Marsha Ambrosius – Fuck ‘n’ Get It Over With

Snarl! [Video][Website] [6.50] Jonathan Bogart: The frank sexuality — and hooray for unedited versions — isn’t nearly as important as the emotional exhaustion she conveys with rare skill. I could wish for a more dynamic or inventive arrangement, but that might just be gilding the lily; there’s a lot to be said for straight-down-the-line R&B.[6] […]

Rita Ora – Shine Ya Light

We love her jacket at least…right? [Video][Website] [3.38]Pete Baran: I get a sense that this kind of anthemic mid-tempo track which may have previously hidden on the album has been legitimised by Rihanna’s success in this area. And while Rita Orr may just be a Primark Rihanna, these days that’s not necessarily a bad thing. […]

The Weeknd – Wicked Games

Why didntcha love him? [Video][Website] [5.71] Iain Mew: The shuddering bass is great. Everything else hits an uncomfortable half-sleazy note that never convinces, from the non-committal swearing to terrible lines like “I’m on that shit that you can’t smell” and “bring your body baby, I could bring you fame”. He doesn’t even sound like he […]

SHINee – Dazzling Girl

A song about one of these, no doubt. [Video][Website] [5.71] Iain Mew: Drippiness over house piano which, electronic flourishes aside, sounds like Take That the first time around, and not one of their good ones. Even the rap, often a highlight of even mediocre K-Pop singles, adds little and they think that “boom boom boom […]

Wiley ft. Skepta, JME & Ms. D – Can You Hear Me (Ayayaya)

Do I hear grime supergroup? [Video][Website] [5.29] Will Adams: If I heard this in a club, I would alternate between fist-bumping to Ms. D’s hook and laughing at all the fools who, like Wiley, Skepta, and JME, were awkwardly skanking around the party, explaining their jewelry to undoubtedly uninterested women, and moaning about not being […]

Angel Haze – Werkin’ Girls

Here to tell you how fond they are of this single: a bunch of men! [Video][Website] [7.29] Patrick St. Michel: The first minute of this song is an excellent introduction to Angel Haze for anyone who hasn’t gotten smart to her yet.  She laps the beat as her pace quickens, and then shifts into a […]

Villagers – The Waves

Irish act breaks out, breaks exactly even with TSJ… [Video][Website] [5.00] Pete Baran: Every three years I delude myself into believing I could make some electronic, usually after listing to an old Orb album. After fixing up a bassline and playing with the latest free online sequencer, I probably have three vaguely interesting rhythms and […]

The xx – Chained

Dear celebrity overlords, wherever you are, please let Taylor Swift date an xx guy. We need the breakup songs… [Video][Website] [5.62] Patrick St. Michel: The new wrinkle for the xx here (and on most of Coexist) is Jamie xx’s infatuation with house beats, giving a song like “Chained” an ever-so-slight dance feel. The rest of […]

Maxsta – Pop Off

DA DA DA DADADUNK DUNK DUNK DUUUNK DADADUNK DADADUNK DADADUNKDUNK… [Video][Website] [7.14] Anthony Easton: I missed grime, and I like grime. I can hear the Caribbean in the noise of this, and his voice over the noise is pure London. That the lyrics are hyper-specific to place only adds to the ambiance; it makes the aggro music, the […]

Lena – Stardust

Life long after Eurovision… [Video][Website] [4.43] Alfred Soto: Lena’s starchy tones and the insipidity of the acoustic guitar-drums-sparkles arrangement are chalk dust, not stardust.  [4] Katherine St Asaph: Or: Florence and the Schlock Machine. The more you inflate this, the faster it sinks.[3] Jonathan Bogart: Generic shouty inspiro-pop with a twee edge — the only […]