Fresh Fire #4

Showcasing the hottest tracks from the last few weeks. Some of your favourites, some of ours.

Bon Iver – ’22 (OVER S∞∞N) [Bob Moose Extended Cab Version]’

In a statement, Justin Vernon’s best friend and collaborator Trevor Hagen revealed that the mastermind behind indie folk group Bon Iver had been struggling deeply with anxiety following their previous albums’ successes. This track’s refrain “It might be over soon” was recorded on a portable sampler during Vernon’s misguided venture to a Mediterranean island, where the artist faced existential daemons and eventually began to recover. Through the hums of white noise and unsettling pitched up vocals, Bon Iver captivates the aura of this dilemma whilst also rejoicing in life’s glories to demonstrate that although life is short and fleeting, it can still be full of happiness and love. Our human existence is fragile with no guaranteed stability. The group will release their psychedelic folk ablum ’22, A Million’ 30th September – it’s sure to be incredible.

Hear it here: 

De La Soul – ‘Trainwreck’

After hip-hop veterans De La Soul announced a crowdfunder to help put together album number nine, fans and critics alike have been eagerly anticipating its release. The album is thrilling, diverse and as prominent as their debut ‘3 Feet High and Rising’ which is one of hip-hop’s most significant LPs of all time. Their new album is a result of various freestyle cyphers and although the group has become extremely commercially successful, they have always maintained a level of rawness and integrity in their projects. ‘Trainwreck’ was the album’s first single and after a long spoken intro, the track’s groove is inescapable. With a chorus complete with an excitable James Brown sample, train horns and punchy horn stabs there is no disputing that the three hip-hop gods have still got it. Whilse their old-skool sound is not lost, neither does it sound out-dated. Although the train crashes come the end of the song, we hope De la Soul keep rolling on the tracks for more albums to come.

Hear it here:

Crystal Castles – ‘Char’

Following the departure of singer and icon Alice Glass, it seemed that the electro-industrial duo Crystal Castles would be over. However, producer Ethan Kath found a replacement in Edith Frances and sought to continue with the project by releasing a hellish new album ‘Amnesty (I)’. ‘Char’ has the potential to become the group’s most radio-friendly track with its delicate vocals and punchy synths, yet it retains the angst and passion of their past releases. It would be difficult to describe most of their work as beautiful given their typically raved-up percussion and bewilderingly spliced synths, but ‘Char’ has a vulnerable elegance that is rarely seen in witch-house. The track was awarded Annie Mac’s Hottest Record on BBC Radio 1 will continue to rain torrents of twisted squelches in fan’s speakers.

Hear it here:

Jimmy Eat World – ‘Sure and Certain’ 

Emo giants Jimmy Eat World have announced that their ninth album ‘Integrity Blues’ will be released this October. Following their heavier and more traditional single ‘Get Right’, the band have put out ‘Sure and Certain’. Frontman and guitarist Jim Adkins has described the song as being “about how limiting your own ideas for perfection can be. That, in constantly gunning with blinders on for achieving your ideal expectation, you are limiting your ability to appreciate all the things surrounding you in the present.” Although Coldplay-esque, the track serves as an echo of the band’s sixth album ‘Chase This Light’ with soaring guitars and positive melodies. With each single covering a different side of the band’s styles it can only be assumed that the new album will encapsulate all aspects of Jimmy Eat World’s classic sound.

Hear it here:

James Blake – ‘Timeless (Ft. Vince Staples)’

‘Timeless’ first appeared on producer James Blake’s most recent album ‘The Colour In Anything’. However, during his set at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, the singer and multi-instrumentalist brought out the gritty Californian rapper Vince Staples to perform a new version of the chilling track. Blake also contributed production to Staples’ new EP ‘Prima Donna’ and Vince will join the producer for selected shows during his upcoming US tour. The moody track is bristled with tension as Blake’s gentle vocals seep through the ballad of icy synths. Similarly, Staples’ lyrics are spat over an uneasy beat of sounds that could have only been extracted from an impatient clock. The persistent ticking of the hi-hat and the off-beat alarm pokes raise the intensity of the otherwise laid back track resulting in a melancholy juxtaposition. Most profound however is Vince’s lyricism, in particular this stunning couplet: “I never let a person breathing bring me to my knees / That’s why Jesus had to die, that’s why Lennon had to leave.” 

Hear it here: 

Written by: James Wijesinghe

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