This hasn’t been a busy week for new releases, but the few releases that have come out are the results of much waiting for some long-term fans (looking at you The Streets). Yeezus himself finally rose from the dead with a surprise new single, and Disclosure released their latest single from upcoming album Energy; their (hopefully) soon-to-be-released first LP since Caracal in 2015. And, of course, The Streets have released another song from their newest mixtape, None of Us Are Getting Out of This Live Alive, a record that I’ve yearned for for close to a decade now! Here are my thoughts on some of this weeks new tracks.
Disclosure ft. Amine & Slowthai – ‘My High’
I’m very familiar with Disclosure’s discography at this point. Obviously 2013’s Settle was a mini masterpiece, with iconic tracks like ‘Latch’, ‘White Noise’ and ‘Help me Lose my Mind’, but 2015’s Caracal (deluxe edition, of course), takes the cake for me with it’s base heavy, vibey tracks. This latest release definitely confirms theories that Disclosure are going to return to a more upbeat dance orientated sound.
‘My High’ is a fast-paced, intense bop that you can’t help but jump around to. The high BPM gets your blood pumping (this is for sure going to the top of my workout playlist), and when paired with Slowthai’s quick, snappy rapping, as well as Amine’s steady flow, it’s for sure going to become a go to dance tune for me. The music video is equally chaotic, following an escapee patient from A&E chasing down his next trip. It’s looking like Energy is definitely going to live up to it’s title.
‘My High’ is available to listen to now via Universal Music.
The Streets ft. Hak Baker – ‘Falling Down’
Okay, so, I won’t lie, this is the most exciting single of the week for me. I am desperate for new Streets content. However, I’ve got to say, ‘Falling Down’ didn’t completely live up to my expectations. It’s a good song, but it just wasn’t what I wanted it to be. If you’re unfamiliar with The Streets, go and listen to their entire discography immediately (joking, but also, go listen to Original Pirate Material and Computers and Blues at least). ‘Falling Down’ keeps The Streets’ signature straight forward blunt lyricism, orchestral elements and spoken word performance, but failed to wow me.
In ‘Falling Down’, lead vocalist and mega-brain behind The Streets Mike Skinner discusses the ups and downs of life, concluding that you can fall down, but what’s most important is that you get back up again; ‘falling down is an accident, staying down is a choice’. This could link to the band’s timeline in general. The Streets have been on-again, off-again for the past decade or so, having not released a full album since 2011. It marks the third single from their upcoming mixtape, set to come out this month. I may not have loved this record, but I’ve still got hope for the mixtape, considering how good their recent single with Tame Impala was.
‘Falling Down’ is available to listen to now via Island Records.
Kanye West ft. Travis Scott – ‘Wash Us in the Blood’
Oh Kanye. You either love him, hate him, or mildly tolerate him when he’s not doing something ridiculous (like saying slavery was a choice, voting for Trump, praising his wife’s billionaire status in the middle of an economy-crippling pandemic, etc.). I usually unsteadily teeter in the last category. However, I am definitely a fan of this latest release. ‘Wash Us in the Blood’ was a surprise drop, and centres on themes of anti-racism, divine justice and power. With it’s accompanying music video showing footage of the current ongoing Black Lives Matter movement, this is a protest song through and through, and a damn good one.
An exploration of race and faith, West and Scott sing of calling down divine power on those that discriminate, harm and murder on the basis of skin colour. ‘Wash Us in the Blood’ calls for the heavens to open and blood to rain down on racism, washing the world clean of it, whilst still reminding us of the harm it causes. Not water; blood. Powerful, relevant, fear-charged and yet steady in it’s call for justice, ‘Wash Us in the Blood’ gets you angry, makes you crave intense justice for these racist crimes, and not only those that have happened recently, but those that have been going on for hundreds of years. It sends it’s message well; that God himself, or whatever higher power you may believe in, is so disgusted by the current world situation that a cleansing akin to Noah’s Ark is a genuine option. This is Kanye at the best he’s been for a long while.
‘Wash Us in the Blood’ is available to listen to now via Def Jam.
Fleece – ‘So Long’
Fleece fly under the radar a bit in the music scene, but they’re one of my favourite chill out bands. Retaining their signature high strung, wavey style with light lilting vocals, ‘So Long’ is described as a goodbye to the world as we once know it; as the band says themselves, there is no ‘returning to normal’, we have to find a new normal. I’ve gotten a bit tired of quarantine related songs, I won’t lie, but this one feels hopeful almost, like a fond farewell before moving onto the next positive chapter.
‘So Long’ is available to listen to now via Fleece Music.
BTS – ‘Stay Gold’
BTS are the biggest band in the world right now, there is no doubt about that. They’ve smashed records, taken the music industry by storm, and breached international boundaries previously thought unbreachable. This newest release, ‘Stay Gold’, teeters towards the chiller side of their discography, away from the synth base heavy beats of hits like ‘DOPE’, ‘FIRE’ and ‘Blood, Sweat & Tears’, whilst still retaining the same upbeat BTS charm we all love. And it of course is paired with a stunning new music video.
‘Stay Gold’ is available now via Universal Music LLC.
Other Selected Releases
Alfie Templeton – ‘Obvious Guy’
Sufjan Stevens – ‘America’
Fontaines D.C. – ‘Televised Mind’
Christine and the Queens – ‘Eyes of a Child’
The Psychedelic Furs – ‘Come All Ye Faithful’
AJ Tracey & Mabel – ‘West Ten’
Elderbook – ‘My House’
Kungs – ‘Dopamine’
bdrmm – Bedroom
Dream Wife – So When You Gonna…
Honne – No Song Without You
Paul Weller – On Sunset
Willie Nelson – First Rose of Spring
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.