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Tame Impala – ”Cause I’m A Man’

In the time since his band’s modern masterpiece Lonerism in 2012, Kevin Parker has become somewhat of a contemporary indie icon. The sudden arrival of ‘Let It Happen’ – the first taste of new Tame Impala material since the silence that followed that second album – a few weeks back warranted buzzed excitement across the net for the return of the Australian psych-rock prodigy. Now new single ‘’Cause I’m A Man’ will heighten anticipation levels even further for their recently announced third record Currents.

Apparently not content with sounding uncannily similar to John Lennon’s throaty voice, Parker channels Michael Jackson on the slow sparkle of ‘’Cause I’m A Man’. Keeping with the promise for the new album, guitars don’t really make much of an appearance here, as the song plods along with an elastic bassline and a wondrous use of space. Here’s hoping there’ll be more gorgeous pop highlights in this vein on that new album.

James Barlow @BassOddity

Carly Rae Jepsen – ‘All That’

When Carly Rae Jepsen shared the news that she’d tapped retro pop cosmopolitans Dev Hynes – a.k.a. Blood Orange – and Ariel Rechtshaid for her upcoming second album, the collective sound of trendy publications and blogs hastily scribbling out her name from their one-hit wonder lists reverberated throughout every orifice of the internet. Coupling the revelation with the release of her titanic comeback single  ‘I Really Like You’, Jepsen well and truly cemented her bid for a 2015 takeover – although given this is the lady that hooked the world on 100% pure pop ecstasy throughout the entirety of 2012 with ‘Call Me Maybe’, you were probably pretty stupid to think the public wouldn’t eventually be having withdrawal symptoms.

With the arrival of Jepsen’s super collaboration ‘All That’ comes the most majestic of maturations,  the blossoming of the teen-like infatuation with pop’s pearly past that she showcased on her second full length Kiss. Centred around a chorus that unmistakably bears the handiwork of Hynes – pristine layered vocal melodies floating smoothly across a sea of reverberated piano chords – and a smattering of bell synths, it’s less of a peek into Jepsen’s softer, sensual side than it is a masterful display of balladry without banality. With the golden trio having spent more time in the studio recently, Jepsen/Hynes/Rechtshaid could be this year’s winning Swift/Martin/Shellback combination – no ‘maybes’ about it.

Joshua Pauley @PutUp0rShutUp

The National – ‘Sunshine On My Back’

As a leftover from the sessions for 2013’s Trouble Will Find Me, ‘Sunshine On My Back’ exist as a gentle reminder of the record’s stunning nature, rather than any clues toward their next step. The band always effortlessly craft gorgeous songs, and ‘Sunshine On My Back’ is no exception. The track is backed by shimmering guitars, charming backing vocals from Sharon Van Etten and inaudibly weeping violins, while Matt Berninger’s fragile baritone leads the track with dependable grace. It’s certainly an atypical track for the quintet, yet it re-establishes that The National are one of the few bands who can thrive from comfortable familiarity.

Connor Cass @connorcass

Speedy Ortiz – ‘Puffer’

Speedy Ortiz frontwoman Sadie Dupuis tweeted that ‘Puffer’ – the third taster for the band’s imminent Foil Deer record – is ‘supposed to sound like Kelis’. I’m not sure what Kelis sounds like to Speedy Ortiz but I think it’s pretty safe to say that they haven’t quite perfected that imitation just yet.

On closer inspection though the song does however feature some sparkling vocals from Dupuis underneath its menacing groove and snarling guitars that, stripped from the instrumentation, wouldn’t actually be a million miles away from a pop song. That, mixed with the mood of Warpaint’s downright ferocious ‘Disco/Very’ makes for a compelling listen. I want to hear them try and do a Prince song next.

James Barlow @BassOddity

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