Frank Ocean, Cat Power, Azealia Banks
Frank Ocean – ‘Pyramids’
Like Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’, Frank Ocean’s ‘Pyramids’ is the kind of track you’ll lose hours and hours of your life to. This week alone, NME has spent at least two days having our minds freaked on by its space funk swirl. Coming in at almost 10 minutes long and featuring sexy Simpsons characters on the cover (warning: may result in some new, confusing feelings) it’s an R&B odyssey slinking from ancient Egypt – where wild cheetahs are on the loose and Cleopatra meets a snakey doom – to the present day where Frank is living that sleazy motel room life. Does writing for Beyoncé not pay like it used to? Although it’s possible he’ll splurge more lyrics, videos and songs on his must-follow Tumblr at any moment, for now all we know is that the new album ‘Channel Orange’ is coming out on July 17, that his preoccupation with the road is likely to influence it (the ‘Nostalgia, Ultra’ car appears in a teaser trailer) and this song will definitely get an outing on his upcoming US tour. “Playing ‘Pyramids’ on the road is gonna be my favourite part,” he wrote on Twitter recently. Imagine lots of dry ice, a velvet-covered rotating stage and the entire front row sighing, “I love you, Frank”.
Deap Vally – ‘Gonna Make My Own Money’
The two San Fernando Valley girls who comprise Deap Vally met in needlework class, but they don’t sound like it. They deal in a style of high-octane fuzz-blues of The White Stripes ilk, and this is their new transmission. Play extremely loud.
Glass Animals – ‘Golden Antlers’
Featuring a guitar glow borrowed from Radiohead’s ‘Talk Show Host’ and the late night bleeps of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Oxford dwellers Glass Animals (who’ve only been together since January) are flicking all the right switches on their debut single.
Cat Power – ‘Ruin’
If ‘Ruin’ is anything to go by, Chan Marshall’s set to make a welcome return to form with her first album of new material since 2006’s ‘The Greatest’. Documenting her relationship breakdown, this cantering piano jam marks a stomping comeback, layering Marshall’s smoking vocals over clattering pop beats.
Weird Dreams – ‘House Of Secrets’
Does this London quartet dream of shoegazing sheep? If ‘House Of Secrets’ is anything to go by then, yes, they most certainly do. Filled with a bedhead ennui, this soft-as-cushions dreamscape unfolds with a Felt-like grace and finds frontman Doran Edwards cooing like some sort of modern day Ian McCulloch.
Azealia Banks – ‘Aquababe’
She can’t keep a manager for longer than 15 minutes and says she no longer wants to be a rapper, but Azealia is prolific when it comes to putting out
new cuts. Much grimier than ‘212’ and keeping the husky vocals of ‘Jumanji’, this is less Minaj and more Eve circa 1999, which is no bad thing, of course.
Charli XCX – ‘You’re The One’
Heavy synths and more booming reverb than a Best Of MTV Base selection kick off ‘You’re The One’. And they don’t even stop Miss XCX unleashing everything in her armoury all over this track: sings like Marina, raps, quotes the lyrics “I’m dancing in the dark”. What a boss.
Public Enemy – ‘Get It In’
Twenty-five-years-awesome this year, the righteous-in-every-sense PE celebrate their silver anniversary by releasing two new albums. This taster –
a muscular, funky battle-soul strut with a gritty, twanging bassline and sharp-as-a-slap rants from Chuck D, Flavor Flav and Bumpy Knuckles – bids you raise your glass.
Roxxxan – ‘Too Fucking Facety’
Birmingham’s RoxXxan is rough, ready and Too Fucking Facety – as the title of her latest track poetically puts it. The rapper’s ‘I-can-go-hard-just-like-the-lads’ attitude is displayed perfectly, as she attacks with lyrics: “I’m Rox, you’re not/You’re just gassed off hype you ain’t got”. How… sweet.
Joseph ‘JP’ Patterson
L$D (Kreayshawn & Grimes) – ‘Don’t Smoke My Blunt, Bitch’
And today’s valuable pop lesson, kids, is thus: don’t even dream of half-inching Kreayshawn’s drug-smoking paraphernalia, or she’ll recruit her new partner-in-crime Grimes and give you a good ol’ kicking. Here, over a bonkers backdrop of basket-cased beats, Claire Boucher’s sticky, sugary vocals clash with Kreayshawn’s none-more-bratty bile for some gloriously gobby hectoring.