After last week’s absence of new tunes, Friday gave us a plethora of new sings to sing along to. Be sure to check out Editor Jack’s review of the new Enter Shikari album, but over hear we’ve got brand new songs to dive into from a range of artists: from pop superstars Sam Smith and Demi Lovato to alternative favourites Bad Cop/Bad Cop.
Fiona Apple – Fetch the Bolt Cutters
Genre-defying cult hero Fiona Apple has swept in with what critics are naming the best album of the year, earning a the first coveted 10/10 rating from Pitchfork that we’ve seen in a long time. As well as that, it was the first album in history get a 100 average on Metacritic upon initial release – talk about well-received. Lyrically based around ‘not being afraid to speak’, this musical masterpiece couldn’t have come at a better time – we all need some fantastic albums to get us through the stress.
Musically and lyrically, the unpolished, raw features of the album serve to heighten its emotional impact. Tracks like the titular ‘Fetch the Bolt Cutters’ (taken from a line by actress Gillian Anderson in The Fall), ‘For Her’ and ‘Drumset’ embody the most significant percussive focus of the album, giving it a home-made and well cared for sound. Apple’s half-speaking, half-singing vocals are unparalleled in emotional delivery, culminating in an entirely unique and unforgettable album.
The opening track ‘I Want You To Love Me’ and breathtaking finale ‘On I Go’ place piano at the centre; the resulting is classically beautiful and moving, but it’s the experimental percussive songs which stand out as the most wholly authentic. The intense, dark emotions that shine through in a gentle rage make Fetch The Bolt Cutters one of the most hauntingly captivating albums I’ve ever heard.
Fiona Apple’s Fetch The Bolt Cutters is out now via Epic Records.
Sam Smith – ‘I’m Ready’ (feat. Demi Lovato)
Ahead of their upcoming (postponed) album, Sam Smith has released yet another single, this time taking the form of a collaboration with pop superstar Demi Lovato. It’s a more upbeat step away from Smith’s typical ballads, with elements of pop and disco driving the melody. Smith and Lovato’s voices go rather well together in this track; fans of either singer will be suitably impressed. The music video is athletically themed – it’s all very Olympic-themed, which could well be the closest we get to the competition this year. In any case, ‘I’m Ready’ is a fine substitute.
Sam Smith’s ‘I’m Ready’ (feat. Demi Lovato) is out now via Universal Music Operations.
Bad Cop/Bad Cop – ‘Simple Girl’
I’m a long time fan of California punks Bad Cop/Bad Cop – their rage-fueled records and mind-blowing intimate shows embody the very spirit of the DIY punk. Their latest single is a change in tone but not a change in quality. Moving from social anger to a message of self-love and positivity, ‘Simple Girl’ is a fast-paced, high-energy track that has me buzzing for the upcoming album, set to come our way in the middle of June. They debuted a few of the new songs on their recent UK and EU tour, and I can tell you now that this is not an album to miss out on.
Bad Cop/Bad Cop’s ‘Simple Girl’ is out now via Fat Wreck Chords.
Hozier – The Parting Glass (Live from the Late Late Show)’
I really don’t know where to start on this one. Watching it as a performance on TV was a tear-jerker. Then he released it as a single, ready for me to listen to at any hour of the day and it was a tear-jerker again. Hozier has one of the most beautiful voices in the entire music industry and traditional Irish ballads suit him so well. Hopefully the great reception of ‘The Parting Glass’ will encourage Hozier to release the traditional album of my dreams. This song has emotionally broken everyone who has listened to it, so if you want to have a wee cry go right ahead and listen.
Hozier’s ‘The Parting Glass’ (Live from the Late Late Show) is out now via Rubyworks Ltd.
Billie Joe Armstrong – ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’
Since quarantine started and we all collectively lost all concept of time, the only thing that’s been marking the days is Billie Joe Armstrong’s weekly release of a cover song. Generally, these just go up on YouTube and Instagram, but his version of Tommy James and the Shondells 1966 single ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ (made more famous by Tiffany’s iconic 1987 cover) was released as a single this week. It’s completely homemade by the Green Day singer, and has a real sense of solidarity within it, between the context in which it was produced and the general upbeat rock n roll sound. Covers aren’t always a success, but Billie Joe Armstrong made a fantastic choice with this one.
Billie Joe Armstrong’s ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ is out now via Reprise Records.
Other Selected Releases
girl in red – ‘midnight love’
John Legend – ‘Bigger Love’
Kehlani – ‘Everybody Business’
Kelly Rowland – ‘COFFEE’
La Roux & Tyler, The Creator – ‘Automatic Driver’
Neck Deep – ‘When You Know’
Oh Wonder – ‘Keep On Dancing’ ‘Lonely Star’
Picture This – ‘Troublemaker’
The Streets, Tame Impala – ‘Call My Phone Thinking I’m
Doing Nothing Better’
Tiesto & Becky Hill – ‘Nothing Really Matters’
Tom Misch, Yussef Dayes, Freddie Gibbs – ‘Nightrider’
DaBaby – BLAME IT ON BABY
EOB – Earth
Gerry Cinnamon – The Bonny
Kelly Clarkson – I Dare You (Multi-Language Duets)
This Week In Records: Playlist Edition
Need a weekly music fix of all the songs you should care about? We’ve made a super handy playlist of all of this week’s biggest releases, so just sit back and listen to the good stuff. Updated every Friday.