45s of the week: Lauv and Conan Gray, Viji, Moneyphone and more!

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

LAUV AND CONAN GRAY – ‘FAKE’

Do you struggle with calling people out for being two-faced, terrible friends? Get caught in a trap of your own niceness no longer! Pop princes Lauv and Conan Gray have teamed up – on the latter’s first collab too, might we add – to help us make our feelings blindingly clear. “You’re so fucking fake!” the pair chant in unison. “You don’t mean a single thing you say/If you’ve got a problem, say it to my face.” The track might be laidback musically, but the sass is turned up pretty high. 

MONEYPHONE – ‘CIVILIAN’

When they first started picking up attention in 2018, Toronto duo Moneyphone said they wanted to reclaim the label pop, while being aware they didn’t fit under the traditional definition of that term. As they continue to tease their upcoming ‘Faith’ mixtape, Enoch Ncube and David May show how their mission is progressing, wielding a lo-fi track whose fragmented guitar hooks and addictive vocal flows slyly seeping into your brain and camping out there rent-free. 

VIJI – ‘UNFAIR’

I’ll tell you a secret,” sings Vanilla Jenner – aka new Dirty Hit signing Viji. “I never really knew where to begin.” ‘Unfair’, the second taste of her debut EP ‘Are You In My Head’, doesn’t back those struggles up, a piece of wiry, rickety grunge that’s as lowkey as it is subtly catchy. On it, Jenner writes about someone rich but directionless, but takes what could be an easy target and treats it sympathetically and with humanity. 

SPILL TAB – ‘SANTÉ’

As Halloween approaches, you could do a lot worse than adding Spill Tab’s ‘Santé’ to your spooky songs playlist. The latest single from the LA-based artist, French-Korean-American Claire Chicha, is suitably eerie for the season, spectral “oohs” weaving between ominous beats. At points, otherworldly effects twist her vocals (sung all in French) higher and lower, manipulating her voice until she sounds like someone else entirely. Trick and treat?

PEARL CHARLES – ‘TAKE YOUR TIME’

Take your time/You’re alright/It’s gonna be just fine,” Pearl Charles reassures on the second track to be taken from her forthcoming new album ‘Magic Mirror’. It’s a message that might feel unbelievable at some points of 2020 but the LA musician’s honeyed voice and gorgeous indie-folk envelopes you in warmth and reassurance, like someone stroking your hair after a big cry. Beautiful. 

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