And just like that, Blue Monday came and went. Now that’s out the way, we just have the whole rest of the year to contend with. But let’s not think about that for now. Here’s a round-up of some of the best tunes released this week.
boygenius – $20
It was a good week for indie-rock fans, with news of the return of boygenius – the supergroup devised of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus. The Record, as its straightforwardly titled, arrives 31 March, with three new tracks out this week giving us a flavour of what’s to come. The album follows the trio’s 2018 eponymous EP and it’s fair to say the solo ventures of all three members have seen them each reach new heights since then, creating quite a buzz around it.
Kelela – Contact
An ideal end-of-week tune, ‘Contact’ has been described by Kelela as both “a soundtrack for ‘pre-gaming’ (a song to play as you’re getting ready or on your way to the club)” and “the interior club experience: the heat that envelops you when you walk into a packed rave”. With a simple yet effective video mainly showing Kelela enjoying said ‘pre-gaming’, the track is the fourth single to come ahead of her new album RAVEN, out 10 February via esteemed label Warp.
John Cale – NOT THE END OF THE WORLD
Velvet Underground co-founder John Cale has had a storied artistic life – and shows no sign of slowing down his progressive instincts with his latest album, MERCY. With some remarkably contemporary features – including electronic artist and producer Laurel Halo on the misty album opener, and ethereal Weyes Blood on ‘STORY OF BLOOD’ – it’s a record that’s as current as it is end-of-days. Not that it’s the end of the world, as the selected track beckons.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Easy Now
Another anticipated album announced this week was Noel’s fourth studio album, Council Skies, arriving on 2 June. Billed as a record that pays homage to his Mancunian roots, it’s been teased with new track ‘Easy Now’. “It’s going back to the beginning,” the former Oasis man’s said of the forthcoming album. “Daydreaming, looking up at the sky and wondering about what life could be … that’s as true to me now as it was in the early ‘90s. When I was growing up in poverty and unemployment, music took me out of that,” he says.
Billie Marten – This Is How We Move
North Yorkshire’s Isabella Tweddle, better known as Billie Marten, is also dropping a fourth record. Drop Cherries arrives on 7 April, it’s title apparently a metaphor where the gift of cherries stands for offering someone your love. Lead single ‘This Is How We Move’ sounds particularly Laura Marling-esque in its pretty, acoustic arrangement and bodes well for the 23-year-old’s forthcoming record.
Matt Maltese – Driving Just To Drive
The third consecutive artist on this list to have announced their forthcoming fourth record this week, Matt Maltese has teased Driving Just To Drive, set for release on 28 April, with its title track. Demonstrative of his usual picture-painting lyrical ability, the track follows sad ballad ‘Mother’, released last year. It follows a fairly prolific songwriter period for Mr. Maltese, with recent credits including Jamie T’s number 1 album, The Theory of Whatever, and other co-writes alongside Joy Crookes and Celeste. Not bad company that.
Metallica – Screaming Suicide
Admittedly it’s not often we plug heavy metal rage, but Metallica’s ‘Screaming Suicide’ was too good – and inevitably too loud – to ignore. It has a potent message behind it too, addressing the taboo around suicide. “The intention is to communicate about the darkness we feel inside,” lead vocalist James Hetfield has said. “It’s ridiculous to think we should deny that we have these thoughts. At one point or another I believe most people have thought about it.” True to such subject matter, it’s a tune that doesn’t hold back.
The Murder Capital – Crying
Irish post-punkers The Murder Capital staked further claim to the growing wave of excellent music emanating from their homeland of late. Gigi’s Recovery takes on existential angst with aplomb, with moments of sonic and lyrical redemption spread throughout in a way that demonstrates that “the quintet have no doubt managed to forge their own, unique sound,” our four-star review states.
Bo Milli – Good Kid
Norway-based Bo Milli is the latest addition to MADE Management, the Scandinavian agency that helped make an international star of Sigrid. The lyrics of her latest track ‘Good Kid’ are typical of her self-critical, introspective approach to songwriting, with the track having grown out of her attempt to write a “proper riff” – something which is punchily present and there to listen.
Krept & Konan (feat. Abra Cadabra) – Dat Way
British rap stalwarts Krept & Konan drop their first tune of the year. ‘Dat Way’ is the first official release from the pair since singles ‘Tell Me’, ‘G Love’ and ‘I Spy’, taken from their critically acclaimed, top five album Revenge Is Sweet. It’s also the first release on their own independent label, Play Dirty. After three years, they’re back, all on their own terms.