I’ve been under the weather with a chest infection the past few days, so one of the three new entries in the top 10 hasn’t featured on the blog this week (apologies to Molly Tuttle, you were meant to be a Track of the Day on Friday but I was in my sickbed). There’s a new number one, and four tracks reach their three week time limit. Check these bad boys out…
1. Dave – Psycho [New Entry]
The first track on Dave’s recent album Psychodrama, it starts by introducing the listener to the album’s thematic concept, namely that of a therapy session. What follows is a three part drama, with Dave reflecting on where he is now, he talks about drug dealing and gang violence. The second section is an eruption of confidence and swagger reminiscent of Dizzee Rascal’s pop pomp. The second section ends as Dave starts to identify himself as “careful, humble, reckless, arrogant, extravagant” followed by a reference about how he’s probably battling manic depression. Dave may be peerless when it comes to structuring songs – with outstanding production – around emotional journeys.
2. Rasharn Powell – Warm In These Blue Jeans [Final Week]
Everything in Warm In These Blue Jeans oozes class and style. “If I had wings, I would touch the sky” he sings, and we can feel ourselves soaring with him.
3. Teddy Pendergrass – Life Is A Song Worth Singing (Jamie Jones Remix)
A truly wonderful remix that can brighten up any day. Every time I listen to it I end up smiling and wanting to dance. It starts with the teasing synths, but from there it throws in all sorts of wildcards. Teasing hi-hats, cowbells, trumpets. They all make an appearance. And the vocals help to keep the track grounded whilst all the chaos happens around them.
4. Lily Byrd – Don’t Move [Final Week]
From her Number EP released in January, New Hampshire’s Lily Byrd does something rather magical with Don’t Move. It is simultaneously familiar, sad, and hypnotic.
5. The Chemical Brothers – We’ve Got To Try [Final Week]
Taking The Halleluiah Chorus’s I’ve Got To Find A Way and giving it some electronic rocket boosters, this is a very funky track that sounds like they’re dipping into some of their earlier works.
6. Mathame – Skywalking [New Entry]
Skilfully walking the line between earphone pleasure and crowd pleaser, Skywalking starts by building slowly. Like a young bird unsure how to fly for the first time, it stutters and teases and grows in confidence for nearly 90 seconds. And then we are off… From a similar mould to Four Tet’s remix of Opus, Skywalking eschews the standard ‘big drop’ trope so familiar to dance music, and instead takes the listener on a journey through the clouds. Impressive work indeed.
7. The Twilight Sad – Girl Chewing Gum
Lyrically it uses the same lines on repeat, but when you consider what those lines say, it really hits home. These are accompanied with swirling guitars and feedback, which provide the unsettling backdrop. The slightly shouty chorus is accompanied by a guitar part that viciously cuts through the record and into your soul. Even the hint of solace after the chorus is snatched away as the track becomes claustrophobic.
8. Molly Tuttle – Take The Journey [New Entry]
Some stunning guitar playing underpins Take The Journey, yet the track is easily accessible and rather uplifting. The theme of overcoming adversity and persevering are universal enough, and by the end you feel empowered.
9. James Supercave – Alarm Will Sound [Final Week]
Gentle sweeping electronics, a pace that feels gentle but is deceptively quickening, vocals that feel a little jarring until you realise how perfect they are. This is a really solid effort, superbly catchy and a very welcome return.
10. Peer Kusiv – Tundra
German music producer Peer Kusiv’s latest EP came out in early February, and this is the title track. Full of shifting sounds – both the bass line and top end melody constantly evolve throughout the track – this is an expansive track that sounds great on headphones in the dark.