Stay-at-home soundtrack: 6 new singles
As always, whatever the circumstances, music remains constant. Here are some solid new singles for strange new times. Listen by clicking the covers.
Bias – Floating Points
After the success of the DJ/producer’s latest album ‘Crush’, Floating Points (aka Sam Shepherd) has dedicated a release to the awesome power of Bias. Containing an extended cut as well as a live mix from Mayfield Depot, each add elements to the original that take its gritty transcendence to new heights. Crowd noise bleeding into the live mix adds incredible energy and the meanderings of the extended mix add depth and colour to the second half. On top of this release, a 2-hour isolation mix from Floating Points was recently aired by Boiler Room that is sure to be worth anyone’s time. His 2019 Printworks set is also golden.
Texas Drums, Pt. I & II - Pottery
Seconds into Texas Drums Pt. 1 you’ll know you’re in for it. Explosive rhythms and jittery guitars propel the track into chants covering topics such as Texas, and drums. If this wasn’t enough, a complete bassline switch-up after a brief halt for a cowbell fill is one of the best things I’ve heard this year. Pt. II takes a turn and becomes a dark, charged soundscape of equal rhythmic intensity. The cowbell and vibrant bass carry over from Part 1, but the chants are replaced with deep, melting vocals. Pottery’s debut album is out in June and I’m predicting good stuff.
Aries – Gorillaz
The atmosphere of Aries is what makes it for me. Nonchalant vocals, dazed bass hooks and swells of synth create a sound that’s both driving and easy. Peter Hook’s bass on the track understandably gives Aries a very Joy Division/New Order sound, but Gorillaz undoubtedly make it their own. The band have seen a return to form this year, with all three tracks from their ‘Song Machine’ series being well received. Hopefully there’s more to look forward to from Albarn and co.
Time (You and I) – Khruangbin
Funky, tight and asking to be walked to, Khruangbin’s first single from their upcoming album ‘Mordechai’ seems to be what a lot of people needed. Their familiar rhythm-oriented sound is given even more life with lively bass, various percussion embellishments and sharp vocal hooks. Khruangbin have been popularising instrumental music commendably, combining elements of dub, world music and hip-hop into three quality albums. The trio’s sound is unlike any out there at the moment and they seem to be honing it with every release – Mordechai can’t come soon enough.
As the Sun Sets – Sorry
This cut from Sorry’s recent debut album ‘925’ is in equal parts slick and gloomy. Sedated and stripped-back verses are followed by lush choruses, making way for duet vocals over acoustic guitar. Later in the track, the refrain from ‘What a Wonderful World’ is repurposed in a way that works surprisingly well, with moments like this epitomising the band’s confidence and bold song-writing. Sorry have a unique sound that delivers indie/alternative rock in a way that’s refreshing and more than accomplished, cementing them as one of the key acts sprouting from London’s current scene.
Norman Mixtape Vol. 1 – Norman
Norman’s first release is a three-track, ten-minute mixtape of music that I’d resist categorising. Eerie and dreary – in a good way. The band touch many musical bases whilst keeping a distinct sound and the accompanying videos set scenes to match these tones. ‘Normal haircut’ blurts at you and ‘Call me sentimental’ instead croons, ‘New Year’s Eve’ is tense and nervous until it shatters into a free-jazz melee, seeing out the tape. Its intriguing stuff for a first release and ‘Vol. 1’ alludes to more on the way.