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The best (and worst) new singles this week: The Chemical Brothers, Panda Bear, and more

Rising indie rock voice SASAMI also features.

Single of the Week

SASAMI

Jealousy (Domino)

The three singles released from Sasami’s debut album portray the LA musician as a stylistic rambler. The latest, ‘Jealousy’, is warm and psychedelic, though not a freak-out. Guitars, bass and synths deftly intertwine to form a multifactorial melodic movement. Structure takes a backseat to feeling and tone. As a listener you get wrapped up in the production, noticing as percussion sounds pop into the top left-hand speaker before gliding to the bottom right. It’s all over in three minutes, but there’s plenty more to unpack once you press play again.

The Chemical Brothers

MAH (EMI)

Here’s a full-on banger from The Chemical Brothers. Time hasn’t wearied the Mancunian duo, which is evident in their preferred BPM as well as the fleshy heartbeat underpinning ‘MAH’. The song’s rave-y party sound isn’t exactly in vogue, but it’s pretty undeniable. MAH is shorthand for ‘mad as hell’. Dance music has long been a force for liberation and protest and The Chemical Brothers prove this can still be true for acts with extensive back catalogues and enviable financial security.

Tiny Ruins

Holograms (Milk! Records)

Tiny Ruins are having an OK Computer moment on the wide-screen ‘Holograms’. Prophesising a future where loved ones reconnect and dance together as holograms, the NZ outfit generates a spectral atmosphere to support Hollie Fullbrook’s diaphanous lead vocal. The chorus gets moving thanks to a descending bassline that never seems to reach the ground floor. 

Panda Bear

Token (Domino)

‘Dolphin’, the first single from Panda Bear’s new record, was an off-centre ballad that boasted uncharacteristically lean production. Noah Lennox’s voice was lucid and emotionally exposed despite being dressed in auto-tune. The auto-tuned warble remains on ‘Token’, but the watercoloured psych-waltz is more in line with what we’re used to from Lennox. It’s built around an oscillating chord that sounds a bit like an accordion, although you’d imagine it started life as something else entirely before being chopped up and repositioned. ‘Token’ mightn’t be mainstream radio material, but there’s an enchanting melodic sweetness running through the whole thing.