Three new tracks to get lifted to, including the high point of Drake’s new album.
Drake – Mob Ties
Before Drake’s new album Scorpion slows to a death crawl of whining on its second half (R.I.P. Michael Jackson), it’s an absolute breeze of a listen. The first half flows seamlessly from the Mariah Carey sampling “Emotionless” (where Drake reveals he has a child!) through to the ornate, yet simple “Mob Ties”. This latter cut is my early favourite off the much-anticipated album, and is one of four Bo1-da production contributions. The beat is what shines here too, a reverb-heavy melody sample backed up by a thick, brain-thumping bass line that interjects at unexpected times. It drives the track forward, as Drake both brags about ties to criminals while wanting to get rid of his ties to criminals — the most Drake thing ever felt. It makes sense, though — “Mob Ties” is one of 25 tracks on the album. Nobody ever called Drake a minimalist.
Mitski – Nobody
Taking a hard exit into a more moody genre, New York’s Mitski revealed “Nobody” this week, the second single off her upcoming album Be The Cowboy. Following in the footsteps of the album’s title track, which came out in May, Mitski embraces a more colourful, energetic version of her melodramatic indie rock. While her last album Puberty 2 forced the listener to read between the lines to find angst, “Nobody” is much more direct, right from the opening lines: “My God, I’m so lonely / So I open the window / To hear sounds of people.” The lyrics don’t get much brighter either, peaking with Mitski saying “nobody wants me” then repeating “nobody” forever. In the context of the song, though, with a snare drum and lively guitar line driving things forward, it ends up being less of a bummer, and more of a joyful wallow. Maybe this isn’t so different from Drake after all?
The 1975 – Give Yourself a Try
Caught somewhere between unwilling boy band and the modern successors to Blink-182’s tongue-in-cheek punk, The 1975 continue to embrace their awkward status with age. On new single “Give Yourself a Try”, lead singer Matthew Healy is introspective in a way he usually isn’t. Most 1975 songs deal with the frivolous nature of fame, but “Give Yourself a Try” frames it from Healy’s perspective — one from someone approaching the scary age of 30. The result is some of The 1975’s best lyrics yet, walking a beautiful line of poetic and embarrassing. In an effort to make you feel something, only Healy can make it work with lines like: “Jane took her own life at 16 / She was a kid who had the box tattooed on her arm / And I was 25 and afraid to go outside / A millennial that baby-boomers like”. Framed over screaming guitars, it’s the most exciting song yet from a band with a sharp pen and self-assured awkwardness.