I usually try to review stuff around the actual release date. But, despite the fact that Cancel The Astronauts’ new single ‘Seven Vices’ isn’t officially released until 12th September, you can actually pre-order the single and download all three tracks now. So that’s good enough for me.

To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure about their choice of A-side, initially. ‘Seven Vices’ is one of these songs that hasn’t featured that often when I’ve seen them live and on first listen I did think there were more obvious candidates for a single (such as ‘Intervention’, hint, hint 😉 ). And the fact that it’s not got an obvious hook also gave me reason to pause. But, actually …

After a few listens ‘Seven Vices’ proves to be a bright breezy little pop gem which doesn’t overstay its welcome. Surprisingly too, for the first time I hear hints of Pulp in here, not least in the wee synth run mid-song, and there’s something of the rush of ‘Common People too. Not having made that connection before is a bit weird because they are an obvious reference point both in terms of instrumentation and subject matter.

The Pulp comparisons continue into second track on the EP ‘Something Approaching’ with its piano intro and sense of drama whilst final track ‘Playing Hard To Get’ has both a wonderful hook and some funky bass.

And to squeeze the last drop out of those Pulp comparisons another thing that the three tracks on the EP share with Jarvis and co is the ability to make accessible, massive sounding pop music. Cancel The Astronauts appear to be maturing with every release and ‘Seven Vices’ confirms this is a band with musical ambition to spare.

I started off with some doubts about this but I was wrong – I’m loving these songs more with every play.

Pre-order the single here and get immediate downloads of the three tracks.

Let’s see if this player thing works (it should do in Firefox and IE at least):

Finally here’s an acoustic performance of the single by three of the band:

The single is officially launched at 2 gigs, firstly at the Captain’s Rest Glasgow on Friday 9th September with the Edinburgh launch 2 days later at the Electric Circus (Sunday 11th). In between the band support the Saw Doctors on Troon Town Hall on the 10th!

More Cancel The Astronauts before the single is out …