In a week in which Annie Lennox completely blew Hozier off the stage at the Grammys and everyone nonetheless bowed down to Ireland’s new supreme overlord of music, we cast the spotlight over a pair of more renegade artists. In the red corner we have a spoken word troubadour from the North East. Fighting out of the blue corner, we have the offspring of a megastar, a young man who believes that school is evil and that we all have theoretical physicists living inside our heads. Yep, it’s a real ‘Alien VS Predator’ situation in that we’re all screwed no matter the outcome.
JINX LENNON OF THE WEEK
Jinx Lennon – ‘Shop Thy Neighbour’
Christ. If you get through the entirety of this song, please reveal the secrets to your extraordinary willpower. If you’re unfamiliar with socially conscious Dundalk beat poet and eyewear graffiti artist Jinx Lennon, head to 4.15 here for a legit contender for the worst song of all time.
‘Shop Thy Neighbour’ is another madman’s ramble about small-time, small-town backstabbing, begrudgery and general domestic discontent. The music is horrendous, the message tired and the wordplay typically unbearable. Jinx Lennon isn’t a bold innovator. He’s not a dangerous social commentator. He’s an ambitiously terrible cartoon character.
JADEN SMITH OF THE WEEK
Jaden Smith – This Is The Album EP
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Proof, were it needed, that wee Jaden is better at spouting inane, occasionally alarming nonsense on Twitter than he is at music. Justin Bieber makes an appearance in the middle of this, if you’re into that kind of thing.
TRACK OF THE WEEK
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – ‘Multi-Love’
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Lo-fi has no right to be this glorious.
BEST OF THE REST
Kendrick Lamar – ‘The Blacker The Berry’
Produced by the spectacularly-named Boi-1da with additional production from Terrace Martin, Kendrick Lamar’s newest missive is as angry as it is powerful. We’re a million miles away from that awful Imagine Dragons collaboration here.
Delorentos – ‘Forget The Numbers’
If Night Becomes Light eclipses the excellent Little Sparks in one department, it would be a sharper focus on immediate pop jaunts. ‘Forget The Numbers’ follows ‘Show Me Love’ in this fashion, racing out of the blocks and arriving at a hooky chorus before a minute has even passed. It’s also a nice showcase for co-vocalist Kieran McGuinness who deftly holds his own alongside a couple of clever production flourishes.
Spector – ‘All The Sad Young Men’
About three years ago, Spector sauntered in with ‘Next Big Thing’ status, sharp swagger, a Jools Holland appearance and the rollicking ‘Chevy Thunder’. One middling album later and the nagging feeling that Fred MacPherson made for a more interesting interview subject than frontman, it seemed like the London outfit were destined for the scrap heap. Having quietly sank into the background, they’re back with some melancholic new romance that you suspect Brandon Flowers would approve of. ‘All The Sad Young Men’ is no major reinvention nor is it terribly original – remember when Editors discovered synths? – but it’s a game comeback that should prompt the repeat button.
Happyness – ‘A Whole New Shape’
[soundcl[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/187313653" params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166" iframe=”true” /]Recent signees to Moshi Moshi, London trio Happyness’ first single of 2015 goes all-in on the hazy Pavement thing, delivering a bright and breezy song that deserves better weather than we’re currently experiencing.
Daniel Johns – ‘Aerial Love’
Hands up who remembers Aussie Nirvana-wannabes Silverchair? “Body and soul, I’m a freak, I’m a freeeeaaak!!”, no? Just me? Righto. Well, frontman Daniel Johns has returned from the wild with a track that sounds like the kind of thing that would play in Rhye or Sade’s private lift. It’s nice enough in that ‘doesn’t really go anywhere’ sort of way. Colour me intrigued, Danny.
Giorgio Moroder ft. Kylie Minogue – ‘Right Here, Right Now’
Alas, not a cover of the Fatboy Slim classic but a Daft Punk-inflected dance floor stomp that’s only solid but still a welcome change from the usual Calvin Harris-esque synth-ramping crap that dominates the charts.
VANN MUSIC – ‘Boy’
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SHAMELESS PLUG OF THE WEEK
Sights Distorted – ‘Red Viper’
[soundcloud url=[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/190287598" params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166" iframe=”true” /]at I savaged poor Jinx up there it’s only fair that I offer myself up for similar criticism. I have a band. We have a new EP. It’s called I Fix Machines All Day, But I Can’t Fix My Gay Son… Because He Isn’t Broken. It will be available for FREE very soon. In the meantime, have a taste. Also, grab our debut album Last Light gratis here. xoxo
LIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
Slipknot – ‘Custer’
Seeing as we can’t find a decent embed of Kanye West’s surprisingly great Grammy performance of ‘Only One’, let’s remind ourselves of Slipknot’s recent Dublin rampage with this blistering take of ‘Custer’ as recorded at last November’s Knotfest show in San Bernadino. Lovely stuff.