New Music Friday: The Weeknd and more!

Join us to take a look back at some of the best tracks from the past week, and why they are worth your time.

New Music Friday: The Weeknd and more!

This week we bring you five new tracks from The Weeknd, 80's titans Duran Duran, and more! Let us know what you think down in the comments below! 

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - That Life

Auckland based psychedelic group Unknown Mortal Orchestra return with a minimal and exuberant new single, That Life. The track focuses around a plucky guitar that sounds intricate yet reserved, whilst at the forefront, a lo-fi and chirpy vocal lead. Superb but concise, this disco-esque indie track is remarkably pleasant and will have your foot tapping in no time. Ruban Nielson has yet again showcased his consistently innovative songwriting with another great tune. The video also features a dancing muppet, if that doesn’t give you joy, I don’t know what can.

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The Weeknd - Take My Breath

Undoubtedly one of the most successful artists of recent times, The Weeknd has found a winning formula with his ‘80s synth infused R&B. Take My Breath follows that very same formula – and it doesn’t seem to have grown stale, Abel Tesfaye provides impeccable production that meets impressive vocal range and inescapable hooks; he appears unstoppable. Although maybe not as catchy as the megalithic Blinding Lights, this track displays why he is one of the top performers in the world, and is further proof of pop culture’s innate addiction to retromania – but that is in no way a complaint.

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Don Broco - One True Prince

Don Broco return with a third single from their forthcoming record, Amazing Things. It is a surprising departure from their usual cheeky style of pop-tinted punk, instead adopting a more grandiose post-rock approach and channelling their subtle and ethereal side. Drummer Matt Donnelly almost whispers verses in a fashion similar to Chino Moreno of Deftones, before frontman Rob Damani joins in with explosive chorus sections accompanied by fuzzy, distorted guitar. Although a welcome shift in sound, One True Prince seems to vary drastically from their previous singles, which could lead to a lack of overall cohesion when the album arrives next month.

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Duran Duran - MORE JOY! (feat. CHAI)

Juggernauts of the ‘80s, Duran Duran are still producing bangers even at this late stage in their career. The band lean into the recent synth trend in a way that is incredibly well executed and progresses their sound further. This isn’t a grab at relevance, the song is well structured and chock-full of sonic intricacies that in no way detract or overwhelm the listener. Whilst still appealing to a pop demographic, Duran Duran experiment on MORE JOY! with dissonant guitar, consistent synth beeps and boops and invited the all-women Japanese rock band CHAI to join them. The pairing, although unconventional, works a treat, with the feature adding chantable gang vocals and a punky punch to the instrumentation in a memorable way.

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Big Red Machine - Mimi (feat. Ilsey)

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver fame is not one to slow down creatively, and is back again with Aaron Dessner of The National to bring yet another relaxed single from the duo’s collaboration project, Big Red Machine. Prior singles have featured the likes of Taylor Swift and Fleet Foxes, and Mimi incorporates the folk songwriter Ilsey. The track is a reserved and graceful indie ballad that relishes in its minimalist simplicity, allowing for sonic space to create an innocent elegance as vocal lines wrap around each other and a repeating chord sequence rolls ahead. The song sounds like the perfect track to listen to when in nature, surrounded by the world's beauty, letting the almost trance-like melodies flow through your mind.

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Header Image Credit: "File:The Weeknd performing at Djakarta Warehouse Project in December 2018 (cropped).jpg" by RTotzke is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Author

Ash Edmonds

Ash Edmonds Kickstart

A graduate of Music Journalism from BIMM Brighton – where he now lives – Ash has been writing about everything creative for the past few years. An avid audiophile, he spends a lot of his time searching streaming platforms, record stores and live shows trying to find his next musical obsession.

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