Boys Noize & Kelsey Lu ft Chilly Gonzales
Ride Or Die
As deployed in the Fast and Furious franchise, “ride or die” is a declaration of love and loyalty where all nuance has been blowtorched away. In the hands of German producer Boys Noize and dreamy vocalist Kelsey Lu, it becomes something a little more nebulous: a melange of honky-tonk tune-ups on acoustic guitar, keening harmonies and a late breakout of bang-a-lang techno. Quite the belter.
This tribute to the sassy wisdom of Foxes’ grandmother is clearly a labour of love so it would be uncouth to try to start some beef. But surely St Winifred’s School Choir will feel their 40-year reign as champions of pensioner-themed pop is under attack? Especially because the uplifting piano ascent of Kathleen’s chorus trumps the cloying strains of There’s No One Quite Like Grandma.
One weird side-effect from the head-wrecking stresses of 2020: all those fresh-faced young male troubadours peddling melodramatic plod-rock now have some legitimate existential angst to work through. With his floppy 90210 hair, Odell always looked the most boyish of the post-Sheeran bunch, but this new version of a spindly lockdown demo packs some actual emotional heft into its mayfly duration.
The word “collective” might set your superfluous-bongos alarm ringing but London dance duo turned 14-legged groove machine Jungle have a track record of disco-infused floorfillers. Ahead of their third album, Keep Moving is a moreish taster that takes its carefree cue from a roaming funk bassline. Think hopscotch, cartwheels and frisbee (in other words: fun).
CBBC-reared millennials clamouring to include the intro music to Tracy Beaker on their retro playlists can rejoice, with a belated official single release from the original artist. You don’t mess with the classics, so the stroppy strings and fishtank-gurgling sound effect from the theme remain intact, delivering an early-2000s R&B track that sounds fresh in 2021.