Singles Of The Month: November 2017
Bjork ‘Blissing Me’
Bjork’s new music, written with the electronic scene’s enfant terrible Arca, is soft and warm and enveloping. The instrumentation of ‘Blissing Me’ is particularly other-worldly, but by contrast its lyrics suggest a love song for a modern time. Delicate harp is bolstered by a slinking programmed beat, while Bjork sings of a love grown through shared music, mp3s fired at one another like Cupid's arrows.
Nabihah Iqbal ‘Eternal Passion’
The old moniker - Throwing Shade - is gone. In shedding the stage-name, Nabihah Iqbal is free to explore a new sound, and in ‘Eternal Passion’ she shows a propensity for fuzzed-out guitars and intimate, intense vocals. Based on the poetry of William Blake and Matthew Arnold, it's about 'what makes people want to live.' Her first full-length release, Weighing Of The Heart, will come out next month, and we’re hyped to see what more she reveals about her new direction.
N.E.R.D ‘Lemon feat. Rihanna’
We had to, we just had to. It’s been 7 years since Nothing, N.E.R.D’s last album which, lest we forget, was a bit of a stinker, so the pressure was well and truly on. Yes we all danced gleefully to ‘Happy’, but all the while we yearned for that post punk edge of the Haley, Hugo, Williams records. Thank god the hiatus has ended. In many ways, Lemon is as 2006 as Sum 41 and H&M Lad-fit jeans. That said, it’s exactly what I wanted from an N.E.R.D record: a harsh beat replete with so many pop-culture references it requires its own accompanying booklet. Its complicated and brazen, oh and Rihanna absolutely slays her rap.
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith ‘I Will Make Room For You (Four Tet remix)
Four Tet’s remix of ‘I Will Make Room For You’, taken from Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s recently released album The Kid, is a hypnotic 8 minutes. It ebbs and flows, transforming the half-electronic, half-orchestral expanse of the original into a beat-driven groove. Despite its newfound danceability, Smith’s breathy vocals and the light-as-air percussion keep things relaxed. This is one for a listening party for one, as much as it is for the club.
We’ve had our eye on Raye for a while now, and with her latest single she’s cemented herself as a firm favourite at Tung HQ. ‘Decline’ is a very-much-2017 interpolation of Ashanti and Ja Rule’s classic ‘Always on Time’, but there’s a twist: Raye’s not begging for anyone. Instead, she’s shrugging off an ex-boyfriend with a tap of the decline button, and she’s moving on.
Young Fathers ‘Lord’
To be fair most of the information you need about this single is written on the artwork: ‘Young Fathers have finished a new album. We hope you hear it sometime in the near future, for now here is a song a song called LORD. You can’t dance to it.’ Yup. What I would say is that, as an introduction to a new musical era for Young Fathers, it’s a strong start. We’ve got a gospel choir, we’ve got an uplifting arpeggiating piano melody, we’ve got cacophonous electronic fuzz fading away to leave a single voice in the final moments. It’s all there guys. Looking forward to hear the album ‘sometime in the near future’.