The Oregon rock champions have returned.
Sleater-Kinney – ‘Hurry On Home’
Sleater-Kinney’s early releases are 20-plus years old and their influence isn’t overstated, but the Portland trio’s partnership with producer St. Vincent has raised expectations even higher. ‘Hurry On Home’ is forthright indie rock, though not immediately dazzling. It’ll appeal to anyone who’s suffered relationship insecurity as the narrator goes from expectant and “dress downable,” to despondent and “unfuckable.” It hurts, but you can’t turn away.
Label: Milk! Records
Hot Chip – ‘Melody Of Love’
Hot Chip embody the maxim that there’s nothing cooler than not trying to be cool. Their music has been influential – triggering a proliferation of earnest vocalists over paddy synths – but they’re not swayed by trends. ‘Melody of Love’ is the latest example of the UK band’s commitment to their own vision, voicing faith in love as a panacea for life’s various upsets. Alexis Taylor sounds wistful as he ruminates about the melody of love, but it’s a joy to hear.
Kate Tempest – ‘Holy Elixir’
“You can’t stand a note of derision/Instead seek approval to justify your existence/Have opinions but have no resolve or conviction/Just keep your head down/Breathe the fumes and indulge your addictions”. Kate Tempest recalls Friedrich Nietzsche on the second taste of her new LP, The Book Of Traps And Lessons, boiling our contemporary problems down into a few sharp bars. It leaves you punctured, but not all hope is lost – ‘Holy Elixir’ ends with the reminder, “This is the garden/Now you better start sowing or there won’t be a harvest”.
Label: Fiction Records
Jay Som – ‘Superbike’
Superhero, supergroup, supernatural, super saving for your retirement; the word super is thrown around a lot. That aside, Jay Som’s ‘Superbike’ really is quite excellent. The first single from Californian Melina Duterte’s second album actualises her aim to find the middle ground between Alanis Morrissette and Cocteau Twins. It’s a swirling shoegaze number with a sticky pop centre.