The nostalgia at the heart of ‘Summer Of Now’, the final track from James Blake’s new EP, is something that we all seem to be yearning for of late.
The track’s narrator repeatedly references the summer of 2015, in this context a happier, almost rose-tinted time, comparing themselves unfavourably as “the summer of now”. As the events of a seemingly never-ending 2020 continue to play out, each one more physically, mentally, economically, and socially devastating than the last, a lot of us have found ourselves looking back to fonder times, when we could see friends, hug loved ones, and ultimately live with the freedoms that we were brought up to take for granted. It’s a sombre note to end on, one as reflective and meditative as Blake has been capable of producing of late.
After all, last year’s – I know, somehow it is still only last year – ‘Assume Form’ marked a change in tack for the historically-introverted superstar. Until that point, his output had suggested that he was a man of extraordinary talent who refused to succumb to the more obvious tropes of mainstream songwriting. Nowhere on his first three albums could you ever accuse Blake of being sentimental or conventionally “happy”. Having spent three years working with some of the biggest names in music
Kanye West, Beyoncé, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, and Bon Iver all released albums that included Blake’s name among the credits – and settling into the giddy throws of adult love alongside fellow US-conquering-Brit Jameela Jamil, Blake made his comeback in a manner we’d never before seen. Assume Form was a warm record, an almost schmaltzy record, an album entirely fixated with and dedicated to the the sense of completion one finds when taking on life with their soulmate by their side. It was an entirely different beast from the records he produced in his bedroom nearly a decade beforehand, and felt all the more human and vulnerable for it.
Just over eighteen months later, we have a new project on our hands. One which sees James Blake wander closer to the caustic studio experiments that made his name than the crooning baallads of his most recent masterpiece, whilst continuing on an evidently tricky and rocky road to self- acceptance. It is an EP of songs that will offer solace to those who found the overt romance – by Blake’s standards, at least – of ‘Assume Form’ in any way off-putting. An entirely modern, futuristic collection of songs that feel like the first step of something greater, as though Assume Form will prove to be the emotional pallet cleanser that, having now left his system, will make him more assured of his default artistry as a songwriter at home in more otherworldly, haunting, ice-cold soundscapes.
Django Django have shared MGMT’s remix of their recent single ‘Spirals’.
Upon its release, Django Django announced that ‘Spirals’ would provide fans with a “glimpse at what’s to come”. While the band are yet to announce a larger body of work, the track was “specifically written as part of the forthcoming live set”.
In August, the band’s drummer, Dave Maclean, unveiled his new side project, Hugo Paris. The new moniker sees Maclean explore retro electronic sounds and kicked off with the release of his debut single, ‘Music Saves The World’.
“This track was made late one night at my house when the lockdown had just started in London,” Maclean said of the new track.
“I had a productive few weeks of making music late at night, working on ideas that I just hadn’t had the headspace to tackle for a while.”
Elsewhere, MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden launched a new radio show earlier this month, entitled ‘Time Passage’. Broadcast every Monday night on WYXR Memphis 91.7FM, Van Wyngfarden termed ‘Time Passage’ “more than a show” in a social media post.
“It’ll be scary, it’ll be fun. We will emerge as one. Let’s hope we emerge at all,” he teased.
‘IC3’ is the second single taken from Ghetts’ forthcoming album on Warner Records, the details of which are still to be announced.
The single takes its name from the police code used to identify Black suspects. On the track, Ghetts and Skepta explore what it means to be a Black man in Britain today, and how to maintain one’s self-worth in spite of wrongful treatment from society at large.
Bloodrush is taken from the Andrew Broder-composed score to Alan Moore’s new feature film, The Show, which premiered at Sitges Film Festival in Spain yesterday. The Show is written and devised by Moore, directed by Mitch Jenkins and stars Tom Burke, Siobhan Hewlett, Alan Moore, Ellie Bamber, Darrell D’Silva, Richard Dillane, Christopher Fairbank, and Sheila Atim. The trailer is available here.
Andrew Broder is a musician, producer and songwriter from Minneapolis who’s released music as Hymie’s Basement, Fog, Wertheimer, as well as under his own name. He’s recently been recording with Bon Iver.
London based newcomer Hope Tala just dropped her beautiful new track Crazy, the second offering taken from her upcoming major label debut EP Girl Eats Sun. And her soft voice intrigued us right from the start.
Speaking on the track, Hope Tala tells: “Crazy is a fun love song; the type of song I think we all need in these depressing times. The lyric of the chorus has a double meaning – it’s about telling someone they can go crazy and have a good time on the dancefloor, but also that you can tell that they like you and it’s all good because the feelings are reciprocated – they don’t need to hold back, they can go Crazy.”
About her upcoming debut album she says: “At the core of ‘Girl Eats Sun’ is an assertion of confidence and boldness. The title is a paraphrase of ‘if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen’ – as the girl eating the sun I’m daring and fearless. I chose this title because I feel as if the songs and stories on this project are more vivid and inventive than anything I’ve released thus far, and I’ve pushed my sound in different, exciting directions.”