album is US punk-pop by numbers.

Like Weezer fed through a blender, it sounds like a dilluted Green Day B-side but lacks the irony and anarchic spirit that turned both bands into masters of their genre. It's the sort of 'alternative'track they play to keep the moshers happy at student unions - a thumping bassline and barked lyrics, but still gentle enough to sway about to without spilling your pint.

"I was a teenage Steve McQueen, my best perfomance escaped me," whines singer Robin Hawkins... a little too convincingly.