Listening Post #26

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Monday 3rd July 2017

Editor’s Note: I am really excited to introduce Daisy Nikoloska as the latest writer of The Listening Post. Daisy has been written for PearShaped countless times, and I’m really looking forward to seeing her picks each fortnight.

1.  The xx – I Dare You

It’s a sweet song in an album full of similarly sweet songs, and it sees The xx not exactly breaking the mould but turning it sideways slightly. I Dare You is the third single from January’s I See You, following On Hold and Say Something Loving. It’s the video for the song that’s been making internet waves, rather than the track itself. Everyone from Rolling Stone to Vogue has had something to say about the ‘star studded’ cast, featuring the likes of Ashton Sanders (of Moonlight fame), Millie Bobby Brown (of Stranger Things fame) and Paris Jackson (of… Michael Jackson fame?). It was made in collaboration with Calvin Klein’s creative officer Raf Simons, so I hope you like your woozy indie with a side of beautifully shot underwear advertising.

2. SZA – Drew Barrymore

Another track that has been out since January but that is only just getting a buzz thanks to its new music video is the Millennial anthem Drew Barrymore. It gets its title from 90s films starring the actress like Never Been Kissed, but SZA’s lyrics speak straightt to the current generation with a knowing wink. “You came with your new friends / and her mom jeans and her new Benz,” tunes into jealousy and uncertainty, two very old feelings, in a very new way. And Drew Barrymore has a cameo in the video, which is pretty cool.

3. Tyler, The Creator – 911/Mr. Lonely

Tyler, The Creator and Frank Ocean go together like beans and toast. Like peanut butter and jam. Pineapple and pizza. Everybody loves them and if they don’t then, well, their tastes are simply wrong. 911/Mr. Lonely is essentially two tracks, that show two different views of loneliness. It’s clever and works, with Tyler as the bittersweet pineapple cutting through Frank’s soft and familiar notes. It’s humble, heady, and humid – the summer 2017 mood, perhaps?

4. St Vincent – New York

What has six thigh high PVC boots, is two minutes long, and really really overdue? An updated online image, and announcement for the upcoming Fear the Future tour from St Vincent came with a short piano driven ballad. According to speculation it could be about Clark’s split with Cara Delevingne, but really who cares? It’s sparse and sad, but not completely heartbroken. Gone is the striking electric guitar that has become so closely associated with everything St Vincent, but here instead is something tender and more personal than she’s given to us before. Think Severed Crossed Fingers rather than Cheerleader.

5. Dusky – Cold Heart

Dusky have been championed by music types everywhere, from the BBC to more local crowds, after their show in Exeter earlier this year. To anyone who’s caught even a whiff of the techno and house they’re blending, it won’t be a surprise that their latest EP Cold Heart is slick and well balanced. Even if you don’t think it’s your thing, give the title track Cold Heart a go, and wait until the midpoint when the song throws a massive curveball. You’ll be dancing. Shuffling at the very least.