Friday 25 August 2023

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE FORTNIGHT 25/08/2023: Tinashe, Shamir, DJ Khaled and more...

Well, it looks like I've already broken my pledge to go back to weekly roundups. This fortnightly roundup will have to do. Artists featured this week include English Teacher, Tinashe, Void Comp, Melanie A Davis, Shamir and DJ Khaled.


‘The World’s Biggest Paving Slab’ – English Teacher

My first impression of English Teacher was that they seemed very similar to Dry Cleaning – both in terms of their mundane choice of band name and the fact they’re both female-fronted UK post-punk bands. The moody start-stop riff that opens this song even sounds like something Dry Cleaning might conjure up. But Lily Fontaine’s brand of ‘ramble rock’ vocals turn out to be a lot more melodic. I particularly love that euphoric chorus that comes out of nowhere. They’ve definitely got potential.

‘Needs’ – Tinashe

As sultry r&b songs go (and there’s a lot of them) this is definitely one of the higher quality ones I’ve heard recently. Tinashe’s inflections hit all the right notes and those swelling chords in the background are hypnotic. Her choreographed dances are always impressive too (check out ‘All Hands On Deck’ for some more great dance choreography).

‘High Relief’ – Void Comp

Alberta singer/producer Void Camp (who I’ve previously featured back in 2021) is back with a new EP titled Metropol. I’m glad to see he’s continued to develop the same moody electronic sound. The synths in this track sound so cold and clean and I love how they swoop from speaker to speaker.  There’s some really atmospheric woozy synthwork across this EP that I highly recommend listening to if you love moody electronica as much as I do.

‘Lightbulb Stars’ – Melanie A Davis

Oh no, not a ukelele!’ was my first reaction when I opened the video. Most the uke songs I get in my inbox are horrible. But this song from Kentucky artist Melanie A Davis is actually quite good. She’s got a very pretty voice – her fluttering vibrato combined with the sweet vocal harmonies had me hooked. I even like the ukelele chords. The track comes off her new album Honey Locust.

‘Obsession’ – Shamir

This isn’t the funky synthpop I fell in love with when I first discovered Shamir, but it’s still an exciting direction. Off their new album Homo Anxietatem, Shamir delivers this moody rock song ‘Obsession’. It sounds like it ought to have some deep Joy-Division-esque post-punk vocals over the top. Instead, it features Shamir’s unique androgynous falsettos that give the track its own distinct character.


‘Supposed To Be Loved’ – DJ Khaled ft. Lil Baby, Future and Lil Uzi Vert

These slurry-worded verses sound so sloppy over this energetic beat. Uzi is the only one enunciating his words. The other two sound like they just gargled a mouthful of numbing cream.