The best (and worst) new singles this week; Fair Maiden, 208L Containers and more

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Elliot Oakes

Single of the Week

Fair Maiden

Willow (Hysterical Records)

Gothic folk meets garage rock as Fair Maiden illuminate the exasperation that stems from someone failing to understand what you’re going through: “Can’t you know the pain that burns inside of me?” Two vocalists share the load, enacting a dialogue of overlapping experience. The main hook – “Tell me a story/I feel so unimportant” – not only recalls The Strokes, but gets right to the core of alienation. 

Juan Wauters

Blues Chilango (Captured Tracks)

Juan Wauters, former frontman of The Beets, was born in the Uruguayo capital, Montevideo. The New York-based songwriter’s new album, La Onda de Juan Pablo, is his first to be sung entirely in Spanish and was recorded in a range of Latin American locations. ‘Blues Chilango’ is laidback, sun-dappled and carefree, akin to a vision of life on the Montevideo coastline. Spanish guitar, whistling and a nonchalant saxophone solo add to the overall sense of liberation. It might sound clichéd if Wauters weren’t so effortlessly in control.

Jamila Woods

ZORA (Jagjaguwar)

Over big roomy drums, slingy bass and jazz piano, Jamila Woods proclaims her strength and resists the labelling of others. The production would sound futuristic if we weren’t already so acquainted with psychedelic funk/soul in the era of Kamasi and Thundercat. Woods’ voice is like floor heating in a log cabin; its warmth is comprehensive and unmatched. The chorus hook is easy going, not quite an earworm, but Woods’ energy is compulsive. “I’m all out of fucks to give,” she sings. “Fear ain’t no way to live, yeah.”

208L Containers

Feral Cats in the Tasmanian North-East (Rough Skies Records)

One day we’ll all probably end up living in Tasmania, forming punk bands and writing songs about our divorce and bemusement at Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize in Literature. Everything we love will one day be tainted. All great art will be revealed to be the creation of a faulty human being. Never fall in love, never be disappointed. These are just some thoughts that occur when listening to this thrashing dance punk number from Tassie’s 208L Containers.