Don’t Play It – Kim Gordon (2019)
A refreshing aspect of Kim Gordon’s 2019 LP No Home Record was the variety of sounds throughout its duration, with Gordon unwilling to stick with the guitar-led sounds of Sonic Youth. ‘Don’t Play It’, archetypal of this artistic evolution, expertly dabbles in dance and industrial noise, culminating in a Death-Grips-meets-Throbbing- Gristle wonder. It’s an elusive, heavy number, with Gordon’s tough howls growing evermore violent and abrasive in the wake of a destructive, thumping beat.
(Surprisingly, there is no full version of the song on YouTube, only a short released by Kim’s label Matador. The full song can be found via the Spotify links above).
Look Over Your Shoulder – Busta Rhymes/Kendrick Lamar (2020)
Guided by a gentle bassline, ‘Look Over Your Shoulder’ follows Kendrick and Busta on a road of introspection and nostalgia. Combining stark reflections of youth and growth (“How bizarre, my battle scars at large would lace me”) with a soft Motown-esque backing leaves behind a track of blissful purity and emotion.
Disintegration – The Cure (1989)
An eight minute barrage of intoxicating romantic despair that traverses every realm of passionate dissolution. Smith is in top form, desperately yearning for what has been lost and what could have been, ranging from tenderly childish fascinations (“Oh I miss the kiss of treachery“) to stark and unforgiving emotional realities of decaying lust (“I leave you with photographs, pictures of trickery
/ Stains on the carpet and stains on the memory“). A truly, truly beautiful song.
two reverse – Adrianne Lenker (2020)
Dreamy acoustics take centre stage in the opener of Lenker’s fourth studio album Songs. There’s a mellow softness in its development that calls back to the soothing sounds of Nick Drake in its bittersweet delicacy, while Lenker’s words evoke an innocent yet forlorn narrative (“Tell me lies, I wanna see your eyes / Is it a crime to say I still need you?“).
Timber – Coldcut (1997)
What starts as a somewhat rough, inconsistent arrangement grows into a glorious flow of electronic trance. It bounces, and thrives thanks to the insistency of the beat and the flourishing nature of its offering. ‘Timber’ is a real uplifter, lavished with the infectious urban sounds of the night, club and dance floor.