Singles Of The Month: March 2018
Donna McKevitt ‘Sweet’
The second single from experimental composer Donna McKevitt is a real dream. Over the course of four minutes, McKevitt blankets layer after layer over a simple synth line, folding cello, violins, and angelic, wordless vocals into one another. It’s a mesmeric crescendo that comes to a close all too soon — though not soon enough for me not to have missed my tube stop the first time I was listening to it, having totally zoned out of the real world and into McKevitt’s dreamscape.
Banfi ‘Never Really Cared’
Sure, this isn’t a single per se, but it’s the lead track on Banfi’s recently released The Jack Powell EP so just go with it okay? ‘Never Really Cared’ peppily flips the concept of the hyper-earnest love song on its head; the upbeat vibe and rushy chorus belies the awkward realisation that one party just isn’t feeling it and, frankly, never truly has. Despite its apparent cynicism, ‘Never Really Cares’ manages never to be cruel, thanks to the humour in the lyrics (brought out in technicolour by the 10/10 video Banfi released alongside the EP -- very much worth a watch).
Years & Years ‘Sanctify’
Years & Years is absolutely the kind of pop band I can get behind, and that has never been more true than with the release of ‘Sanctify,’ the first single from their forthcoming album. I’m very much here for Olly Alexander’s voice (at once fragile and elastic - can't get enough), the super-slick production, and the no holds barred celebration of queer sexuality. The video (which is worth a watch for Alexander’s chair choreography alone!) indicates there’ll be a part two coming up. Count us in for that.
Billie Eilish ‘bitches broken hearts’
This R&B slow jam is a real treat. Rising star Billie Eilish sings drowsily of a relationship that just can’t get off the ground. It’s a seduction and a rejection all at the same time — she begs her love to beg for her, but it’s not looking good. The bedroom vibes of the woozy low-fi production are a cruel tease for Billie — the little bursts of bar-room chatter that sit beneath instrumental suggest a night of possibility that hasn’t ended the way she wanted it to.
We've been keeping our ears out for a new release from Octavian since his last single '100 Degrees' back in January and to be honest ‘Hands’ is the last thing we expected. Octavian’s previous singles didn’t do enough for us to set him apart from the sea of other young, up-and-coming rappers doing the rounds but in ‘Hands’ we have something fresh with a real shift in structure, production and energy. It’s a dark and moody track that interweaves elements of dancehall, grime, 2-step (to name but a few). That massive bassline hits hard - all we need now is a longer version.
Jon Hopkins 'Emerald Rush'
Once again, Jon Hopkins delivers an emotional rollercoaster in the formidable, no-holds-barred way he always has. ‘Emerald Rush’ is the first single from upcoming album Singularity (his fifth) due for release May this year. True to form, the track starts with some blissed out futuristic electronica. Hopkins delicately introduces us to the key themes and movements of his latest work before tearing everything up with warped glitches and a time-signature change that'll throw you off your axis
Major Lazer’s ‘Lean On’ was our first introduction to Danish songwriter MØ, and since then she's continued to collaborate with Diplo and his reggae/dancehall alter ego pretty regularly. Her 2014 album was met with positive reviews but it’s been quite the uphill battle to shake off the shackles of having become known as a features artists. ‘Nostalgia’ might just be the single to lift her above the parapet. Its bouncy spoken-word intro gets us into the groove, and the tune gives MØ the opportunity to show off her distinctive vocal style. It’s summertime pop and will no doubt be doing the festival rounds come May.
Jay Prince 'In The Morning'
Last year Jay Prince released his Late Summers EP and it fast became a Tung HQ staple. This month's new release, 'In The Morning' stays true to Prince's laid back, mellow vibe, and is generally just a real bop. That chorus, that two-step groove, those laid-back vocals -- this is perfect summer listening (particularly if you're experiencing a summer of the British variety, and all you need is a sunny respite from the incessant rain).