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: Anderson .Paak, James Blake , Oh Joy & More…
Oh Joy ‘Cab Sad’
Dublin based Alt-Rockers Oh Joy have a knack for mining a sense of scale from just a three piece set up. The 2 minutes and 20 seconds of ‘Cab Sad’ goes by in a frenzied flash but it leaves an impression. The band’s niche? Making grizzled grunge with a sentimental twist. Frontman Ollie Moyles’ lyrics, consisting more of fragmented, lovesick memories than a clear narrative, offer a cryptic depiction of a romance painfully unrealised but it’s the emotion in his voice that rings out clear as day. While the words provide the sentiment, it’s the raucous riffs thrashing into each other that provide the power.
Anderson .Paak ‘Bubblin’
‘Bubblin’ is right. Anderson .Paak’s latest single fizzes like carbonated soda freshly poured on a hot summers day. The groove, radiant and bone rattling, has a way of popping in and out of the track like a skipping stone that’s gliding along the surface of pond-water. His flow, just as blisteringly bouncy as the production that surrounds it, speaks to his newfound confidence post breakout album Malibu. He’s bragging yes, but the highlife he now enjoys is made all the sweeter by the significantly greater years of hardship he endured before “I been broker way longer than I been rich so until it levels out/ Imma take your mama to the Marriott and wear it out”. The rougher the road, the nicer the destination.
James Blake ‘Don’t Miss It’
James Blake’s latest is the kind of sparse ballad he makes that his core fan base will love and his detractors will loathe. Dominic Maker of Mount Kimbie fame co-produces a track and offers a subdued, wob to generate the delicate atmosphere. Blake’s voice, heart wrenching as ever, somehow only sounds all the more human the more it’s modulated by computers. This isn’t peak Blake but it’s still the melancholy mood music that he can do better than most.
Death Grips ‘Flies’
The acerbic, acidic rap tones of Death Grips return in the form of what might be their strongest single this year. Earlier this year we’ve heard ‘Streaky’ and ‘Black Paint’; typically noisy, vitriolic headbangers than didn’t do much different to be all that much interesting. ‘Flies’ on the other, makes use of some eerie electronic textures to deliver an intriguing fast paced fury of a song.
Pusha-T ‘If You Know You Know’
Pusha-T’s new short, stunning album Daytona was produced entirely by Kanye West, who once again proves whatever people are saying about him(through all fault of his own this time), it’s his music that should do the talking for him. Opener and standout ‘If You Know You Know’ is a song that explains how the years of life of drug dealing is what gave Pusha-T the know how to deliver the truths he exposes in his rapping. The production is snarling and sparse, with our lyricist triumphant and towering above the beat. The game has changed for Pusha-T, but music business or drug business, it’s still the ruthless capitalist that survives and T knows it. It’s why he reigned in both.
Hatchie ‘Bad Guy’
The brimming with feeling, 90’s channelling, jangle pop of Hatchie continues to reign. All of her singles released in the last half a year have sounded like a sweet slice of summer in microcosm. ‘Bad Guy’ is a slight divergence from previous efforts in that it leans more heavily on the dreamy ambiance side of things than the pop side. Her ability to cultivate a sunny sense of melancholy is still front and centre however, in a track that breezes into your ear drums with the untarnished charm of young love.
Jorja Smith ‘Febraury 3rd’
The perennially under-appreciated Jorja Smith has often found more success as a featured artist than as solo one—her best known work might be on Drake’s More Life last year—but there is sense that mainstream appreciation may be in her near future. Because of its relative restraint, ‘Febraury 3rd’ probably is not going to be the song that achieves that but it is a delicate, downbeat, piece of alt R’n’B that mines her soulful sentiment with aplomb.