All tracks reviewed here can also be found on our New Music Friday playlist, found here.
Want to hear all our previous New Music Friday picks? You can check them all out on our Spotify playlist, found here.
Tame Impala - No Choice
Kevin Parker and company have recently released a track from the deluxe version of their 2020 album ‘The Slow Rush’. The new track, titled ‘No Choice’ is one of two previously unreleased songs from the record, and is set to be featured alongside remixes of songs from the album early next year. ‘No Choice’ sounds very similar to Tame Impala’s past work, with guitar drenched in flange effects layering on top of Parker’s unmistakeable falsetto style of singing. Instrumentally, the song is written expertly, moving through passages that are ever-evolving, even injecting a couple of tasteful guitar solos that don’t overstay their welcome or take away from the feel of the song. The track isn’t mind-blowing but is certainly well composed, and is definitely worth checking out.
Shame - Baldur’s GateLondon-based post-punk group Shame have released what they have dubbed a “holiday single” this week, in the form of single ‘Baldur’s Gate’. The track is a darker take on a Christmas tale, and features winding, reverb-laden guitar work and intimately performed poetry based around frontman Charlie Steen’s trips to and from Edinburgh to see an ex-partner. The track is complex and is put together well. The band encapsulates the melancholic thought processes of Steen both lyrically and instrumentally, with an almost overwhelming cascade of dissonant chords and staccato keys layering a backdrop of winding, somewhat sporadic guitars. Steen’s relaxed and slightly eerie vocals in the forefront help to paint a vivid yet abstract mental image of his recollections.
Tierra Whack - Dolly
Contemporary rap and R&B star Tierra Whack has never been one to be afraid of a change in sound; her unconventional and eccentric song writing style has been lauded in her past work. The Philadelphian musician has just released an EP of three songs, one of which is the surprising track titled ‘Dolly’. Whack yet again experiments with her sound, channeling a folkier, more acoustic side of her musical repertoire. The track is great too, it seems to flow in the same vein as classic ballads would, with added banjo. Both Whack’s lyricism and vocal ability is put on a pedestal here, as the instrumentation is relatively sparse. There is no denying just how talented she is, and her ability to subvert expectations has yet again been proven with this one.
Khruangbin and Leon Bridges - B-Side
After announcing a new collaborative project in the form of EP ‘Texas Moon’, Khruangbin and R&B icon Leon Bridges have also released a new single together, simply named ‘B-Side’. The track seems to aim for a lo-fi style, with thin, echoey vocals that are complimented by reserved instrumentation that is funky, upbeat and lighthearted. The song is built around a riff that features consistently throughout that brings an almost trance-like aspect to the song, which is then bolstered by occasional whimsical spring-like samples. The falsetto vocals of both artists work well in tandem, exerting a sense of pure cool in conjunction with the band’s low-key instrumentation. All elements put together makes for a chipper, relaxing, and slightly spacey track that sounds as classic as it does current.
The Cribs - Things Could Be Better
Indie veterans The Cribs have also released a new track this week, titled ‘Things Could Be Better’, a song that doesn’t sound too dissimilar from their past output, perhaps less energetic, but equally enjoyable. The song features on their new EP ‘Singles Club #4’, and consists of relaxed, retro instrumentation abundant with plenty of twinkling dings from what sounds like a tambourine, as well as thin, bending and clean guitars that fill up the high end of the mix. Lyrically, the track is wholesome and supportive, yet bittersweet – telling a story of companionship but in a way that sounds dissociative, partly thanks to vocalist Jordan Bell’s lazily sung refrains, layered with the vocals of another. Although slow, the track is still catchy and is the epitome of easy-listening.