Friday 13 September 2019
BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 13/09/2019: Post Malone/Ozzy Osbourne, JPEGMAFIA, Camila Cabello and more...
An Ozzy Osbourne and Post Malone collaboration? Yeah, it’s been an interesting week...
I’ve included eight tracks this week instead of the usual six, because I skipped last week’s post. If you’re wondering where the new Danny Brown single is, it didn’t make the cut (personally, I didn’t find it good or bad enough to discuss. Sorry Danny Brown fans ☹).
‘Holy Water’ – Tamarin
Having previously crafted atmospheric electronica instrumentals, Jake Brett is now making ultra-groovy 80s-flavoured synthpop under the alias Tamarin. The slow slinking bassline and punchy hand clap make me want to get up and dad dance along. I also love the smooth the vocals, which remind me of Jungle minus the falsettos. Also extra points for the aesthetic-heavy video which features a twin neck guitar solo in a tennis court.
‘Fear My Society’ – The Wants
‘I would leave my society, but I don’t know how’. This gloomy Tears-for-Fears-style new wave sound has been seeing a big revival recently thanks to TV shows like Stranger Things. NYC group The Wants manage to adopt this style without sounding contrived. It’s the lyrics that really won me over, capturing the relatable feeling of being alienated from society (without just sounding like rebellious teenagers).
‘Beta Male Strategies’ – JPEGMAFIA
JPEGMAFIA’s tracks are always so glitchy that I often have to check I haven’t got two tabs of music running. I’m sure many people find his music utterly inaccessible, but I’m constantly drawn to how weird it is. The topic here seems to be beta male keyboard warriors, who will happily trash-talk others online but never dare say those same things to people’s faces. The production meanwhile features a hypnotic looped sample that shifts into some noisy guitars before abruptly cutting back to the loop sample at the end. It’s a sloppy mess and yet, in typical JPEGMAFIA fashion, there’s just enough direction to it for it to feel like a song.
‘God of Love’ – Liturgy
Polarising hipster-metal band Liturgy are back and their new single ‘God of Love’ is an utter thrill-ride (providing you like avant-garde extreme metal – otherwise it’ll likely sound like pure noise). The intense instrumentation making up this track has so much detail in it, slowing and speeding up, even briefly glitching out (I thought my computer had crashed) and the settling into a more melodic breakdown with vocal oo-oohs and Sugar-Plumb-Fairy twinkling celestas (at least, that’s what I think they are). It’s the most exciting metal track I’ve heard all year. My only complaint is that the screaming is a little too buried, but I can overlook that.
‘Bum Hour’ – LIFE
I expect big things from any band that has the audacity to call themselves LIFE. The Hull post-punk band definitely come through, sporting a catchy in-your-face style that sounds like Slaves just mated with The B52s. ‘Bum Hour’ explores our tendency to waste our solo free time lying down and sleeping because we can’t think of anything better to do. It’s got some zany lyrics in it about McDonalds and Haircut 100 that I’m yet to decipher (are they supposed to make sense?) but hey, I like a bit of zaniness.
‘But I Don’t Mind’ – Mathias Hammerstrom
This melancholy electropop ballad is utterly captivating. The drums sound like thunder and Mathias’s voice has a ghostly feel to it. This ethereal palette of unique sounds keeps you hooked, even if the song doesn’t evolve much. The Danish artist has a new EP out full of similar atmospheric tunes that you can check out here.
‘Take What You Want’ – Post Malone ft. Ozzy Osbourne & Travis Scott
Every so often, an artist finds a new way to merge rap and rock - and it either comes off cool or corny. This wild collaboration achieves the former. Who would have known Ozzy Osbourne would sound great over trap percussion, or that Post Malone would sound great over moody guitars? There’s even a guitar solo at the end that doesn’t sound completely gratuitous. Travis Scott also adds some of his own auto-tuned crooning to the song without going overboard. All in all, much like Old Town Road, it’s a decent crossover (although I doubt it will get a millionth of the airplay).
‘Liar’ - Camila Cabello
The music video is very Edge-of-Tomorrow and is quite fun, but melodically this song just sounds like some bland rip-off of Ace of Base’s ‘All That She Wants’.