Singles Of The Month: July 2017
Charli XCX ‘Boys’
Oh my god what an absolute joy of a single, and let’s not even get started on the video. The two founding members of The Tung have been working side by side all of this week and have had about sixteen ‘Boys’ breaks. That Mac Demarco cameo is life itself. ANYWAY, back to the music. Production credits go to Jerker Hansson (Zara Larsson, Terror Jr) and Cass Lowe (Snakehips, Rudimental), but you could easily be forgiven for assuming ‘Boys’ was the result of a lazy afternoon in the studio messing around with the PC Music guys, with whom Charli worked on her 2016 Vroom Vroom EP and this year’s genre-defying mixtape release Number 1 Angel. It’s all light as-a-feather whimsy and Pac-Man bleeps beneath lyrics that feel like they were sung from a fluffy pink four-poster bed. We love it.
Four Tet ‘Two Thousand and Seventeen’
Four Tet is back, and let’s hope this release spells a full-length follow up to his 2015 effort Morning/Evening. ‘Two Thousand and Seventeen’ is a soporific, mesmeric 4 minutes. As I close my eyes to take in the repeated melody of the dulcimer, its not hard to imagine a sort of mythological idyll, all tree nymphs and satyrs and grapes popping themselves into mouths. It’s reminiscent of some of Four Tet’s earlier releases - ‘Tangle’ on 2001’s Pause and ‘My Angel Rocks Back And Forth’ on 2003’s Rounds spring immediately to mind. ‘Two Thousand and Seventeen’ does feel more muscular than those tracks though. More sure of itself. Hopefully we can expect more releases of this kind later this year.
TORRES ‘Three Futures’
Despite TORRES aka Mackenzie Scott having released two albums to date, ‘Three Futures’ is the first of her tracks The Tung has ever heard. And what an introduction to her music it has been. ‘Three Futures’ is rich, slow-burn confessional. Scott sings to a past-love whom she has left because of a second, greater love. Her lyricism is at once poetic and plain - ‘You got me loaded on bergamot perfume / Downstairs in the TV Room’ - and conjures the banality of enduring a love she knew she wouldn’t end up choosing when it came down to it. It’s at once sad and freeing, and feels like a deferent attempt at closure. We can’t wait to sit down with the rest of the Torres material.
Wolf Alice ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’
This isn’t the first time Wolf Alice have made it into the Singles Of The Month round-up, and it’s probably not going to be the last. However, despite their consistency of quality, ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’ is a far cry from ‘Yuk Foo’ (last month’s entry) in terms of style. If ‘Yuk Foo’ was reminiscent of their debut album’s ‘Your A Germ’, 'Don’t Delete The Kisses’ is their new ‘Bros’. Ellie Rowsell leaves behind her angry growl and instead delivers a series of softly-spoken, narrative and confessional verses as she describes the first flush of love she's too shy to do anything about. Maybe she’s just not destined for that kind of thing, she tells herself. As the song develops so do her feelings, and eventually in a punch-the-air, rousing final verse she goes for it. The chorus, at first a kind of wailing resignation to a life without love, becomes a euphoric soundtrack to a sprint into the sunset.
Grace Lightman ‘ Fangs’
Grace Lightman has fast become a favourite at The Tung HQ. Her languorous voice gives us strong Nancy Sinatra vibes, as does her penchant for a treacly, atmospheric intro. In ‘Fangs’ her sanguineous vocals drip over stabbing synths, as she laments a relationship turned cruel. The video is worth is special mention too, with its American Psycho-esque protective plastic encased room, in which a women drink glasses of blood which, in my head at least, belongs to all the mean men they’ve killed. There’s a sense of the supernatural throughout. Something strange this way comes.
Jelani Blackman ‘One More Time’
Ugh, Jelani Blackman’s voice. We could listen to it all day and all night. It’s deep and dark, rich and smooth all at the same time. On ‘One More Time’ he uses it to confront a love that he refuses to let slip away. Throughout the verses we’re treated to the kind of electronic instrumental that has permeated his earlier releases, all glitches and snaps, but after the chorus a guitar solo blooms in the darkness. It fills the track with an unabashed warmth that's out of step with the chill electronics, and which adds refreshing sincerity and lovelorn melodrama to the track. It’s just another track to add to the growing list of reasons we can't wait for the eventual release of a Blackman album.
Mura Masa 'Nuggets feat. Bonzai'
We at The Tung HQ were pretty into the new Mura Masa album, and of all the singles set free before the final drop this has to be our favourite. ‘Nuggets’ is a clear example of a producer having fun with his tracks. It contains a whirlwind of influences, with many a nod to contemporary trends. The walking bass line has a dancehall feel, the vinyl scratch reminds us of 90s hip hop, and the tropical house backing vocal panning from left to right compliments Bonzai’s tight rhymes. Bedroom producers are nothing new but Mura Masa has certainly pushed some of the big-guns out of the way. We can’t help feel that Disclosure will have listened to this with sweaty palms.
Maya Jane Coles 'Werk'
An introduction feels unnecessary but for those who haven’t experienced the pioneering and expansive productions of Maya Jane Coles, her latest release is a very good way to start. It epitomises her musical outlook and ethos, also providing a key insight into how she chooses records for her DJ sets. Rarely tied to a single genre, but often boasting a four to the floor kick driving you into the early hours, Coles' productions and remixes are often darker than first expected. 'Werk', the b- side to the 'Weak/Werk' single is no different. It's a relentless journey that neither builds nor disappates, instead pulling you into a consistent euphoric state. That muted brass that comes in at 1.32mins is particularly tantalising.
Listen to the full list below!