On this week’s roundup, we have fresh pop-leaning releases from underground artists bubbling up, and tacky techno from a master of kitsch. Listen below:
Follow our Roundup Selections playlist on Spotify to stay updated on what we have on repeat.
Rina Sawayama – This Hell
This new single and first taste of alt-pop star Rina Sawayama’s upcoming album is a further testament to her impending reign as the new Queen Of Pop. Once again fusing various stylistic elements from hair metal to church bells, This Hell is massive, maximalist pop that’s a touch more accessible than her efforts on Sawayama. There’s something about the way Sawayama effortlessly blends the new with the familiar, crafting pop that’s not quite nostalgic but comfortable enough to lure you into its complexities. This Hell tackles the long worn “party in Hell when we all get there” trope, but it’s in her attitude and assured delivery that Sawayama sells the idea like it’s the best idea any pop star has ever had.
Diamond Dallas Tex – Elevate
The debut single on mau5trap from American hardcore artist Lil’ Texas’s newly minted techno persona is expectedly filthy. Sitting somewhere between 90’s house and grimy, sticky dark tech in the vein of Gesaffelstein, Elevate is delicious, albeit a touch tacky. But for Lil’ Texas, tackiness is the masterstroke. Elevate sounds like crushing a six pack of Monsters in the club with your bros, just as much as it could soundtrack a speedy night at Tresor. Now that’s something.
Special Interest – (Herman’s) House
If Special Interest isn’t currently on your radar, we strongly recommend that you change that. Immediately. The New Orleans band fronted byAlli Logout are breaking every boundary conceivable. A Black-femme led, fiercely queer punk group, the music that Special Interest is making might best be described as ‘punk-house.’ Having just signed to Rough Trade, (Herman’s) House is their first release on the label. It’s a retro house track dressed up in leather and chains. Over a stylish four on the floor, Logout and the rest scream through what is otherwise a lo-fi punk rockabilly track. It’s wildly creative and fresh, and deserves your attention.
The return of Purity Ring is officially upon us. Following the recently released graves, the new single neverend is a newer direction for the group. Still dreamy and ethereal, neverend trades their lo-fi witch trap for a fluttering, piano led pop backdrop. It’s the most pop they’ve ever sounded, to be honest, interestingly recalling Carly Rae Jepsen. It’s like standard Purity Ring minus all the fuzz and distortion, which reveals a group capable of crafting some genuinely great pop music. A mid-song tempo shift toward low-key drum’n’bass adds colour, and neverend fades into the ether with perfectly sweet strummed guitar chords.
Santigold – High Priestess
Is it possible that Santigold is one of the most underrated artists of the past decade? We think so. She’s been at the forefront of so many trends in indie dance music and left-field pop, yet she’s always maintained a sort of enigmatic allure. Her new single High Priestess might not be a Disparate Youth, but it’s classic Santigold with its rapid-fire verses and dark, throbbing bass. It’s raucously fun, but still stylish. Sort of a riot anthem dressed in Yeezy, if you will. The chorus is subtle, but effective. We guarantee this one will pop into your head randomly over the next twelve hours, and you will thank us.
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