music / Columns

The Best New Songs Of The Week: Lorde, Khalid, More

March 6, 2017 | Posted by David Hayter

We’re back again to look back at the best new songs we’ve heard in the last seven days. Remember to keep an eye out for new track reviews each week day.

“Green Light” by Lorde [Pop]

“The icy cool, the cynicism and the stately grandeur of her groundbreaking debut have all been jettisoned. Having delivered a bravura and fully formed LP, Lorde could have reaped her reward and reigned as queen now that everyone dances to her somber beat. Instead, Lorde has decided to vacate her own sonic homeland. Let it be known: “Green Light” is no po-faced, self serious stab at pop prestige.

Lorde may live in the moment, but she’s no longer using her intellect to transcend or distain it. Instead, she’s caught in a head rush, desperate to share a blast of reckless exhilaration and adrenaline with the world.” Read The Full Review

“Perculator” by Charly Bliss [Rock] 

Who can resist a chorus that confounds expectation? Charly Bliss are humming away nicely on “Perculator” when, suddenly, vocalist Eva Hendricks’ sardonically sweet ascending drone hiccups, the band jolts, the vocal dips and a nice hook, turns inescapable in an instant (“I’m gonna die in a getaway, car”). Even without the nifty chorus, the track is a triumph full of playful knowing lyricism: “don’t you know I love to please, I’m everybody’s favorite tease: put your had on my knee, that’s what friends are for”.

“Young, Dumb & Broke” by Khalid [R&B/Pop]

Khalid, my man, you are really testing my patience. “Young, Dumb & Broke” is one of those beautiful, instantly affecting pop songs that proves so cloying that it verges on turning off the listener entirely. So why does it place on this list? Well, despite it mid-tempo sweetness, this heavy lidded single is delivered immaculately. This is romanticism for wasters: a chance for anyone who has ever felt their life slipping-between-their-fingers to celebrate the joy of squandered potential. The “real world” might be passing them by, but honestly, who cares?

“Silence Speaks” by While She Sleeps ft. Oli Sykes [Metalcore]

While She Sleeps have been a great live band and a festival must ever since 2012’s brilliant This Is The Six dropped. However, despite considerable hard graft, the Sheffield band have yet to really breakout as stars. Perhaps this is why the band prove so generous on “Silence Speaks”. Even without Oli Sykes’ presence, the single is a rip-roaring, seesawing, riff-riding, radio-ready anthem, but it’s telling that they leave the knock out blow for the Bring Me The Horizon frontman. The pace slows, the volume dips, the drums are stilled: allowing a cocksure Sykes to grab the mic and scream: “I THINK THE SILENCE SPEAKS VOLUMES”.

This is fantastic, bombastic stuff shot through with ambition that should absolutely own the festival season if there’s any justice in the world.

“My Crew (Woo)” by Cadence Weapon [Rap]

“Kaytranada has done it again, teaming up with Cadence Weapon to deliver a slinky alien soundscape and one of the nascent year’s most distinctive hooks.” Read The Full Review

“Left Alone” by Allan Rayman [R&B/Singer-Songwriter]

I’m still wrapping my head around “Left Alone”. It was a hot tip from the guys at Pigeons and Planes and Allan Rayman’s haunting ditty toys with nocturnal bareness, both natural (the song could linger in the woods) and synthetic (or stalk the concrete jungle). The hook is something else: a gnarled, accented blurt (“I am the wolf, I walk alone”), that puts a delicate arrangement, full of fine tuned balances and subtle contrasts, in stark relief.

“Dress/Undress” by QTY [Indie]

“It would seem that label de jour Dirty Hit has another white hot indie darling on its hands as QYT supply both insouciant scuzzy cool and hooky melodious warmth on “Dress/Undress”.” Read The Full Review

“Bobby” by Alex G [Indie]

Sweet, simply and with a wonderful rootsy twang, Alex G’s latest doesn’t require much in the way of explanation: this is heartfelt ditty full of memory, devotion and dependence that saunters towards a picture perfect chorus. A study, if ever there was one, in understated excellence.

XO TOUR Llif3” by Lil Uzi Vert [Rap] 

Lil Uzi Vert is not an elite level wordsmith (unless you find particular poetry in “fast car, Nascar, race on”), but he is adept at creating a blurry comic book world where everything is consumed by whatever heart stopping combination of narcotics he’s taken today. “XO TOUR Llif3” is distinct because if flits between extremes of angst and numbness. One second Vert is screaming and paranoid, fearing for his relationship, the next he’s a study in hip hop callousness – it’s an intriguing mix that builds towards a crafty chorus: “push to the edge, all my friends are dead”.