We’re two deep into our Albums Of The Year So Far series, so before you check out the best songs from the week, check out our contenders for the best albums of the year (thus far). There’s a fresh assortment of goodies and obscurities in this week’s Songs We Like, so go give our Spotify playlist a follow and take a deep dive into another edition of our weekly best new music series.
Blawan – Nims
Blawan, along with Joy O and Boddika, is UK techno royalty. No one can make a kick thump quite like Blawan can, and whilst debut album Wet Will Always Dry isn’t as intense as the groundbreaking ‘Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage?’ Blawan’s experimentation with other electronic components throughout make it a phenomenal debut. Album closer ‘Nims’ plays with erratic and kaleidoscopic analogue beef, all accompanied by those trademark Blawan drums. ‘Nims’ is beautifully extravagant to the point of almost being avant garde, sculpting a dance track out of unpredictable and luscious leads. No one makes techno quite as exciting as Blawan. -Tom
Converge – Melancholia
Hold your (dark) horses! Following one of 2017’s albums of the year, gritty mental hardcore stalwarts Converge have dropped a blisteringly fast 4-track EP. Because obviously they have. It’ll render you speechless, much like me, hence why all l I could come up with was that lame Converge-related joke at the start. Here’s stoner-rock-cum-pure-devastation centrepiece ‘Melancholia’ with a disturbing vid to boot. -Elliot
Charli XCX – No Angel
Saviour of pop music Charli XCX finally releases ‘No Angel’ officially (I see that 2016 copyright mark, Charli). I may still be heartbroken at missing out on Charli XCX’s Pop 2 showcase at Village Underground, but if one thing can cheer me up its new material from the 730 Review favourite. ‘No Angel’ is another self-aware banger that manages to simultaneously riff on pop consumerism whilst still hitting that sweet spot of being, well, a song for the masses. Anthemic and utilising SOPHIE production sheen to achieve that ‘future pop’ aesthetic, Charli XCX proves once again that she really is the most underrated in the game. -Tom
Death Grips – Death Grips Is Online
It’s been a week and I’m still processing the existence of Year Of The Snitch. Definitely the most extravagant and genre-defying of their already mind-melting discography, Year Of The Snitch sees Death Grips fuck around with structure and instrumentals in a manner even more absurd than previously thought possible. ‘Death Grips Is Online’, the opening track from the LP, is a bizarre and captivating mess despite being one of the most accessible from the album. Blisteringly catchy guitar lines, vocals from Andy Morin and DJ style record scratches all concoct a lighter, catchier style from Ride and co. It’s a confounding track that pushes the Death Grips sound to new extremes, and it’s certainly not the only track in Year Of The Snitch to contort expectations to twisted new dimensions. -Tom
Gorillaz – Kansas
“I’m not gonna cryyyyyyy-ah.” Well, I think I might Damon. The latest freshly dropped outing from Gorillaz, The Now Now, is almost a cheeky little pet project from the whiz-kid who usually takes years meticulously perfecting large-scale releases. It’s an ethereal synth-heavy affair with Damon Albarn whimsically musing in that 2D style we’re now so familiar with, best epitomised by emotional centre-piece Kansas. It’s a quickly churned gem, hopefully setting the stage for further hysteria-less releases. That’s not to say that The Now Now was bereft of the marketing genius which Gorillaz leads the musical pack with; replacing Murdoc Nichols with a member from The Powerpuff Girls’ Gangreen Gang was another rogue episode in Jamie Hewlett’s comical Gorillaz history, adding another layer to the consistently enticing musical output. More please, gents. -Elliot
HAAi – Growing Up With Muscle Cars
Everyone’s favourite Phonox resident and all-round phenomenal DJ HAAi has announced her first full EP, Motorik Voodoo Bush Doof Musik. The first offering from the five-track EP, ‘Growing Up With Muscle Cars’, is a 10-minute epic that immortalises her stepfather through the magical medium of music. Essentially comprised of spacey synth builds and a drum track that’ll snap necks, ‘Growing Up With Muscle Cars’ is a perfect document of club culture. It’s got everything: highs, lows, and a rampant intensity you’ll want to sweat to. But, most importantly, it’ll transport you to the wondrous realm of the 2am Phonox dancefloor. Seriously though, watch out for those drums. Fierce. -Tom
Mitski – Nobody
Mitski has delivered… one hell of an indie-disco bop about the eternal loneliness of the human condition? On first listen, I’ll admit to being shocked at the unwavering piano stabs and disco guitar riffs replacing the prominent guitar drones of Puberty 2. But, whilst a departure in sound, ‘Nobody’ is resolutely a Mitski track: heartwrenchingly honest lyricism with a vocal intensity to match the introspective and despairing content. But the most telling fact is how good ‘Nobody’ sounds. At no point does this feel like unnatural Mitski territory, but rather another powerfully compelling single from Mitski. I no longer know what to expect from upcoming album Be The Cowboy, but I can’t wait to find out. -Tom
Image: Asylum Records/Warner Bros.