News Tracks: Jamie xx, BOOTS, Jack White & More

Not only is it a Friday today, it’s an especially fragrant new-paper-stocktacular New IssueFriday! Contain yourselves for a moment, though, dear readers, because the DIY writers have another gift up their crafty little sleeves. Picking out the best songs to grace the last week with their music presence, all the chosen tracks are below for your listening pleasure:

BOOTS – Dreams (ft. Beyonce)

At the moment everybody seems to be talking about BOOTS, and no, I don’t mean the pharmacy. Anyway, who cares about the 2 for 1 deal on selected vitamin supplements if there’s music that sounds this healthy and energised. Featuring none other than Beyonce, BOOTS’ latest cut combines mellowed out and timeless Rn’B with a beautifully restrained handle on production. His understated vocals have the same teetering touch of subtly, lines like “I sleep on the floor-boards, I kiss the ground,” having all the more impact for their delivery. Once Beyonce permeates the mix, building gentle harmonies up into dreamy falsetto, before spiraling upwards into magical vocal runs, the two voices combine into heady melodic heaven. This is such stuff as ‘Dreams’ are made on. (El Hunt)


Jamie xx – Girl

Whilst Jamie xx opted for a stuttering garage-esque beat in his earlier 2014 release ‘Sleep Sound’, his latest track ‘Girl’ eases up on the percussive shuffles to allow space for epic, soaring vocals and reverb soaked guitar. The plucked bassline and slow tempo create a vibe reminiscent of ‘Feel It All Around’ by chillwave producer Washed Out, but Jamie takes a step forward here whilst staying true to his own sound, characterised by a clever manipulation of finely cut samples. With an official Young Turks release due on May 5th, the track has already been doing the social media rounds after popping up on last week’s 1-800 dinosaur residency on BBC Radio One, and has been uploaded to the label’s YouTube channel by popular demand. Expect to hear this one frequently in the coming months. (Patrick Benjamin Heardman)


Jack White - Lazaretto

Sure, there’s definitely an argument to be made that ‘Lazaretto’ would be even better should it end at about the two-minute mark, but if you’re gonna release a track four hours after hitting the studio, why not make it a bombastic riff-fest like this, eh? [Emma Swann]


ShowYouSuck – The Ring

Chicago’s waviest hip-hop musician ShowYouSuck is not usually one to show restraint – his last EP ‘Dude Bro’ consisted of an eclectic assortment of glam synthesizers and an overwhelming sense of adoration for all things 80s. With ‘The Ring’, however, a one-off release that channels the iconic mantra of Queen B – if you love it, you should totally put a ring on it – things take a turn for the mellow. In a flow that embodies the term ‘casual’ to its fullest, the rapper documents listening to No Doubt on a tape deck and his disinterest in the violent notions of the notorious ‘Chiraq’ scene – all whilst the track’s accompanying Professor Fox-produced beat bubbles warmly in the background. Throw in a sensational middle eight courtesy of electro-pop delight KSRA and the end product proves to be one of ShowYouSuck’s most interesting and addictive offerings to date. (Joshua Pauley)


Beverly – Honey Do

In the spirit of Record Store Day, releases have been abundant and amongst them have been some cracking compilations. Kanine Records’ ‘Non Violent Femmes’ is no exception, featuring noise pop favourites Joanna Gruesome, destructive 90s-echoing rockers Speedy Ortiz, and this gem from Frankie Rose’s new band: Beverly. The ex-Crystal stilts member, Vivian Girls drummer and solo artist is now playing as part of a duo with Drew Citron of Avan Lava. Creating dreamy, fuzzed out numbers for fans of Flowers, Keel Her and Best Coast. ‘Honey Do’, the first take from their debut album as a two piece, is a wonderfully distorted guitar- led pop jaunt. The repetitive, reverb laden chords grate and grind, lulling any listener into a foot-tapping, head-lolling state, before everything builds to a momentary silence and saccharine female vocals merge into the soundscape. Is there anything this woman can’t do?! (Laura Eley)


Hannah Diamond – Attachment

Hannah Diamond, blessed with the sickly-sweet yet mildly haunting vocals of Bella from The Tweenies, could be the avant-garde breath of fresh air that the world has been waiting for. Poised in her baby-pink North Face jacket, with the noble stance of a self-assured pioneer, Hannah Diamond finds sentiment and heartfelt emotion in the most unlikely places on her new track ‘Attachment’. “I’ve saved you as a picture on my phone,” she sings, and perhaps she means that she’s gone to the immense trouble of setting a contact photo for her boo. Maybe she means that she has taken the symbolic step of choosing to immortalise her true love as her phone background? Either way, in an age of disposable snapchats that smoulder away into thin air, ‘Attachment’ fizzles with determined conviction, as if Hannah Diamond has finally filled the abstract void in her IRL romance by digitising it on her phone. It’s very hard to know if Hannah Diamond’s trademark lyrical cliché, weirdly paced line delivery and keyboard demo production is a genuine joke or something incredibly meta. Actually, who cares, because here is yet another song from PC Music that we just can’t shake from our minds. I might even save it as a polyphonic ringtone on my phone, (El Hunt)


Allan Kingdom – Evergreens

With the exception of acts like Hannah Diamond - the maverick behind another of this week’s chosen tracks - there aren’t many musicians going right now that you can call refreshing. Allan Kingdom, however, personifies the term with his delightfully goofy ‘Evergreens’. Gleefully rapping over a sparse and eccentric beat, ‘Evergreens’ showcases Allan’s whimsical personality, and almost Wes Anderson like in nature, the flute-driven instrumental is as playful as it is driving. His smiley refrain is infectious, sun-drenched, and just a tad defiant. (Joe Price)


The Retro Spankees – Good Start

Northampton - the town famous for making shoes. Northampton - home to The Retro Spankees. It seems as though one of these statements isn’t quite true doesn’t it? The Retro Spankees are breaking out of their shoe-obsessed surroundings with a sound that gives the mundane slog of day to day life a boot up the bum. ‘Good Start’ has a passive aggressive tone with plenty of wonky twists and turns and pop sensibilities. It’s a good song to start your obsession with them. Thank me later. (Jack Parker)


As Elephants Are – Went Wrong

Taken from their Hand Prints’ EP - out next month - comes the latest offering from the young and exceedingly talented Buckinghamshire four piece. Compared to previous releases ‘Crystal’ and last month’s ‘Hand Prints’, which toy with surf-drenched guitars and buoyant, infectious indie-pop rhythms a la Bombay Bicycle Club, ‘Went Wrong’s mood is a little more serious. The vocals are a little more longing, the swooping melody more intensified. Initially a slower jaunt than those aforementioned tracks, Ben Stratford’s signature vocals soon creep in under swoops of reverb, giving the whole track a kind of celestial atmosphere, before a spilling over into a gushing, crescendo, which lasts for what seems like forever. A more emotional take on pop, but probably their most powerful track to date, ‘Went Wrong’ proves this quartet to be anything but a one trick *ahem* elephant. (Laura Eley)


Movement – Ivory

‘Ivory’s addictive combination of power-soul vocals and pulses of piano might be on loan from early 90s dance music, but Movement - with additional co-production from long-time The Weeknd collaborator Illangelo - assemble something totally unique and bewitching. Slinking atop ghostly layers of echo, blimey, that guitar solo is steamier than beads of water rolling down a misted window. With a self-titled EP on the horizon from Sydney’s wooziest new export, Movement are the latest trio to watch out for. (El Hunt)

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