New this week / Singles in review

Iceage - How Many

“How Many” is the third single from Copenhagen-based band Iceage, who are right on the cusp of releasing their third album, Plowing Into The Field of Love. Where first single “The Lord's Favorite” had a twisted, country influence and second offering “Forever” seemed like a long lost Birthday Party track, “How Many” is a euphoric, blitz of jagged, cold, postpunk fury.

From the archaic stabs of piano, to the fluttering, guitar discordance, the group paint a picture of monstrous bleakness. “I have a sense of utopia of what I truly ought to do,” Rønnenfelt moans, expounding on his inability to live up to his own expectations. This track has a lack of control that seems to breed a lunacy; an undercurrent that simmers beneath the surface of the song’s icy splendour.

Thom Yorke - A Brain in a Bottle

Thom Yorke has released a new album, Tomorrow's Modern Boxes. Never afraid to experiment with new ways to package his music, the Radiohead frontman has released the album through torrent service BitTorrent. “A Brain In A Bottle” is the opener of the album and is also available to download for free. The album in its entirety costs six dollars.

The track features a beautifully textured, electronic soundscape that is at times circled by a surrounding sonic buzz or a hostile siren-like noise. Yorke's falsetto is as sensual as it is haunting, and sizzles across the glassy, crisp percussion.

Future Brown - Wanna Party [Ft. Tink & 3D Na'Tee]

Future Brown is the resulting collaboration between the talented trio of Fatima Al Qadiri, Nguzunguzu and J-Cush. “Wanna Party” also features the talented New Orleans rapper 3D Na'Tee and Chicago's Tink, who contribute a mesmerizing series of rhythmic, deadpan verses.

The production is something I really love. The soundscape is beautiful, cold and machine-like. With ethnic, ambiguous samples that are truly hypnotic. The beats comes in and out like gears shifting in a factory, helping the track transition beautifully from one section to the next.

Tala - Alchemy

TĀLĀ is an artist from South London who is set to release her EP Alchemy in mid-November. This single of the same name is a beautiful, glistening, pop ballad, emoted over an atmosphere of broken mirrors, glitchy samples and other remnants of chaos.

The track showcases TĀLĀ at her most accessible to date, but still contains the finesse of her electronic, instrumentals featured in her earlier work on the Duchess EP.

Marianne Faithfull - Late Victorian Holocaust

Marianne Faithfull has sustained quite a wonderful career, and is one of the only active artists from the scene we now remember as Swinging 60s London. Her voice is raspy, full of weight and drenched in what sounds like a cold, bitter exhaustion. “Late Victorian Holocaust” comes from her upcoming album, Give My Love To London.

Though the track's lyrics are written by Nick Cave, Marianne sings them with conviction and a polarising, dreary honesty. A brooding, gothic ballad, the song is a haunting remnant of the scene in which Marianne was very much a part of. The track also features bone-chilling strings that highlight the dark, ominous instrumentation wonderfully.
This article first appeared in Issue 26, 2014.
Posted 1:49pm Sunday 5th October 2014 by Adrian Ng.