Hungry for new music of all descriptions? You’re in the right place. This week there’s been a soundtrack release with enough carefully balanced tension to rival ‘Skyfall’, a return from A$AP Ferg, an inspired re-working, and much more besides. The scribblers of DIY, as always, are behind this veritable treasure chest, and they’ve done a marvelous job of whittling the week’s new releases down to the very best. To catch up with everything else that came out recently, head to the fancy schmancy DIY Listening Hub.
Lorde - Yellow Flicker Beat
The Lorde has returned. Tasked with curating the music for the new Hunger Games flick, Mockingjay - Part 1, New Zealand’s pop queen is also responsible for the first single release from the soundtrack. ‘Yellow Flicker Beat’ - all compressed orchestral swells and sassy, sauntering chorusing - is exactly the sort of comeback we’d expect. “I’m a princess cut from marble, smoother than a storm,” begins Lorde, charged with dramatic cinematographic clout. “They used to shout my name, now they whisper it,” she sings, elsewhere. Since ‘Royals’, her rise to fame has been astronomically rapid. If ‘Yellow Flicker Beat’ is anything to go by, the throne still belongs to Lorde. (El Hunt)
A$AP Rocky - Multiply
When news of the demise of the long-awaited A$AP Mob EP ‘L.O.R.D.’ broke a mere few days ago, collective member A$AP Yams assured that the group’s next release would come from flagship rapper A$AP Rocky - and sure enough, his word has rung true. With ‘Multiply’, Rocky reels off brazen bar after bar over his most ominously rugged production yet – warning of the notorious demons that prowl Harlem, paying tribute to the late Pimp C and denouncing rival streetwear brand Been Trill. Despite the generally menacing aura of the track, Rocky still finds room to squeeze in a semblance of humour, with “number one stunner, ask Tumblr if I’m accurate” perhaps being the most sardonic plea for validation in a hip-hop track this year. (Joshua Pauley)
Speedy Ortiz - Doomsday
A lot of the time it seems like we’re ‘due a Mayan apocalypse’ every other month. “Oh here we go again,” everyone will sigh, bracing themselves to survive the non-existent impact of yet another made-up meteor not hitting into the earth. When the ‘Doomsday’ in question is sent by way of Massachusetts’ Speedy Ortiz, though, everything changes. The first song that front woman Sadie Dupuis ever wrote for Speedy, it moves towards self implosion from the off – like a good apocalypse song probably should. “Maybe it’s doom?” suggests Dupuis at the beginning. By the end she’s concluded “baby it’s doomed,” and “maybe I’m doomed.” Everything about ‘Doomsday’ should logically reek of doom alone, then, but somehow Speedy Ortiz manage to make world fallout seem effortlessly, bittersweetly, beautiful. (El Hunt)
Demob Happy - Succubus
Whether they’re “sucking on cream and gold dust” or seemingly mulling over the merits of the BBC, Demob Happy don’t make a great deal of sense on their sonic assault of a new single, ‘Succubus’. That doesn’t matter one jot. Instead of weighing up pros and cons, finding emotional peace or getting downbeat with enough ‘woe is me’-isms to merit an intervention, they stick to the riffs. Demob work best when they’re blasting out grubby licks - emoting isn’t their game. As it stands, ‘Succubus’ is brilliantly gross. “You need a love song, you can’t have,” they - at least appear to - sing, rejoicing in all things fuzzy, with all the intent of a stampede approaching the edge of a cliff. (Jamie Milton)
Låpsley - Falling Short
When Liverpool’s Holly Fletcher started making music as Låpsley, attention circuited her ability to sound like several humans at once. Vocals arrived in different, often overlapping, pitches. Comparisons to The Knife’s Karin Dreijer flocked in. “Is that a guy singing too?” was the immediate response. It’s worthy of a distraction, sure, but this dab-handed technique isn’t the appeal of Fletcher - new song ‘Falling Short’ proves this. Simple as they come, her first song in seven months cements her status as a clear-headed songwriter that revels in complexities. If sped up and shoved alongside trusty donks, the piano line could serve as an Ibiza-worthy anthem - instead, it forms the backdrop for downbeat musings. “Been a long time coming but I’m falling short,” says the youngster, like adulthood’s creeping in for a nasty wake up call. The truth is that Låpsley’s arguably the most exciting UK newcomer around, an 18 year old songwriter with enough potential to render heady predictions wild understatements. (Jamie Milton)
Splashh - Colour It In
It’s universally agreed that as a kid, there’s nothing more fun than nabbing a shedload of chewed-up crayons and turning a beaming dog into something that resembles Mr. Messy doing a Jackson Pollock. Washed-out four-piece Splashh have reified that beautiful feeling into new single ‘Colour It In’, a hazy slice of psych-rock that celebrates our multi-coloured world with barrels of radiant graphics and paint-pots of fuzz. It’s certainly a different sound to what we have heard from them before; it’s more mellow and chilled, pitching its metaphorical tent halfway between MGMT’s more recent stuff and the fuzzy art-rock of Jesus and the Mary Chain. What you may want to define it as ain’t too black and white; but whatever it is, it’s a masterful Splashh of colour on the blank canvas that is their upcoming second LP. (Kyle MacNeill)
Glass Animals - Hazey (Dave Glass Animals Rework Feat. Rome Fortune)
Extract a millisecond of Glass Animals’ latest edit - any millisecond, it doesn’t matter - and out steps something up to its knees in bright ideas, compressed to a tight extreme. Frontman Dave Bayley isn’t shy in weaving the odd hip-hop element into his band’s ‘Zaba’ debut, nestling up alongside rainforest tropics and sleek synth pop. But the influence is at its most obvious and overwhelming on this new edit of ‘Hazey’, featuring tour buddie Rome Fortune. Don’t rule out this being the first of many clear-headed forays into a tempting new world, genres linking together like a blossoming daisy chain. (Jamie Milton)
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