Out of nowhere, David Bowie dropped a new track last week.
‘Blackstar’, as if nothing at all, was revealed to virtually no fanfare. The nonchalance shown to the release of a ten-minute prog-pop journey is fitting for someone who, seemingly forever, has been the most iconically cool of all pop stars.
In that vein, here are four of the coolest new tracks that we at Kettle have found over the last week.
Keiandra – Wanted
What’s cooler than an 18 year-old musical protégée?
Keiandra hails from Newcastle and this, her first single, signals a bold introduction to the world.
‘Wanted’ is an expansive, emotional track that shows maturity well beyond Keiandra’s youthful age. Her reverberous, windswept sound is similar to that of Kettle favourites The Half Earth and Daughter, and on the basis of this track she could soon become a favourite of ours too.
The Naked Eye – River of No Return
‘River of No Return’ is the first single to be released from The Naked Eye’s self-titled EP and their first piece of new music for over a year.
Their two previous tracks, ‘Sweet Boy’ and ‘Embrace Me’, caught the attention of music bloggers with their dreamy melodies and broken rhythms. ‘River of No Return’ has all the hallmarks of The Naked Eye, just with an added amount of soul.
The band says that the song was predominantly inspired by Amy Winehouse, but what I detected most was a similarity to Jessie Ware. Some of the harmonies are certainly very Winehouse-esc, but the smooth, carefree vocal lines are reminiscent of Jessie’s wonderfully warm ‘Say You Love Me’ – strong praise.
Paupière – Cinq-Heures
As an English person, I see the French language as incredibly cool. It’s the mother tongue of suave footballers like Thierry Henry and Mamadou Sakho, not to mention the band Daft Punk and actor and philosopher Eric Cantona. So obviously a French-speaking band, let alone an overly sophisticated synth group, are going to be forcibly shoehorned into this cool-centric New Music Monday.
As French-Canadians, Paupière are just that French-speaking band. Their debut track ‘Cinq Heures’ was premiered on the equally cool music blog Noisey this week. The track reveals a seductively slow, thudding synth sound – think The Knife meets Banks – which is tied together with an artistic video that was seemingly made with just a mirror and some fancy lighting. Thrifty.
M.I.A. – Borders
— M.I.A (@MIAuniverse) November 24, 2015
What is probably cooler than an 18 year-old musical protégée, is an artist who gave American TV the middle finger whilst performing with Madonna at the Super Bowl. Sorry, Keiandra.
‘Borders’ is a song entirely disconnected from the concepts of what’s fashionable and what’s cool.
In typical punky style, M.I.A. addresses the current European refugee crisis by asking the simple question of what the point of boarders are when people are dying?
The video, which can be viewed here, was self-directed by M.I.A. and sees her taking the journey of a refugee; walking on water to illustrate the super-human extremes people are pushed to before reaching a gigantic fence.
‘Borders, what’s up with that?’
What do you think of our picks this week? Let us know in the comments below!