Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – ‘American Dream Pt II’
Ahh, the American Dream. You never hear anyone banging on about French Fancy or the Romanian Rumination. Thankfully, TEED’s effort dodges Razorlight-style chest-thumping or Marina-style diva self-obsession in favour of good honest bangin’. And Orlando Higginbottom should know a thing or two about ignoring expectation and setting your stead on your own terms. This is, after all, someone who’s managed to shrug off the obligations of a Christian-and-surname-combo that should have made him a shoo-in as a QC or lord, instead of becoming one of the UK’s most exciting young producers. No mean feat.
This taster of forthcoming debut album ‘Trouble’ begins with a melancholy, beautiful early-hour ambience that was once the province of classic DJ Shadow, but it’s not long before Orlando ramps up the rave, building to a cruel climax with a noise like someone shaking a talking doll to death before cutting loose with a rearing, hammering womp like a technoid Triceratops tearing through your mind forest. It’s the most aggressive thing we’ve heard from him yet, and throbs with a bug-eyed energy.
Lianne La Havas – ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’
Ploughing the Radio 2, Corinne Bailey Rae-esque niche of acoustic singer/songwriter-ing, this may be the sweetest-sounding romantic demand around. All handclaps, delicately plucked guitars and honeyed tones, the title track from La Havas’ debut will be on your mum’s most-played list within the week.
Four Tet – ‘Jupiters’
The hugely prolific Kieran Hebden’s latest single reaffirms his position as one of the UK’s best and most consistent electronic artists. This time he opts for an almost two-part affair, kicking off with squiggly, dreamy synths before breaking into a bass-heavy climax strongly reminiscent of recent collaborator Burial. Exciting.
Summer Camp – ‘Life’
Not a Des’ree cover, sadly, but a track that begins with Lizzie Sankey singing about her “bloody hands” reaching out for us. Aaah! The track is pure Kylie meets Donna Summer, and by that we mean: four-to-the-floor, hot-pant-heavy and rather classic-sounding.
Click here to stream the track
Animal Collective – ‘Honeycomb’
After the experimental meandering of largely impenetrable Record Store Day release ‘Transverse Temporal Gyrus’, the Baltimore oddballs regain a degree of focus here among the bubbling synths and aquatic production. It seriously rewards repeat listens, but the emphatic chorus augers well for that long-awaited ‘Merriweather…’ follow-up.
Melody’s Echo Chamber – ‘Crystallized’
Powered along as it is by a spirit-of-’66 psych bassline, you could guess Tame Impala were involved here. But while the latter’s Kevin Parker may put his musical stamp on it, it’s Melody Prochet’s vocal that makes this a thing of propulsive dream-pop beauty. Their first tune, but hopefully not their last.
Future Of The Left – ‘I Am The Least Of Your Problems’
Always angry. Always loud. Always spikey. Always proud. “I am the least of your problems but I don’t mind” yowls ex-Mclusky frontman Andy Falkous on the first cut from FOTL’s third album ‘The Plot Against Common Sense’. Nothing’s changed: they bring the rock and they bring it hard, fast and cutting.
Cocorosie – ‘We Are On Fire’
A soaring comeback for the Parisian freak-folk sisters with a penchant for ’taches and recording in the bath. “Now I can see in the middle of the night” they squeal over psychedelic flutes and throbbing underwater synths. With these two, mystic night vision is plausible.
Passion Pit – ‘Take A Walk’
Striving to straddle the peak of the electro-pop mountain now that La Roux is lost down some rocky crevice, the Pit return with a bright synth blast heralding their “expansive” July-bound second LP. Expansive as in: trebling the amount of synths on it. We’re on board.
Nipsey Hussle feat. Rick Ross – ‘Proud Of That’
Producer Jiggy Hendrix’s whirring, sleazy grime hook fits Nipsey’s earnest flow perfectly while Rick Ross’ one-verse cameo is scene-stealing. The fact that you can imagine listening to this while driving with the top down and the bass on “ridiculous” makes it a contender for future song of the summer already.