Friday 31 March 2017

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 31/03/2017: Kendrick Lamar, Iggy Azalea, Anna Wise and more...

Kendrick is back. Yay! Iggy is back too. Oh…


‘The Heart Part IV’ – Kendrick Lamar

Over an action-packed instrumental that shifts from neo-soul to boom bap to trap rap, the Compton rapper returns with some mean flows and bars – bars that have already got the devout K-dot fans making wild interpretations and conspiracy theories. Did he just diss Drake? Did he just diss Big Sean? He certainly disses Trump, calling him a ‘chump’, but otherwise the beef is all very coded and cryptic – the type of smoke-and-mirrors beef every rapper seems to be sadly going for these days. I like my beef raw and bloody, not scrambled and diluted beyond recognition. Despite this, I’m still excited by this single, especially with hints that an album could be arriving in a few weeks: ‘Y’all got til April the 7th to get y’all shit together’.

'Humble' - Kendrick Lamar

Yes, I know, two Kendrick singles in one week shouldn't be allowed, but I set the rules here. This is my swamp. Dropping last night, this single sees K-dot calling out his rivals (and perhaps himself) to 'sit down' and 'be humble' through a series of clever quips. The Mike WiLL Made-It engineered production is a lot cleaner and leaner in comparison to the material of To Pimp A Butterlfly, and he's pulling the reins back on his flow too, but the result is still very fun. As for the big budget music video, it's got some great cinematic shots. Kendrick is on fire (literally)!

‘Balance In All’ – Anna Wise

A protégé of Kendrick himself (okay, okay, enough Kendrick dickriding already), this urban songstress continues to deliver beautiful jazzy electropop, this time featuring some deep lyrics about life and death. ‘At any moment we could die/ but all the same it’s beautiful and bright’ she purrs. Somehow she makes this heavy content feel light and airy. The single comes straight off her new release The Feminine: Act II.

‘Afraid To Love You’ – Native Kings

Sporting stupidly infectious guitars and a catchy chorus complete with belting ‘woooo’ melodies, these Liverpool rockers are the full package. It’s like they’ve taken all the best elements of rock over the ages and squeezed them into a not-even-three-minute anthem. There’s even a tastefully savage breakdown towards the back-end of the track.

‘Kiss?’ – Childcare

This is how you write a satisfying rock build up. Not some dull Shine-On-You-Crazy-Diamonds five-minutes-of-ambience bollocks. Not some predictable EDM-esque drop. Not some brief acoustic guitar foreplay followed by a premature ejaculation of distorted guitars whilst you’re still getting your headphones on. London rockers Childcare instead use their female/male combo and minimal instrumentation to create a song that builds up tactfully and teasingly from start to finish. The band name might not be very rock and roll, but they make up for it sonically.


‘Mo Bounce’ – Iggy Azalea

I was feeling the beat – but then Iggy repeated ‘bounce’ one too many times (well actually, thirty too many times) and combined with that annoying inflection of hers, the track may as well be Chinese water torture.