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: Superorganism, Kendrick Lamar, Justin Timberlake & More…
Japanese Breakfast ‘California Dreamin’ (Mamas & Papas cover)
Artists have been covering The Mamas & Papas folk classic pretty much since 1965, but few have really made their mark on it. Enter Japanese Breakfast, who gave us last year’s excellent Soft Sounds from Another Planet, to give it a wistful whirl. Not surprisingly, her version is a sultry injection of slow ambiance and some lilting mezzo-soprano vocal work. What is a bit of a welcome shock is that trappy drumbeat that’s added to the musical pot like the flavourful spice that makes the dish and suddenly it all starts to makes sense. Michelle Zanuer has turned an already haunting track into a ghostly, gorgeous composition.
Superorganism ‘Everybody wants to be famous’
‘Everybody wants to be Famous’ according to UK pop collective Superorganism, and it’s likely that in 2018 this is the year the group become something of a household name in the indie world. The track, along with its desktop screen video, seems to allude to YouTube culture and the degree in which anybody can get their 15 minutes, and how anybody can tear them down for trying. While there is a deadpan cynicism to the lyrics, the track has a vibrant groove that pulsates with early MGMT hooks and a psychedelic, dynamic production.
Kendrick Lamar & Sza ‘All The Stars’
It remains to be seen whether the upcoming Black Panther will be one of the stronger entries in the Marvel film universe, but considering that Kendrick Lamar is producing the soundtrack, chances are it will have the best music. ‘All The Stars’, by Kendrick and last years most exciting prospect SZA, is our first real taster of what’s to come. It may not be the showstopper that you’d expect from two of 2017’s best artists but it’s still a defiant slow burner with a subtle power that only grows with each listen.
Laurie Shaw ‘Shatterproof’
Singer/Songwriter Laurie Shaw is based in Cork but as that charming, blokey scouse twang he sings in demonstrates, he’s not from them there parts. ‘Shatterproof’ is an enjoyably earnest brit-pop ballad lathered with the self-effacing attitude of mid aughts UK indie. It’s a hazy, honky-tonk voyage that’s sung from the drunken gutter by a man whose reached a point of imbibed insecurity and wants the self-confidence of sobriety to take him out of it. It’ll be a long wait, and he knows it.
Justin Timberlake ‘Filthy’
Turns out it wasn’t a pseudo-Bon Iver effort we all but feared it would be. Instead Justin Timberlake’s new single is the sound of Jamiroquai in a tumble dryer. I may very well be in the minority, but I think it just about works. The Prince comparisons will be even more pronounced this time round, but this might be what people in the 1980s thought music in the 2000s would sound like. A dated idea of futurism is still more interesting than anything on that last record. The squelchy, synthetic beats, coupled with Timberlake’s dynamic, distant falsetto isn’t an easy swallow, but kudos for this not being an unapologetic chart-Reacher.
Hudson Mohawke ‘Foxy Boxing’
‘Foxy Boxing’ is technically a good few years old. Widely bootlegged by Hud-Mo hard-cores for some time, the track never got an official release until very recently when the in-demand producer dropped the instrumental on his soundcloud. You can understand some of the hype. It’s doesn’t sound like something that he would release today, but that’s part of its charm. The high-pitch warp of the electronics arrests the senses as the old-school vocals ground the track to something you can dance to.
Jono Ma & Dreems ‘Can’t Stop My Dreaming (Of You)’
Jono Ma, one of the members of Jagar Ma, has teamed up with aussi producer Dreems for this strange but shimmering piece of synth pop. ‘Cant Stop My Dreaming’ is like photo negative version of Caribou’s ‘Cant do without you’. It’s got a sweet, lovelorn sentiments for lyrics yet the production has a dark underbelly that twists what should be a lighter song.