The best (and worst) new singles this week: Clowns, Joan As Police Woman and more

Dave takes out Single of the Week this time round.

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Ian Laidlaw

Single of the Week
Streatham (Neighbourhood Recordings)
Dave’s flow is so strong and unforced it wouldn’t really matter if he had nothing to say. The London rapper happens to be a compelling wordsmith, though, relating scenes of life as a teenager in the titular South London neighbourhood. The fluent delivery sucks you in deep on ‘Streatham’, the 20-year-old Dave demonstrating his capacity to rise to the top of UK hip-hop. 

I Wanna Feel Again (Damaged Record Co.)
This is a rock song – duelling guitars, supercharged double-time drumming, accentuated vocal melodies and a bit of jugular scraping. Singer Stevie Williams longs to feel something, even if that something is pain, and simultaneously grapples with how to show love and affection instead of sabotaging a close bond. It’s hard to tell whether the “you” mentioned is someone else or just another side of the singer’s personality. Either way, ‘I Wanna Feel Again’ magnifies the often-paradoxical aims of human beings. 

Kirin J Callinan
The Whole of the Moon (EMI)
Callinan covering The Waterboys’ 1985 single ‘The Whole of the Moon’ mightn’t seem like the logical next step, but cheese ball ‘80s pop has long been a constituent element of the Sydney provocateur’s kinked stylistic model. His voice sits at the other end of the tonal spectrum to The Waterboys’ Mike Scott. Scott’s is clean, high-pitched and Scottish; Callinan’s a rugged baritone that conveys a touch of irony. The cover is pretty faithful, however, gaining a tempo boost but retaining the anthemic qualities of the original. It’s romantic and nostalgic and Callinan manages to subdue his predilection for sonic ugliness. 

Joan As Police Woman
What A World (Play It Again Sam)
What a voice, more like. Joan Wasser’s music mightn’t have attained the sort of ubiquity that felt inevitable upon the release her 2006 debut, Real Life, but her artistic integrity has endured. Listening to Wasser sing is like hanging out with the cool kids. It gives you tingly feelings but feels unreal and fleeting.