This week’s music releases were dominated by highly anticipated new albums from the likes of The Chainsmokers, Father John Misty, The Big Moon and many more but that doesn’t take any credit away from the callable of new singles. Their are continuous surges towards excellence from many returning artists whilst new musicians are slowly breaking their way through into the spotlight. Here are our track’s of the week with in depth reviews.
Track of the Week: Gorillaz Feat. Pusha T and Mavis Staples – “Let Me Out”
After a lengthy break, Gorillaz returned last week with four brilliant, varied new tracks. This week we are treated to another new track, the fifth to be released from upcoming album Humanz and this time the duo enlist the help of soul legend Mavis Staples and rap megastar Pusha T. From the start with line “Obama is gone, who is left to save us?”, the track is clearly a call against Donald Trump and speaks on what life would be like in the Trump era of America. The track itself was written before the presidency election and therefore is a prediction of what could happen. Verse “Tell me there’s a chance for me to make it off the streets / Tell me that I won’t die at the hands of the police / Promise me I won’t outlive my nephew and my niece / Promise me my pastor isn’t lyin’ as he preach” talk of fear, scepticism and police brutality and as a whole, Pusha T stands out on this track. His lyrics flow perfectly yet regain enough bite to make a difference. It’s another brilliant new Gorillaz track and we can’t wait for the new album.
Beth Ditto – “Fire”
Beth Ditto is no stranger to big rock tracks from her days leading indie rock band Gossip. This week she announced plans for her first solo album and treated us with her first single, Fire. The track is everything you’d expect from Ditto – big, cutting vocals and a powerful guitar riff. Ditto’s soulful tone is reminiscent to Alabama Shake’s Brittany Howard and the track’s subtle yet deep underlying guitar during the verses builds the groove before launching into a great guitar drop. It’s rock and roll at it’s most powerful and bodes well for the singer’s debut album.
Blaenavon – “Lonely Side”
Hampshire based indie three piece Blaenavon have been slowly making their way to the forefront as one of the most exciting indie bands in the country. Their gorgeous blend of textured vocals and intricate guitar patterns has led to the band being compared to the likes of Wild Beasts and Bombay Bicycle Club. This week, the band released their debut album with track Lonely Side as the next single. Ben Gregory’s distinctive, haunting vocals shine across the track with line “In a land of parasites, I feel a host” displaying vulnerability and isolation. With guitar lines trickling in various directions over one another, the track layers up beautifully until the final blissful chorus. It’s another triumph for the band who look set to have a great year.
Halsey – “Now or Never”
Ashley Nicolette Frangipane aka Halsey smashed her way through to the mainstream with last album BADLANDS in 2015. This week sees the return of the alternative pop star with track Now or Never, a slow R&B jam about two lovers and the struggles they face in everyday life. Reminiscent of Rihanna track Needed Me, the track sees Halsey in a constant battle on the status of her relationship. Lyrics “I’m turnin’ off the light right now / I’m callin’ it a night now” show the singer calling for a break but throughout the track, she is faced with a constant battle of emotions. It’s a welcome return and with slots at Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds this summer, it’s looking to be a big summer for Halsey.
Novo Amor – “Carry You”
Welsh multi instrumentalist Ali Lacey aka Novo Amor has had a slow string of singles dating back to 2013 but latest track Carry You looks to be the track that finally gives him the breakthrough he deserves having already gained a huge following from the alternative scene with his delicate, beautiful music. Carry You sees subtle guitar layering plus a calm string section before Lacey’s haunting yet calming vocals come into play. The track is rich in scenic admiration for the natural world and it’s freedom allows it to whirl into a masterpiece. The end result is something you could expect to here from Bon Iver or Sigur Ros, and we can’t wait to here more from him.
Marika Hackman – “My Lover Cindy”
Singer Songwriter Marika Hackman has been one of the most hotly tipped alternative solo artists for the last few years with her unique ability to make guitar rock cool yet calm. My Lover Cindy is effortlessly cool and her wit and attitude make Hackman a born front woman. Enlisting the ever wonderful The Big Moon as her backing band on the track gives the track moments of raw energy whilst their backing vocals add even more to the already brilliant song.
Dave – “Revenge”
Grime rapper Dave is tipped to be one of the biggest emerging artists of 2017 following the hugely successful Drake collaboration Wanna Know. Latest track Revenge sees the London rapper battling the issues that success brings. Opening lines “They won’t appreciate your ambition, nah / They’ll just love everything that can come from it” shows how the rapper’s friends were only interested in the product of his success like money. The tracks video game synths that run throughout allow the track to flow more smoothly which furthermore allows the rapper to bring out some of his best lyrics. Lines “I got love from superstars in America / Before I got love from guys I chilled with at the corner shop / And that’s what bothers me” reference the rapper’s famous fans, specifically Drake, whilst those closest around him continue to remain self indulgent. It’s an accomplished track from one of the ones to watch this year.
Charlie Fink – “Firecracker”
Former Noah and the Whale singer Charlie Fink announced this week his plans a debut solo album and released track Firecracker as the first single from it. The track is almost a Noah and the Whale meets Elbow styled track with it’s mellow tone and intricate guitar throughout whilst variety of strings dance in and out of the track. There’s a tinge of folk running through the song and Fink’s distinctive vocals carry a sombre and emotional meaning.
Tinie Tempah Feat. Jake Bugg – “Find Me”
UK rap star and fashion icon Tinie Tempah is slowly making a return to his best ahead of the release of his third album Youth. Find Me sees the rapper teaming up with the unique singer songwriter that is Jake Bugg. The track stands out due to the use of Bugg’s guitar which combines beautifully with the hip hop beat so that it sounds like it’s made in Latin America. Lyrics “Lord, forgive my need to success and progress / They were all my favourite rappers, now they see me as a threat” hint at a battle to keep life in check. The Spanish flavour that the track is given adds a certain freshness compared to other rap tracks and Tinie Tempah’s verses flow with perfect weight and style that the end product is a flavourful rap jam.
Harry Styles – “Sign of the Times”
The long awaited release of former One Direction member Harry Styles’ debut solo single finally came this week and it’s one that has surprised a lot of people. The track sees the singer embrace the 70’s glam rock of David Bowie and Freddie Mercury on the slow rising five minute single. The track’s slow piano melody allows Styles to show off his full vocal range. Lyrics “Just stop your crying, it’s a sign of the times / Welcome to the final show / Hope you’re wearing your best clothes” resonate to those of David Bowie whilst the chorus build up is more Take That than rock with it’s falsetto moment. However, it’s the final 90 seconds that impress the most, with sprawling, atmospheric rock and angelic backing vocals creating a powerful, all out ending. It might not be the Mick Jagger rock and roll that people were expecting but it’s certainly epic.
Feist Feat. Jarvis Cocker – “Century”
Canadian alternative singer songwriter Feist released her second single from the upcoming album Pleasure this week, an aggressive message of defiance against endless time. The track takes influences from PJ Harvey with it’s forceful guitar and drum combination which eventually builds up before completely cutting out into Jarvis Cocker’s whispered guess spot which sees the Pulp frontman almost philosophically breaking down a century. It’s an intriguing spot on a track that remains interesting throughout.
Other Noticeable Tracks
The Bay Ray’s – “Integration”: Charismatic rock and roll from the upcoming Kent rock trio, Integration is a Hives styled rock thriller that remains entertaining throughout. Lyrics “Politicians, they take, take, take, take” show that the band are outspoken and their entertaining and dynamic sound is something we can’t wait to hear more of.
George Maple – “Kryptonite”: Australian singer embraces Janet Jackson on dark, dirty and addictive disco anthem that oozes freedom, lust, fun and love.
Tritonal – “Hey Mamama”: US dance due sample hook from 1998 track Sunchyme by Dario G to create a beautiful, soft tropical dance track that rises to a glorious summer aimed climax.
Bruno Martini – “Living on the Outside”: Brazilian artist Bruno Martini brings upbeat folk rock, distinctive gritty vocals and subtle electronic elements to create a dedication to the generation that live in the moment.
Oh Wonder – “Lifetimes”: Harmonising duo take tips from Frank Ocean’s Thinking About You on a more experimentive track for the due which blends elements of electronic, hip hop and pop.
French Montana Feat. Swae Lee – “Unforgettable”: Sensual, upbeat bouncing hip hop which glistens due to Swae Lee’s smooth vocals and warm, slow building synths.
JP Cooper – “Passport Home”: Soulful pop track delights with its upbeat romanticism and sees the artist shifting to the sounds of Hozier and James Bay
Cedric Gervais Feat Digital Farm Animals and Dallas Austin – “Touch The Sky”: Addictive vocals on a brilliantly produced upbeat electronic track which launches into one of the best drops the EDM world has had in months.