Friday 29 November 2019

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 29/11/2019: The Weeknd, Kvelertak, Steven A. Clark and more…

Take a break from UK election news and Baby Yoda memes and check out the latest hot tracks of the week…


Bråtebrann’ – Kvelertak

Bråtebrann’ is the brånd new single from Norwegian metal bånd (I’ll stop with the angstroms now), Kvelertak. It’s their first single in four years and the first single since founding vocalist Erlend Hjelvik departed the band. Fortunately, they’ve found a worthy replacement singer/screecher Ivar Nikolaisen and haven’t lost any of their ridiculously fun energy. The action-packed seven minute single opens with thrashy chugging, followed by a bluesy classic rock chorus and topped off with some flashy soloing. The band have a new album titled Splid scheduled for release next year.

‘Small Hours’ – Otta

This new quirky pop song is the work of South- London-basedhalf-British half-Finnish singer Otta. Sparse production definitely seems to be the trend right now, but I’m loving the different styles that are blended in from electronica to neo-jazz to even a slight lilt of rock towards the end with the electric guitars. The dejected sighed-out feel of the vocals also helps to make the song all the more uniquely enchanting.

‘There Must Be Some Kind Of Misunderstanding’ – Andrew Thompson

I can’t even begin to label this song. There’s kazoo, there’s tuba and there’s whistling – all ingredients that are usually a turn-off for me. And yet they seemingly work well with New York singer Andrew Thompson’s playful voice and lyrics. The track is based around the old ‘waiter, there’s a fly in my soup’ joke and is delivered in an inflection reminiscent of Sting. It’s ridiculously catchy and somehow feels fresh even if it a pastiche of corny and dated ideas.    

‘Crystal Ball’ – Waldo Witt

This euphoric 80s-flavoured song is the work of singer-songwriter Waldo Witt. It's got vaporwave/chillwave vibes that remind me a little of George Clanton, only a little more danceable. It comes off of Waldo’s new album Randall, which is filled with similarly feelgood retro tunes.

‘Karma’ – Steven A. Clarka

With its falsettos and psychedelic lo-fi beat, this track reminds me a lot of Tame Impala. But there’s a subtle hint of aggression in the way the singer delivers the chorus ‘cos when the karma comes’ that gives the song its own unique flair. It’s a great representation of the anger phase in a breakup when all you want is revenge.


‘Heartless’ – The Weeknd

Abel can do so much better than this. This sounds like a watered-down amalgam of various previous songs he’s released. And what the hell is up with his new image?