New Release Roundup – 21st Jan 2019

Ariana Grande – 7 Rings: Borrowing the melody from ‘My Favourite Things’ from the Sound of Music while also using a trap-infused beat and riffing off Travis Scott’s smash hit and meme ‘Sicko Mode’ and putting it all into a coherent banger is very impressive. 80%

Rozi Plain – Symmetrical: A calming but in no way boring folky new single from Rozi here. It’s just really, really pleasant but the occasional synths and extra harmonies make it a good, developing cut. 90%

Guest Singer – New Experience: A groovy, synthy track from Guest Singer here with rings of Mystery Jets and British Sea Power. Showing real potential on his first single proper. 75%

Sigrid – Don’t Feel Like Crying: A decent new pop single from Sigrid here with a nice positive message & a catchy chorus. She’s like Jess Glynne but actually good. 70%

Little Simz ft. Cleo Sol – Selfish: Little Simz continues the great run of singles she has been releasing in the build up to her upcoming album ‘Grey Area’ with ‘Selfish’, a smooth, funky cut with a great bassline and a great feature from Cleo. 92%

Loyle Carner ft. Rebel Kleff & Kiko Bun – You Don’t Know: More great stuff from Loyle; any time he teams up with Rebel on a song you know it’s going to be a cut with great chemistry and solid bars, and this is no different. 90%

The Japanese House – Maybe You’re The Reason: Another great track from Amber here, with the shimmery production and catchy chorus making this one of her poppiest tracks yet, but also one of her strongest. Very excited for her upcoming debut now. 90%

The Killers – Land Of The Free: Brandon and co have one of the best songs they have released in years here, openly tackling racism, gun control and the prison problems in the U.S with a Springsteen-esque ballad. 90%

 

 

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16/6/17 New Release Roundup

Singles

Wolf Alice – Yuk Foo: This is Wolf Alice’s first single from their upcoming 2nd album ‘Visions of A Life’ and they definitely aren’t holding back upon their return. The track is furious straight out of the gates, with Ellie Rowsell’s vocal performance being incredibly strong. 90%

Everything Everything – Can’t Do: Everything Everything return with their first single since last year’s one-off track ‘I Believe It Now’ and unsurprisingly it’s a banger. Dancey synths back the catchy but angsty chorus of “Help me, I can’t do the thing you want” and with the repetitive hook of ‘It’s up to me’ this song will not leave your head. Good. 92%

The Killers – The Man: ‘The Man’ is the Killers’ first new track since 2013 and it’s just fine. A disco-pop track that probably wouldn’t get much attention if it wasn’t by The Killers. 60%

Declan McKenna – Humongous: Declan McKenna continues his streak of releasing great singles with ‘Humongous’. The track starts off as an emotional guitar ballad before exploding towards the end. 95%

Queens Of The Stone Age – The Way You Used To Do: This new Mark Ronson produced single is standard QOTSA stuff, but that isn’t a bad thing. 75%

Three Laws – Siren Song: ‘Siren Song’ is a well produced, spacious electro-pop ballad that is still somehow really catchy despite being slow and melancholy. Nice vocals too. 75% 

Albums

Royal Blood – How Did We Get So Dark?: This is the second album from rock duo Royal Blood, and it’s pretty much business as usual. There are a few stand out tracks like the brilliant ‘Lights Out’ that have more energy and power than cuts from their debut, but the majority of the songs sound very safe and like they could knock each of them up without much thought. 60%                                                                                                          Best 3: Lights Out, Hook Line & Sinker, Don’t Tell

Fleet Foxes – Crack-Up: Fleet Foxes return with their first album since 2011, and it was well worth the wait. Opening track ‘I Am All That I Need/ Arroyo Seco/ Thumbprint Scar’ starts off drearily and slow before bursting into a beautiful, layered track. That level of production is constantly there throughout the album, with the vocals sounding exceptionally beautiful on tracks like ‘Kept Woman’. My favourite track on the album is ‘Third of May/ Odaigahara’, the track sounds really big and spacious without being too boring. Many of the tracks are well over 6 minutes long but at no point does the LP drag on or get dull. Overall a beautiful, well produced record. 95%                                             Best 3: I Am All That I Need/ Arroyo Seco/ Thumbprint Scar, Kept Woman, Third of May, Odaigahara

Lorde – Melodrama: The long awaited follow-up to Lorde’s debut album ‘Pure Heroine’ does not disappoint. Brilliant lead single ‘Green Light’ kicks off the album, and the quality of songwriting and performance is consistently up there throughout. ‘Writer in The Dark’ is another album highlight, being a piano ballad with great lyrics, a vocal performance that sounds genuine and a slightly off-kilter vocal production and that make it stand out against most similar tracks out today. 95%                                              Best 3: Green Light, Sober, Writer In The Dark