Friday 19 August 2016

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 19/08/2016: Stormzy, PWR BTTM, Ehiorobo and more...

My cat went to heaven this week, so I've been feeling pretty down. But I've been coping, focusing on life's little improvements. Team GB are looking very promising medal-wise in Rio and the pool is looking a lot less green. Plus things have been looking very exciting on the musical front. For one Frank Ocean has finally released an album, with rumours of another one on the way. And some of the singles released this week haven't been too shabby either...


‘heir to the sugar honey queen’ - Ehiorobo

Jazzy chords, a plethora of playful percussion sounds and lyrics involving bruschetta make for one of the most creatively quirky and equally nuts r&b songs I've ever heard, courtesy of New Jersey DIY artist Ehiorobo. As for the semi-soulful vocals, I’m almost reminded of Frank Ocean. Could it be him i disguise? You don't hear from the man in months and suddenly he's everywhere...
‘Birthday Girl’ - Stormzy

Some of you may know Stormzy as the mean-spitting grime rapper behind hostile tracks like 'Scary' and 'Shut Up'. This single sees the emcee showing us that he also has a sensitive side. It’s a surprisingly tasteful love rap dedicated to his girlfriend as a birthday gift, so divergent from anything Stormzy has done before that I can scarcely believe it’s actually him (Frank, is that you again?). In any case, I’m slowly falling in love with the UK rapper. And by 'love' I mean Stormzy needs to dump his current bae and make me his birthday girl.
‘New Hampshire’ – PWR BTTM

Now that I’ve confessed my homoerotic love for Stormzy it seems like a good time to rev up the gayness and throw in some queer punk. Admittedly PWR BTTM’s latest single hasn’t got much man-love going on in it. In fact, it seems to be a bleak slit-your-wrists anthem to the apocalypse that describes all the birds in the sky dying and the sun dying (basically a lot of dying) - hardly the cheery stimulant i needed after this shitty week, but still I’m curiously charmed by how openly and boundlessly depressing it all is. Positivity has been done to death. Let’s all jump off a bridge.
'Raygun' - Anthony & the mountain

Anthony & the Mountain is a self-proclaimed 'savage pop' singer and pianist, also a queer artist (lots of gays this week – if you don’t like it, you can fuck off...). Crazy lyrics about finding a razor in his wallet are delivered with a sauntering rock star vocal tone, set to some bright and squelchy electronica. I'm led to think that this is what Queens of the Stone Age might sound like were they were to embrace synthpop.
‘Marco Polo’ - China lane

I've been repping the Chinese vibes lately (read my interview with Wei Zhongle). Admittedly, this UK indie pop group’s new single struck me as pretty standard at first, but slowly it builds into something triumphant and utterly intoxicating, fat warm synths and oriental flutes sealing the deal. Yes, China Lane are up my alley.
'Pawn In The Game' - The Holy Virus

I could probably excuse the lo-fi production and video if this prog rock act had a sense of humour, but judging from the ‘Human Trafficking’ themed lyrics they take themselves very seriously.