fix the water tank, please [angsty single reviews]
FKA Twigs ft Headie One, Fred again – “Don’t Judge Me”: I’m going to be responding to the music video as I feel this work is meant to be experienced visually. I will admit I’ve felt like I’m missing something key that every other music critic seemed to “get.” FKA Twigs has been a perennial favorite and subject of discussion for music lovers everywhere, and I never quite resonated with it. “Don’t Judge Me,” the newest single from the avant garde artist, seems to take place in an ethereal realm between reality and her mind—though, who’s to say those two things aren’t one and the same? In the music video, deceptively jerky choreography articulates the straightforward, emphatic statement that the title communicates. By the end of the video, it’s clear that the trippy visuals seem to be Twigs channeling a number of things—that almost seem trivial and risky for me to try to pick apart. This song is something I’m going to be thinking about for awhile, and the smooth dream pop meets art R&B resonates with me in a way other singles from Twigs have not. Dig into the folks that are featured in the video… it’s worthwhile.
Detention – “Not to Go”: The young Cleveland based act was set to rock SXSW this past year as well as a number of other high profile events. They even impressed industry bigwigs at Whisky A Go Go in LA, and “Not to Go” is a pop punk alt single that hints at what’s to come. Many of the “indie darling” bands out there paint themselves into a bit of a corner with production that distorts an otherwise catchy tune a bit too much off the beaten path. Likewise, many pop punk bands feel a bit too young and angsty for the masses outside a very specific demographic. Detention seems to be taking the best of both worlds here.
No One – “Ghost Girl”: It seems like the life path of Jim Vest has been building up to this release. In the past, Tuned Up has lauded praise upon his previous project, What If When We Die We Scatter?. I wasn’t sure what a more stripped down version of Vest’s music would sound like, or even what it would sound like at all. Vest’s vocals sound nostalgic and raw, but more in the sense of catharsis than a breakdown. In spite of this being a folky song, this is still a guitar-driven emo song. At times, the guitar threatens to overpower the vocals, but Vest knows when to pull back.
Rosie Cima & What She Dreamed – “Stuck”: I can relate to Rosie Cima. She’s full of angst, and has a background in a more cerebral career field with her main passion being the frontperson of an angsty band. Their lead single from their forthcoming album is titled “Stuck,” and is suiting my mood at the present moment. Says Rosie of the song, “This song is about knowing you absolutely need to let go of someone, but pining for them anyway. I wrote this in the weeks after my first tour as a singer-songwriter. It wasn’t the first song I’d written that made me wish I had a band, but it was the best so far, and whenever I played it I ached.” While I’m not pining for anyone in particular at the moment, we’ve all been there.
Faye – “Pink Dress”: I might have been in a bad mood when I started this write up, but “Pink Dress” brought me back down to earth—or it least it helped me get there. Faye, a singer/songwriter inspired by rock, but pulling a pop aesthetic, began with pensive singles “god” and “extortionate,” and follows it up with the atmospheric “pink dress.” This is the single that ought to put the singer on the map as an indie darling. This is the single that makes me understand what the true voice of Faye is.
Deva St John – “Reckless”: Fans of Alanis Morissette will enjoy this track, which is wonderfully unpredictable. In just the first minute of the track, there were 3 different moments where I thought I had the song figured out, and then there was a sudden left turn. Or, alternatively Deva St John added another layer. While the analogies seem to be conflicting—both those statements are true. Also, as a lover of puns, I like her artist name—”Deva St John” seems to be a play on the word “devastation.”
Stream all of the above and more in our New and Nifty playlist: