The best (and worst) new singles: Ferla, Anna Calvi, and more

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The best (and worst) new singles: Ferla, Anna Calvi, and more

Words by Augustus Welby

Also featuring new tracks from Bill Fay and Taylah Carroll.

Ferla – ‘Desire Machine’

Giuliano Ferla is a desire machine. This explains his hunger for more – more success, more creativity, more drive, more adulation. It’s okay to be generating all of these desires, as long as you learn how to manage them. Don’t be a cunt to yourself or others and don’t get taken for a fool by your passions, he says. And do write infectious synth-pop songs that’ll keep listeners up all night involuntarily humming. 

Label: Independent

Anna Calvi – ‘You’re Not God’ 

A year on from her excellent Hunter record – her heaviest to date – Anna Calvi has provided the soundtrack to series five of Peaky Blinders. ‘You’re Not God’ begins with a hard-hitting intensity akin to My Disco or Sunn O))). Calvi goes on to fiddle with the dynamics in a way that feels intentionally elusive. There’s heavy breathing, soloed hi-hats and even dead silence mid-song. It’s a curious and engrossing composition.

Label: Domino

Bill Fay – ‘Filled With Wonder Once Again’

Has Bill Fay been on the magic mushrooms? It can’t be ruled out – Fay’s spiritualism is no secret and now in his 70s, he’s filled with wonder once again. “How this world can keep a man in chains,” sings Fay over the I-IV chord progression that carries the entire song. Getting out of the chains is just a matter of shifting your perspective, Fay suggests. Not much happens in the song, but there’s a real sense of revelation in Fay’s repetition of the title.

Label: Dead Oceans

Taylah Carroll – ‘Sometimes Good People Do Bad Things’

What makes a good person? We’re probably more adept at defining bad people. They’re bullies, liars, rip-offs, violent and prejudiced actors. But what happens when a good person – someone who’s never been tagged as bad – does something bad? Taylah Carroll argues they’re still good, and that this should help us to make better sense of when we’ve been treated poorly. This notion is communicated via an outlaw country-tinged, indie rock song with big, spacious Tim Harvey production.

Label: Independent