Music: 7 of the Best New Songs – 23 August 2021

John Preston shares his seven essential tracks of the week.

Saint Etienne, ‘Penlop’

Abstract and sample-heavy sound collages dominate so far on the upcoming new album-cum-soundtrack from the trio. This is a call back to their earlier days and in particular the cut and paste interludes of So Tough. Evocative and seeping with melancholia, Saint Etienne are nostalgic for the 90’s.

Lala Lala, ‘Color of the Pool’

One of the most compelling electronic releases of the year, Lala Lala creates a complete audio world that conjures up dark cities and wandering souls and yet, there are shards of light. When the sax appears in the second half of the track it’s a surprise and Lala is joined by something more human.

Low, ‘More’

It’s always thrilling when a Low song arrives that has Mimi Parker submitting lead vocals as opposed to her partner, in all senses, Alan Sparhawk. Big boulders of crunching sound immediately intimidate and threaten but Parker brings the beauty beside the blood. Just brilliant.

Remi Wolf, ‘Quiet on Set’

Remi Wolf is a frequent visitor to the Vada top 7, so the news that she is finally going to release her first full length album is an exciting prospect indeed. ‘Quiet on Set’ sounds a bit like a retro Neptunes production that Tune-Yards have jumped on, but with a three-year hijacking the last minute. Bizarre and delightful.

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CLYPSO, ‘Less Talk’

A Sydney artist who has recently released one carefree and immaculately crafted dance track after another, not much is known about CLYPSO apart from she clearly knows what’s doing. ‘Less Talk’ is a big, bassy nod to some artists of old certainly but is fresh and funky enough to stand on its own merits.

Nite Jewel, ‘To Feel It’

Nite Jewel has been hovering around the pop periphery for years now and you get the sense that she likes it that way. ‘To Feel It’ combines Nite Jewel’s two most favoured genres, soulful R&B and synth-pop, and in a way that almost separates the two. The result both disconcerts and comforts.

Phoebe Bridgers, ‘Nothing Else Matters’

I’m not familiar with the original Metallica song that Bridgers covers here  but I don’t feel particularly compelled to dig it out. This is austere chamber pop that unexpectedly incorporates industrial beats toward the end. Bridgers owns this and then some.

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.