Warpaint announce new album, “Radiate Like This”, share new track, “Champion”
When we last listened to Warpaint, it was Lilys, a track specifically made for the HBO mind-bending comedy ‘Made For Love’. The band hasn’t really released new material in more than five years, so when “Champion” dropped, it was clear that the four women are back with a slew of new ideas that they’re going to fully dissect in true Warpaint-style. Starting out in a sunnier mood, but slowly transitioning to the rich mix of complex melodies, drumming, basslines and vocal delivery that defined past hits like ‘Keep It Healthy’ and ‘To Love Is To Die’, ‘Champion’ finds ‘Warpaint’ at the top of their game. Just like with ‘New Song’, fans shouldn’t be worried about a new approach, because if there ever was a band that fully knows what it is, what it wants and just how far it can go, this one is it.
Grimes unveils colorful, Death Note-inspired video for “Shinigami Eyes”
When Claire Boucher recently released “Player of Games”, coming hot off her appearance on Alter Ego and decision to form AI collective NPC, the reaction was…mixed, to say the least. Fans were not really loving the new direction, with many declaring “Player” the worst Grimes single ever. Some eventually recanted, saying that, in true Grimes-style, it is much more than meets the eye and fares much better at a second or third watch. We don’t really know where “Shinigami Eyes” fits in her “Book 1” project (probably nowhere, as its existence seems to have been a purely studio-backed decision), but it feels much more cohesive and gripping than her previous effort.
Grimes seems to be more obsessed with AI, fashion and pop-culture than ever, and if “Shinigami Eyes” feels partly like a K-pop video, there is Blackpink’s Jennie to remind us that K-pop is bigger than anything right now. Claire reflecting on beauty ideals while not really conforming to them has been a recurring theme in her music, at least since ‘Art Angels’. Can we finally just say that Grimes feels more confident than ever as a performer, and that combining her image with that of 3D renderings, or just surprising everybody by performing under an ‘avatar’ (just like ‘Alter Ego’ participants do) might be what fans could expect from her in the future?
Ayra Starr recreates an era in “Beggie Beggie” video
Afro-pop revelation Ayra Starr returns with a deeply personal, vulnerable look at the past and her “Gen Z-ness”. An outspoken champion of positivity, Starr, together with CKay, make “Beggie” one of the best tracks from her debut album, “19 & Dangerous”. Everything about this song impresses, from the vocals to the confident, complex delivery, and it’s just at the perfect point of intersection between fresh and familiar. We haven’t really heard much from Starr until now, but just based on the quality of this track alone, expect an album review really, really soon.
Melody’s Echo Chamber’s video for “Looking Backwards” imagines an urban paradise
Melody’s Echo Chamber (Mélody Prochet) delivers a more straightforward, but no less gripping and psychedelic single in “Looking Backward”, and the video could be ripped from a modern 3D RPG game, with a protagonist running around in an urban area reclaimed by nature, with a guardian animal in tow, finally being able to share this version of paradise with a special somebody. The ending lyrics are almost a manifesto: ‘Dream of magic love/ No fears, no pain, but love‘.
Yumi Zouma delivers nostalgia-infused video “In The Eyes of Our Love”
New Zealand’s Yumi Zouma have been really prolific over the past years, never missing a moment to delight fans with positive vibes and complex songwriting. The band situates itself in the “Present Tense” with their new material, and the video – directed by US indie king Alex Ross Perry, and one of January’s best! – features a stunning transition from present day to multiple versions of the past and back, almost warning us of the dangers of not letting go of those rose-tinted glasses when there are just so many things to be worries about in the real world right now. Political, but also very much a love story, it is the first of a trilogy of collaborations with Perry, and we couldn’t be more excited right now.
Foxes continues series of quality “Kick” singles with late-night mood-piece “Body Suit”
When Foxes (Louisa Rose Allen) returned last year with “Sister Ray”, fans were in for a real treat, and that single became one of our favorite tunes of 2021. “Sky Love” reached the same highs, delighting fans with one of the richest voices in pop, coupled with nostalgic synths and visuals to take you back to the glorious ’80s. She recently released “Absolute“, proving that her sound has evolved, the production evoking decades of UK-style electronica. With “Body Suit”, Allen cements her new status as an electropop icon and teases her fans with the upcoming full-album release, titled “The Kick”.
Bonobo and Jordan Rakei are in fine form on “Shadows”
British producer and DJ extraordinaire, Bonobo has recently dropped his seventh album, “Fragments”. On “Shadows”, UK-based collective BWTV focuses on abstract images, fragments, movement, forgetfulness, shadows, and how those blend to form almost a blurry memory of a CCTV monitoring room – perhaps one of most stunning depictions of the act of recollection we’ve ever seen. The production of the song has a classy, bright feel and allows Rakei’s voice – with traces of both jazz and R&B – to dominate to great effect.
“This is my seventh album and it’s been without a doubt the most difficult one to make. I’d honestly lost a little confidence somewhere over the past few years. That compounded with the whole mess of 2020 made the period of making this record an uphill struggle a lot of the time.As much as it’s a document of a weird and uncertain time, it’s also about optimism and joy. I’m extremely proud of it and I hope that sense of optimism is felt” – Bonobo
Featured image: “Open Microphone Music VIP Digital Collage” – Blake Robson