Danny Wright picks out new tracks from Bloc Party, Angel Haze and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti.
Bloc Party – Octopus
If I owned a klaxon I would honk it to proclaim the BIG INDIE BAND RETURN OF THE WEEK. But I don’t, so all I will say is that award goes to Bloc Party. I have to say I was expecting the worst; but, luckily, the band sound like their old selves. This new track ‘Octopus’ is a whirl of tentacles and does what Bloc Party do best, refining and enhancing their key elements. It’s got an earworm-like hook, Knightrider guitar shredding and Kele’s mellow vox. What’s more is that it’s brighter and more confident than you’d expect – and it has found the energy of their best hits, something which seemed to have been lost. Way to work it out, guys.
Angel Haze – Werkin’ Girl
It was only last week that Angel Haze dropped her excellent ‘New York’ track, and now here she is with another one. ‘Werkin’ Girl’, a new cut from her album Reservation out next week, sees the twenty-year-old rap at such a relentless and overpowering speed. That this is backed by a series of looped clattering industrial drum beats makes it all the more brutal. Her rhymes are full of contempt and confidence: “I’m the one to be after / I’m sweeping you while I’m dusting / I just popped up out the blue / I am spontaneously combusting.” This is breathless, brilliant stuff.
Ariel Pink – Only in my dreams
The new Ariel Pink track seems like it’s been released from a vault, untouched for decades, emerging now as pristine piece of ’60s psych-pop. Only In My Dreams is another slice of AM inspired swoon rock from the August released Mature Themes. The track is a lush, deceptively simple ditty on which Pink makes the rain go away (for a couple of minutes at least), crooning ‘We’ll have so much fun on the beach, on the ocean, in my dreams’. It plays along a fine line but always comes out on top: it’s nostalgic without being derivative, evocative without being cloying and it is (of course) dreamy – though the “dream girls” never satisfy the reality.
-Danny Wright (@dethink2survive)