Music: 7 of the Best Songs – w/c 11 July 2022

John Preston’s banger-heavy picks of the week include Laura Viers; Tïesto and Charli XCX; Mura Masa, Shygirl and Channel Tres; Metric; Athletes of God; Fred again…; and Sudan Archives.

Laura Viers, ‘Eucalyptus’

Laura Viers is a singer songwriter who has been recording quietly powerful music for decades now. She returns with her eleventh album, My Echo, which is the first following her split from her long term collaborator and husband. Clear and lyrically arresting, Viers often feels as though she is communicating directly with you – it’s a disquieting and beautiful experience.

Tïesto, Charli XCX, ‘Hot In It’

Trance and techno maestro Tïesto enlists the bratty talents of Charli XCX on this short and sweet club track that makes the most of both of their strengths. Charli XCX brings her massive personality to switch up Tïesto’s big beats and hostile electronics, and it would be great to hear them stretch their collaborative wings further.

Mura Masa, Shygirl, Channel Tres, ‘hollaback bitch’

This track is built around a relentless and irresistible bassline, that just seems to expand and multiply as Shygirl talks filth and Channel Tres answers back. There is also jazz-funk delve-back element here, amongst other things and Mura Masa packs a lot in with seemingly effortless skill.

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Metric, ‘False Dichotomy’

Fantasies was one of the best pop albums of the noughties and now Metric return with their eight album, Formetera, and although not quite scaling those heights, the band are sounding revitalised and relevant. Emily Haines sounds brutally sarcastic whilst synths whip and crack beneath her – an utter delight.

Athletes of God, Crooked Man, Lady Blackbird, ‘Don’t Wanna Be Normal’

Roisin Murphy collaborator DJ Parrot aka Crooked Man teams up with LA blues and soul singer Lady Blackbird to create Athletes of God. A union of machines and full blooded, human voices, if done correctly can transcend a listener. ‘Don’t Wanna Be Normal’ will leave you on the other side of the rainbow.

Fred again…, ‘Jungle’

Another excellent banger in a week full of them, this is essentially a collaboration between Fred Gibson and Four Tet which is built around a hefty sample of Elley Duhé’s 2017 track ‘Immortal’. With a huge breakdown built for peak dancefloor drama, this is a timeless and essential rave track that would serve any decade perfectly.

Sudan Archives, ‘NBPQ (Topless)’

A Natural Brown Prom Queen lives inside Sudan Archives but has she ever been allowed to express it? And come to think of it, is she certain she really wants to? Each subsequent release from this artist amazingly tops the other; Sudan Archives has come so far out of her comfort zone that she almost feels like a new artist.

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.