John Preston gives us his seven favourite songs this week.
Justine Skye, ‘In My Bag’
From the more chilled Space and Time album released last month, Justine Skye saved her energy for the most dance-fuelled track of the record and a throwback sound to the influential R&B period that dominated the end of the 90s. With production by Timbaland, that’s not too big a surprise.
LoneLady, ‘Former Things’
‘Former Things’ is also the title of the Manchester singer-songwriter’s excellent third album, one which ushers in a radical departure sonically. In the early 80s, New York saw the birth of the electro and this is where LoneLady takes her biggest inspiration – classic synths and expert sampling dominate.
Self Esteem, ‘Prioritise Pleasure’
Self Esteem’s debut album Compliments Please was an exhilarating and original record and one of the best of 2019. Rebecca Lucy Taylor has returned and the dial has been turned up even further; experimental pop with strings, beats, guitars and a choir shouldn’t work this well.
The Goon Sax, ‘Tag’
The Australian indie synth trio take their alt-pop credentials seriously, referencing the past, present and beyond in ways that are rarely heard in contemporary music. ‘Tag’ is one of a few tracks where band member Riley Jones features on lead vocals and is both a brilliant song and captivating performance.
Snoh Aalegra, ‘Violet Skies’
Slower jams dominate on Snoh Aalegra’s third album Temporary Highs in the Violet Skies, but with the admittedly smooth but quirky production from the likes of Pharell Williams things never get boring. A wonderful singer and a lush soundscape of soul and laid back grooves.
Electribe 101, ‘Heading for the Night (Classic 7” Mix)’
Taken from the 31-year old album Electribal Memories, this is a previously unreleased Frankie Knuckles mix that only adds to the original’s dark and austere beauty. Billie Ray Martin promises a second Electribe album and new solo material; what have we done to deserve this?
Little Simz, ‘I Love You I Hate You’
My favourite so far of the tracks heard from the massively anticipated forthcoming album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert. ‘I Love You I Hate You’ puts Little Simz’s incredible rapping skills front and centre and allows vulnerability and anger to skilfully exist in the same realm.