New Music Friday | Featuring ‘Lavender Haze’ by Taylor Swift

Lucky Liz Truss got to leave her job early this week, just in time to soak up the new music from her all-time favourite, Taylor Swift, and the new Arctic Monkeys record, The Car, as she drives off into the sunset, escorted away from 10 Downing Street. Here’s our pick of this week’s best new tunes – much of which you’ll be listening to for far longer than the 45 days Liz lasted as PM.

Taylor Swift

Arctic Monkeys – The Car 

In case you hadn’t heard, Arctic Monkeys have returned with their seventh album, The Car. Its titular track, inspired by a photograph taken by drummer Matt Helders, embodies much of its meandering, quizzical feel that’s more sophisticated than their previous releases, like taking a drive along the French Riviera (to extend the motoring metaphor). Read our full review of The Car here.  

Taylor Swift – Lavender Haze 

And at midnight last night (well, 5am for us Brits), Tay-tay released her new album, in fact called Midnights. A break from her time re-recording her first six albums, it’s an electro-pop record that’s well worth a listen. Lavender Haze is its spacious, syhtn-laiden opener that sets the tone of Swift’s classic narration combining with Jack Antonoff’s well-cut production.  

Orbital, Sleaford Mods – Dirty Rat 

“You voted for ‘em, look at ya,” barks Sleaford Mods’ Jason Williamson on new track ‘Dirty Rat’, which sees the Nottingham duo team up with another top class duo: electronic music legends Orbital. It’s a pairing we didn’t see coming but feels like exactly the kind of track we need. It would be all too easy to say it’s anti-authoritarian, when in fact it’s more than that: it’s also a critique at the mindlessness of people who vote for the failed leaders we keep getting.  

Armani Caesar (feat. Conway the Machine) – El Puro 

Griselda Records artist Armani Caesar has proved on her new album, THE LIZ 2, that she can thrive behind the most traditional of Griselda sounds, and also behind more modern, poppy instrumentals. Nothing demonstrates that more than her highlight track with Conway the Machine, which sees her singing, rapping and collaborative ability brought to the forefront in a triumphant song. You can read the review here. 

Ab-Soul (feat. Zacari) – Do Better 

Top Dawg Entertainment seems to be in album release mode following Kendrick Lamar’s Mr Morale & The Big Steppers earlier this year. Ab-Soul is next in line, as he announced in September that his album had been completed and would soon be released, six years after his last project. ‘Do Better’ acts as the first official single to the upcoming album, and sees the artist struggling for self-betterment, and reflecting on the problems he has faced over the past few years, most notably in a reference to Mac Miller’s Faces.

Pip Millett – All Good

When Everything Is Better, I’ll Let You Know… If only someone would – wake us up when all the chaos is done. That considerate tagline is also the title of Pip Millett’s eagerly awaited, sumptuous debut album, out today. Across 17 tracks, the Manchester artist has certainly laid down a marker as being a future generational talent.  

Lancey Foux – SPIRIT OF X2C

Offering a softer side to Plaistow’s hugely captivating artist Lancey Foux, ‘SPIRIT OF X2C’, despite its title, embodies more of a comedown feeling – and comes ahead of his album, LIFE IN HELL, out next week. It’s accompanied by an equally simple, delicate video.  

Lowertown – Scum 

Buzzy Atlanta duo Lowertown have come along way since Avsha Weinberg was staring over at his friend and future bandmate Olivia Osby’s computer in high school, taking an interest in the music she was listening to. And now they’ve not only gained a cult following – both online and a developing one in their hometown – who’ve grown a love for their melancholic grunge, but have their debut album out too, I Love To Lie. 

John Cale (feat. Weyes Blood) – STORY OF BLOOD

As part of announcing his first album in a decade (MERCY, set for release in January), John Cale has shared the really rather stupendous new single ‘STORY OF BLOOD’ , featuring celestial Santa Monica singer Weyes Blood. The writings and recordings that shaped MERCY are said to have piled up for years, as Cale watched society totter at the brink of dystopia; we await with eager ears, your liege.  

Loshh – akọle 

Following the success of breakthrough EP Ifarada, enigmatic Nigerian-born, London-based artist Loshh has a new EP to share: akọle. With each track taking up a designated letter from the project’s title, ‘l’ is a spirited new song worthy of all your earholes.  

That’s it folks. Funny to think: this time next week, we’ll have a new PM. And then maybe another after that; then another; then another… 

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