John Preston shares his 7 best releases of the week.
Cate Le Bon, ‘Remembering Me’
Fashion-era Bowie guitars slide up against one another and synth cords twitch whilst Cate Le Bon continues to demonstrate why she is the ultimate and defining art pop artist that the UK has. Fearless and constantly reimagining her sonic landscape, ‘Remembering Me’ is the perfect encapsulation of Le Bon’s genius.
Alaska Thuderfuck, ‘Uh’
Albums by Drag Race alumni are a genre all of their own. A few artists have attempted to break a very tired mould (notably Trixie Mattel and her anodyne pop-country) but only a tiny number have succeeded. Alaska Thunderfuck could very well change that with songs Gaga or Ariana would fight for and a musical diversity and sophistication that could see Alaska as serious mainstream pop-girl competition.
The Weeknd, ‘Gasoline’
The Weeknd continues to create music that very few of his contemporary male artists seem to be capable of or willing to attempt. Fluid, beautifully produced electronic pop and dance tracks that take place within their own spheres, narrated by a heavenly falsetto and on ‘Gasoline’ for some reason, a more deadpanned British accent. Vivid and fascinating future pop.
Hurray for the Riff Raff, ‘Pierced Arrows’
Hurray for the Riff Raff make music in a very big way: big performances, big messages and big feelings. Fixated on the recovery of the planet and the joys, still, of being alive, albeit in a very rough patch in history, is a mantra for the forthcoming album Life on Earth and ‘Pierced Arrows’ is a passionately deranged precursor.
Leikeli47, ‘Chitty Bang’
Although based around a more traditional hip-hop beat this time around, the return of shy rapper Leikeli47 (never seen without some form of a face mask) is an extremely welcome one. No word yet of a new album (the last was 2018’s excellent Acrylic) so this will have to suffice in the interim. ‘Chitty Bang’ has Leikeli47 sounding as impatient and hyped up as we are.
Mitski, ‘Love Me More’
Although she might be struggling to find the joy in each day, Mitski’s melodies and sleek electronics in ‘Love Me More’ sound exuberant and powerful and are a throwback to the globally successful electro pop of the 1980s. With her plaintive, yearning vocals, Mitski’s desperation to connect and be seen are beautifully realised and ‘Love Me More’ raises the bar on her work even higher.
FKA Twigs feat. Shygirl, ‘Papi Bones’
FKA Twigs describes her first ‘mixtape’ as an expression of how she feels to return to herself, unburdened by fear and a seriousness that dictated her mood and work throughout the last few years. Whilst ‘Caprisongs’ is still not really a club record, ‘Papi Bones’ makes for an irresistible dancehall jam with the divine Shygirl.