Bieber is now making Christian pop, while Clipping continues to concoct devilish horror rap.
‘Endicott’ – Leron Thomas
I don’t usually cover covers on this blog, but this rendition of Kid Creole and the Coconuts’ ‘Endicott’ is a total reinvention and one of the most creative r&b tracks I’ve heard this year. It has a jarring stop-start flow to it, punctuated by manic wailed choruses of ‘cos I’m freeeeee!’. For it’s second half, it then morphs into a crescendo of whirring psychedelic synths. The lyrics ‘I’ll never be like Endicott’ meanwhile feel sad and despairing – a complete reverse of the original.
‘Above The Clouds’ – Andria Piperni
I’m my own worst critic - as are most of us. Constantly being hard on ourselves can hold many of us back from achieving the life we were meant to live. This new song from Montreal singer Andria Piperni is a reminder to not hold yourself back and to keep pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone to achieve your dreams. It’s accompanied by some absolutely heavenly soul instrumentation complete with walls of angelic harmonised vocals and even some jubilant trumpets. The singer plans to drop a new EP Who’s Counting? in January.
’96 Neve Campbell’ – Clipping ft. Cam & China
After dropping a horror-themed album titled There Existed An Addiction To Blood last year, experimental hip hop group Clipping appear to be continuing in the same vein, having recently announced a new record called Visions of Bodies Being Burned. We’ve already heard clomping Candyman-inspired single ‘Say My Name’. Now they’ve summoned up a new spooky single ’36 Neve Campbell’, featuring lively guest vocals from rap twins Cam & China over an scuttering backdrop of 808s and Horror movie sound effects. The creepy knocking sound had me checking over my shoulder.
‘Natural Mystics’ – Katie Rush
Katie Rush is following up her upbeat alt pop album Stage Life with a new record, which – according to my recent interview with her – will features themes of ‘space and aliens’, as well as delving into ‘Trump and the sorry yet maybe hopeful state of world leadership’. ‘Natural Mystics’ is our first taster. It’s a lovably wacky synthpop track with echo-slathered vocals and spacey upbeat instrumentation (produced by Zac Mering and mastered by Sam Mehran). The soaring pop hook is almost Lady-Gaga-ish, while the cartoonish verses sound like something more akin to Guerilla Toss.
‘Holy’ – Justin Bieber ft. Chance the Rapper
Watching Justin Bieber play a hard-done-by oil rig worker in the music video makes me angrier than it should. I don’t need a multi-millionaire pop singer showing me the struggles of the working class. Get back on your yacht! As for the song itself, it’s a lot better than ‘Yummy’, but the whole Christian tone of it doesn’t sit well with me. Is Justin going to pull a Kanye and start releasing Christian music from now on? Is the whole pop industry going to start getting religious on us? Is Radio 1 going to sound like a church service?
On a positive note, Chance the Rapper doesn’t seem to be rapping about his wife in this song.
‘YUUUU’ – Busta Rhymes and Anderson Paak
One of the synths seems completely out of time with the rest of the beat. Also, Busta Rhymes is sounding weird here (particularly that odd vocal layering at the 1:50 mark - he sounds like he's out of breath). It's a mess.