It's 10 days until Christmas, but we have firmly resisted the urge to make our singles of the week all Christmas themed (don't worry, that will be happening next week). Instead we bring you an assorted array with singles from Clean Bandit, Mura Masa and Jura Heart, Tame Impala, and Eminem (our Editor-in-Chief is panic listening as we speak). As ever, we've got our Spotify playlist ready for your listening pleasure.
Follow our Singles of the Week here.
Brooklyn Jones, ‘I Miss You’ by Clean Bandit feat. Julia Michaels
Released earlier this month, Clean Bandit have jumped back into the charts with this sweet-pop hit. This single is slightly more easy-going than their past few numbers, making it perfect for easy-listening. Although ‘Rockabye’, ‘Tears’, and ‘Symphony’ were instant hits, and were beautifully produced, this track taps into the slightly more orchestral side of the Cambridge-trio. Julia Michaels’ vocals are perfectly layered, giving her the spotlight she deserves while perfectly complimenting the arrangement. I’m a long-time fan of Clean Bandit, and am thrilled that each single released is better than the last
Shingi Mararike, ‘U Never Call Me’ by Jadu Heart & Mura Masa
My inaugural pick for single of the week is a trance-like number by Guernsey-born DJ and producer Mura Masa. The 21-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough year behind his versatile and melodic beat selection, showcasing his skills flanked by the likes of A$ap Rocky and Charli XCX. On ‘U Never Call Me’, he opts to feature Jadu Heart, a relatively unknown pair signed to his Anchor Point record label. His company may not be as familiar, but the result is just the same. Mura Masa’s surreal, easy-going sound, underpinned by those signature steel pans, meshes well with the pair’s vocals. Easy on the ears, this is a repeat-worthy listen that brought a tinge of warmth to my winter listening.
Freddie Metherell, ‘List of People (To Try and Forget About)’ by Tame Impala
Since the release of Currents in 2015, I’ve been that “indie” douche at the party trying to slide onto the aux cable in order to “enlighten” an unwilling audience of the ways of Tame Impala. Unfortunately for my nearest and dearest, I have been provided with yet more impetus in the form of the Currents B-side. The opening and leading track “List of People (To Try and Forget About)” is a fuzzy meanderer, which like most of the A-side, deals with the pain of breakups. Synth and bass heavy with drum breaks that stutter and kick, this track would have not have been out of its depth on the original release. I think that this latest release should be more than enough to keep psych-rock fans merry over the festive period.
Clare Clarke, ‘Castle’ by Eminem
‘Castle’ is a poignant portrait we don’t often see of Eminem, as a father speaking directly to his daughters. The single comes from his new album Revival, which was released later than many had thought it would be. The album, which was released this morning (15th December), is chock full of big name featured singers like Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Alicia Keys, and P!nk. But it is this understated single that really caught my attention. This isn’t the first time Eminem has rapped about his daughters, and past results always seemed to hit the right mark. With famed singles like 2004’s ‘Mockingbird’ and 2002’s ‘Hailie’s Song’, ‘Castle’ almost feels like a marrying of the two songs. These acted as two snapshots of their relationships, the former being a damning portrait of himself as a father and the second as a defiant break away from hip hop norms to have Eminem singing about his love for his daughter. However, ‘Castle’ seems to be a history of their relationship, which has him reading letters from 1995, 1996, and 2007. Whether real or not, their sentiment is heart breaking as we see Eminem’s problems with money, his initial struggles with rap, and finally with fame. It feels like classic Eminem, and it’s definitely worth listening to. The next single ‘Arose’ should also be noted as a sort of goodbye, followed by an extension of ‘Castle’ at the end, where Eminem rewinds the tape and rewrites the end of the song for a happy ending.
Image: 'I Miss You' cover art, Clean Bandit and Julia Michaels, Atlantic Records