Five songs to start the week! Follow the Spotify playlist here.
Mirrors – Rejjie Snow / Snoh Aalegra / Cam O’bi (2020)
A beautifully constructed track, ‘Mirrors’ intricately traverses realms of jazz and R&B to create a softly discordant atmosphere reminiscent of the complex rhythms of Thundercat. The vocals are soft recollections that are vitally understated, allowing the meticulous backing to gently flourish without overpowering the poetics. This is a song of enticing sparsity that displays an undeniable aptitude in arrangement and form.
Comet Face – King Krule (2020)
While King Krule’s output often relies on an individualistic approach to genre-mashing, ‘Comet Face’ comes straight out of the post-punk playbook. The bassline is dark and lurks behind the oppressive pace of the track, with unsettlingly ambiguous lyrics complimenting the unnerving nature of the soundscape (“Boy in the ground with his pants down / What happened to him in his past life?“). ‘Comet Face’ is a haunting number that doesn’t let its sinister intensity escape to become anything more digestible or smooth, and rightly so.
Frail – Crystal Castles (2015)
Leading with a deceptively ethereal opening, ‘Frail’ grows into a rambunctious club stomper with blissful spirit. This is arguably a somewhat simple track, with a heavy beat overseeing a backdrop of fuzzy, distorted synths. Though, it would be unfair to ignore its gloriously celestial being. It moves from dreamy interludes to divine and elegant fervor seamlessly, generously offering euphoria and emotion in equal quantities.
Don’t Breathe Out – Roots Manuva (2015)
Giving in both divinity and optimism, ‘Don’t Breathe Out’ is a gorgeous composition that explores spritiualism and self-reflection. Musically, the track grows subtly in emphasis while remaining beautifully restrained as Manuva inquires his own existential motivations (“Me and my God lead a pureness love / Known to be about what pureness does“). This is a sumptuously mellow and uplifting number, showcasing the lyrical and musical maturity of Manuva in graceful assuredness.
He War – Cat Power (2003)
A three minute hit of urgency, power and utter quality. Power’s vocals hold a jagged edge in their authoritative resonance while also being able to transform the exquisite gentleness from her more reserved work, a shift in tone readily deployed when necessary. Simply, ‘He War’ is an excellent song that thrives in its minimalism and confidence.