45s of the week: Kacey Musgraves, Ray BLK, La Luz and more!

The new tracks you need to hear this week, reviewed by Arusa Qureshi.

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Kacey Musgraves – Star-Crossed

Let me set the scene…” croons Kacey Musgraves gently in the title track of her newly announced fourth studio album. “Two lovers ripped right at the seams,” she continues, as the lyrics go on to recount the aftermath of Musgraves’ divorce and the resulting heartache. ‘Star-Crossed’ is a lilting and emotionally intimate song, signalling the type of vulnerability and personal introspection that can be expected from this upcoming release. It acts as a mournful introduction to the album, which has been described as “a modern-day tragedy in three acts”.

Sleigh Bells – ‘Justine Go Genesis

Sleigh Bells fans rejoice; the noise-pop duo are finally back with more tunes following the news of their sixth studio album ‘Texis’. ‘Justine Go Genesis’ is the second release from the album after the characteristically frenetic ‘Locust Laced’, pumping out a similar 80s horror and chaos-infused energy, but motivated by a crossover of 90s drum & bass, metal riffs and pop melodies. Amazingly, this new album will mark Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller’s first LP since 2016’s ‘Jessica Rabbit’ and the ‘Kid Kruschev’ EP from 2017.

Ray BLK – ‘Mine

With an undeniable warmth always emanating from her rich and expressive vocals, Ray BLK is one of the UK’s finest emerging R&B talents. The former BBC Sound Of… winner dropped new single ‘M.I.A’ last month, simultaneously delighting fans with the announcement that her long-awaited debut album ‘Access Denied’ would officially be arriving in September. ‘Mine’ is the fourth taster to be released from the new record, following ‘M.I.A’, ‘Dark Skinned’ and ‘Games’. It’s a similarly suave, sultry and soulful number “about dating a rapper”, as Ray revealed on Twitter.

La Luz – The Pines

Guitarist and songwriter Shana Cleveland, bassist Lena Simon, and keyboardist Alice Sandahl, known collectively as La Luz, are celebrating their 10th year together with a new self-titled album – their fourth following 2018’s ‘Floating Features’. The LA trio have shared the third track from the album, the upbeat and hazy ‘The Pines’, which comes with a ​​Hamilton Boyce-directed karaoke-inspired video. It’s another awesome slice of surf-pop psychedelia, with shimmering harmonies and reverb galore. 

Marie Davidson & L’Œil Nu – ‘Persona

French-Canadian producer Marie Davidson has a glorious new three-part single out with her band project L’Œil Nu. ‘Persona’ has three different versions – “one electronic, one fully guitar-oriented and one that can be played in loop, for drifting away,” the band explains, citing psychologist Carl Jung as the inspiration behind this approach. The track’s entirely French lyrics, ethereal backdrop and trippy vibes offer a gratifying sense of escapism, further heightened by the official video which uses the band’s own footage of an imagined day spent travelling, relaxing and playing shows.

Ash Lune – Panic at the Party

Panic is no longer confined to the disco with this debut single from Mumbai born, Brisbane based Ash Lune. ‘Panic at the Party’ is a lush ballad, underpinned by yearning strings and piano, that Ash wrote to encapsulate “that one moment during a party when I’ll realise that if the lights were on we’d all look like idiots intoxicating ourselves into a temporary bubble…the weight of the world comes back, the bubbles breaks, and everything goes south.” Definitely an introspective, serene new talent to keep an eye on.

Listen to these and more new tracks on our BRAND NEW playlist.


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