While the dust may have firmly settled on the absolute scorcher that was Glastonbury 2019, peak festival season ploughs on in earnest. Such is our commitment to the cause, a member of our esteemed cohort and the man usually responsible for our weekly round-up of the latest releases finds himself on site at Festival Beauregard in the north of France as we speak.
As such, it falls to me to take over the reins and point you in the direction of our ... playlist, featuring among its many delights the infectious new offering from ROSALÍA, who this weekend performs at Down The Rabbit Hole and Open'er Festival, with shows at Mad Cool Festival and Bilbao BBK Live among those on the very near horizon (i.e. next weekend).
ROSALÍA - Fucking Money Man
The latest in the Spanish pop sensation’s string of releases sees two singles packaged together under the title Fucking Money Man.
Now I can’t be certain that my love for (incredibly catchy) first track ‘Milionàra’ isn’t just an upshot of being mesmerised by ROSALÍA’s performance at Glastonbury last weekend. Similarly, were it in sung in English rather than the singer’s native Catalan – a noteworthy fact, given that it is the first time she has sung in this language as opposed to Castilian Spanish – I suspect I’d be less enamoured, given the lyrical content is essentially just taking about wanting lots of money, and the things that it would be spent on. But lo, here we are two days after its release and my play count is comfortably in double digits with no signs of slowing.
That said, one suspects there is more than a hint of irony at play, given the release was promoted on a full-page ad in the business pages of El País, one of Spain’s most widely-read daily newspapers, and the title of the following track translates as ‘God Free Us From Money’ with lyrics bemoaning how beholden the world is to its ‘poisonous’ influence.
While this release – like the other recent singles – doesn’t have quite the same raw emotion or cultural intrigue as her acclaimed second album El mal querer with its traditional Flamenco roots and personal themes (instead favouring the inescapably popular contemporary Latin pop/reggaeton sounds), there’s no denying the creativity of an artist that has found herself, perhaps unexpectedly, as a global pop superstar. JK
One True Pairing - ‘One True Pairing’
The first taste of former Wild Beasts singer, co-writer, and multi-instrumentalist Tom Fleming’s new project, ‘One True Pairing’ still retains the fractured prism of male identity, class politics, and love that entrenched his former band’s catalogue of work. With OTP, however, it’s clearly a much more personal venture, detaching from the collective consciousness and writing from a purely idiosyncratic perspective.
His gravelly baritone voice anchors the composition, but gone are the whimsical harmonies and lofty string sections in place of affecting cries, and Miami-infused guitars. Strangely, it’s an ode to, but equally a gritty two-fingers up to unrequited love channelled through a passionate croon whilst driving along the coast during a summer’s night with the top down. TC
Idris Elba Presents: The Yardie Mixtape
Coming off the back of Idris Elba’s 2018 directorial debut Yardie – telling the story of a young man’s journey from Jamaica to London, gangland violence, and revenge – the actor and noted music fanatic has now compiled The Yardie Mixtape, a companion piece to the film.
As you might expect, the project draws heavily from the deeply-linked musical identities of Jamaica and the UK underground, with a particular focus on the genres that fuse London culture with Caribbean heritage. As such, grime stalwarts Newham Generals and Chip feature alongside South London’s dubstep pioneer Mala, bass-heavy producers Breakage and Zed Bias, and reggae artists like Kranium, Tanika, and Cadenza.
The result: a contemporary snapshot of the cross-pollination between musical cultures, and another artistic project that reflects the close relationship between Jamaica and London in a manner befitting the film from which it was born. JK