Friday, May 23, 2014

Jurassic 5 return and nine other songs you may have missed

A semi-regular round-up of notable new music, presented in a handy list format that will crash your browser due to the sheer volume of YouTube widgets. Yes, it's time for another edition of "songs you may have missed".

1) Jurassic 5 - The Way We Do It
Jurassic 5 are truly the Kate Bushes of hip-hop. It's been eight years since their last album, Feedback, and their "comeback" single is so old it was produced by Heavy D - who died in 2011.

Still - what a single. Sampling The White Stripes My Doorbell, it's jellybean waterfall of witty old-school rhymes.

2) La Roux - Let Me Down Gently
I wrote about this brooding, sax-o-phonic pop behemoth last week, and now it has a video accompaniment.

Watch! Ellie sitting upon a chair.
Marvel! As she runs across a misty moor.
Gasp! As next to nothing occurs.

3) Sam Smith - Leave Your Lover
When I interviewed Sam Smith earlier this year, he told me he wanted "to write an album about unrequited love" for people who were lonely. He'd even recorded a song "about being in love with someone who is married. I want people in those positions to have something to listen to - because I've been in that position too."

I'm going to guess this was that song.

4) Tove Styrke - Even If I'm Loud It Doesn't Mean I'm Talking To You
A coiled spring of energy, this bouncy, ballsy track from Stockholm's Tove Styrke could be a whole new genre: Thrash Pop.

For fans of Robyn's Konichiwa Bitches; Icona Pop's I Love It and the Dixie Cups Iko-Iko.

5) Kelis - Friday Fish Fry (Live on Later)
There's a pleasing unpredictability to the songs on Kelis's new album, Food. Sure, they all start out as tributes to the classic soul of Otis and Aretha, but Dave Sitek's production teases out the weird and the off-kilter to put a new spin on old sounds.

Case in point: The "Ice Cold Water" chant in the middle of Friday Fish Fry, which seems to have been beamed in from Blue Swede's Hooked On A Feeling. It shouldn't work, but it works.

6) Seinabo Sey - Hard Times
Recently signed to Universal Music, Sweden's Seinabo Sey showcases her stunning voice in this staccato soul single.

The melody is as simple and repetitive as a playground chant, but the tribal backing vocals and volcanic percussion will stop you in your tracks.

7) Jungle - Time
Hot damn, this is funky.

8) Sinead Harnett - No Other Way (ft Snakehips)
You may know Sinead Harnett from her collaborations with Rudimental - and if you've seen them on tour, you've almost certainly marvelled at her vocals. But now she's cast off from their safe harbours and set sail in search of her own musical treasure [sorry - tortured metaphor ed].

You might be surprised at the results: Sinead's debut EP is more akin to the smooth soul of Jessie Ware than Rudimental's helter skelter dance vibes.

9) Alistair Griffin featuring Kimberley Walsh - The Road
This is the official song of Yorkshire's Grand Depart - aka the first stage of this year's of the Tour De France. Apparently individual legs of cycling events need their own "anthem" now, after somebody incorrectly decided that Queen's Bicycle Race wasn't good enough.

Still, it's nice to hear Kimberly get a chance to stretch her vocal cords, and this uplifting, empowering power ballad could have been a lot worse.

10) Jetta - Crescendo
My idle observation that Pharrell Williams has a "magic formula" for writing intros seems to have gone viral this week, after being picked upon Gawker and a couple of other US sites.

Right on cue, then, here's Paloma Faith's former backing singer Jetta with a spritely, chart-bound, Pharrell-produced new single.

Guess how it starts?

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