Singles Of The Month: March 2017

Another month has gone by, and with every passing Friday the world's ever-growing collection of music has been added to. The archive is as broad as it is deep, and so The Tung has delved in to the new releases, rooting out the best of the bunch so you don't have to. Read on for March's best releases.

Kwaye – Cool Kids

March was a big month for Zimbabwe-born pop funk prince Kwaye. He allegedly scored his record deal by playing this tune to his Uber-driver. Are we surprised? Not really, this one has Summer 2k17 written all over it. ‘Cool Kids’ has a silky disco beat, big pads and an unmistakeable Nile Rodgers vibe, but it’s the four-to-the-floor breakdown before the chorus that we can’t get enough of. Did we mention his entirely red outfit in the music video? No doubt about it, Kwaye is one of the cool kids.

Kendrick Lamar - Humble

The king is back. The second single pre-album drop, ‘Humble’ is an absolute behemoth of a track. Less a description of his own modesty, and more an imperative to his peers in the face of his genius, ‘Humble’ is Kendrick at his most swaggering. The content of the lyrics is by no means new in rap - he’s not breaking any ground with lines like ‘I blew cool from AC…Obama Just Paged Me’, and his critique of beauty standards leaves a lot to be desired, but nonetheless each line, each piano stab sparks and crackles with heat. The video match the dopamine rush of the track, it’s visuals edging it near whatever category of untouchable greatness ‘Formation’ falls into.  

Portugal. The Man – Feel It Still

It feels like Portugal. The Man have been around for ages. We are no strangers to their previous hits, ‘Modern Jesus’ is a particular favourite for a Tung Sunday session. ‘Feel It Still’ feels like something altogether different, less melancholic than their old stuff, a new direction perhaps? We hope so. Oozing funk, vocals playing a call and response with the brass section, that rumbling bass intro that wouldn’t be out of place in a Tarantino movie, this track makes us want to move. 

Calibre – Grow

Drum n bass icon Calibre never fails to impress. The title, a nod to last year’s album of the same name, feels too modest. No growth necessary for a man who has already seen a steady stream of releases receive critical acclaim. We already included ‘Steptoe’ in our greatest hits playlist, not just because it’s a stone-cold anthem but because it represents an artist so comfortable with his chosen genre that he never shies from pushing its boundaries. ‘Grow’ is no different We’d ask for more of the same, but that would defeat the point. 

Mount Kimbie - We Go Home Together feat. James Blake

Mount Kimbie have enlisted long-time pal James Blake for what seems like an experiment in shifting direction. Blake sings of a Saturday night hook-up over an melancholic electric organ, his voice cracking and lilting, propelled by a solitary tambourine. ‘We Go Home Together’ sounds like a demo, raw and delicate, showing its parts with no affectation of polish or pretention. Let’s hope this marks the beginning of a new era of great things from Mount Kimbie, who since their last release in 2013 haven’t enjoyed the same success as Blake, but are showing now that they have it in them.

!!! - The One 2

!!! (Chk Chk Chk) have returned from a couple of years away with a track that signals a departure from their previous jangley indie sound. A breakbeat-esque drum line undercuts falsetto verses, giving way to a chorus featuring vocals from Lea Lea and a build that would be at home in an early Bonobo set. Our appetites are well and truly whetted for the release of their forthcoming album Shake The Shudder, mixed by Phil Moffa, Joakim and Matt Wiggins, and featuring multiple singers including Cameron Mesirow (aka Glasser), Molly Schnick, Meah Pace, and Nicole Fayu.

Lorde - Green Light

We admit it: when we first heard the lead single from Lorde’s new album we were on the fence. It’s not the Lorde we’re used to, and with age we thought she’d get darker, not poppier.  But then we listened it for a second time and holy mother of God what were we thinking? This is the ultimate tune. Sure, it’s a bit of a departure from the sound we associate with 2013’s Pure Heroine, but we’re 100% here for it. One time one half of The Tung loves ‘Green Light’ so much that one time when she was listening to it while walking home from work she cried. Admittedly it generally doesn’t take her much to leak salt water from her eyeballs but this time the over-abundance of emotion was real. Lorde, we love you. 

Carl Craig – Sandstorms (Versus Version)

Detroit-based techno pioneer Carl Craig or C2 / Innerzone Orchestra / Psyche / whatever moniker he’s going under has re-released his 2004 anthem Sandstorms with two new mixes as the cherry on top. Both are exceptional, obviously, but it’s the versus version that really gets us going. This was an inevitable choice due to our love of all things of an electro /orchestral manner (ahemmm Anna Meredith, we love you). This is a pretty aggressive track, the heavy brass giving way to stabbing bass that rattles our bones. Enter the massive kick drum at 2 mins 45 and this will keep you going until dawn.