New Music Weekly #14 | Chromatics, Meek Mill & Lion Babe

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; Chromatics, Meek Mill, Lion Babe and more…

Chromatics ‘Shadow’

Chromatics ‘performed’ this song on the premiere of Twin Peaks’ new season so its not surprising that the video for ‘Shadow’ is set in the iconic TV show’s Bang Bang club. Even if the track wasn’t written for the show, and whatever you thought about the new episodes, the band have certainly captured a Lynchian, disquieting vibe here. ‘Shadow’ is awash with  lush sound waves, airy vocal work, and guitars drowning in reverb. Like the opening coda in Blue Velvet, there a troubling reality beneath a glossy surface.

Meek Mill ‘Glow Up’

Meek Mill may be better known for a long gestating, unsuccessful beef with fellow rapper Drake, but he does release his own music from time to time. The hard-hitting and hedonistic ‘Glow up’ might be his best track in a long time too. The words he spits tell of the woozy heights he’s now enjoying in his seemingly drug-enriched, money flowing and copulation-fuelled lifestyle. The vapid vanity of the words coupled with the private jet party of the video seem to scream a certain transparent overconfidence following his break up with Nikki Minaj. Nonetheless the arrogant  chutzpa of his delivery and the  blown-up, piano heavy production is hard to resist.

Lion Babe ‘Hit the Ceiling’

Duo Lion Babe make R’n’B with a surreal, sci-fi twist. ‘Hit the Ceiling’  is an ever-shifting journey with a funk malaise throbbing through its veins. Vocalist Jillian Hervey’s powerful, Mary J Blige  delivery is given an uncanny charge in this warped context.  Lucas Goodman’s fluid production never settles, rather it floats through changing tides of snare loops, submerged lyrics and schizoid symphonics. It’s methodical madness.

Washed Out ‘Get Lost’

Following a four year absence, Washed Out have finally re-emerged. ‘Get Lost’ is a marked departure from the woozy psychedelics and proto-chill wave of their last albums. It’s hard to say if its better, but its certainly crisper, more cacophonous and esoteric than we’re used to. The vocals, drenched in hazy ambiance, remain elusive to the ear, while the focus on odd snippets of live instrumentation give the track in a eerie and uncanny vibe. The discomforting  inclusion of some erratic horns in the final stretch sounds like a dance remix of Radiohead’s ‘National Anthem’ – a freewheeling party song for the collapse of civilisation.  

Carly Rae Jepsen ‘Cut to the Feeling’

In a chart-world full of shoehorned rap verses, EDM drops and cheap dance hall imitations, Carley Rae Jepsen’s continued commitment to gleaming, gloating pop that actually enjoys itself is downright provocative. It’s also not helped her sales; the excellent Emotion, while steadily gaining a following since release, was a flop by her standards. If new single ‘Cut to the Feeling’ were to appear on that album it wouldn’t be a standout, more ‘I Really Like You’ than ‘Run Away with Me’. While Jepsen’s euphoric howls remain grin-inducing, the track is a staggeringly standard by-the-numbers chart chaser that doesn’t  really bow down to the sounds of the day or appease to fans of her subtly radical pop gems.

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