This Week in Records (21/9/2020) – YUNGBLUD, Cousin Kula, and Trixie Mattel

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God, has this week been a good week for new music. I won’t lie when I say it took me a long while to narrow down tune of the week, there were just too many cracking choices. Here’s a short take on my thoughts of a few of this weeks great releases.

TUNE OF THE WEEK: YUNGBLUD – ‘god save me but don’t drown me out’

He’s only gone and done it again lads. YUNGBLUD has once again won the title of tune of the week, this time with his newest track ‘god save me but don’t drown me out’, the newest single from his upcoming album, Weird!. This has got to be one of my favourite tracks of YUNGBLUD’s in terms of his vocals; his voice is raw, desperate, and dripping with passion, with the emotion of the song properly hitting you hard. Opening with only his voice and a guitar reverb, with YUNGBLUD singing the opening lines ”Calm me down before I sleep/ Cause I don’t know where I’ve just been” before the real instruments kick in. Following this, the song evolves into an almost mantra, with the singer shouting ”Not gonna waste my life ’cause I’ve been fucked up/ ‘Cause it doesn’t matter”, and my favourite lyric of the track ”And I won’t let my insecurities define who I am”, which is almost screamed out. The song feels as much as a confession and a promise as a new track. The drums phase in, creating an absolutely stunning backing beat to YUNGBLUD’s continuing personal, introspective lyrics. ‘god save me but don’t drown me out’ feels like a song of acceptance, but also of hope; hope for a better future, beyond that of the darkness of the past.

‘god save me but don’t drown me out’ is available to listen to now via Locomotion Recordings Limited.

Cousin Kula – ‘Morning Dew, With You – Casa Kula Edition’

If you like psychedelic, wavey pop-rock, Cousin Kula are definitely the band for you. I’ve been a fan of them for a good few years now, ever since I saw them open for another band at a concert and their set just completely blew me away. ‘Morning Dew, With You’ is no exception. With high strung guitar, synth keys and their signature spaced-out, high vocals, it’s a trip and a half, and a good one at that. Part of their Casa Kula Cassette, a collection of songs recorded at home during lockdown, ‘Morning Dew, With You’ is a delightful tune, and proves once again that Cousin Kula are a killer band.

‘Morning Dew, With You (Casa Kula Edition)’ is available to listen to now via Chiverin.

Trixie Mattel – ‘Video Games’

Before I even BEGIN this rundown, I already know that this is going to be massively controversial and unpopular opinion, especially with certain *ahem* members of our committee. Also I want to clarify that the original Lana Del Rey version of this song, being the queen that she is, is undeniably superior to this cover. However… I do kind of vibe with this orchestral country take on the LDR classic.

I’m a sucker for a good harpsicord, and this song just takes the cake. Starting out with some beautiful strings, and a classic Western-style whistle of the original chorus tune of the song, Trixie Mattel‘s version of ‘Video Games’ feels otherworldly, ethereal in it’s style and substance, very much the same to the original song. In the chorus, her voice is overlaid with different harmonies, making it seem like a group of voices rather than just her, again adding to that ethereal vibe. I also LOVE the dramatic takes on the use of an orchestra in this version; Mattel doesn’t hold back, adding huge over-the-top crescendos and rises and falls, fitting in with the old-Hollywood theatre vibe of the track. Her voice is flitting, a lighter touch than Del Rey’s deep tone, and rather than holding out long notes, Mattel keeps it short and upbeat, again working the song into more of a country style. Although it doesn’t have the same magic as the original LDR track, Trixie Mattel’s version of ‘Video Games’ is still certainly worth listening to.

‘Video Games’ is available to listen to now. 

Sam Smith – ‘Diamonds’

Sam Smith has certainly been busy this year. Having already release 3 chart topping singles, they’ve got the nation practically salivating at the m0uth at the concept of their newest album, Love Goes, due to be released on the 30th of October. In signature Sam Smith style, ‘Diamonds’ shows off their high, sweet voice, that dips and rises over a trilling disco beat, alongside a heavier deep synth that is just *chef’s kiss*.

In terms of the lyrics however, the song just feels a bit run-of-the-mill I’m better off without my ex I don’t need him anymore. I’m not saying the song isn’t good, it’s just nothing new. Regardless, the funky disco beat, and of course Smith’s beautiful voice, has still got me pumped for their upcoming LP.

‘Diamonds’ is available to listen to now via Universal.

U2 ft. Elton John – ‘Bang A Gong (Get It On)’

A rock classic from iconic band T-Rex, ‘Bang A Gong (Get It On)’ must have been covered hundreds of times by now. With it’s legendary beat, build-up and piano tunes, it’s one of those songs that has just stood the test of time. This latest rendition from the likes of U2 and Elton John obviously doesn’t live up to the original (nothing does), but it’s still a pretty good rendition. I think part of that comes from the ‘legendary’ status of U2 lead singer Bono‘s voice and Elton John’s piano skills. I will say, however, that the weird sighs in the bridge of the song from the former musician might just be a bit ‘too Bono’ for me. Otherwise, the Irishman’s low, grating voice, works pretty well with the song, with ‘Bang A Gong (Get It On)’s main appeal, for me at least, being it’s constant build-ups, through both rising vocals and building drums. The main gripe for me with this song, maybe because I’m biased and a big fan of Sir Elton, is that Elton John’s voice doesn’t get enough of a chance to shine. I’d have loved it a lot more if he sang one of the verses, rather than being reduced purely to a backing singer and piano player.

‘Bang A Gong (Get It On)’ is available to listen to now via Universal Music. 

Other Selected Releases

Singles

LANY – ‘cowboy in LA’

Justin Bieber ft. Chance the Rapper – ‘Holy’

Billie Joe Armstrong – ‘Kids in America’

LEON – ‘Head and Heart on Fire’

slowthai ft. James Blake & Mount Kimble – ‘feel away’

Nothing But Thieves – ‘Impossible’

Albums

Knuckle Puck – 20/20

The Hunna – Young and Faded EP

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.

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records editor 2020/21 !! 3rd year film and english student. can be often found arguing about costuming in the avenue cafe or crying into a beefy novel in hartley

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