Listen Tracks: Arlo Parks, Ariana Grande, Julien Baker and more

The biggest and best tracks of the past week, rounded up and reviewed.

It’s finally the end of the week, and we have a brand spanking new edition of Tracks - our weekly round-up of the biggest and best new tracks around.

There’s more new Arlo Parks alongside news of the Londoner’s debut album set for release in the new year, the return of Julien Baker, surprise new The Magic Gang and more

For what we have to say on this week’s biggest and most exciting tracks, scroll on! And if you’re itching to check out even more, subscribe to our Essential New Tracks playlist.

Arlo Parks - Green Eyes

Adolescence is a confusing time for all, not least those searching to understand their own sexuality. Announcing her debut album, Arlo Parks looks back on the struggle to find acceptance both from ourselves and from others on the sublime ‘Green Eyes’, inviting Clairo along for the ride. “Of course I know why we lasted two months,” she reminisces of an impossible romance, one foiled by the impact of the world’s view on the LGBT+ community and the long-lasting effects on the individual. The result is bittersweet yet beautiful. “You’ve got to trust how you feel inside,” Arlo implores with a knowing nod to just how difficult that can be. It’s an “it gets better” anthem grounded in the realities of coming of age outside of the norm. (Ben Tipple)

Ariana Grande - Positions

After triggering a low key pop emergency by announcing that she’ll be sharing a brand new album this month, Ariana Grande has offered up the first taste of her sixth studio album, revealing sleek pop bop ‘positions’. Accompanied by a timely video that sees Ari switching places (or “positions”, get it?) with Donald Trump and taking over the White House, ‘positions’ is a glistening R&B infused sizzler that may not pack as much of a punch as ‘Thank U, Next’ did when ushering in her fifth album era, but still cements Ari as one of the best pop stars around. (Elly Watson)

The Magic Gang - Somebody Like You

Whether it’s the opening riff resembling a cut’n’paste of the Stones’ classic ‘Start Me Up’, or the echoes of Billy Ocean in the song’s chorus, The Magic Gang are continuing their ‘70s fm radio vibes in force on ‘Somebody Like You’. It’s still as peppy as we’ve come to expect from the quartet, of course, and there are still some gorgeous harmonies to be found - just don’t be surprised if the next time you see ‘em they’re decked in dubious shades of orange. (Emma Swann)

Julien Baker - Faith Healer

At the end of her second album’s ‘Claws In My Back’, Julien Baker powerfully asserted the co-existence of herself and her demons. “If you keep it between us, I think they’re the same,” she revealed, bringing together her sins and her saints. Announcing her third record, ‘Little Oblivions’, with her first full-band track ‘Faith Healer’, Julien told Rolling Stone that she has moved one step forward; her demons and saints are no longer separate entities, but rather unchangeable parts of her. With that, ‘Faith Healer’ doesn’t look for absolution but for hope in herself. “I’ll believe you if you make me feel something”, she says in a line that could have found its home on either her stripped back debut or her darkly cinematic follow-up, but one that emerges as an understatedly exciting new direction for one of the best songwriters of our time. (Ben Tipple)

Easy Life - Daydreams

For anyone out there feeling a little low or reflective right now, the latest cut from Easy Life is inevitably for you. A blissed-out offering aptly-titled ‘Daydreams’, their latest track is an ode to to giving yourself a minute in the midst of heartache and hardship. And with a nod to one of everyone’s favourite past times right now - day drinking, duh - it’s a laidback anthem that fits today’s mood perfectly. (Sarah Jamieson)

Hot Chip ft Jarvis Cocker - Straight to the Morning

In the dancefloor-starved desert that is 2020, the idea of a straight-down-the-line club-ready number is a strange one, not least that the premise of ‘Straight to the Morning’ would be more ‘pub’s closed, off to sleep’ than anything as joyfully hedonistic as the outfit usually suggest. But, here lies Hot Chip’s strength, and with the help of a suitably suggestive Jarvis, they’re at least ready to soundtrack tinnies until the early hours with your pre-existing household. (Emma Swann)

Marika Hackman - Between The Bars / All Night

While the first taste of Marika Hackman’s forthcoming ‘Covers’ album was a more unexpected reworking - which breathed a sense of organic life into Grimes’ otherworldly ‘Realiti’ - it’s with her newest offerings that things feel to have settled into more familiar territory. Granted, taking on both Beyoncé and Elliott Smith is no easy task, but with her two new versions, she treads the line of respectful but experimental brilliantly. While ‘All Night’ is a more sparse offering - her vocals punctuated by warm beats - than the original, it’s on the Smith classic ‘Between The Bars’ that she hits an ethereal high. (Sarah Jamieson)

Tags: Ariana Grande, Arlo Parks, Easy Life, Hot Chip, Jarvis Cocker, Julien Baker, Marika Hackman, The Magic Gang, Listen, Features, Tracks

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