As we stride further into the summer, we are gifted with a huge list of new releases this week. Spanning a variety of genres, there are some sparkling summer anthems alongside rock giants. Whatever your taste in music, there’s something here for everyone and whether you’re listening on a beach in the Algarve or trying not to sweat to much in the office, we’re guaranteed you’ll enjoy them. Here are our Tracks of the Week with in depth reviews.
Track of the Week: Kesha Feat. The Dap-Kings Horns – “Woman”
This week sees the second release from Kesha’s upcoming album Rainbow and we warn you, it’s insanely catchy. A funky feel-good pop track, Woman is a euphoric anthem for female empowerment which was written against the controversial remarks made by President Trump again women in 2016. The use of The Dap-Kings Horns adds an intense soul-funk rhythm to the tune and that contribution is quite possibly the most addictive use of horns that you’re going to find in any track this year. A sheer joy to listen to, Kesha is back to her best and we can’t wait to hear more.
Arcade Fire – “Electric Blue”
Over the past month or so, we’ve already been treated to staggering releases from Canadian alternative rock giants Arcade Fire and this week sees them return to a sound that fans are surely going to embrace. Portraying the crumbling of a relationship from a woman’s perspective, Electric Blue sees the joyful return of Regine Chassagne’s falsetto based vocals. Funky drums and synthesised bass, alongside Regine’s pure vocals move the band closer back towards fan favourite Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) from their sparkling third album The Suburbs. Lyrics “Now I can’t get my head around it / I thought I found it / But I found out I don’t know shit” complement the track’s theme of the psychological cost of chasing physical beauty, whilst other lines hint towards their gratefulness of David Bowie and the assistance he gave the band over the start of their career. Electric Blue feels like an electronic mix of an ABBA track, moving free from the band’s gimmicks of recent years.
Tom Grennan – “Found What I’ve Been Looking For”
One of the 2017’s biggest rising stars, Tom Grennan has already released a handful of tracks highlighting his intense vocal range, alongside a huge collaboration with Chase & Status. This week sees him release the title track and first cut from his third EP and perhaps his best track to date. Found What I’ve Been Looking For is a powerful, upbeat song which highlights the Bedford-born singer’s gritty and raw vocals. A repetitive electric guitar riff paired with a heavy dose of handclaps provide the backing music in which husky and soulful vocals overlay the pulsing track. A pure masterpiece, expect big things from Tom Grennan in the coming months.
Suzi Wu – “Teenage Witch”
Taking the attitude and honesty of Lily Allen and M.I.A plus the wit of Courtney Barnett, 19-year old London newcomer Suzi Wu has released a gem of a debut single this week. A DIY track inspired by the art works of comic book artist Simon Hanslemann, Teenage Witch is antagonistic and sharp with lyrics “I’m too scared to live, too stoned to die” highlighting Wu’s experience of quitting sixth form and trying to get a grip on life. What’s most definitely known of Wu is that she’s not an artist who is going to hold back, evident from within the first verse “Ashes to ashes / Dust to dust / The guys are fuckboys / Girls are sluts”. Charming introduction aside, there’s a glorious unpredictability lingering over Wu which intrigues us as to where she may go next, and wherever that is, we are sure to be listening out for it.
Swimming Girls – “2 Kids”
It’s not often that we are faced with new artists who hit the market with a stunning first single before then going on to top that effort just a few weeks later but with Swimming Girls, it seems as if we’ve hit the jackpot. Latest track 2 Kids is a clear Lorde inspired piece of dark yet dreamy pop music. Mesmerising in delivery, the melancholic introduction pauses for the briefest of seconds before the vocals enter with startling effect. The group offer something refreshing and bold whilst also sticking to clear influences on the track which was written to scrutinise young love against a dark cinematic backdrop. Scrutiny achieved, the Bath four piece have just placed themselves in the minds of many new fans.
Mount Kimbie Feat. King Krule – “Blue Train Lines”
The third single from electronic duo Mount Kimbie’s upcoming album Love What Survives, Blue Train Lines is a euphoric mix of trip-hop and Fathless-esque 90’s dance classics which is narrated by King Krule who alludes to subway tracks and blood coursing through veins which equals the tracks title Blue Train Lines. Beginning with anticipatory and escalating drum rhythm , similar to the beating of a heart or the running of a train, the track carries an uplifting yet urgent and unnerving quality whilst the lyrics tackle self-harm, drugs, the welfare state and addiction – almost as if Trainspotting had been concentrated into one single four minute track.
BLOXX – “Curtains”
Firmly established as one of the band’s to watch out for, BLOXX return this week with a destructive fireball of a track. Curtains starts from the beginning full of attitude with staccatoed guitars screeching to introduce the grunge inspired track. A dominating, prowling guitar line stalks the track ferociously whilst fiery vocals full of swagger ride over the top. It’s an absolute pleasure of a track to listen to which packs more punch than their previous releases and we would love to hear more of the same.
Nina Nesbitt Feat. Goody Grace – “The Moments I’m Missing”
One of music’s best storytellers returns this week with the help of LA based R&B singer Goody Grace. The Moments I’m Missing is not the track that you might expecting from Nesbitt and the dark piano introduction hints at a new direction for the singer-songwriter, who opts to keep the opening verse flowing in continuous rhythm, almost in an R&B styled fashion. As electronic drums rattle and synths build to an atmospheric climax, line “Cos I’ve been so caught in the motion” is a reflection of how quickly Nesbitt’s life has moved. Ultimately created as a way of discussing her rise to fame, Nesbitt said herself that the track was very personal to her as it reignited her desire to be an artist and make another album. Thankfully, this has been achieved and we look forward to whatever is on the horizon for Nesbitt.
Chase & Status Feat. Emeli Sande – “Love Me More”
Following huge collaborations with the likes of Blossoms, Slaves and Tom Grennan, drum and bass titans Chase & Status return this week with the fifth track from their upcoming album Tribe. Featuring R&B star Emeli Sande, Love Me More is a subdued drum and bass track about the importance of self worth. The production of the track is weighted to perfection by the trio, so as not to drown out the powerful contribution of Sande whose vocals soar amongst atmospheric strings and a fast moving drum and bass rhythm. Perhaps their most complete track in a while, Chase & Status are back to their best.
Jack Johnson – “My Mind Is For Sale”
Once one of the most important singer-songwriters in the world, Jack Johnson has a lot to catch up with following his lengthy absence, but track My Mind Is For Sale, pushes him considerably in the right direction. Whilst relaxed in musicality, the lyrics for My Mind Is For Sale are incredibly intelligent. Sharp tongued arrows aimed at President Donald Trump lines “I heard that six or seven words he likes to use / Are always in bad taste” refer to Trump’s repeated use of specific phrases whilst chorus lines “I don’t care for your paranoid / Us against them walls” questions Trump’s mental state of mind whilst also hitting out against his Mexico wall policy. Just a simple drum click amongst a minimalistic yet lighthearted production, My Mind Is For Sale is both gentle yet aggressive and it’s a glorious contrast that we hope to see more of.
Tyler. The Creator Feat. Rex Orange County, Anna of the North and Corinne Bailey Rae – “Boredom”
Continuing the promotion of his latest album, Tyler. The Creator is back this week with not one but three guest singers. Boredom is a laid-back summer track which focuses on the state of loneliness and after the first minute of vocal two-ing and fro-ing from Rex Orange County and Anna of the North, a slinking R&B groove comes in, matched by a ticking hip hop beat in which Tyler. The Creator’s low toned rap takes over. Rex Orange County’s mellow and nostalgia-filled vocals stand out, highlighting a potential star in the making whilst the psychedelic feel that the glitches of vocals from the collaborators gives off during sporadic intervals proves that Tyler still has that air of freshness within his music.
Galantis – “True Feeling”
The latest track from Swedish dance duo Galantis, True Feeling embraces living in the moment whilst steel drums and warm synths parade around the feel-good hit. Pure, falsetto dominated vocals atmospherically soar towards the end of the track, which seems to be a move towards chart-oriented success ahead of the release of their second studio album The Aviary. The stunning club styled chorus highlights their skill as producers, and considering their commitments in other projects, especially Miike Snow, True Feeling is a refreshingly fun dance track in both production and delivery.
Vance Joy – “Lay It On Me”
Taken as the lead single from his second record, Vance Joy returns this week with new track Lay It On Me, a celebratory riff led track which takes the singer-songwriter’s raw vocals and matches them with a sweet and sultry song. A thumbing bass drum sets the pace of the track for the Australian before rolling snares lead into a triumphant horn filled chorus. About the development of a friendship into a relationship Lay It On Me builds into a climatic mix of horns and powerful vocals which create a triumphant and empowering finale.
Manchester Orchestra – “The Moth”
Atlanta five piece Manchester Orchestra continue their promotion of upcoming album A Black Mile the the Surface with the third single from the record. The Moth is an electrifying and jarring rock track with atmospheric synths and whirling feedback combining to great effect. Hints of paranoia alongside subtle rhythmic flourishes add further development before a gigantic synth chorus gives lift off to the track which reaches stratospheric proportion. Lyrics “Throw the man you used to be away / Bury him with rivalry entirely” is a call out to a father to change his ways whilst towards the end, a ferocious guitar dominated instrumental section brings The Moth to a glorious and breathless end.
Other Noticeable Tracks
Luke Rathborne – “Don’t Call Me Baby”: Retro pop perfection from Brooklyn singer-songwriter whose country twang is similar to the likes of Charlie Fink from Noah & The Whale. A born storyteller, Rathborne mixes influences Joy Orbison and Springsteen before building the track up to an anthem, key dominated chorus. A joyful track that highlights the potential of the US artist.
Childhood – “Nothing Ever Seems Right”: Uplifting blend of indie rock and psychedelia from Nottingham four piece, in which almost spoken word verses contrast the slinking chorus groove.
Callum Beattie – “Man Behind The Sun”: Slickly produced second track from slightly led of centre future pop star. Driving guitars lead the track whilst Beattie’s vocals soulfully attack the potential pop hit.
The Script – “Rain”: Returning for the first time since 2014, Irish band The Script opt to move even closer to mainstream chart music with a predominantly dance based rhythm going alongside a simple chord progression.
Dave – “Tequila”: Inspired by a trip to Los Angeles, Tequila takes subtle latin guitar lines and puts them onto a hip hop beat to create an intriguing blend of Hispanic grime in which the rapper’s lyrics flow with great charm and ease. A different offering from Dave, but one which highlights him as a star for the genre.
Aloe Blacc – “King Is Born”: Upbeat soul-filled anthem premiered live on stage at the LA press conference of Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor’s boxing match. Triumphant horns embrace the dual themes of motivation and self-confidence, and having spent a while away from music, King Is Born is a defiant statement that Blacc is back.
Foster The People – “Sit Next To Me”: Chilled indie-electronic summer jam from Los Angeles trio Foster The People which uses to a slinking bass and synth pattern to create a calm yet catchy track about a man trying to reach his lover.
Joel Baker Feat. Abra Cadabra – “Story”: Relaxed, summer-ready R&B track from young Nottingham artist Joel Baker whose gravelled tone vocals resemble those of Maverick Sabre whilst the chilled, freestyle-esque vocals are reminiscent of early Ed Sheeran. A soulful track which enlists the help of deep toned rosing rapper Abra Cadabra, it’s a well refined piece that bodes well for the future.
Selena Gomez Feat. Gucci Mane – “Fetish”: Seductive and dark pop track from the former Disney Channel star, which features a guest spot for rapper Gucci Mane. Perhaps not the most adventurous of tracks musically, the video is most definitely a watch if you want to see Gomez eating a variety of objects from soap to lipstick.
The Academic – “Bear Claws”: Indie rock anthem from Irish four piece The Academics which has light and crisp verses leading into the track’s soaring chorus. A coming of age single which embraces the chaos of youthfulness, Bear Claws is a joyful piece of indie bliss.
OneRepublic Feat. Seeb – “Rich Love”: Huge shift to the mainstream from Ryan Tedder and co, who enlist the help of Norwegian dance trio Seeb, whose tropical dance synths make the track a definite listen for the summer. Whilst Tedder’s “We’re broke as a bottle of wine” metaphor might not be as cutting as he hoped, the end result of Rich Love is one of mainstream fun