Doja Cat – ‘Vegas‘
Doja Cat’s contribution to the upcoming Elvis biopic already met the ears of fans at Coachella, but the full studio version packs even more of a characterful punch. Making opulent use of a ‘Hound Dog’ sample, she plays around with a flow that recalls the loose-and-limber prowess ‘Watch the Throne’, sliding easily into a sleek, purring chorus. The track might have benefitted from the levity of a sparring partner to really grab attention, but it’s a really fun reinterpretation of a classic.
Tirzah – ‘Ribs‘
Possessor of an understated elegance, Tirzah’s work always carries a meditative quality, requiring a few listens to try to reveal itself. As ‘Ribs’ unfolds, it becomes a song of real texture and emotion, building up layers of floaty vocals and pinning them down with a discordant guitar chord that is strummed with an attitude of near-defiance. It’s no Lorde cover, but it’s just as charming in its own right.
Beckah Amani – ‘I Don’t Know Why I Don’t Leave You‘
Following on from the uplifting ‘Lebeka Leka’, Aussie up-and-comer Beckah Amani returns with another slice of shrewd pop songwriting. Despite being heavy of heart, ‘I Don’t Know Why I Don’t Leave You’ is sonically light in step, Amani’s rich voice curling the vowels as she steels herself against unrealistic media expectations of romance. With a self-directed video, she positions herself with grace and knowing humour — the perfect combination for any rising star.
The Snuts & Rachel Chinouriri ‘End of The Road’
Laura Marling & Mystery Jets, Bombay Bicycle Club & Lucy Rose, Kurt Vile & Courtney Barnett… whatever happened to the glory years of indie collaborations? A link-up between the Scottish rock group and one of London’s most promising young songwriters, ‘End of The Road’ is perfectly executed bedroom-indie, with the same nostalgic longing that makes all great duets so heartrendingly sweet. Chinouriri’s verse is a real highlight, her warm whisper fast taking on the instantly-recognisable quality of a true star.
Jamie T – ‘The Old Style Raiders‘
Speaking of indie favourites, look who’s back! The wait between Jamie T records has been even longer than usual, but there is nothing about his return that disappoints. Seeking out optimism in an ever-challenging world, he appears to have shaken off some of the doom of 2018’s ‘Trick’, opting instead for a streamlined moment of rock’n’roll reflection that manages to find reason to keep on keepin’ on. With new album ‘The Theory of Whatever’ landing in July, things are only looking up.