Friday 3 May 2024

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE FORTNIGHT 03/05/2024: Kendrick Lamar, St Vincent, Caroline Polachek and more...

Kendrick Lamar responds to Drake, plus St Vincent keeps dropping bangers. Plus, more tracks from Caroline Polachek, Corridor, Peter Bibby, Peached, Rollo Doherty and Motley Crue.


‘Euphoria’ – Kendrick Lamar

The ‘big three’ beef continues (although it’s really just Drake vs Kendrick at this point now that Cole has pretty much bowed out). Drake’s diss track ‘Push Ups’ took some surprisingly savage shots at Kendrick’s height, fame and even his fiancĂ©e. It was so savage that I didn’t think that Kendrick could one-up it given that we’ve never really seen him engaged in a beef before. But I was wrong. Earlier this week, Kendrick responded with ‘Euphoria’, which sees him questioning Drake’s status as a rapper, his racial identity, his taste in women and even his role as a father. I keep unpacking new details every time I listen to it. Did you catch that bar about paying ‘five thousand… to an open case’ (most likely a reference to that $530k sexual assault claim Drake paid off)? And did you know ‘Crodie’ is also the name of Drake’s cat (so he’s pretty much calling Drake a ‘pussy’ throughout that whole mock-Toronto-accent verse)? If Kendrick dissed me like this, I’d be crying. And it’s clear that K-dot is holding back here. If this beef gets any wilder it will start mooing again. I’m scared to see where they take it next.    

‘Big Time Nothing’ – St Vincent

I’m still yet to listen to All Born Screaming, but I feel like it’s going to be a fun record given that I’ve enjoyed all of the singles. ‘Big Time Nothing’ revolves around a fat bassy synth riff that kinda reminds me of Bjork’s ‘Army of Me’. Except the vocals from Annie are nothing like ‘Army of Me’- instead we get some goofy but fun funk-flavoured singing which is deliberately at odds with the depressing theme of the song. The results is a slightly bonkers banger.

‘Starburned and Unkissed’ - Caroline Polachek

Co-produced with A.G. Cook, this woozy art pop single from Caroline Polachek had me excited that there might already be a new album around the corner. But it turns out this song is actually from a soundtrack to an upcoming movie titled I Saw The TV Glow (which features songs from a few other alternative artists like Alex G and Phoebe Bridgers – so potentially still worth checking out). It’s a nice little addition to Caroline Polachek’s catalogue. The detuned effects make it enjoyably weird, but it’s also got a fun explosive chorus to give it direction.  

‘Jump Cut’ – Corridor

‘Jump Cut’ sounds like some long-lost underground rock gem from the 80s. It’s got fidgety post-punk guitars, deep downbeat crooned vocals and even a spacey shreddy synth solo. The production quality even feels deliberately aged. And yet there’s enough modern electronic touches in there that it feels excitingly fresh. It’s got one of the coolest videos I’ve seen this year – consisting of footage of the band spliced with archival footage and lots of sharp ‘jump cuts’. The song comes off the Canadians band’s new album Mimi.

‘Fun Guy’ – Peter Bibby

‘Fun Guy’ is a song about a guy who has given up on fun and is now lamenting how much of a boring bastard he has become. It’s delivered in an entertaining half-spoken, half-snarled delivery over a punky oscillating guitar riff and a racing drum machine. It’s the most fun song about not having fun that I’ve heard (I think). The track is set to appear on the Perth-based singer’s upcoming album, Drama King, which is out May 31st.

‘Movie Star’ – Peached

Is disco rock a genre? That’s the vibe I’m getting from this intense song, ‘Movie Star’ by Scottish rock trio Peached (not to be confused with PEACH who I interviewed a couple months ago). There are plenty of funk rock songs out there. But this one’s got some really frantic waka-waka guitars going on that makes it sound like Chic on steroids. It even goes a bit Daft Punk flavoured in the middle with those vocoders. However, the bustling drums ensure that it’s still a rock track underneath it all.  

‘Papaya’ – Rollo Doherty

This is the second song I’ve featured from Rollo Doherty off his upcoming EP, Out My Window.  It’s another vibrant song, this time with a catchy trumpet melody and some livelier percussion. I did think the last single ‘It’s All Beautiful Rain’ sounded too professional to be a debut single – it turns out Rollo is the frontman of a band called ISLAND who already have quite a following.


‘Dogs of War’ – Motley Crue

At first I thought he was singing ‘downtoooown!’ during the chorus, and I have to say that would have been the weirdest Petula Clark interpolation I’ve heard yet. Anyhow, this is by-the-numbers butt rock. And the CGI music video is quite something.