In our third edition of the Weekly Singles Roundup, unfortunately there’s no BROCKHAMPTON single this week, but we’ll be taking a look at Robyn’s first piece of new music in 8 years, along with new singles courtesy of Future, Zayn and Slaves.
Mura Masa feat. Nao – Complicated – 7/10
Guernsey-born Alex Crossan, aka Mura Masa, proved to be a gifted and promising producer with the release of his eponymous debut album, a fizzing concoction of electronic, tropical house and trap music. Complicated recruits Firefly collaborator NAO to follow very much in the same vein, featuring all of the quirks we’ve come to expect from Crossan: pulsating synths, slick guitars and colourful percussion. While this track isn’t quite as instantly gratifying as some of the singles from his debut, Complicated does well to affirm Mura Masa’s original sound, as well as being a nice, sunny tune for the business end of the summer.
Slaves – Chokehold – 5/10
The second taster from the Tunbridge Wells punk duo’s third album, Acts of Fear and Love, sees vocalist Isaac Holman lament a failed relationship with lyrics like “That when she left me I took it badly; I was a right mess, you see I loved her madly”. Sonically, Isaac and Laurie opt for more of a garage-rock approach but, honestly, if you’d have told me this was on their debut record, I’d have probably believed you. It’s not a terrible track, but it’s evident that what once was an exciting outfit seem to be in something of a creative rut.
Robyn – Missing U – 4/10
Swedish electropop singer Robyn returns with her first solo material in EIGHT years in the form of single Missing U. Her previous release, Body Talk was packed with upbeat, effervescent pop music and was subsequently met with critical acclaim- unfortunately, I can’t see the same amount of widespread praise being heaped on this track. It’s a bright, synth-y track, but doesn’t really go anywhere- lacking in the conviction that was featured on her preceding work.
Zayn feat. Timbaland – Too Much – 3/10
Yes, an ex-boyband member has teamed up with Timbaland. Nope, it’s not 2002, and it’s not JT this time. Too Much is the collaborative effort of former fifth of One Direction Zayn Malik and production mastermind Timbaland. Too Much is also an incredibly dreary affair. The Norfolk, VA producer’s trademark stamp is definitely apparent on this track, even including a heavily auto-tuned vocal appearance on the hook, but it’s in his attempt to bring a more relevant, contemporary sound where he falls short. As a result, this track pales in comparison to the chart-topping behemoths he crafted once upon a time alongside Timberlake.
Future – Scammalot – 7/10
With Future’s insatiable work ethic since his rise to fame, you’d be foolish in thinking he’d even think of taking a year off. However, this ethos of a near-constant flow of material- along with the trap music world being more over-saturated than ever- makes for a gruelling challenge when it comes to crafting a meticulous body of work with great cultural impact. Officially released in retaliation to leaks, Scammalot may not be a game-changing track, but its infectious and inventive production in tandem with the Atlantan mumbling pioneer’s idiosyncratic delivery is enough to assert Future’s place in the highest echelons of trap royalty.
Interpol – Number 10 – 8/10
With seminal records like 2002’s Turn On the Bright Lights and 2004’s Antics, the beginning of the new millennia saw Interpol become staple figures in the US indie rock scene. Despite a consistent flow of releases since then, the New York group never quite managed to reach the heights of their first two albums. Number 10 is the second single released in support of their upcoming album, Marauder, and is a highly promising signal of what to expect from them in the near future. Laden with post-punk inspired driving drums and shining guitars, it’s a pleasing to see a band to return to a creative groove with such focus.
Moses Sumney – Rank & File – 9/10
Moses Sumney’s Aromanticism was a modern opus- an uncharted expedition into a world devoid of love- or perhaps what is perceived as love in modern society. The dark, airy blend of soul and folk music attributed to this record is a far cry from what can be heard on Rank & File, a track to be featured on upcoming EP, Black in Deep Red, 2014. Instead, an urging, militant progression takes precedent, as Sumney takes on the subject of racially-motivated police brutality (the EP being inspired by the last protest that he attended, after the officer who was responsible for shooting and killing 18 year-old Mike Brown in 2014 was not charged). It’s a side to Sumney we have seldom seen at this point but, if it’s always as emphatic as he has demonstrated with this track, it’s a side I’d look forward to hearing much more of.