A come-back dance-floor banger from The Chemical Brothers, some gender-bending Ocker punk, a power ballad, and a heart-breaking falsetto are some of the sounds you'll hear in Song Crush this week.
Selectors: Tony Stamp, Yadana Saw, Brad 'Sticky' Warrington, and host Kirsten Johnstone.
Nilüfer Yanya - In Your Head
With so many songs about anxiety and self-doubt out at the moment, it was tempting to dismiss this as more millennial angst, but 23-year-old West Londoner Nilüfer Yanya has a gutsy voice, and a knack for a hook, that kept me coming back again and again. Straight out of the gate she hits a huge chorus and the energy doesn’t let up.
With her versatile voice and punk yelp, I’m reminded of her British forebears, women like X-Ray Spex, Polystyrene and Ari-up, and those big muscular, punchy guitar riffs put her in a lineage of indie bands like Arctic Monkeys and Bloc Party. But judging from the three singles released from her debut LP ‘Miss Universe’ (due March 22) Yanya is an original and oddball songwriter who I think could go the distance. KJ
Tierra Whack - Only Child
Whack World’s collection of minute-long songs was a frustrating listen - just when you start to sing along the track ends - but it was bursting with ideas, and showed Whack’s boisterous voice was one to pay attention to. She’s back with a few new regular-length singles that show two sides of her persona - the swaggering hip hop of ‘Clones’, and the summery jam ‘Only Child’, chocka with hummable melodies that thankfully repeat a few times before Whack rushes off to the next thing. TS
Chemical Brothers - Got To Keep On
The Chemical Brothers are about to release their 9th studio album, 'No Geography', due out on April 12th. The third single 'Got to Keep On' will have dance floors heaving. The dons of big beat have dropped an instant classic, beautiful seasonal bells, relentless funk filled bassline, catchy vocal sampling and the classic Chemical Brothers build up to drop.
Having flash backs! Sounding familiar but fresh all in one breath, close your eyes and it could be 1999. Forty somethings will be in their happy place but it still has a freshness and bounce to get new fans adding this to their Spotify playlists...on high rotation! Sticky
Rina Mushonga - Pipe Dreamz
This has all the drama of my favourite 80s power ballads. Mushonga’s vocals have the wailing, wounded, Bonnie Tyler-esque emotions as swirly synths build up – just like they do in your favourite pseudo-retro TV shows like Black Mirror and Stranger Things.
Another delightful touch in Pipe Dreamz are the afro-pop polyrhythms that are not unlike what Vampire Weekend and other affiliates have toyed with. It’s just that with Mushonga’s globally itinerant roots – she was born in India, then moved to Zimbabwe, Netherlands and how lives in Peckham in London – all these sounds are genuinely in her story.
I highly recommend her new album In a Galaxy. YS
Angelo De Augustine - Time
My musical bingo ingredients would include finger picked guitar, whistles, Sufjan Stevens, men singing in falsetto, heartbreak and banjos. This album by L.A. songwriter Angelo De Augustine ticks almost all those boxes, so it’s no surprise I had tears stinging my eyes as soon as I discovered it.
Signed to Sufjan’s label Asthmatic Kitty, De Augustine wrote Tomb in four days, after he got a breakup letter in the mail just before Christmas. So although a lot of it is pretty introspective and depressing - the range of emotions surprises me. It never drags or wallows, and in fact this song ‘Time’ is almost uplifting, in a 'God Only Knows' kinda way. It’s intimate, cozy, and like a warm blanket for my soul. KJ
A. Swayze & The Ghosts · Suddenly
Coming off a bit like a more corporate Eddy Current Suppression Ring, this Ocker quartet cheekily borrow the guitar riff from Ballroom Blitz and recontextualise it in this sweaty, urgent track, as singer Andrew Swayze howls lyrics that’ll make your ears do a double-take. TS
Indi - Airportal (Paperghost remix)
I am deeply perplexed and heartened that in this day and age there are still special releases, remixes and bonus items for Japanese releases. In the case of Indi’s Precipice, this Japanese CD release on Osaka’s 2670 imprint, we are treated to a Paperghost rework of Airportal.
It feels like the Wellington producer was let loose in the instrument section of your local Trade Aid shop. It’s so jam packed with shakers, rainmakers, and thumb pianos that I can almost smell the jute and sandalwood
The song is spacious and perfect for zoning out.
FULL SPOTIFY PLAYLIST FOR SONG CRUSH SUMMER SEASON