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The best (and worst) new singles this week: Harvey Sutherland, The Orielles, and more

Led by mysterious new artist upsidedownhead.

Single of the Week:

upsidedownhead feat. Dave Jenkins Jr.  

my cave (Liberation)

You’d have to assume upsidedownhead’s Ross James spent many hours experimenting with synth sounds and drum patterns before arriving at this spellbinding IDM concoction. ‘my cave’, lifted from James' forthcoming EP complex out Friday November 23, is pop music of the future – computerised and inscrutable but steeped in carnal rhythms. It’s also desperately sad thanks in part to Jenkins Jr.’s lead vocal, which supplies an image of deprived solitude to complement James’ arrangement. The track is so well put together that I implore them to release an instrumental mix. 

Nilüfer Yanya 

Heavyweight Champion Of The Year (ATO Records/PIAS)

‘Heavyweight Champion’ shows off Yanya’s signature sound, which revolves around her voice and gain-soaked electric guitar playing. The UK songwriter’s regal vocal register and penchant for anthemic chord changes invokes Florence and the Machine, but don’t let that be a turn off. Although it’s difficult to discern the lyrical specifics, meaningful connection comes largely via the movement of Yanya’s voice. Here her bearing is underscored by a sullen steadiness but prone to outbreaks of peak velocity. Enormous emotional release comes courtesy of the song’s hot-blooded bridge section.

Harvey Sutherland

I Can See (Clarity Recordings)

Witnessing Harvey Sutherland reroute into fluid electro-jazz territory is like grazing on a generously proportioned buffet – there’s just so much to like. Working with live drummer Kahlil Memphis, ‘I Can See’ is more Charles Mingus than Charles Murdoch. Sutherland lets loose on the keys, but as busy as the track gets, it’s ultimately a soothing journey capable of removing you from your immediate surroundings. 

The Orielles

Bobbi’s Second World (Heavenly Recordings)

UK foursome The Orielles channel the freaky spirit of the B-52’s and the Tom Tom Club on this garage-y dance number. The swivel-eyed bass groove and prominent retro-organ sounds generate a beatific atmosphere. It’s not a complex piece; the band’s more interested in inducing a sense of communal revelry than wooing you with their chops. And ‘Bobbi’s Second World’ delivers accordingly.