EACH WEEK, CONTEMPORARY CLASSIC SELECTS THE BEST MUSIC FROM THE WEEK. ALL KILLER. NO FILLER.
Arctic Monkeys – ‘Four Out Of Five’
Last Friday, the U.K.’s biggest indie band, Arctic Monkeys, returned with their sixth record, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, a science fiction lounge-rock concept record. The album has had mixed reviews, but an aspect that all reviews share is that ‘Four Out Of Five’ is an obvious stand-out.
While a lot of the songs on TBHC are cluttered with frontman Alex Turner’s lyric-dense approach, ‘Four Out Of Five’ contains a simple song structure – a strange component to mention, but it’s appropriate considering it’s a rare occurrence on the record. The track also has the most impressionable instrumental arrangements on TBCH, represented by its use in the album’s teaser prior to its release.
‘Four Out Of Five’ is centred around Turner’s “taqueria on the moon, The Information-Action Ratio,” which achieved rave reviews – “four stars out of five.” In Arctic Monkeys’ constructed future, the Moon is “getting gentrified,” as Turner pleads “come and stay with us, it’s such an easy flight.”
Courtney Barnett – ‘Sunday Roast’
Melbourne favourite Courtney Barnett has her sophomore album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, dropping this Friday. Last week, she released the slow-building ‘Sunday Roast’, preceded by singles ‘Nameless, Faceless’, ‘Need A Little Time’ and ‘City Looks Pretty’.
Previously unveiled on a limited-edition Record Store Day split 12-inch also featuring ‘City Looks Pretty’, ‘Sunday Roast’ is the softest of the four singles so far released from the album.
Over gentle acoustic guitar and calming drum patterns, Barnett urges someone close to her to keep on keepin’ on: “It’s all the same to me / Ignore that voice / It puts you down / You make your choice, I’m here for you.”
Patrick Paige II – ‘Voodoo’
The Internet’s bassist and producer, Patrick Paige II, is gearing up to release his debut solo album Letters of Irrelevance. In anticipation of the record dropping this Friday, Paige shared ‘Voodoo’, the second snippet from the record.
On his debut track, the Grammy-nominated artist brought groovy neo-soul/hip-hop on ‘On My Mind / Charge It to the Game (feat. Syd & Kari Faux)’, bearing heavy influence from artists like Thundercat. With ‘Voodoo’, Paige takes it down a gear, with this piece of shimmering stoner RnB.
Unlike the previous single, there’s no rapping from Paige. Instead, Paige serenades his loved ones on ‘Voodoo’. The track is infused with rich basslines – of which we’ve come to expect from Paige with his work in The Internet – and comforting piano riffs.
LUMP – ‘Late to the Flight’
LUMP is a new collaboration between Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay, who have their self-titled debut album under the moniker coming out 1 June. The UK duo previously unveiled the first single from the album, the terrific ‘Curse of the Contemporary’. Last Friday, the pair released the second single, ‘Late to the Flight’.
‘Late to the Flight’ is a melancholier approach from the seasoned duo, not that ‘Curse of the Contemporary’ was a dramatically up-tempo track. Sounding like an appropriate dirge, ‘Late to the Flight’ has Marling exploring the notion of lucid dreaming and the hyper reality of being trapped within a public persona.
Marling’s brooding vocals are matched with prominent acoustic guitar and a droney underlay that swells and strikes throughout ‘Late to the Flight’.
The Presets – ‘Downtown Shutdown’
Aussie electro wizards The Presets will release their highly anticipated fifth album on 1 June, five years after their latest record, Pacifica. Hi Viz features previously released singles ‘Do What You Want’, ‘14U+14ME’ and their newest single, the funky ‘Downtown Shutdown’.
With the assistance of Shepparton’s St Paul’s Lutheran Church Choir, the Sydney duo deliver an extremely contrasting mood to the full-on, in-ya-face bangers of the other singles. ‘Downtown Shutdown’ isn’t necessarily a change in tempo, rather a different approach for Kim and Julian to fill the dancefloor. For some expert bass licks, the electronic veterans brought on another Aussie favourite in Touch Sensitive and his presence is enormous.
The track is a party protest, specifically aimed at the shutdown of the Sydney night-life as a result of the lockout laws.
Check out more of the week’s best new music in the playlist below: