Week One Playlist Reviews

Arcade Fire – Reflektor Montreal-based 6-piece and one of the biggest groups in the world tease fourth album Reflektor (due in October) with an astonishing disco-inflected lead single. Produced by James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) and featuring guest vocals from comeback king David Bowie, this single is one of the biggest deals of the year and a great start to this year’s Freshair chart! Emmett Cruddas

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Ben Khan – Eden A brand spanking new track from producer Ben Khan after his debut single, ‘Drive Part 1’, appeared from nowhere back in July. Dramatic, sexy and incredibly tight, ‘Eden’ is another impressive track from Jai Paul-alike Khan (it has to be said). Certainly keep an eye on this one. Georgie Malcolm

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Yuck - Middle Sea Ex-Cajun Dance Party man’s ex-band makes racket. A much better racket than they made previously too (trumpets always help). File under nostalgic summer BBQ background music (in a good way). Taken from Freshair’s Album of the Week, Glow and Behold. Richard Fitzpatrick

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Joanna Gruesome – Sugarcrush Masterful indie-pop from the pun-loving Cardiff quartet featuring some seriously catchy hooks, MBV-loud riffs and a great outro. Fans of Sonic Youth or Cap’n Jazz will love Weird Sister, their recently-released debut LP on Fortuna Pop! EC

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So So Glos - Lost Weekend Titus Andronicus’ best buds So So Glos have been releasing some of the most anthemic and pitch-perfect punk rock in recent memory and this new single is no exception. Taken from recent debut album Blowout! EC

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Tennis - Mean Streets I hate to patronize, but husband/wife indie pop duo Tennis are frankly adorable. Or at least their musical output to date is. And this new single, their first since inking a deal with Communion Records, is no exception. ‘Mean Streets’ nails ‘cute’ without overstepping into saccharine. GM

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Grizzly Bear - Will Calls Grizzly Bear are soon to release an expanded version of their majestic fourth album, Shields, with a handful of previously unheard songs of which ‘will calls’ is one. It’s hard to believe that this 7 minute epic is only a demo, and is certainly proof that the quartet have no shortage of incredible material up their sleeves. GM

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Jackson Scott - That Awful Sound Keeping the stoner psychedelic pop flame lit with fellow Arthur Lee enthusiasts MGMT and Kurt Vile, Australian songriter Jackson Scott (recently signed to Fat Possum)’s That Awful Sound is a fuzzy delight from this Summer. EC

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Polica – Smug Polica offer up another gem of dark electronica from their upcoming sophomore album Shulamith. After dancefloor-ready lead single ‘say my name’, and a collaboration with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, ‘Smug’ is a return to the moody, introspective atmosphere of ‘Give You the Ghost’. GM

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Haim - The Wire  I’m always amazed no-one has noticed these Californian sisters are Chairlift with a slightly better pop sensibility, right down to the vocals. Cracking chorus on this. Cracking all round to be fair from a cracking debut Days Are Gone. RF

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Baptist Generals - Dog That Bit You Nice mid-period R.E.M. feel to the music on this one. In fact the whole song has that Replacements/R.E.M./Big Star air about it. Great vocally too, from the Texans’ long-awaited second LP Jackleg Devotional To The Heart. One of my favourites for this week. RF

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Danny Brown X Purity Ring - 25 Bucks Kind of the blog version of pairing Eminem and Rihanna, this ticks all the boxes it sets out to do. The Detroit MC’s first album proper, Old, is streaming on Spotify. RF

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Pusha T - King Push Joaquin Phoenix (seriously) and Kanye West-produced opener from the ex-Clipse wordsmith’s solo debut LP My Name Is My Name showcases the intimidatingly talented Virginia rapper at a second career peak. EC

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Kwes – 36 After a stunning EP in last year’s Meantime, the London-based and astonishingly talented electro-soul composer’s debut album – due next month – ought to be full of masterfully crafted pop gems like this. EC

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RiFF RaFF - I Can Tell Stories Taken from the Versace Alien’s recent Hologram Panda tape, ‘I Can Tell Stories’ goes a long way to explain the appeal of the rapper and cultural phenomenon’s extremely free-associative verbal imagination and PCPimp C delivery. EC

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Jagwar Ma - What Love This rollicking groove opens Sydney-based Jagwar Ma’s debut album ‘Howlin’. ‘What Love’ is lush, fuzzy and triumphant - and it’s well worth checking out the rest of the album, too. GM

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Pixies - Indie Cindy Great song name. Which is half the battle these days. As someone who has heard maybe two Pixies songs ever, I’m guessing this first new stuff in over 2 decades hasn’t left fans too pleased. This track is pretty good, shifts in style and sounds without sounding too disjointed. RF

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FKA Twigs - Papi Pacify Vaguely unsettling EP cover aside, this song falls into the woozy future music sound all the rage at the minute. When it does eventually get started it turns into something quite listenable, mainly thanks to the great job done on the production from Arca. RF

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Camera Obscura –Troublemaker I had forgotten these guys. This saddens me, because they still appear to be churning out chirpy tunes to cheer you up and get you through work. Scottish Saint Etienne. Kinda. RF

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Sampha – Indecision You’ll probably recognize Sampha’s distinctive vocals from many a track by SBTRKT, but now it’s time for the singer-songwriter to step out into the limelight with his own debut EP. This track is a beautifully simple piano-backed tune. Sampha plays the piano part too: true story. GM

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