Will Young – ‘Like A River’
In a slightly darker direction from lead single ‘Love Revolution’, Will Young returns with the second promo track from his upcoming album 85% Proof and we love it. On ‘Like A River’ Young showcases the melancholy felt so deeply on his last album, his voice delicate and restrained. Ominous guitars and low percussion build around a soft piano, complimenting the stunning visual, which was directed by W.I.Z. It’s an unconventional track, one with no real structure and destination, but it’s still gripping, enticing you in with the claustrophobic production. While we still feel it could do with a synth or two, it’s definitely another good sign of where the album is heading, and proves that Young is still an A-grade popstar.
SLO – ‘Shut Out Of Paradise’
We were seriously impressed with SLO’s (aka Jess Mills) debut track, with it’s subdued production and emotive synths. It looks like ‘Shut Out Of Paradise’ has only expanded on that, instead using a piano to shape the musical journey. It’s by no means the most exciting song on the planet, but it’s got a truly lovely pre-chorus. The highly reverbed vocal and distorted harmonies grow with the song’s echoing conclusion, leaving you wanting a tiny bit more as the melancholic yearning in Mills’ voice ends abruptly. While easy comparisons to BANKS can be made, we feel the SLO might have more ammunition left, saving the best for her first full-length outing.
Wolf Alice – ‘Bros’
It’s not necessarily a new Wolf Alice song, but fan favourite ‘Bros’ has been given a bit of a facelift, it’s production tightened just in time for the release of their debut album later this summer. Reminiscent of The Cranberries classic ‘Dreams’, the song has a euphoric and satisfying vibe to it, the soaring guitars and layered vocals providing joy throughout. For a song that pays homage to friendship it’s not cheesy, but is instead accomplished in its delivery. The slightly bratty calls of “Me and you” at the end might seem a tad unnecessary, but we can totally imagine a festival crowed going nuts over them, and we feel for Wolf Alice that might be the whole point. Also, this track sounds glorious when listened to in the sun.
Giorgio Moroder – ‘Déjà vu (feat. Sia)
Trust Giorgio and Sia to create the most bonkers song to come out this year. It really is mad, but has a proper retro vibe that others have attempted to capture but not quite managed. The slightly absurd strings, plicks of guitar and Sia’s vocal all match together, amalgamating into a pop behemoth. Yes we can’t understand what Sia is singing (can we ever?) and we don’t think radio will go near it with a stick, but it’s so joyously carefree does that really matter? It’s a big, gay old disco tune and we can’t wait to fling our hands in the air and shimmy around the dance floor.
Sinead Harnett – ‘She Ain’t Me’
It would have been easy for Sinead Harnett to ride on the successes of collaborators Rudimental and Wiley, but instead the singer has waited to hit when no one expected with a song that’s a decidedly different from anything she’s done before. There are hints of her dance and urban roots in the production, but the song’s structure is more similar to a country track than anything else. The drums trick you into thinking it’s all going to kick off but, thankfully, it never really does, instead allowing Harnett’s rather distinctive vocal to shine. Likewise, lyrically the song is strong, the hook of “baby she ain’t me, yeah”, looping over and over making the message clear. It does sort of feel like the full birth of a proper popstar, doesn’t it?