This week, it was tempting to create a playlist for the send-off of Boris Johnson. But that would probably just consist of ABBA tunes on repeat and different renditions of the national anthem. Much better we explore some of this week’s cracking new releases – of which there are many.
Burna Boy (feat. J Balvin) – Rollercoaster
Burna Boy might just have pulled out of Wireless without much explanation (only merely tweeting “sorry”), but at least we have his new album, Love, Damini. With its shimmering afrobeat backdrop and addition from J Balvin, ‘Rollercoaster’ epitomises the rather eclectic range on the Nigerian superstar’s album – and makes you envision a holiday in sunnier climes.
M(h)aol – Bored of Men
Written in a matter of minutes by Róisín Nic Ghearailt, lead singer of Irish post-punk band M(h)aol, ‘Bored of Men’ was devised in response to the recent Depp vs. Heard court case. “I’m bored with the conversation in the media solely focusing on damage that’s been done rather than thinking of ways to evolve and heal and challenge the systems that prop these individuals up,” Róisín’s said. What we certainly aren’t bored of is this tune.
James Bay – Love Don’t Hate Me
Another release from a high-profile album drop this week, James Bay delivers his third studio album, Leap. Inspired by the people and moments that have lifted him since some rather difficult periods in 2019, Leap is a celebration of… well, love, at its core. ‘Love Don’t Hate Me’ sees James deliver his typically powerful vocals. Read our interview with James, here.
Humour – yeah, mud!
Glaswegian group Humour also have a track that was created in a short amount of time, with ‘yeah, mud!’ having come together in under an hour. Such pace fits the theme of the song: it’s inspired by a book read by band member Andreas, in which a soldier has to quickly pen his mother a letter before he dies. “It’s interesting to think about what you might have to say if you realised you were going to die in a few minutes, and what you’d then say to your mother,” the band explained. “Lots of pressure to come up with something important.”
Wet Leg – Too Late Now (Soulwax Remix)
As if there were any more reason to love Wet Leg, following their stellar showing at Glasto (which was so popular, the roads to their stage had to be temporarily blocked off), they go and make a track you can dance to. Well, to be fair, it’s a remix from Soulwax of ‘Too Late Now’ – the closing track on Wet Leg’s eponymous debut. Expect this electro banger to be in many a set this summer.
Glows – Chaser
Staying with synth-driven electro, London duo Glows have dropped the track ‘Chaser’. Consisting of GG Skips (aka Marco Pini, a member of Sorry) and Art Director Felix BH, the pair are also behind the brilliant tastemaker label and collective Slow Dance, which has done huge amounts for independent live music, especially in the capital. ‘Chaser’ is yet more evidence of their own quality sound, too.
Katy J Pearson – Storm To Pass
Listening to Katy J Pearson, you’d be forgiven for thinking she hailed from a dusty American plain, even some decades long ago. Yet that’s not to say the Bristolian artist is a country music singer. The third and final track on this week’s list to come from a full-length album release, ‘Storm To Pass’ is a beautiful passing fragment of a dreamy record, Sound of the Morning.
The Velvet Hands – Holiday in My Head
With travel chaos and a cost-of-living crisis, going abroad might be a bit of an ask for lots of us this summer. The message from London-via-Cornwall band The Velvet Hands, is that that can be resolved with a bit of imagination (failing a full-blown revolution). As guitarist Dan explains of their tune ‘Holiday in My Head’: “It’s based on our own experience of the doldrums of being skint, working your arse off to be able to afford a postage stamp sized flat, only to have to shave in the kitchen sink because the landlord won’t fix the one in the bathroom. Take that and then put it in lockdown, it felt like the walls were closing in – very claustrophobic. You can’t escape to anywhere apart from your own daydreams. The song is an anthem of escapism in the modern era”. It’s a fucking good one, too.
Tom Chaplin – Midpoint
Another moment of calm and clarity in this week’s selection comes from the solo effort from Tom Chaplin, lead singer of Keane. It takes something to sing about middle-age – something not many like to admit – but with a soaring voice, Tom gives it a certain kind of beauty. This embracing of older age, and the circle of life, are depicted in a touching film as well, starring Niamh Cusack and directed by Lucy Bridger, which you can see here.
FLO – Immature
Finally, age might be just a number. Maturity (or lack of it) is the more crucial thing in life. This new track from RnB three-piece FLO is about not giving time to someone in a relationship who simply isn’t mature enough. It’s another impressive bop from the group who are being praised, quite rightly, as the future of RnB. We’ll see with time and, of course, maturity.
Right you lot, enjoy the tunes and your heatwave-filled weekends.