Friday 8 March 2024

BEST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 08/03/2024: Twenty One Pilots, Justice, St Vincent and more...

No ‘worst’ tracks section this week. The last 7 days has been an endless barrage of bops. The new Charli XCX track didn’t even get a look in, despite being pretty good. Even Twenty One Pilots are on their A game. Other artists featured this week include Justice, St Vincent, Machinedrum, Walter the Producer and Sadistik.

‘Overcompensate’ – Twenty One Pilots

Twenty One Pilots are one of the most frustrating musical duos around. After rising to fame with a series of wishy-washy pop reggae tunes, they then surprised listeners with a bunch of exciting genre-bending bangers on 2018’s Trench – and then went back to dropping bland pop three years later on Scaled and Icy. ‘Overcompensate’ seems to thankfully be a return to their experimental side. The lyrics are full of obscure references and foreign vocabulary, and I feel I don’t know enough TOP lore to decipher them. But even I can’t make head of tail of most of what he’s singing/rapping, I’m absolutely loving the musical journey that this song takes you on with it’s breakbeat opening, sudden tempo change, catchy soaring chorus and passionate rap verse. Bring on Clancy.

‘Incognito’ – Justice

There’s a lot of fun stuff going on in this new Justice track. It hits you straight away with some soulful chords and epic drum fills, and then abruptly dives into a cold steely electro beat. Funky old-skool samples keep trying to break through, but the electro synths keep cutting straight back in like a terminator shooting up a disco. Hyperdrama, the new Justice album, is dropping next month.

‘Broken Man’ – St Vincent

Every St Vincent album is a stylistic reinvention. If ‘Broken Man’ is anything to go by, the singer/guitarist’s seventh album is likely to be an industrial rock record. The song opens with sparse mechanical percussion and ends with some heavy RATM-style guitar, while Annie’s vocals get more manic. I’m definitely intrigued.   

‘Zoom’ – Machinedrum ft. Tinashe

Electronic producer Machinedrum has teamed up with r&b vocalist Tinashe to serve up this tasty drum and bass tune, ‘Zoom’. The chords are absolutely heavenly and Tinashe’s sensual vocals make it sound all the better.  It’s set to appear on a new record titled 3FOR82. The guest credits on the Bandcamp tracklist, which include Duckwrth and Mick Jenkins, already have me excited as to what’s to come.  

‘Pamplemousse’ – Walter The Producer

No, it’s not an FKA Twigs cover. ‘Pamplemousse’ is a psychedelic indie track from Massachusetts artist Walter The Producer (it turns out his real name isn’t Walter but Reid, however you’ll be satisfied to know that he does produce his own music). The hazy guitars and vocal harmonies have a nostalgic quality that remind me of Empire of the Sun or Foster The People. TikTok, blow this man up.

‘Pigs Blood’ – Sadistik ft. Father

This is one grimy beat, which is exactly what I was hoping for with a track called ‘Pigs Blood’. The beat is the work of ‘pirate hip hop’ producer Maulskull. Alternative rappers Sadistik and Father take turns to drop verses over the top. I’m digging the Carrie-inspired wordplay: ‘open carry towards a cop/pig's blood on your prom dress’.