It’s raining singles! Not least amongst them is a new collaboration between Zhu and Tame Impala, but kicking into the new month there’s enough releases flying out of the speakers to send any sane and reasonable music aficionado ducking for cover. Being neither of these things we’ve been narrowing them down to eight must-hears. In addition to Tame, this week’s latest tracks come courtesy of GUM, Natalie Prass, Frankie Cosmos, Dinsoaur Jr., Jo Passed, SSION (featuring Ariel Pink), and Hinds.
TAME IMPALA AND ZHU – MY LIFE (?)
Tame Impala have been skirting along the precipice of dance pop for a while now and this latest ZHU collab suggests what things would be sounding like if Kevin Parker embraced this world with both arms. All the mood and body-moving beats with none of the rock majesty. Yes, he’s changing, but Tame with triplets? May God have mercy on us all.
GUM – THE BLUE MARBLE (SPINNING TOP)
For those chomping at the bit for something a little closer to classic Tame Impala Jay Watson’s been pulling out the stops with his own funkified run of singles in the lead up to new LP The Underdog. He’s described the record as acting as a kind of “soundtrack to a day in the life of GUM,” beginning just before a big night out. We’re not exactly sure where this one is falling in within the song-cycle but it’s clear he’s caught in a giddy high.
NATALIE PRASS - SHORT COURT STYLE (ATO/PIAS)
If Natalie Prass had written a new album along the same lines of her critically adored 2015 debut the musical world would be richer for it. But bolder yet she’s integrated her baroque pop to new and unexpected elements. ‘Short Court Style’ works in the strutting bravado and rhythm of ‘90s R&B. The result is something sitting outside of time, but utterly compelling. Great music demands risks, it’s embarrassing to admit but sometimes we need we need artists like Prass to remind us.
FRANKIE COSMOS – APATHY (SUB POP)
With these latest string of Frankie Cosmos singles, the words don’t seem to matter all that much. You may not be following every word which is sliding off of Greta Kline’s lips, but instantaneously you feel what she’s singing. Thrilling in its immediacy ‘Apathy’ continues in this vein, it’s not just telling a surreal narrative it’s rendering an emotional state.
DINOSAUR JR. – HOLD UNKNOWN (ADULT SWIM)
Amidst a lightning flurry of guitars Dinosaur return with a glorious and jittery flash of neuroticism. “I don’t want no friends,” Macis sings. But then he does. But then doesn’t. Hold off y’know?
JO PASSED - MDM (SUB POP/INERTIA)
‘MDM’ rocks out with the squall and rough power of Dolittle era Pixies. But rather act out past glories with rigid sameness, these weirdouts inject just enough of their own wayward oddity to make this their own. It’s also the title track from their debut LP Their Prime due May 25 via Sub Pop.
SSION – AT LEAST THE SKY IS BLUE (FT. ARIEL PINK) (DERO ARCADE)
For those unfamiliar, SSION (Cody Critcheloe) operates in a similar sphere to Ariel Pink. Both are deeply complex figures sharing an affinity for the disused ephemera and damaged transmissions of culture’s past. So, it’s not all too unsurprising that the pair have worked together for on this second track from Cody’s forthcoming LP. They’ve taken from the smooth world of radio-friendly dance music and subverted it with lo-fi sensibilities. As usual there’s a lot bubbling away under the aural surface. Here the two seem to be caught in the brinkmanship of doing it all just a little too convincingly.
HINDS – THE CLUB (POD/INERTIA)
‘New For You’ didn’t exactly cast the magic when it dropped last month. Fortunately, monumental follow up ‘The Club’ is, in the band’s own words, “more Hinds than Hinds themselves.” We’re inclined to agree. Long live over-the-top guitar solos
Words by Riley Fitzgerald