Tracks: Angel Haze, AlunaGeorge, Swim Deep, Local Natives And More

DIY writers and radio presenters pick their favourite new tracks of the week.

New year, new start, and even better; new music. As you were waiting for 2013’s hangover to shift, our writers and radio presenters stayed hard at work, cherry picking the best new tracks, just to make it easier on you. Never say they don’t do anything for you. Because here, for your aural pleasure, is this week’s Tracks.

Angel Haze - On The Edge

Underground breakout (so, er, overground?) rapper Angel Haze launched the opening salvo against the none-more-shy-and-retiring Azealia Banks following… not so much a developing beef, more like a veal, over Twitter. Banks is taken to task by a cutting, trolling freestyle above a sort-of chiptune ‘All Of The Lights’ beat, that supposedly took twenty minutes for the Michigan rapper to perfect. The coup de grâce? ‘I want you bitches so scared that you mental break/ So you’ll forever be broke with expensive taste.’ Ouch. (Tom Baker)

Swim Deep - The Sea

Christmas has gone, the New Year celebrations are over and it’s time to take the decorations down. January is looking like a long, cold month. So right on cue and in typical Swim Deep style, B-town’s brightest, are here to cheer you right up. Anyone with lingering doubts that our ‘Class Of 2013’ kids weren’t quite up to the job would find them immediately washed away by ‘The Sea’. You won’t find a warmer, more perfectly constructed pop song this month to rid you of those January blues. I bet you can get a great deal on sunglasses in the January sales… (Ian Paterson)

AlunaGeorge - Diver

AlunaGeorge are already having a Very Good Year. This week has seen them announced as second in the BBC Sound of 2013 poll, to go with their Brits Critics choice nomination. Though the most important thing remains, as ever, the music and they’ve delivered once again with new track ‘Diver’, premiered on Radio 1.

An insidiously addictive slow jam, full of jittery beats and off-kilter rhythms that never quite follow the pattern you expect them to. Aluna Francis’ fluttering vocals give the whole thing a quite lovely soulful lilt. Electronic pop at its finest. (Martyn Young)

Tullycraft - Lost In Light Rotation

Tullycraft may be best-known for many for their in-your-face declaration of ‘fuck me, I’m twee’ but they’ve also released a fistful of tracks that’d leave your average pop-punk band a decidedly Hulk-like hue with envy. Armed with not-so-secret weapon in producer Phil Ek (Band Of Horses, Shout Louds, Walkmen, Fleet Foxes etc), ‘Lost In Light Rotation’ is the perfect soundtrack for blasting down wintry lanes leaving dead leaves swirling in your path while your scarf and hat tassles flutter out the open window, with a ridiculously infectious chorus to boot. They also namecheck us – sort of – but that’s by the by. Honest. (Gareth Ware)

Local Natives - Heavy Feet

The sweetest song about orthopedic shoes you’re likely to hear this week. How about that for getting your attention? I guess we could’ve highlighted the fact that this latest taste of the group’s second album, produced by the National’s Aaron Dessner, has more than a hint of the desk man’s day job in the rhythm section - and if you’re going to imitate someone, imitate Bryan Devendorf - whilst staying with the more melancholic, melodic Fleet Foxes-with-a-pulse sound of their excellent first record, ‘Gorilla Manor’ than plumbing the baritone depths of Matt Berninger. If you weren’t already goosebump-excited for ‘Hummingbird’, out later this month, you will be now. (Tom Baker)

Haiku Salut - Los Elefantes

On their début offering – a 100-edition 3” CD-R EP entitled ‘How We Learned To Get Along After The Yarn Bomb’ – Derbyshire’s Haiku Salut came across as the soundtrack to the best animated children’s flick never released. Intricate and enchanting, it took you on all sorts of crazy journeys. They’ve grown up a bit for their first full-length – as ‘Los Elefantes’ testifies – but they’ve lost none of their skill for an immersive, almost cinematic experience, with this initial cut begging your imagination to go wild and think of an accompanying short film. Magical. (Gareth Ware)

The xx - Sunset (Jamie xx remix)

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…an xx remix EP. Released for free on iTunes last month but now on YouTube with some hipster lava lamp visuals, Jamie xx tinkers with a song he produced in the first place, and takes out most of the vocals until two minutes in. No offense, Romy and Oliver, but it works pretty well - where ‘Coexist’ became even more about breathing space and atmosphere than the group’s debut, this remix allows Jamie to scratch that perpetual 2-step itch of his, albeit in his typically idiosyncratic, moody manner - towards the end, the vocals drop out again, with a brief Burial-alike ambient sound like an approaching tube train. Gorgeous night music. (Tom Baker)

Miles Kane - Give Up

Miles Kane can sing and play, the songs are good, they have the key riff that drops for the chorus. But it all comes together with when he performs live. Having seen him perform on several stages, there’s an honest love of music and performing that oozes from him. Sure, his lyrics aren’t the next Bronte novel, but if it’s jumping around and having something to murmur along to and nod your head, then he’s your man. (Elise Cobain - Alive And Amplified)

Wih’lo - Unbreak

We might not have a clue how to pronounce his name, but we’re definitely not short of things to say about this 19-year-old Chicago producer. With more than a hint of Mount Kimbie - albeit Mount Kimbie if they could relax for just a second (or rather, six minutes), those hissing, skipping programmed drums a little more freshly-squeezed than ‘Carbonated’ - ‘Unbreak’ unfolds slowly and delicately, incorporating plenty of elements that are ‘in’ with producers of his ilk (Cyril Hahn, James Blake et al), from the pitch-shifted R&B vocal samples to the waves of fuzzy keys soaking everything in an after-dark, walking-home-from-the-club-with-ringing-ears haze. Spectral, sexy, soothing, sounds pretty good to us. (Tom Baker)