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The best (and worst) new singles this week: Little Simz, Amyl and The Sniffers, more

New tracks from Little Simz, Amyl and The Sniffers, and more

Single Of The Week

Little Simz : Offence 

“Picasso with the pen…Jay-Z on a bad day…Shakespeare on my worst days.” These are boasts I can get behind. But more impressive than writerly flair is Little Simz’s undeniable presence behind the mic. Over a nasty acid jazz arrangement, the London rapper blasts those who underestimated her and delivers a sarcastic rebuke to sellout MCs. It’s not all self-glorification, with Simz also admitting weariness and owning up to some faults. She says it all from the chest and turns out one of the year’s best hip hop songs.

 

Amyl and the Sniffers : Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled)

It was always going to be hard to live up to that title and the Melbourne band falls slightly short, but not for want of trying. Amyl and co. play punky pub rock that’s neither cynical nor ironic and promises a ripping live show. On record, however, they can’t get above a sort of plodding frequency, which exposes a lack of compositional imagination. Amy Taylor’s shouty, insouciant vocals are the standout feature and get closest to delivering on the title promise.

 

Pip Blom : Come Home 

It’s high time the Google results for ‘Dutch rock music’ extended past Golden Earring and Eddie van Halen. Amsterdam newcomer Pip Blom shows us there’s plenty more interesting stuff happening in the country’s indie rock scene. ‘Come Home’ is a pointed, emotional track that serves up a warm dose of melody and puts Blom in a similar category to Soccer Mommy and Lucy Dacus.

 

Avril Lavigne : Head Above Water

So this isn’t really aimed at me, but that doesn’t mean I’m not eager to enjoy it. ‘Head Above Water’ is a neo-power ballad inspired by Lavigne’s struggles with Lyme disease. You’d be a pig not to sympathise with the singer’s sentiment, but the tone of uplifting defiance is hampered by a few too many tired clichés about staying strong and resiting deterioration.

 

The Goon Sax : We Can’t Win

Put it on, embrace your best friends, have a cry and be grateful The Goon Sax exist. Just bloody excellent.