Good noole, dear readers, and a happy Friday to you all. As usual, its been a busy week of new music, and up to their usual antics, artists have been releasing new songs left right and centre. We’ve picked out the biggest and best new songs to emerge this week, and there’s plenty to get stuck into. M.I.A’s combining Lion King samples with vital political statements, The Magic Gang have taken on an unlikely, but totally genius choice of cover, and Shura’s ‘Touch’ only went and picked up a bloomin’ remix from Four Tet! In other words, it’s all kicking off. For everything else out this week head over to the DIY Listening Hub, or hit play on our Essential Playlist.
M.I.A - MIA OLA/Foreign Friend
Brazenly sampling ‘Circle of Life’ from Disney’s Lion King, ‘MIA OLA’ comes complete with a call to action from M.I.A; pirate the hell out of this, and share it everywhere. Given Mathangi Arulpragasam’s accidental knack for landing herself in legal hot-water - from the whole Superbowl middle finger debacle, to the hoo-hah with Paris Saint-Germain football club - one suspects she’s fully aware of the potential consequences, and this deliberately forms part of her statement. “Creeping in my socks and slippers, the Mexicans say Yala,” she deadpans with chopped-up monotone tannoy announcements, once again hitting out at the ludicrously political nature of borders all the while. Coming along with another new song ‘Foreign Friend,’ it’s not yet clear if these two tracks are taken from her upcoming record, or something else altogether. Either way, M.I.A’s talking about something hugely important that needs to be heard. (El Hunt)
Deftones - Doomed User
Where ‘Prayers/Triangles’ tempted the listener in, with its ghostly guitars and Chino Moreno’s wonderfully hypnotic vocals, the latest cut from Deftones’ ‘Gore’ feels like its polar opposite. While mysterious lethargy reigned supreme on the album’s first cut, ‘Doomed User’ is an adrenaline shot direct to the heart.
Crunching guitars and screeched vocals are in abundance on the newest slice of ‘Gore’, showcasing the sheer urgency and power that the Californians are still able to effortlessly harness, even two decades into their career. If ‘Doomed User’ is just one part of the spectrum - and a heavy part, at that - ‘Gore’ is shaping up to be one of the band’s most multi-faceted offerings yet. (Sarah Jamieson)
Shura - Touch (Four Tet remix)
Here’s something to make everyone feel prematurely geriatric - Shura’s breakout, views-in-the-millions song ‘Touch’ first came out over two years ago. Blimey. It’s a song that never really went away after first sneaking its way onto Soundcloud, and quite rightly so. There are hooks all over the place; from the melody-hook itself, to the all-too-familiar lyrical despair of wanting to re-hook up with someone who’s a bit rotten.
Approximately 730 days later, ‘Touch’ still remains Shura’s tour de force, and as a nice little pressie around her long-awaited debut announcement, it has snapped up a reworking from the sweet prince of electro-bliss himself, Four Tet. Twisting the vibed out Balariac-o-meter to the max setting, and laying down a fidgety, limb-infecting beat to drive ‘Touch’ in a more urgent, basement-ready direction, Kieran Hebden breathes yet more oomph into pop’s own Peter Pan - the song that never gets old. (El Hunt)
Liss - Sorry
Aarhus teens Liss give credit to pop’s globe-trotting power. On one side of the planet, the likes of Frank Ocean and Dev Hynes can form a blueprint for futuristic R&B. And on the other side, kids from Denmark can use this transformative influence to inform their first steps. ‘Sorry’ is their first single on XL, following the curious first move of last year’s ‘Try’. On both songs, Søren Holm has a captivating role at the front. But ‘Sorry’ steps things up a gear. When he screams “I’m sorry for all the shit that I have done” over toy-like synths and light steel drums, he really means it. Hopefully in a remote town thousands of miles away from Denmark, someone’s losing their shit after listening to Liss. (Jamie Milton)
The Magic Gang - Walk on By
They’re a merry bunch of fellas, are The Magic Gang. With an easy-to-underestimate ear for laying down skipping serotonin in catchy-riff form, their self-titled EP is a loudly whistling bounce through loved-up wild flowers. And even when they’re singing more-than-meets-the-eye lines like “party drugs don’t do anything,” they do so while appearing grinningly heady.
So, of course it makes sense that The Magic Gang are fans of ‘Walk On By’ - the Burt Bacharach and Hal David-penned warblethon Dionne Warwick first made famous. Mimicing the spring-in-step trumpet parps of the original by way of steely-drum effects, and singing about make-believe and endless tears with breathy, croony delivery, the band tackle the old-hat classic slice with all the brilliantly awkward hand-on-hips sway of hapless romancing at a drama-fuelled school disco. Only a brave bunch take on a song absolute legend Gabrielle covered so iconically. The Magic Gang, luckily, rise to the challenge. (El Hunt)
MOURN - Evil Dead
It’d take the most treacherous of roadblocks to stop MOURN in their tracks. Or a dodgy label, for that matter. Back in December of last year, the Barcelona punks claimed their Spanish label were preventing the release of their new LP. Presumably that kerfuffle’s been dealt with, but it’s easy to see why the band were keen to strike out with ‘EVIL DEAD’.
Like the pulse of their 2014 debut, this track carries a vicious streak. It’s a footstomping giant that barrels down city streets instead of taking one simple path. There’s thunder and destruction with every pummelling drum. In fact, the more disjointed MOURN sound, the more devilish and exciting they become. (Jamie Milton)
Mura Masa - What If I Go?
Brighton-via-Guernsey producer Mura Masa takes his name from a razor-sharp blade, and in his newest song ‘What If I Go?’ he crafts his hardest cutting banger yet. In the past Alex Crossan’s diverse set of influences has been most apparent through his careful deployment of pentatonics and intricate, gentle melody lines; twinkling, and subtle. Here, he steps things up several notches.
Though that same meticulous production handling constructs the chiming framework of ‘What If I Go?,’ guest vocalist Bonzai also brings Mura Masa’s biggest chorus yet to the table.“You fill my head with madness,” she sings over juddering, hard-hitting stabs of sound. Fidgeting up and down, taking everything in, and grabbing at everything interesting in sight like an overly curious toddler trying to escape the confines of a high chair, ‘What If I Go?’ is saturated, bubbling, massive-sounding dance magic. (El Hunt)