From long-awaited comebacks to unexpected turns from contemporary icons, we roundup our favourite tracks from the last week. In no particular order.
FKA Twigs, Central Cee – Measure Of A Man
Recording the theme song to the latest entry in a major motion picture franchise would be the last thing we expected from FKA Twigs. But then, I suppose with Twigs it’s best to expect the unexpected. Measure Of A Man is released as the theme track from the upcoming film The King’s Man, and like the British spy movie franchise itself it happily leans into its genre tropes to brilliant effect. It has all the espionage and melodrama of the best Bond themes, but feels distinctly fresher. Against a strikingly cool trap beat, cinematic strings and Twigs’s voice swell in typical Bond-esque fashion, drawing out the vowels of ‘man’ in swinging big-band style against horns and of course, an ominously strummed Fender. Central Cee also serves his best, and together Twigs and him craft a contemporary version of the spy film theme track, perfectly tailored to the spirit of its source material.
Alice Glass – Baby Teeth
Millennial scene kids rejoice. Alice Glass, former half of synth outfit Crystal Castles, has released Baby Teeth, the first single from her forthcoming debut solo album Prey//IV which will be released on her own Eating Glass Records. Glass had always been somewhat of an elusive figure, as shadowy as the lo-fi cybergoth chaos of Crystal Castles itself, but her triumphant departure from the group in 2014 not only shed new light on what she has to endure as part of the band, but on Glass herself. Her solo material has stuck to Glass’s synthpop and dance music instincts, with Baby Teeth finding itself somewhere effervescent eurodance and early Grimes. It’s shiny on the surface, but according to Glass “is probably the darkest and most hopeless track on my record, but it sounds misleadingly hopeful.” Listen below, and pre-order Prey//IVhere.
100 Gecs – mememe
Over the past few years, production duo Laura Les and Dylan Brady, aka 100 Gecs, have arisen as the definitive artists of hyperpop, paving the way for the future of the form’s sound. Their self-aware, satire soaked exaggerations of pop tropes have largely become the template for artists like Dorian Electra and Lil’ Texas, shifting hyperpop away from the synthetic quicksilver of PC Music toward a new school of obnoxious and chaotic noise making that draws on everything from nu-metal to gabber. Their new single, the ironically titled mememe is the first taste of their sophomore effort, the upcoming album 10000 Gecs. Fusing together passages of early 2000’s pop punk, 8-bit video game sounds and hyper processed vocals, mememe is an overly saturated look into the next chapter of these pop music disruptors.
Since winning the Grammy awards for Best Dance / Electronic Album and Best Dance Recording for 2019’s Bubba and the single 10% respectively, Canada’s Kaytranada stayed fairly under the radar. Intimidated is his first release since that moment, a three track EP of mellow and simmering R&B house featuring H.E.R, Thundercat and Mach-Hommy. The music here builds on the template set by Bubba, genre-fluid iterations of house, hip-hop and R&B tropes that fuse into a sort of neo-disco style. $payforhaiti with Mach-Hommy skips between a mellow afrobeat groove and chilled out house keys, while Be Careful is a slow pulsing house track that flutters beneath Thundercat’s falsetto. The title track, featuring H.E.R, is peak Kaytranada, mixing old-school R&B, soul and house into a sunwashed dancefloor shuffle. In the age of increasingly more vapid and futuristic approaches to electronic dance music, Kaytranada feels essential to maintaining the roots of where these sounds come from; the soul and rhythm of Black culture and history. Stream it here, and listen to the title track below.
Kavinsky – Renegade
Synthwave overlord Kavinsky hasn’t released music since 2013. That’s nearly a decade ago, and it’s been over a decade since Nightcall changed the face of the genre forever. Renegade arrives as the first single of his forthcoming sophomore album, Reborn and sees Kavinsky lean into the French touch of peers Justice and Daft Punk. While maintaining his retro 80’s aesthetic, Renegade adds new colours to Kavinsky’s palette with a nu-disco, funk-informed groove complete with short piano riffs, buzzing keys and slick bass. This provides the backdrop for a signature Kavinsky synth line; a shimmery, day-glo synth string chorus that makes the track feel as if it plays out in the imagined neon-lit discotheque of an old video game.
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