This weeks mix of genres is refreshing, and your top five for the weekend features some new music that’s only a day old — happy birthday! I know you’re sick for new tunes, feast your ears on these.
#1 Novacane — Abra (September 2017)
Abra’s first R&B EP was released in 2015, and her continued success the next year with her album Rose brought her to the attention of The Guardian, who selected her music as some of the best of 2016. ‘Novacane’ melds some old style 80s R&B vibes and production with sleek vocals and basslines. Abra has an interesting timeline of musical evolution, and her new track was released on 27 September as part of the Adult Swim Singles Programme.
#2 One More Love Song — Mac Demarco (May 2017)
This Old Dog is Demarco’s summer release on the independent Brooklyn label Captured Tracks, and his first full length release since his hugely successful 2014 Salad Days. This song, ‘One More Love Song’, was chosen because it’s one of the more finely crafted tracks on the album, with the lyrics and piano melodies weaving in and out of each other in that effortless underwater personality that is Demarco’s sound. It’s a cool album, check it out.
#3 The Camp — PJ Harvey & Ramy Essam (June 2017)
English musician Polly Jean Harvey collaborates with Egyptian artist Ramy Essam, and producer John Parish on an acoustic reminder about the seemingly far away suffering of refugees, in a crisis that is often overshadowed by political popularity contests. The lyrics are poignant — “I prayed an angel would come but no angel came’’. Harvey is one of the most widely known names in music, and she returns here with undiminished purpose. The tracks video uses images from photojournalist Giles Duley’s new book, and procedes from the song are being donated to Beyond Association.
#4 Daughter — Four Tet (September 2017)
Yesterday Kieran Hebden released his new album ‘New Energy’ on Text Records. It is a new kind of energy compared to his transcendental and harmonious 2015 release Morning/Evening, but not a far away departure. ‘Daughter’ layers a woman’s voice over emerging synth melodies, and these sounds begin to merge with a piano and they tangle together by the end. What is a bit different is the more pronounced mechanical atmosphere that is being integrated into the tracks — but the album is still, in a familiar style, so softly produced.
#5 Bubblegum Dreams — Ariel Pink (September 2017)
Upbeat and something different is Ariel Pink’s new indie-rock album, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson on the label Mexican Summer. This is the band’s 11th studio album, which they have dedicated to the 60s musician who experienced personal misfortunes and issues during his music career, as well as a strong disillusionment with the music industry. The lyrics of ‘Bubblegum Dreams’ are not going to win a Pulitzer Prize any time soon, or ever. But it’s nice to have some silly, bouncy rock on your playlists because life is bleak enough as it is. Enjoy!