Friday 24 May 2024

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE FORTNIGHT 24/05/2024: Charli XCX, Serj Tankian, Lupe Fiasco and more…

The new Charli single is a bop and the new Serj Tankian song is brutal. Plus new tracks from Lupe Fiasco, Louis Cole, Peggy Gou, Mutes, Jean Mignon and Slash/Iggy Pop.


‘360’ – Charli XCX

Well, this is a banger. Off her upcoming album Brat, ‘360’ sees Charli delivering her usual catchy dose of sass over a punchy simple synth riff produced by A.G. Cook. It’s got that hyperpop flavour of her recent work, but it also reminds me of her breakout single with Iggy Azalea, ‘Fancy’ (so basically, she’s gone full circle musically on ‘360’). The song doesn’t start until halfway through the video, however the ‘it’ girl secret society meeting in the first half is quite entertaining with its ‘totally waiter vibes’.

‘A.F. Day’ – Serj Tankian

Atrial Fibrillation day? Aretha Franklin day? April Fools day? No, ‘A.F. Day’ actually stands for ‘Another Fucking Day’. It’s the new single from System Of A Down frontman Serj Tankian, who has a new EP out later this year. It may well be one of the most brutal songs I’ve heard from Serj, which is not an easy accomplishment given how heavy some of SOAD's material is. He’s not just screaming out his lungs but all his internal organs in that chorus.  

‘Samurai’ – Lupe Fiasco

Lupe’s upcoming album Samurai will apparently tell the story of a rising battle rapper and will contain Japanese influences. ‘Samurai’ is the title track. I’m not sure I can hear the Japanese influences, but it’s a tasty old skool hip hop track – the beat is very smooth and Lupe’s bars trickle over it like water.

‘Life’ – Louis Cole

Experimental drummer/singer Louis Cole is now working with a full size orchestra dressed up as skeletons. His new single ‘Life’ opens with Psycho string stabs that are quickly joined by funky drums and speedy slap bass. Fellow Knower member Genevieve Artadi provides guest vocals, helping to deliver some groovy harmonies. Did I mention there’s also a sax solo? There’s a lot going on in this classical/jazz/dance song. Louis Cole just keeps upping the scale with every new project. It’s early days still, but this could be a contender for track of the year.

‘Lobster Telephone’ – Peggy Gou

This retro house anthem, named after the famous Lobster telephone Dali sculpture, features some thrillingly fun synth sounds. The vocals are fun too, even though I haven’t got a clue what she’s singing about. The track is the work of South Korean producer/singer Peggy Gou who has an album out in June titled I Hear You.

‘Transparency’ – Mutes

Birmingham post-punk trio Mutes have dropped a new epic single spanning six minutes. It’s made of racing semi-dissonant guitars that sound like QOTSA meets Mastodon. Half-way through it mellows out, building back up into a euphoric guitar solo and then winding down again. It comes off their fourth album …buried where you stand.

‘Cause I’m Scared’ – Jean Mignon

New York garage punk artist Jean Mignon has a new album out titled Dirty Mean Fast. And the songs certain are dirty, mean and fast – ‘Cause I’m Scared’ is the first track and it’s a pure shot of adrenalin. I’m loving the blown out speaker production and the way in which the vocals fly off like a spaceship at the 1:11 mark.


‘Awful Dreams’ – Slash ft. Iggy Pop

Iggy’s got that old man wobble in his voice and it’s been getting gradually more pronounced over the years. And I don’t know what the hell is going on at 4:55. Are those vocals? It sounds awful. Sorry Iggy, but it might be time to retire the mic.