Listen Tracks: Grian Chatten, PJ Harvey, Four Tet and more

The biggest and best of this week’s new music.

It’s been another big one, readers. No sooner had Four Tet spent an unexpected Sunday evening casually headlining Coachella alongside besties Fred Again.. and Skrillex when he released a new track (and no, it wasn’t another attempt at springing ‘Country Riddim’ on anyone, we know what you’re thinking…), then PJ Harvey casually announced details of her first album since 2016 and Fontaines DC frontman Grian Chatten opted to release a solo song. Then there’s the star-studded combo of Thundercat and Tame Impala teaming up, plus some much-welcomed returns from King Nun and Palehound.

To keep your eyes, ears and everything besides up to date with the best new music, feast on Essential New Tracks below. For what we have to say on this week’s pick of the pops, read on…

Grian Chatten - The Score

Not content with releasing three superlative albums in only just over three years at the helm of Fontaines DC, Grian Chatten’s prolific pen has been secretly scribbling away behind closed doors in pursuit of a debut solo project. Like with most side hustles of merit, ‘The Score’ takes fingerprints of the musician’s previous work - an innate understanding of old folk traditions; a poetic, lyrical touch at all turns - and puts them into new patterns that wouldn’t necessarily work for the band. Here, that translates to skittish, electronic, almost Radiohead-y beats set against Grian’s vocals, dialled down to their most hushed and cerebral. FDC are, we’re assured, all well and good; as a vehicle to showcase the vocalist’s more stripped-back side, ‘The Score’ hints at being a worthy addition to his canon. (Lisa Wright)

PJ Harvey - A Child’s Question, August

The lead single from her first album in 7 years, ‘A Child’s Question, August’ offers a glimpse into the world of the iconic-but-ever-mysterious PJ Harvey as she returns to her musical roots. Her ghostly, echoing vocals sing beautifully poetic lyrics as they float above a simplistic and lilting guitar riff, conjuring a dreamlike image of walking through a misty woodland. Indeed, there’s a kind of solace to be found within the track - and its foggy-sounding instrumentals make it feel like the world is spinning a little slower. (Rebecca Kesteven)

Four Tet - Three Drums

Fresh off his impressive collaboration with Skrillex and Fred Again.. - selling out Madison Square Garden then closing Coachella, Four Tet returns to his somewhat less exuberant solo work, with ‘Three Drums’ his first single since August last year. The track settles him back into his natural habitat, anchored by organic drums and a serenely evolving eight-minute melt-into-your-couch session. With its subtle synth progression, and optimistic, calming sound, ‘Three Drums’ is like the comfort of a sunset, or company on a road trip with the windows down. And, coming after his previous few months, is also a reminder of his striking versatility as an artist. (Sam Eeckhout)

King Nun - Selfish

Marking their first new material to be released since their 2019 debut ‘MASS’ - and recently signing to their new label home of Marshall Records - the latest track to come from King Nun is another blistering effort. While squalling guitars introduce ‘Selfish’, it’s the chorus’ Placebo-ish refrain (“Now I’m so lonely I could die / Every once in a while”) that manages to be both utterly gut-wrenching and insatiably catchy all at the same time. It’s a darkly-tinged scuzzy delight to usher in their new era. (Sarah Jamieson)

Thundercat x Tame Impala - No More Lies

R&B’s favourite bassist and psych-pop’s favourite frontman have teamed up to create the ultimate Thunder-pala partnership. Both artists have melded their respective sounds so effortlessly; they both share distinctive falsettos, a penchant for groovy baselines, and delicious funk progressions. Kevin Parker flourishes the track with his trademark starry synths, and Thundercat brings his usual self-deprecating humour to the table: “It’s not your fault / I’m just kind of ass”. Lyrically, the two weave a tale of the consequences of honesty, and the strong desire to run away from the car crash of your relationship. Full of wit and woe, ‘No More Lies’ isn’t as liberating as one would expect, but that complex web of emotions - set against the gorgeously production - is what makes it so fascinating to listen to. (Alex Rigotti)

Kesha - Eat The Acid

It’s Kesha’s final album on her current contract - and she’s making sure to go out with a bang. The second of two tracks shared to preview the record, ‘Fine Line’ really hints at what’s to come. “This is where you fuckers pushed me,” she warns against bright, woozy pianos. “Don’t be surprised if shit gets ugly”. Against the sleazy party girl image of her younger days, ‘Fine Line’ is a stark reminder of what’s been taken away from the pop star - and the haunting lessons she’s learned since. (Alex Rigotti)

Palehound - The Clutch

Last seen as one half of Bachelor alongside Jay Som, El Kempner’s Palehound moniker returns with a blast of pent up emotion that suggests the interim period has perhaps not been an overly rosy one. With ‘The Clutch’ acting as a smart metaphor for a relationship juddering and stalling to a close, El’s cathartic alt-rock comes to an increasingly frantic culmination as the track progresses; it’s final third is given over solely to the line “You didn’t need my help” on repeat. Which, y’know, doesn’t bode brilliantly… (Lisa Wright)

HEALTH - Hateful

Another video game team-up for the noisy trio, this time with the suitably darkly-titled first-person shooter ‘ULTRAKILL’, HEALTH’S latest is indeed perfectly paced for pixels legging it from one massacre to another, but also, with its softly-delivered, matter-of-fact vocals, also coming across as Pet Shop Boys’ evil twin: a beat begging for the dark, dank basement under the Boys’ technicolour disco, perhaps. (Bella Martin)

Do Nothing - Amoeba

Given that, since its release everyone and their brother has tried their hand at the same sound that fuelled crowd favourite ‘Lebron James’, Do Nothing’s decision to divert towards melody is proving itself a fruitful one so far. Meandering and verging on the smooth, ‘Amoeba’ might not have the immediacy of ‘Handshakes’, but there’s something charming about Chris Bailey’s newfound croon, bringing to mind Alex Kapranos in its careful diction and implied sarcasm. (Louisa Dixon)"

Tags: Grian Chatten, Listen, Features, Tracks

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