RECOMMENDED SONGS 14/07/17
Songs are easier than entire albums, so here’s more.
Savages- ‘Shut Up’
The album sleeve for Silence Yourself summarises the Savages’ pure disillusionment with the world. Post-punk rock seems watery nowadays, but Savages couldn’t care less about genres, just grabbing at instruments and mikes to convey the anger, soaked in the frenzy of the endless thumping of the drums and shrieking riffs. ‘Shut Up’ is the depression but it’s also the liberty of performing live, a brutal manifestation of a Bruno Mars song, and how all this can make every other big ‘rock’ band reconsider what their real fury is.
‘Them man are L, L for loss…’
From the music that I usually recommend and the strong focus on the idea of hip-hop, people forget that UK grime plays a huge factor in the genre. It’s usually evident that grime is not about bars in terms of lyricism, but bars in terms of delivery and how it sounds. Blessed’s ‘Lickleman’ cleverly uses this delivery to make the hardest technical flow with pauses that holds crowds at a standstill before jumping back into a mosh of lines, pumping the audience to make not only the best grime track of the year, but launching him as one of the best grime artists to emerge in ages-by a clear mile.
Bon Iver- ‘33 “GOD”’
The hurtful but inevitable truth is that Bon Iver runs simply on Justin Vernon. And 22, A Million, their latest album, is no different. For a guy who’s not particularly religious at all, it’s intriguing to watch as Justin Vernon invests his own beliefs, his own convictions that he now is questioning, and battles with them in perhaps his most personal song yet. He samples Paolo Nutini and in the same sense admits how devotion may hold him back, whilst leaving the listener utterly confused as he gazes in awe at the technicolor glare of the 33, and symbolic imagery makes for the most modern revelations since Kanye.
Bloc Party- ‘Banquet’
‘Banquet’ might just sound like some strained voice wailing about the same things that are still being echoed in niche indie gigs in 2017. But what it does is take this mindset of the people at those gigs, of confused feelings, of fear of growing up and facing the responsibility outside of week-long relationships, and transform it into this melee of thrashing emo. Comparing it to Franz Ferdinand’s ‘Take Me Out’ is an understatement. ‘Take Me Out’ is a genius song, of course, but it can be thrown away in the same yard as any other millennial track. ‘Banquet’ is the millennial track, the song for a generation.
Orchestra Baobab- ‘Sey’
Orchestra Baobab sourced members from all different backgrounds, ethnic roots and regions of West Africa, for a sole reason-to embrace culture. Here you see men and women join together to proudly combine their native Senegalese language of Wolof and lace it with Cuban-Caribbean influences-on ‘Sey’, they sing with the calm nostalgia that screams Ferrer and Buena Vista but stands firmly by a West Africa sound, with the intricate backing jazz orchestra doing a unique encompassing of fiery, rapid emotion, making ‘Sey’ a standout ode to childhood tradition as the band rise again one last time.
Neon Indian- ‘Annie’
Unlike Calvin Harris (hugely underrated, by the way) who haphazardly referred to having ‘created disco’, Alan Palomo, aka Neon Indian, actually helped in creating a genre-chillwave-in 2009's ‘summer of chillwave’. And ‘Annie’ is a masterclass of chillwave, with ambiguous, entrancing lyrics that seem stuck between futurism and exoticism like it happened in the 80’s but never did. Live, he loses himself and dances to entertain the masses, yet forever hides the reminiscent woe at heart as his wandering continues.
Nilüfer Yanya- ‘Golden Cage’
With fuzzy video quality and a voice as rough as the harsh saxophones roaring on London rooftops, Yanya leers with the lazy confidence of a rapper but behind cheap sunglasses, there is an anger there interweaving itself through lyrics that has made her cold in conversation. Amidst the emerging urban R&B scene in the UK led by artists like Ray BLK, Nilüfer Yanya may not be in the forefront by going strong just under 40,000 YouTube views (Nilüfer Yanya - Golden Cage, as of July 2017), but as she repeats ‘you’ll never know now’, she evokes both brash boldness and fear that puts her in a league of her own.