This week’s tracks reviewed: Little Mix, Paul McCartney and Ariana Grande
Thomas Savage is a standard Shoreditch art-hole who in his last band, Kins, spent most of his time pretending to be Wild Beasts – something that seldom worked, even for Wild Beasts. He is having much more luck pretending to be Trent Reznor’s millennial afterbirth. Music to smash the bathroom mirror of a seedy motel to, his falsetto is hot and wounded, his synths are red, crumblehearted and deathalicious.
Jackie Cohen is friends with Foxygen. Darlin’ was produced by the Lemon Twigs. You can see where this is going. Sleazy-listening glam, an exploration of a fabulous never-was 70s boulevard of the sort of broken dreams that only hot people have. But there’s a joy in the dressing-up box that lifts this beyond soundtrack fodder, and makes you think: “Christ, I could really do with a Brandy Alexander.”
Come on to Me
Just leave the factory settings on please, Sir Paul. I’ll take some clod-hopping Ringo drums, a ribald lyric about courtship at a house party, and the Solo Macca polish of Flowers in the Dirt. The Wings great’s output now alternates between wanting our respect and craving our love. Five years since he was mucking about with Paul Epworth, it’s straight back to the comfort food. Comfortingly.
Ariana Grande ft Nicki Minaj
The Light Is Coming
It must be the generation gap, but I just don’t get today’s pop stars and their healthcare reform samples. Over a bouncy tick-tock beat, Grande has threaded a sample of an irate man squawking, “You wouldn’t let anybody speak!” over and over, which apparently comes from an archive clip of a town hall meeting at which Senator Arlen Specter attempts to unpack Obamacare. Still, it’s a beguiling, svelte little number, even without the agit prop.
Cheat Codes x Little Mix
“Once upon a time we had it all and somewhere down the line we went and lost it”: a message to everyone who fails to renew their home insurance this year, from Little Mix, who have teamed up with US DJ trio Cheat Codes to really spread those royalties as thinly as possible. Released for a compilation called Love Island: The Pool Party, and suitable for little else, theirs is a summer cheese sandwich of no distinction: hacky acoustic guitar, groinal synths, some doggerel about moonlight. Avoid.