If this week’s sun didn’t boil your brains as it did our collective consciousnesses, you’re doing better than DIY HQ this Friday evening. In more relevant news, it’s been a massive week for pop. First, Billie Eilish shared new bop ‘Lost Cause’ from forthcoming album ‘Happier Than Ever’, then Chvrches announced LP4 with ‘How Not To Drown’ featuring Actual Robert Smith From The Cure, and Drag Race’s breakout superstar, Bimini unleashed their attack on the charts. Phew.
Subscribe to Essential New Tracks on Spotify to keep your devices updated, read on for our pick of this week’s newbies.
Billie Eilish - Lost Cause
Never one to shy away from a point from the beginning, LP2 - gauging from its string of teaser singles - seems to be the record in which Billie Eilish has perfected the art of the withering put-down. On ‘Therefore I Am’ she grimaces her way through majorly unimpressed missives aimed at someone on her coat-tails; on recent track ‘Your Power’, she neatly shoots down abusive men in a series of cutting one-liners (“Will you only feel bad if it turns out that they kill your contract?”), and now ‘Lost Cause’ arrives as the ultimate ‘fuck that guy’ anthem to soundtrack a thousand summer dumpings. Low slung and subtly seductive, you pity the poor fool caught in its crosshairs: they’ve got no chance. (Lisa Wright)
Chvrches - How Not To Drown (ft. Robert Smith)
Chvrches are at their best when they truly bite; the Glasgow trio’s strength lies in contrasting darkness and light while playing with the medium of pop. ‘How Not To Drown’, the second cut from recently-announced fourth album ‘Screen Violence’, sees them pair up with music’s Vantablack (The Cure’s Robert Smith) for some real magic. A track vocalist Lauren Mayberry has said is written from her perspective at the one time she felt like quitting the group, the heavy synths echo the (one assumes) heavy thoughts behind it, pulsating hypnotically. And whether intentional or not, the iconic guest vocals act as both a wise voice, and familiar reassurance. (Emma Swann)
Bimini - God Save This Queen
Over the last few years, largely thanks to the alumni of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, drag queens have started to make increasingly more notable waves in the pop charts, and the arrival of London queer icon and Drag Race UK runner up Bimini’s debut offering feels like a knocking-down of the door to the next level. Veering from genuine messages of inclusivity to hilarious one-liners (the petition for more songs about buying alcopops from the corner shop starts here), 'God Save This Queen' is musically a sort of queer electro-pop ‘Parklife’. In a landscape thriving on hyperpop where Rebecca Black can reinvent herself as an on-trend new star, there’s no reason why Bimini shouldn’t be seen as just as much of a contender. (Lisa Wright)
Pa Salieu - Glidin’ (ft. slowthai)
Pa Salieu proved himself the most exciting new rap voice in 2020, beginning this year with not only topping the BBC’s annual buzz list (and featuring on our own *cough*) but also making his mark on the other side of the Atlantic, no small feat for a UK artist. So his teaming up with chart-topping slowthai for latest cut ‘Glidin’’ is less a big-name feature, more a meeting of minds. A metaphorical reaching of hands across the Midlands, it’s an energetic rush of a track with a bubbling chorus that’s bound to soundtrack many a summer. (Bella Martin)
Baby Queen - American Dream (ft. MAY-A)
"The wildest dreams always come true / So I'm dreaming wildly about you," Baby Queen - aka Bella Latham - sings wistfully on her new track 'American Dream'. And while the allure of the land of the free is certainly a well-worn subject when it comes to musical numbers, here Bella manages to give it a fresh new spin. More of a manifestation anthem ("I know that I'm only human / I manifest my delusion") than an updated version of The Star-Spangled Banner, there's sugary pop highs a-plenty in this nostalgia-packed bop. (Sarah Jamieson)
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