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 that predictably-massive brand new IDLES number, top pop squared thanks to Lady Gaga teaming up with Ariana Grande, previously-unheard Sundara Karma, plus much 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.
IDLES - Mr Motivator
How do you follow up a record (2018’s ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’) widely heralded as the most timely, poignant and - quote unquote - ‘important’ thing to come from its peer group in years? Well, if you’re IDLES, then you consign any possible pretence to the bin, title your comeback track after a lycra-clad daytime TV star from the ’90s and announce its release via a fake workout video. Duh. Just to remind us all that the beauty of the Bristolians has always been their simultaneous ability to make you weep one second and piss yourself laughing the next, ‘Mr. Motivator’ arrives in a barrage of brilliant one-liners aimed at revving you into a state of cathartic power: Delia Smith becomes the third TV chef to find their way into Joe Talbot’s lyrical arsenal (honestly mate, what’s the beef?), while “like Kathleen Hanna with bear claws grabbing Trump by the pussy” is destined to become a gloriously unifying crowd moment, as soon as that sort of thing’s allowed. A big, bold call to arms with oodles of humour, it’s everything you want from them in three celebratory minutes. (Lisa Wright)
Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande - Rain On Me
Banger of the highest order - and first single from upcoming album ‘Chromatica’ - ‘Stupid Love’ was more than enough to show Lady Gaga meant pop business this time around, and if teaming up with Ariana wasn’t enough to have the internet aflutter with this second cut from next week’s release (spoiler: it would be), lyrics that essentially say ‘it could be worse’ couldn’t be more SS20 if they tried. (Emma Swann)
Sundara Karma - Invade Safe Space
On 2019 second album ‘Ulfilas’ Alphabet’, Sundara Karma went from slightly theatrical indie boys to full on, genre-bending space pop adventurers. It may have been a baffling leap for some but, offering up three previously-unreleased demos from the album sessions this week, there’s enough interest even in their offcuts to show a band with ideas and identity to spare. Easily the best of the three comes in the form of ‘Invade Safe Space’, which begins like ‘Modern Love’-era Bowie - all pithy vocals and punctuated drums - before a heavenly interlude breaks it in two, leaving it to return with an even heftier kick. Maybe ‘Ulfilas Alphabet’ didn’t land with the impact it deserved because it doesn’t fit into an easily categorisable algorithm, but it - and this gem - remain a joy for exactly that reason. (Lisa Wright)
Will Joseph Cook - Driverless Cars
Sharing his first slice of new music in 2020, Will Joseph Cook gives us ‘Driverless Cars’. All about feeling a bit lost in life, the slow-burning indie number blends elements of alt-pop and chilled vibes, reflecting Will’s hope to convey the “stoner energy” of the lyrics within the melody. A perfect track for when you just wanna sit back and relax, it’s a classic WJC bop to see ya through the bank hol. (Elly Watson)
Green Day - Dreaming
When done right, there’s something heartwarming about a straightforward cover: No ulterior motives, no carefully-curated ploy to win over a new audience (see: any Billie Eilish covers this side of last winter), just ‘artist likes song, artist plays song’. So there’s something wonderfully pure about Green Day’s ‘Dreaming’, not making any attempt to reinvent the Blondie classic, just showing it the requisite amount of love, and sounding precisely like Green Day covering Blondie would. When so much is new, scary and unpredictable, this is nothing short of joyous. (Emma Swann)
Daði Freyr - Where We Wanna Be
Back before the time of “these unprecedented circumstances,” when plans for Eurovision 2020 were still in full swing, Iceland unveiled their entry, synth-pop dance-lover Daði Freyr. Landing with ‘Think About Things’ the insanely catch track went viral, leading Daði to be proclaimed as the people’s winner of the ill-fated Eurovision contest. Now proving that he’s not a one hit wonder, he’s shared new track ‘Where We Wanna Be’. An optimistic synth-laden bop about having people you love in your life even when it’s going to shit outside, Daði might just be the winner of mastering catchy lockdown tracks atm. (Elly Watson)
The Mysterines - I Win Every Time
For those missing the rampage of stomping through the city on a wild nocturnal adventure, ‘I Win Every Time’ lands with the un-fuck-with-able attitude of Godzilla smashing down the street with a tequila in hand. The latest from Liverpool new(ish)comers The Mysterines, it’s not worlds away from the Royal Blood-leaning rock’n’roll riffola that’s become their stock in trade, but there’s something about their newest that shines that bit harder. Singer Lia Metcalfe’s vocals are full of manic character, powerful bellows and playful winks all combining to suggest she could quickly grow into a frontwoman of clout; for a next step, it’s their strongest to date by far. (Lisa Wright)