Music: 7 of the Best Songs – 20 September 2021

John Preston

John Preston  gives us his list of the best seven tracks out there, almost definitely.

Jenevieve, ‘No Sympathy’

Jenevieve’s debut album Division is an intriguing and beautifully produced collection of songs which often sound like the odder album tracks from blockbuster R&B records released in the 80s and 90s. Still managing to sound contemporary despite this, Jenevieve ingeniously straddles the old and the new.

Foxes, ‘Sister Ray’

Better than anything on their EP from earlier in the year, Foxes hits big seemingly from nowhere with ‘Sister Ray’, a massive banger that will refuse to dislodge itself from your head and you need to just embrace it. Foxes is an artist who has skirted around the periphery for a while now but ‘Sister Ray’ could change that.

Hatchie, ‘This Enchanted’

Hatchie returns with a blinder that unexpectedly sounds exactly like Saint Etienne did in 1993, which in case you didn’t realise, is a very good thing. A rave piano, ‘funky drummer’ beat and an airy, dubby vocal track all contribute to Hatchie’s new musical outlook, and it sounds fantastic.

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Sleigh Bells, ‘Truth Seekers’

‘Truth Seekers’ is surprisingly straightforward pop that somehow succeeds in making its presence known through the sustained noise of the weird and not always wonderful Texis, Sleigh Bells’ fifth album. Less is more may not be the ethos the duo subscribe to but with songs this good, that becomes irrelevant.

Martina Topley Bird, ‘Blood’

Martina Topley Bird has quietly released her brilliant fourth solo album Forever I Wait and it’s a work fused together by intimate beauty and bruised experiences. Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja produces, amongst others, and the trip-hop template remains along with a humanity and ache that is real.

Self Esteem, ‘Moody’

‘Sexting you at the mental health talk seems counterproductive’ is an opening line which is both funny and possibly, although not definitely, a correct assessment of inappropriate behaviour. Self Esteem is making music that is hard to categorise and is all the better for it, can’t wait for the album.

Ódú, ‘Saturday’,

Ódú proves that she can create a mood that captures the specific feeling that Saturday has and how it is often the setting for and defines so many formative experiences, usually with a song playing in the background. Set to a timeless electro soundtrack, Ódú understands how powerful just three minutes can be.

About John Preston

South London based music obsessive with strong opinions about most things. Doubts Madonna has another good record in her but would love more than anything to be proved wrong.