The best (and worst) new singles: Kim Gordon, Danny Brown and more

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The best (and worst) new singles: Kim Gordon, Danny Brown and more

Words by Augustus Welby

Patrick Watson and Ali Barter also feature.

Kim Gordon – ‘Air BnB’

Kim Gordon has been making noisy, febrile rock music since the early 1980s. She’s departed from full band work in recent years, but her upcoming solo debut promises to capture Gordon at her musical meanest. The record’s second single isn’t too impressed by the clichés of the average Airbnb listing, where homes are airbrushed to take on  all the sterility of a hotel room. Agree or disagree, you’ll find it hard not to be moved by Gordon’s nettled vocal and disgruntled guitar sounds.

Label: Matador / Remote Control

Danny Brown – ‘Dirty Laundry’

In The Guardian’s countdown of this century’s top 100 albums, hip hop is sorely underrepresented. Two glaring omissions are A Tribe Called Quest’s We Got it From Here and Danny Brown’s Atrocity Exhibition. An update might be necessary when Brown’s new record uknowhatimsayin¿ drops in October. The first single, ‘Dirty Laundry’,  hows off Brown’s agility over warped and prickly beats from Tribe’s big cheese, Q-Tip. The lyrics are reliably sordid with Brown rattling off a history sexual deviance that’s  symptomatic of a lifestyle malformation.

Label: Warp Records

Patrick Watson – ‘Dream For Dreaming’

Humans are reckless, impulsive and self-centred and these traits can torch a relationship at any moment. For the sake of a relationship’s strength, however, you don’t want to spend too much time preparing for its ending. As such, breakups tend to precipitate a loss of meaning – you’ve still got that job, that car, that haircut, but it all adds up to nothing. Québécois singer Patrick Watson distils this sense of less into ‘Dream For Dreaming’, deploying a spacious arrangement marked by reverberating piano and pleading falsetto.

Label: Domino

Ali Barter – ‘January’

“Remember when triple j was good?” I’m sure you’ve heard this rhetoric before, which often invokes memories of a time when much of the station’s playlist sounded like Ali Barter’s ‘January’. Unlike many of her contemporaries, however, Barter’s post-grunge pop rock seems borne of a fuck-it attitude rather an attempt to comply with the station’s specifications. Her lyrics bemoan the perversion of our priorities as we settle into adulthood against the backdrop of consumerist manipulation.

Label: Inertia Music / [PIAS]