With another week gone, we have been given a huge list of music releases to please our ears. We’ve already been given exceptional releases from many artists so far in 2017 and this week is no different. Here are our tracks of the week alongside in depth review:
Track of the Week: Frank Ocean – “Chanel”
Superstar R&B artist Frank Ocean surprised everyone earlier last week by releasing new track Chanel, his first releases since last year’s two albums. The track is a beautifully produced classic R&B styled track with quietly layered piano and atmospheric synths allowing space and time for Frank Ocean to layer his glistening vocals over the top. The track is rumoured to be about Coco Chanel who was believed to have been bisexual and the theme of sexuality and gender fluidityty is apparent throughout. Opening lines “My guy pretty like a girl, And he got fight stories to tell” suggests a contrast between sexuality and masculinity. Elsewhere. there are references of intimacy and sex such like lines “Got one that’s straight acting / Turns out like some dirty plastic” which calls on sexual identity and confidence. Overall, both vocally and lyrically the track is stunning and one of the best that Frank Ocean has made.
Kasabian – “You’re In Love With A Psycho”
The stadium defying Leicester rock band return for the first time since 2014 with track You’re In Love With A Psycho. The track sees a change in direction from the experimental last album 48:13, with a focus back on the guitar rock sound that defined their first album. The track isn’t stadium rock Kasabian but more funky rock and roll with it’s shuffling drum beat and a guitar and vocal combination that is reminiscent of classic rock by bands like The Who. Lyrically, the track is lighthearted fun in which opening line “You know it’s the place I need / But you got me walking circles like a dog on a lead” has a seductive and smooth groove running through. It’s addictive, old school and a welcome return from one of the best live band’s on the planet.
TCTS Featuring Sage The Gemini and Kelis -“ Do It Like Me (Icy Feet)”
Manchester producer TCTS is slowly gaining a reputation as a rising star in the genre with his huge beats and latest collaborative track Do It Like Me (Icy Feat) is no different. Originally released last year as an instrumental called Icy Feat, the track features LA rapper Sage The Gemini and R&B legend Kelis. The track is filled with energy which gets carried along by its thumping bass line. Main vocal line “I bet you can’t do it like me” which gets repeated by both artists, adds hype to the already huge dance track. It’s a standout track from the ever growing producer.
Dermot Kennedy – “All My Friends”
Irish singer songwriter Dermot Kennedy is one of many standout artists currently amongst the emerging group of male singer songwriters. Kennedy’s deep, husky voice whirls around a delicate guitar line in this intimate and emotional track which looks to past adventures in order to dismiss the issues in our lives. Chorus lines “To all my friends / You’ll find your way / Some summer night I hope to see you again” motivates and inspires all to stay positive. Towards the end, Kennedy’s vocals become more urgant and stronger and it’s hard not to be impressed by the raw talent of the artist. It’s a beautiful track from an artist you should keep your eyes on.
Rick Ross Featuring Yo Gotti- “Summer Seventeen”
Legendary Mississippi rapper and producer Rock Ross released his 9th studio album this week. Track Summer Seventeen is a standout on the album with it’s big beats and synths giving the track a hugely atmospheric sound. The rapper provides his views on luxury lifestyle and his desires to get his friends rich by the summer. It’s a brilliant gangster rap track which takes shots at the police whilst promoting black culture and living luxuriously.
Mura Masa Featuring Charli XCX – “1 Night”
Guernsey born electronic artist Alex Crossan aka Mura Masa has teamed up with some brilliant artists in the past and his latest is no difference, teaming up with pop star Charli XCX, who is slowly taking over the world with her style of infectious pop. 1 Night is an addictive electro pop track that is led with a wind chime and harp styled groove. Charlie XCX’s sultry vocals light up the chorus which tells the tail of desire. With synth vocals layered over the chorus beat, the track is a perfect pop track and highlights the brilliance and potential of both artists to develop into huge names.
Weezer – “Feels Like Summer”
The Rivers Cuomo fronted LA rock band retuned this week ahead of the release of their 11th album with track Feels Like Summer, a sickly sweet summer pop anthem that sees the band transitioning their sound from rock to pop, much like Maroon 5 and Linkin Park. With it’s pop punk “Na na na” intro, the track launches straight into a twentyone pilots style pop verse. The chorus is straightforward pop with its falsetto tone ringing out ahead of the summer. It’s unlike anything Weezer have done and whether the change in direction is due to a pursuit of the mainstream, it’s catchy.
Mike WiLL Made-It Featuring Big Sean – “Come Up”
US Producer Mike WiLL Made-It teamed up with US rapper Big Sean on the ferocious and dramatic track Come Up. The track reflects on the rise of the rapper with line “I feel like I was chose to take care of the ones I’m close to” showing how Big Sean needed to try and make a name for himself. Chorus lines “Living the life we imagined / I cut off all my distractions / And started attacking” shows how dedication and sacrifice got the rapper to where he is whilst the final verse calls out an appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s show whilst recalling his gratitude for his parents.
Feist – “Pleasure”
It’s been six years since we’ve heard new music from Canadian indie pop singer-songwriter Feist. The singer channels her inner PJ Harvey on the sensual, carnal new release which with its slow Wolf Alice styled intro has intimate, haunting build up vocals before a wild, staccato guitar line kicks in. This then fades into a lulled, atmospheric whisper of a second verse which later builds into sparse, urgent vocals and sporadic guitar. Its raucous ending is joyously infectious and twists and turns until the finish. It’s a triumphant return for Feist and will see many people intrigued as to what is next to come.
Joe Goddard – “Home”
Hot Chip member Joe Goddard released track Home from his debut solo album this week, which sees the artist collaborating with Michigan vocalist Daniel Wilson on an addictive, disco styled track. Home takes the blissful, groove of Hot Chip but focuses it in a more tranquil way. It’s more subtle in its refinement and sees trumpets and soul grooves in the chorus before a number of electronic drum beats layer to add to the addictive Jamiroquai styled track.
Asgeir – “Stardust”
Icelandic singer-songwriter Ásgeir is guilty of writing some of the most beautiful songs in recent memory and Stardust, the second release from his upcoming second album Afterglow is no different. The track sparks a shift in direction from the haunting folk tracks to a more electronically produced and guitar based sound. The melancholic track was one of the first that the artist wrote for the album and one he wanted to be an experimental pop track with a variety of textures.
Soulwax – “Do You Want To Get Into Trouble?”
Belgian electro rock band Soulwax have been one of the biggest alternative electronic artists in the world for some time now with their infectious synth driven songs. Latest release Do You Want To Get Into Trouble? sees the band channeling their inner Hot Chip, with a bass driven track that oozes style. With classical synths similar to The Verve added to verses, the four piece combine elements from various electronic crossover genres and pack them into one addictive dance track.
Linkin Park – “Battle Symphony”
When US rock titans Linkin Park returned last month with the poppier Heavy, many in the music world were confused by their new direction. Latest release, Battle Symphony, confirms that the band are venturing into new territories and away from the heavier rock style that made them as a band. The track has a calm, melodic quality to it which slowly builds in the verses before an angelic synth pop chorus. The track is based on mental strength and the mental battles faced every day in our lives. It’s an intriguing change in direction for the band but one we will not write off quite yet.