45s of the week: Lana Del Rey, Gracie Abrams, CL and more!

The tracks you need to hear this week, as reviewed by Rhian Daly

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Gracie Abrams – ‘Rockland’ 

Noted Taylor Swift stan Gracie Abrams has taken a leaf out of her idol’s book and teamed up with The National’s Aaron Dessner – who worked on both ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’ – on her new single ‘Rockland’. “Bet you wish you never even met me,” the LA singer-songwriter whispers over gorgeous fingerpicked guitars, melancholy and regret rather than revenge and spite colouring her words. 

Lana Del Rey – ‘Black Bathing Suit’

While some of the songs on Lana’s new album ‘Blue Banisters’ were written way back in 2013, ‘Black Bathing Suit’ is unmistakably new, right down to its quarantine-referencing lyrics. “It’s LA, ‘hey’ on Zoom, Target parking lot,” she murmurs in its opening lines. “And if this is the end, I want a boyfriend / Someone to eat ice cream and watch television / Or walk home from the mall with.” If that’s got you crying, “Same”, just wait until she sighs: “The only thing that still fits me is this black bathing suit.” 

CL – ‘Tie A Cherry’ 

Been around long enough to know what I like,” CL confidently declares in ‘Tie A Cherry’’s first line. Although the track is taken from her first solo album ‘ALPHA’, this isn’t the Korean singer’s first time at the rodeo. The former 2NE1 member brings all her years of experience and injects them into the track – and the rest of the album – to create something assured, bold and inimitably her. As she puts it on ‘Tie A Cherry’, “There’s only one M-E”. 

Jinan Laetitia – ‘Mannequin’

Indonesian singer Jinan Laetitia’s third release of the year starts off as an elegantly creeping piece of pop, but there’s a twist ahead. Instead of continuing to tiptoe forward on the gently ticking melody and Laetitia’s voice, ‘Mannequin’ softly erupts in a chorus doused in bass that would shake the speakers if the artist loosened her control. As it is, though, the restrained approach makes sense – what kind of mannequin is running wild after all? 

Ashnikko – ‘Halloweenie IV: Innards’

Since Ashnikko started releasing special Halloween tracks in 2018, spooky season has been even more gloriously gory than usual. For their fourth ‘Halloweenie’ track, ‘Innards’, the rapper is in spectacularly shudder-inducing form, casually dropping lines about “spider eggs in my brain” and unhinging “my jaw to swallow you”. Before things can get too twisted, though, Ash pulls things back with a chorus that’s cuter than you might expect. “OK cool, it’s a party with my ghouls,” she raps. “We go ‘boo’, I’m like some munchies in my juice / OK rude, you’re dripping blood on my shoes.” 

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