Fresher Sounds - The best new music - 25/06/18
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“And a man who must say ‘I am king’ is no true king at all.”
So said A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin in A Storm of Swords. In a world where the politics of the symbol seem so dominant a brief confrontation between French President, Immanuel Macron and a teenager sparked a debate about the importance of “respect”. For Macron clearly “manu” went too far, but it’s hard to say whether he could have foreseen the consequences of this exchange; the footage of which went viral and led the boy in question to be socially ostracised at school. In any case, these, I would humbly propose, are the tracks that are this week worthy of your respect. Although you are in no way compelled to agree. That, after all, is democracy: Bad Religion – The Kids Are Alt-Right Giants of the 80s US hardcore punk scene, Bad Religion return here with a track whose classic rock instrumentation contrasts with sharp political commentary on fascisms new-found appeal amongst the youth. What might be trite and sloganeering is actually insightful, witty and in the bridge brilliantly ironic, with its mocking cry of “We love God/We love our women/We love tradition/We love kin”. It packs a lot into the space of 2 minutes 43 seconds not only in lyrics but also in musical switch ups. The song acts as a recoil in horror at what “meme magic” has been able to achieve and declares what the band magnificently describes as a “post-light alt-right endarkenment order”. Das Kope – Ready for the Summer Brazilian musician Das Kope is new on the scene having honed an off-kilter sound in his boxy LA apartment for years prior to the release of these curious results, which in some respects seem to parody the aesthetic of contemporary pop, refracturing it through a warped, psychedelic lens. Its distorted introductory vocals open up to a tasty bass tone, yet there’s something that stops one from fully embracing the disco-like timbre and breaking out the moves – it’s been slowed and stretched so as to be deliberately un-danceable. This gives the song an eerie, uncanny quality that might owe something to vaporwave if it were based on current chart music instead of 80s B-sides. Clearly drawing heavily from the likes of Tame Impala in its indulgent phaser scoops, the track draws to a conclusion by waxing yet more wonky, fading out to fuzz guitar. Foxing – Slapstick Foxing are sonically distinct. Combining a post-rock mission with hipster emo leanings and a roster of instruments atypical in the genre (particularly brass) they have succeeded in carving out a niche across their two studio albums to date. This single takes a slightly new direction for the band as brass is swapped out in favour of a fuller, electronic complement. Conor Murphy still employs his signature falsetto but the yelps and shouts of before are smoothed out somewhat in a track that takes a more meditative tone. It’s downtempo, emotional and multi-layered, reaching the depths and subtleties that have gained them so many devoted fans thus far, building on what they’ve achieved. Gorillaz – Hollywood feat. Snoop Dogg & Jamie Principle Gorillaz, seemingly in the same spirit as their contemporaries Death Grips, have been dropping single after single in the run up to their forthcoming album The Now Now. This latest offering sees Damon Albarn collaborate again with the highly prolific rapper, Snoop Dogg with whom he worked on 2010’s Plastic Beach. Much in keeping with the sound already debuted on there other releases this cycle, this track presents a glossy synth funk aesthetic, which is cool but rather superficial. One does also wonder why this is an important topic to cover at the present moment, given the record title’s insistence on immediacy. Perhaps we’ll just have to wait until the end of the week for some critical contextulisation.
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