This week’s tracks Mark Beau­mont

The Guardian - The Guide - - Music -

Grimes We Ap­pre­ci­ate Power

A grind­ing in­dus­trial J-pop song in­spired by Kim Jong-un’s pro­pa­ganda girl­band Mo­ran­bong, Grimes’s first sin­gle in two years casts the avatar for­merly known as Claire Boucher as a cheer­leader for The Sin­gu­lar­ity. “AI will re­ward us when it reigns,” she dead­pans like a psy­cho­pathic Siri, urg­ing un­be­liev­ers to sub­mit to the yoke of Ul­trAlexa with prom­ises of im­mor­tal­ity in a sim utopia: “Pledge al­le­giance to the world’s most pow­er­ful com­puter.” Elon Musk BDSM, ba­si­cally.

Los Unidades ft Phar­rell and Jozzy E-Lo

If, like me, you hoped Cold­play were us­ing a false name to in­dulge their se­cret love of Jeff Lynne’s sym­phonic pomp, pre­pare for ERGlevel dis­ap­point­ment. The Afrotronic bent and pris­oner-of-con­science lyrics here fit the theme of the Global Ci­ti­zen 1 EP, re­leased ahead of a fes­ti­val mark­ing Man­dela’s cen­te­nary, but this wall­pa­per EDM could make a Martin Luther King Jr speech sound va­pid. No­ble sen­ti­ment, but an ear­ful of night­mare.

Phoebe Bridgers ft Jack­son Browne Christ­mas Song

The plus side of stream­ing killing the nov­elty Christ­mas No 1 is that, come mid­De­cem­ber, this col­umn will not be stuffed with cov­ers or char­ity songs in aid of Brexit fa­tigue. In­stead, we get gen­uinely adorable Christ­mas tracks such as Bridgers’ cover of McCarthy Trench­ing’s ghost-pi­ano ode to the ex­is­ten­tial des­o­la­tion you only ever feel while cry-smil­ing your way through a cracker joke.

Chance the Rap­per

The Man Who Has Ev­ery­thing Mean­while, Chance takes time out from field­ing ques­tions about his stalled col­lab­o­ra­tion with Kanye, Good Ass Job, to sur­prise-drop his lan­guid retro soul­rap Christ­mas list on SoundCloud, com­pete with a cho­rus sam­ple of a La­p­lan­dish elf. This year, he’s happy with the love of his chil­dren and look­ing for racial eman­ci­pa­tion, an end to Trump­ism, maybe “Santa to show up to doors he never ring”. If we must do presents, just get him a Bev­erly Hills man­sion with a nine-car garage. Noth­ing fancy.

White Lies Be­lieve It

The video for this fea­tures White Lies gath­er­ing char­ac­ters from the sketchier sides of Ti­juana for what looks like his­tory’s shittest room party. Or per­haps their guests are shocked co­matose that the band who ba­si­cally in­vented mod­ern synth-rock are still pro­duc­ing timely, ul­tra-catchy stun­ners, but it’s the 1975 head­lin­ing Read­ing & Leeds. No jus­tice.

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