New Release Roundup 14th July 2018

Childish Gambino – Summertime Magic: The first of 2 new tracks from the true Donald isn’t one of his best, but it’s still pretty nice. It just feels a bit flat to me especially compared to the amazing ‘This is America’. 70%

– Feels Like Summer: The second track in DG’s Summer Pack is much better. A real chill bop with great layered instrumentals and vocals that really make for a uniquem but still clearly Childish track. Very nice. 83%

Christine and The Queens – Doesn’t Matter: Another top single from the French pop master here, very groovy and brilliantly produced. A bit more understated and calm than ‘Girlfriend’ but the layered vocals on this track are very tasty. 93%

Ariana Grande – God Is A Woman: Yet another great track from Ariana’s upcoming album Sweetener, although this is the track most similar to her previous releases, Ariana’s vocal performance on this track is amazing and the ending to the track is one of the best i’ve heard in a long time. 85%

Twenty One Pilots – Jumpsuit: I really like this from top. A really dramatic, tense rock song with a nice bassy main riff that manages to pack a punch. It’s nice and varied too, with a quiet emotional bit towards the second half. Their new album could be good. 85%

– Nico and the Niners: This second new track from the edgy duo is a bit more chill than Jumpsuit, with a repeated acoustic guitar refrain use throughout but again it’s catchy and well produced. 80%

Suede – Don’t Be Afraid If Nobody Loves You: Brett Anderson still sounds great on this new track from 90’s faves Suede, with a really powerful hook on the chorus showing off his chops. Great jaggy guitar on the main riff too. This new album could be reallyy nice. 90%

Brockhampton – 1999 Wildfire: Like this new song from the boyband, a really infectious hook on the chorus with decent rap verses from the lads make this full of personality and raises my hopes for their upcoming album. 82%

Kiran Leonard – Paralysed Force: This new track from Kiran sounds like if Mumford and Sons were actually good and had some personality. With a triumphant instrumental break in the middle of the song, this is really very pleasant indeed. 90%

Iggy Azalea ft. Tyga – Kream: This is the worst song Iggy has done to date. It doesn’t even really have the personality that her tracks usually have to set her tracks apart from her contemporaries at all. Bland and forgettable. 20%

Sigrid – Schedules: A nice, upbeat single here from Sigrid the instrumental has a really catchy bassline and chirpy synths that match Sigrid’s great vocal performance on the track. One of her best tracks so far, Schedules proves she isn’t just a one-hit wonder. Excellent. 88%

 

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New Release Roundup 2nd July

YOTA – Drop The Bomb ft. MF Doom: A great debut single from this new group from Gorillaz and Klaxons members, Drop The Bomb has an unavoidable chorus and brilliant production, with great verses throughout from MF Doom. 90%

Moderate Rebels – Beyond Hidden Words: A progressive, well produced track from Moderate Rebels here, with the instrumental backing the repeated spoken vocal phrase slowly developing throughout. Sounds a bit like Baba O’Riley but in a good way. 70%

Pale Waves – Noises: Another great single from Pale Waves, with ‘Noises’ focusing on insecurities over a brilliantly produced synth-pop backing. Great lyrics too, with ‘Heather you’re stupid” really making me giggle. 90%

Jvck James – Fears: A really slick track from Jvck here, delivering a great vocal performance over a really well produced smooth synth backing. veryy nice. 82%

Oscar ft. Sarah Bonito: The first new music from Oscar since his debut album, ‘1UP’ is a fun track about loneliness based on a chip-tune esque beat. Sarah from Kero Kero Bonito really works well with Oscar here. 80%

Fil Bo Riva – Time Is Your Gun: A very pleasant guitar ballad from Fil Bo Riva here, reminding me a bit of Supergrass and early Kings of Leon. Not a bad thing at all. 80%

Lizzo – Boys: This is an absolute banger. 90%

 

Charli XCX – Focus: A really catchy, well produced dancey track from Charli here, with an annoyingly catchy ‘I just want you to focus on my love’ repeated line throughout. Sick. 82%

No Angel: One of Charli’s best tracks to date, No Angel is an absolute banger with a really catchy chorus and amazing PC Music beats that as they usually do, suit her vocals so well. 91%

 

Street Noise – Raising Money through Gigs.

Street Noise UK are putting on a series of gigs across the UK in order to raise money for the Big Issue North Trust, who support those on the streets, with their first gig being headlined by Frank Turner.

Frank Turner at the 1st Street Noise Gig.

Fundraising Manager for Big Issue North, George Wright, gave me some more info about the initiative.

“We launched Street Noise last year, to find a new way to raise money for Big Issue North. The trust supports people who sell Big Issue North on the streets, helping with anything from housing and health issues to problems with addiction or money management.”

“We thought gigs would be a great way to fundraise, as Big Issue North has always championed great music. We were lucky enough to get the awesome Frank Turner to headline our first show, and he rocked the Manchester Ritz to its foundations! I’m really excited for Puppet Rebellion to follow in his footsteps, as they carry on their climb to the top, and for many more Street Noise gigs to come.”

The next gig is at Night and Day Cafe in Manchester on the 5th July and is headlined by Puppet Rebellion, with tickets on sale now from here.

 

New Release Roundup 23rd June 2018

singles

Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj – The Light Is Coming: Another great track from Ariana’s upcoming ‘Sweetener’ that shows she really isn’t messing around on this new project, showing real variation from her previous single. 92%

Years & Years – Palo Santo: This sounds so much like it should be at the end of a Hunger Games movie that I just remembered I never saw the last one. Good track though and Olly’s voice is still nice and it’s a well produced track; I’m glad they haven’t just made another album exactly the same as their first. 70%

Cheat Codes & Little Mix – Only You: When I first heard this I thought it was Zara Larsson which isn’t a bad thing, but it does not reach that Little Mix level of banger that I expect from them. 50%

Our Girl – In My Head: Another great single from Our Girl, with a chill, moody beginning leading up to a great progressive build up towards the end of the track. 83%

Florence and The Machine – Big God: A nice track from Florence with a good vocal performance, but I kept waiting for it to have a big finish or change-up but in the end it fell a bit flat 65%

Paul McCartney – I Don’t Know: The first of two new tracks from Faul here, ‘I Don’t Know’ is a charming, toe-tappy emotional little ballad that shows he can still write a great track. 70%

                                  Come On To Me: The second Macca track is my fave of the two, a real catchy, upbeat track proving he isn’t showing signs of slowing down any time soon. 82%

Estrons – Lilac: More of the same from Estrons, but in a good way. Lilac is a great, fast paced track with a passionate vocal performance. 75%

Girli – Day Month Second: A really well produced, catchy tune from Girli here. A new sound from her but she doesn’t lose her charm and attitude that gained her initial attention. Goooood. 80%

albums

Panic! At The Disco – Pray For The Wicked: This new Panic! album is a nice, clean collection of snazzy emo-pop songs with Brendon Urie’s vocals really shining on a majority of the tracks, most of which could easily be singles.  77%                                    Best Three: High Hopes, One Of The Drunks, The Overpass

 

 

Gorillaz – The Now Now Review

I was quite worried when I heard that a new Gorillaz album would be coming so soon after the last, with the collab-heavy Humanz being released just over a year ago in April 2017. There was no need to worry.

A lot has changed since 2017 in the world of Gorillaz, with Murdoc currently in Jail and temporarily replaced by Ace, ex-traumatiser of the Powerpuff Girls. This has left 2D in charge of the music, and with the album we have got out of it I wouldn’t rush to free Murdoc.

Opening track and lead single Humility is a lovely, bouncy, summery song that features George Benson and is very catchy indeed; the song’s slick, shimmery production continues throughout the album and the quality of the tracks is consistently brilliant.

Second track Tranz is an album highlight, a complete contrast to the breezy Humility, it is a dark, groovy synth track that shows how varied and interesting a Gorillaz project can be without the need for an onslaught of features.  Hollywood is another groovy cut, featuring Humanz staple Jamie Principle and a great verse from Snoop that elevates the track. The half spoken/sung chorus really works well with the instrumental here as it’s not too over the top.

Another highlight on the album for me is Idaho. A country ballad of sorts, the track sounds amazingly peaceful and grand without being at all bland, being very simple on the surface, but with each listen you notice another little layer there.

Usually i’m not a fan of instrumental tracks, especially in an album context. Lake Zurich is just too much of a bop to ignore though, and instantly becoming one of the most memorable songs off the album.

The album closes with a trio of slower songs, each managing to sound different to the next, with One Percent sounding like a sad distress call from space and Souk Eye’s slow fade out xylophone giving me the feeling of the end of a great movie or gig that you don’t want to end.

This is the best Damon project since 2010’s Plastic Beach, and he has massively topped Humanz, which while I still enjoyed really doesn’t compare much to this.

96%

Best Three: Tranz, Idaho, Souk Eye