Single: “Do I Wanna Know”
Artist: Arctic Monkeys
One listen to their new lead single, ‘Do I Wanna Know’, will have you ready to forgive Arctic Monkey’s for the slop-show that was Suck It & See. With their newest record, AM, Alex Turner & Co. are back like they never left. Yes, Turner is still a massive prick (he’s refused to play guitar on their current tour and brought in a touring member whose responsibilities include: “rubbing his belly, patting his head, playing the lead, checking his emails and fucking shredding it on the B-3 organ!” But I can turn a blind eye when his songs are this good. When told that the song reminded a critic of ‘Marvin’s Room’, Turner crassly replied that he surely wasn’t the first to write a tune about “getting drunk and calling his old bird”. Please don’t follow their lead and call your ex while in an inebriated state; it’ll be annoying instead of artistic.
Album: Pure Heroine
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past 6 months, you’ve probably heard Lorde’s smash ‘Royals’. The 17 year-old New Zealand native has steadily been gaining deserved buzz and is fresh off the September 27th release of her excellent debut, Pure Heroine, which closely follows Katy Perry and Robin Thicke on the US Billboard charts. Unlike many American pop stars, she’s self-aware and not privy to the trappings of her fame. Maybe that’s just because Universal hasn’t paid her anything yet (her credit card recently got declined at Subway), but this Kiwi’s wise beyond her years. If you’re the type who prefers moaning about failed relationships, stay away from Lorde. She says it herself, “You can go to Taylor Swift to hear that”.
Single: “Kathy Lee”
Artist: Jessy Lanza
Album: Pull My Hair Back
Jessy Lanza is a native of Hamilton, but it’s hard to believe that the ultra smooth brand of electro-R&B she’s crafted with producer Jeremy Greenspan of Junior Boys fame was created in such a gritty atmosphere. Out now on UK label Hyperdub, her debut record Pull My Hair Back is a minimalistic masterpiece. Of the nine stellar tracks, ‘Kathy Lee’ is a standout. Backed by scanty percussion and synths, Lanza’s breathy vocals float in space with a beautifully ethereal quality to them. She’s referred to her music as ‘post-dance’, but you’ll want to check out the video for this one where Steel City-fixture Jed the Dancing Guy cavorts his way through the downtown core.