This week includes many excellent features, including a new album from Dave, a second single from Lorde‘s upcoming album Solar Power, and a feature from slowthai on a new version of IDLES‘ ‘Model Village’.
Track of the Week: Dave – ‘Three Rivers’
‘Three Rivers’ is one of the many hauntingly beautiful and meaningful tracks off of Dave’s third studio album We’re All Alone In This Together. The song examines Britain’s relationship with immigrants, questioning the hypocrisy of a nation which “[relies]on migration more than ever before”.
Dave’s storytelling skills are highlighted here through the use of various samples alongside his lyrics. From a documentary about the Windrush Generation, to news reports of the effects of war and conflict on children, to a closing metpahorical monologue from actor Daniel Kaluuya, Dave packs ‘Three Rivers’ full of evidence of the catastrophic effects of Britain’s immigration policies over the years. The track also features production from James Blake, which combines the distinctive sound of Blake with the emotional impact of Dave’s lyrics.
‘Three Rivers’ is five and a half minutes of pain and injustice poured into one cinematic track.
‘Three Rivers’ is out now on Dave’s new album We’re All Alone In This Together. Listen to the track here:
Lorde – ‘Stoned at the Nail Salon’
After the release of ‘Solar Power’ from her upcoming album, Lorde fans may have expected a more lighthearted second single than ‘Stoned at the Nail Salon’. However, this single takes an existential route, as Lorde reminisces on the passing of time and losing sight of yourself in the process. She doesn’t hold back from giving listeners a feeling of existential dread, as she sings “cos all the music you loved at sixteen you’ll grow out of”, a painful reminder to many fans who clung onto her music during their teenage years. Additional to the lyrics in making the track much more sad in tone to the previous single is the instrumentation. Jack Antonoff‘s influence is clear again here, as muted guitars and dwindling basslines interject the sentimental lyrics, sounding eerily similar to the production of Lana Del Rey‘s Chemtrails Over The Country Club. Let’s all hope Lorde’s album turns out better than Del Rey’s.
Despite all the saddened lyrics and production, Lorde might just be exactly as she says – “stoned at the nail salon”. So perhaps prevent yourself from having an identity breakdown, and don’t think too deeply about any of it.
‘Stoned at the Nail Salon’ is out now via Universal Music New Zealand. Listen here:
IDLES – ‘Model Village’ (feat. slowthai)
‘Model Village’ was one of the standout tracks from IDLES’ 2020 album Ultra Mono, and they’ve teamed up with no other than slowthai to give the track a second push. If it didn’t already sound angry enough, ‘Model Village’ has now been induced with even more aggression – the first few seconds of the track are quite literally slowthai wailing and shouting. But don’t let that put you off – slowthai adds some interesting lines to the track, criticising the (often prejudiced) views of those who live a sheltered white picket fence life. It’s a surprisingly perfect pairing, as Talbot’s punchy lyrics line up with slowthai’s unapologetic insults to level up the track even more.
‘Model Village’ (feat slowthai) is out now via Partisan Records. Listen here:
James Blake – ‘Say What You Will’
‘Say What You Will’ is the first single from James Blake’s upcoming album Friends That Break Your Heart. The track centers around the problem of comparing yourself to other people. In a press release, Blake explained that he felt that “comparison really is the thief of joy”; ‘Say What You Will’ seems to struggle with the feeling of being unexceptional that many of us have struggled with. The track itself seems slightly disjointed from the lyrics, as Blake’s falsetto voice and signature repeating piano samples sound comforting compared to the self-reflecting lyrics. But this disjointment is what makes ‘Say What You Will’ a perfect soft-sounding track for those quieter moments of introspection.
‘Say What You Will’ is out now via UMG Recordings. Watch the music video here:
Other Selected Releases
Lil Nas X – ‘INDUSTRY BABY’ (feat. Jack Harlow)
Remi Wolf – ‘Liquor Store’
Kilo Kish – ‘American Gurl’
Gang of Youths – ‘unison’
Leon Bridges – Gold-Diggers Sound
Emma-Jean Thackray – Yellow
Pop Smoke – Faith (Deluxe)
This Week In Records: Playlist
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 Saturday.