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

 

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New Release Roundup 14/4/17

Singles

Sloan Peterson – 105: The debut single from Austraian Joannah Jackson as Sloan Peterson is a catchy indie-pop tune that hooks you from the beginning with its bouncy synth backing track. Very promising for a first single. 80%

Royal Blood – Lights Out: The first single from the rock duo’s upcoming second album, Lights Out is definitely a Royal Blood song, but isn’t just a repeat of what we heard on their debut, with this track sounding a lot fuller and fleshed out. 85%

Olympia – Smoke Signals: Smoke Signals is the latest single taken from Olympia’s 2016 album ‘Self Talk’. A shimmering piece of indie pop. 78%

Frank Ocean, Jay Z, Tyler The Creator – Biking: A fairly forgettable, but pleasant track, with a boring verse from Jay-Z that seems to be just stuck on the track as an afterthought. Good verse from Tyler though. 60%

DNCE ft. Nicki Minaj – Kissing Strangers: Another track by DNCE that is trying to sound like Cake by The Ocean and failing. 45%

Lethal Bizzle and Skepta – I Win: Taken from Lethal Bizzle’s upcoming ‘You’ll Never Make A Million From Grime’ EP, ‘I Win’ is a fun, upbeat grime cut with a catchy chorus from Skepta. 75%

Linkin Park ft. Pusha T and Stormzy – Good Goodbye: Sounds like the Backstreet Boys with a mediocre feature from Pusha T and a fairly standard short verse from Stormzy on the end. 30%

Mac Demarco – On The Level: A chill track from Mac. 67%
TLC and Snoop Dogg – Way Back: A fun, retro track from TLC that is obviously a throwback to tbeir earlier songs, with a feature from Snoop Dogg that just adds to the 90’s ness of the song. 70%

Albums/EPs

Sarah Close – Caught Up: Caught Up is the debut EP of original material from YouTube singer/songwriter Sarah Close known for her stripped back piano covers, and is made up of a handful of surprisingly good, well produced pop tunes, with the title track alongside ‘Call Me Out’ being highlights. 77%

Will Joseph Cook – Sweet Dreamer: The debut album from WJC is a bright collection of summery indie-pop tracks, with the title track standing out to me as a potential big hit. 81%

Tinie Tempah – Youth: This is the fourth full album from London disturbing Tinie, and is perhaps his strongest yet. Big single ‘Girls Like’ with Zara Larsson is the standout track, but there are a wide variety of features (from Jake Bugg to Tinashé) to keep things interesting. 76%

Seraphina – Altar EP: The debut EP from Seraphina is overall very promising, with Lion & Lamb being a low-key but still engaging intro track, and the following song, Morphine, being quite enjoyable and captivating. 70%
John Mayer – The Search For Everything: A dull, flat collection of songs that have cringeworthy lyrics and don’t really feel like a cohesive album in anyway other than the fact that they are all really boring. 12%