Happy Friday! With all the festival news and lineup announcements this week it's safe to say we'll be welcoming in the weekend with a well-earned rest, but not before again finding the best new music the week has had to offer. In today's playlist there are new tracks from the likes cathartic singer/songwriter Cass McCombs, the haunting Jessica Pratt, and, of course, Ariana Grande and more. Find the playlist below, along with some words on our particular favourites.
Cass McCombs – Tip of the Sphere
Following the lightly politically-charged, and deliciously slow-burning Mangy Love of 2016, prolific singer/songwriter Cass McCombs returns with his ninth full-length record Tip of the Sphere. Tinged with his characteristic interest in the mythology of the American west, the early 'The Great Pixley Train Robbery' marks an early highlight, setting the scene for lush but bristly textures that make up the rest of the record like a canvas patchwork as the characteristically deadpan narrator journeys through memories and changes or lack thereof. JB
Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs
Quiet Signs, Jessica Pratt’s third album, unwinds like a stream-of-conscious memoir, offering hints to her oncoming insecurities and indecisions. She’s at a crossroads, all the while basking in the blissful Laurel Canyon sunshine.
The sparse, cavernous production accentuates the albums’ personal nature; Pratt’s delicate fingerpicking and calming chanting, reminiscent of her foremothers Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell, are the focus throughout its nine songs. Only sporadically is her bucolic, longing voice embellished with distant piano keys, faint string arrangements, and even a pinch of flute for added retro kudos, each track unravelling like a wistful, intimate daydream. Her musings may be mystical, at times vague, but her sumptuous delivery will have you yearning for the West Coast. TC
Diplo featuring Octavian – 'New Shapes'
This much-hyped collaboration between dance music mainstay and hotly tipped new rapper benefits immeasurably from Diplo’s production being arguably at its most subdued since the trip-hop stylings of his debut album Florida, released more than a decade ago. The moody and understated beat allows Octavian to explore the more melodic aspects of his vocal delivery to serve up a song that is as good as anything we’ve heard from him following his emergence onto the scene with the still-outstanding ‘Party Here’. JK