Singles Of The Month: April 2018
LUMP ‘Curse of the Contemporary’
The announcement that Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay of Tunng and Throws were working together was (literal) music to my ears. To kick off their journey together as LUMP, this month they released ‘Curse of the Contemporary’, a pulsating, dreamy track perfect for imagining winding drives through arid Californian landscapes. It’s a really rich piece that’s left us primed for the release of the album on the 1st June.
Floex & Tom Hodge ‘Wednesday (Is The New Friday)
This month saw the release of the first single from A Portrait of John Doe, the forthcoming collaborative album by electronic producer Floex and composer Tom Hodge (whose recent credits include the BBC primetime show McMafia score). ‘Wednesday (Is The New Friday)’ is a strong statement of intent from the pair, who recorded the album with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. Sure, there are soft, subtle moments interwoven throughout, but Floex and Tom Hodge aren’t afraid of a bit of cinematic maximalism. If the album is as full of surprises as ‘Wednesday (Is The New Friday)’ they’ve got a winner on their hands.
Janelle Monae ‘Pynk (feat Grimes)’
We couldn’t let April’s Singles of the Month roundup pass without including at least one Janelle Monae track. It was a real toss-up between this and ‘I Like That,’ but ‘Pynk’ won out purely for being the one I’ve joyfully sung in the shower the most. The lightness of those synths, bursting like bubbles in a glass, Janelle’s winking vocal delivery, and that pop-guitar explosion in the chorus — literal perfection. Don’t even get me STARTED on the video.
Jon Hopkins ‘Everything Connected’
There’s no doubt about it, Singularity is going to be singularly special. Last month we included ‘Emerald Rush’ in our singles roundup, and this month it’s the turn of the second release ‘Everything Connected.’ Some advice: bypass the 6 minute edit and go straight for the full 10 minute 30 version. Hopkins creates so much space, so much room for the track to breathe. I literally do not understand how he makes his music so moving but this track makes me want to be in the biggest of big rooms dancing with thousands of people and lie on my bed sobbing listening on headphones all at the same time.
Nicki Minaj ‘Chun Li’
Although released on the same day as ‘Barbie Tingz’, of the two, ‘Chun Li’ is by far the superior record. I wasn’t the biggest fan of her last album The Pinkprint but with ‘Chun Li’ Minaj has ditched the more comedic elements of her tracks (here's looking at you ‘Anaconda’) in favour of a slick beat and harsh lyrics that goad her contemporaries. The drums feel raw and that panning saxophone that echoes Public Enemy’s ‘Show ’Em Whatcha Got’ hits just the right note. 'Chun Li' serves as a reminder that you don’t need a big orchestral hook or sophisticated samples - simplicity is bliss.
Lykke Li ‘Hard Rain’
8th June is a big day in The Tung's calendar as it marks the release of Lykke Li’s upcoming album so sad so sexy. In anticipation of its release Li debuted a two track single and I'm a particular fan of the b-side ‘Hard Rain’. It’s hard to believe that Li is the same person who released the dreary ‘Time In A Bottle’ back in February. By contrast, ‘Hard Rain’ feels like a big room performance, backed up by an enticing combination of processed vocals, rising strings and 808s to die for. Much like a storm, the track goes from light to dark with a host of experimental motions.
Jacques Greene ‘Nordscheife’
‘Nordscheife’ shows us that LuckyMe’s Jacques Greene continues to grow and develop as an artist. In comparing 2010’s The Look to last year's Feel Infinite it seems that Greene has really found his groove; the title track of which is regularly played at Tung HQ. Breakbeats and unforgiving synth stabs give ‘Nordscheife’ a sharp exterior, but one that disguises some quite beautiful melodic chord work in the background. Greene’s technique of giving multiple sounds small, fleeting roles gives the record a sense of orchestral grandeur.
Calvin Harris ft Dua Lipa ‘One Kiss’
I loved I Created Disco. Some members of the Tung team disagree (hi Anna) but I thought Calvin Harris’s debut album was inspired. That said, I’m not such a fan of the fact that, with the exception of a couple of tracks on Funk Wav Bounces Vol 1. he’s basically released the same song over and over again. I’m hoping that ‘One Kiss’ represents the turn of a corner - it contains a lot of the fun and spirit that made his music so infectious in the first place. It’s helped out by the irresistible Dua Lipa, who has her pop princess paws all over the track. Her voice, that organ sound, sporadic brass and disco beat keeps this record fresh and infectious. I’m keen to see where he goes from here.