We're fast approaching the end of the year. Here are some the most notable bops and flops I heard over the last two weeks. Artists featured include Lone, Ducks Ltd, Baby Jey, iskwé, Sampha and Idles.
‘Waterfall Reverse’ – Lone
‘Waterfall Reverse’ is a smorgasbord of nostalgic rave sounds ranging from jungle drums to piano stabs. What sets it apart from other retro dance tracks is Lone’s signature spine-tinglingly shiny synths. No-one makes synth porn as good as Matt Cutler (check out 2012’s Galaxy Garden for proof). It’s also cool to hear him experimenting with choppy vocal editing in his tracks.
‘The Main Thing’ – Ducks Ltd
The band name is silly. And the music video is pretty lazy. But Toronto indie rock band Ducks Ltd make up for it with a very cool sound. The guitars are janglier than a janitor’s ring of keys. But whereas most jangle pop is mid-tempo, Ducks Ltd opt for a much faster pace, throwing in lots of tremolo picking and speedy snare rolls. The result sounds like The La’s on amphetamine.
‘What’s The Point of Saying Sorry’ – Baby Jey
Off their upcoming album Crop Circles, Edmonton indie band Baby Jey deliver this stomping synthpop-infused banger. The syncopated groovy bass and synth vox slaps. And it’s got a pretty unique hook about atoning by boning, which could or could not be interpreted as sarcastic depending on whether you value verbal apologies or physical intimacy more.
‘End Of It All’ – iskwé
Inspired by her own personal breakup, Canadian singer-songwriter iskwé delivers this single about trying one’s hardest to keep a marriage alive only for it to inevitably come to an end. The blaring beat and hammering vocal delivery make for a really catchy chorus. It’s also refreshing to get a breakup anthem that isn’t full of bitterness and hate for one’s ex.
‘Dancing Circles’ – Sampha
London singer-songwriter Sampha has just dropped a new album titled Lahai. It’s got some pretty unique tracks on it and this is definitely a personal highlight. That sharp pulsing piano is really suspenseful, and it makes for a great contrast against Sampha’s smooth pillowy vocals. I wouldn’t even know whether to call this song a ballad or not.
‘Dancer’ - Idles (ft. James Murphy and Nancy Whang from LCD Soundsystem)
A goofy dance anthem was the last thing I wanted from Idles. Joe’s slovenly voice just doesn’t suit this type of track at all. But, oh well, they seem to be enjoying themselves.