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New Music Weekly is your one-stop shop for new releases in the world of music each and every week. From the best of the best to some of the rest, Mark Conroy is here to give you the low down on what you might have missed. This week: Childish Gambino, serpentwithfeet, Tirzah & more…
Lost Under Heaven ‘Bunny’s Blues’
The fruitful collaboration of Ellery Robert Jones and Ebony Hoorn finally puts Hoorn in the front seat vocally. ‘Bunny’s Blues’ is a noticeable departure from the gravelly sung, spacious post-punk of both their debut record and their recent singles for its upcoming follow up. Instead, it’s a heavy hitting, krautrock influenced stormer. At about the minute mark the aggressive central riff blindsides the track into life as Hoorn’s voice, now violently belligerent , soon follows suit. It’s not necessarily their most evocative work but more than anything they’ve done before, this one rattles to bones.
serpentwithfeet is one of those artists that’s been highly respected for so long than it surprises when you realise they haven’t yet released a debut record. This will soon change when the R&B experimentalist drops Soil later this year. ‘Cheribum’, the second single, is evidence of his ability to uproot the gospel roots that have always influenced him. The chorus veers from uplifting to downbeat constantly in this surreal voyage brought to you by a one of a kind musician. The singer asks for salvation as well as suffering from either a lover or a god, but to him it’s possibly both. This is like church music when the worlds gone up in flames but your still happy to be here. Weird? Yes. Wonderful? Most definitely.
Julia Michaels ‘Jump’(ft.Trippe)
Writing songs for much bigger artists, Julia Michaels has been spending years on the side-lines but that might soon change. ‘Jump’ is a ultra-sleek pop number with a pristine production that glides into an irresistible, insouciant chorus. It may be just a nicely executed version of well-worn tropes, but that doesn’t change the quality of the execution.
Protomartyr ‘Wheel of Fortune’(ft.Kelly Deal)
The incendiary post-punk outfit Protomartyr released one of the stronger indie rock albums of last year. In 2018 they are following that up with an EP entitled Consolation. The Kelly Deal featuring ‘Wheel of Fortune’ is the first taster from that upcoming release. It’s typically forceful and freewheeling odyssey of distorted riffs and vocal aggression and will be more than enough for those looking for more after Relative in Descent.
Mica Levi, the immensely talented producer who gave the superb, surreal soundtracks for Under The Skin and Jackie, produced this track for long time collaborator Tirzah. ‘Gladly’ is a grower of a gradually paced dance track. It’s power is subtle, the beat is slow but hits like an airy, authoritative stomp.
Childish Gambino ‘This is America’
Donald Glover claims his forthcoming release as Childish Gambino will be his last, which is a shame, because he just started getting interesting. ‘This is America’ moves away from the psychedelic neo-soul of Awaken, My Love but it’s still nothing like he’s ever done before. The name suggests lofty moment making, aspirations that the song—and the video—mostly meet. Glover gets a host of great rappers to create a volatile atmosphere more than to spit great bars but it suits the uneasy nature of the contemporary black American experience that Gambino is aiming to recreate. The free spirited gospel chorus almost sounds like a joke in a track with this much anger in it: this is no time for celebration.
The cork based indietronica outfit Messyng are ones to watch. ‘Bodies’ is a shimmering slice of good vibes that’s propelled by sumptuous synthetic beats and soothing vocal work. It’s a patient track with a measured pulse but it’s vibrations are hypotonic and ready made to soundtrack the star-spangled night sky.