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The best (and worst) new singles this week: Marie Davidson, The Dandy Warhols, and more

And some new stuff from Twerps' frontman Martin Frawley.

Single of the Week:

Marie Davidson & Lamusa II

La Ecstase (Ninja Tune)

This sounds like a memory of dance music, like the leftover thud that travels around your head when trying to rest on the morning after a long night. Davidson’s Working Class Woman is one of the year’s standout electronic releases, but before the gates shut on 2018 best-of lists, the Montreal producer has rolled a gem of a collaboration with Italian producer Lamusa II. ‘La Ecstase’ exhibits many of Davidson’s primary strengths: it’s an abstract reconstruction of club music, built on inviting bodily rhythms but streaked with a sense of the unobtainable. And it’ll keep you coming back for more.

Kokoko! 

Azo Toke (Transgressive)

I don’t know much about the music of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I don’t know if that’s something I should be embarrassed about, but this rousingly joyous and texturally innovative release from Kinshasa-based collective Kokoko! certainly makes me feel like I’ve been missing out. I’m not encouraging it, but I can see a mainstream rapper jumping on a remix of ‘Azo Toke’ a la Jay-Z’s reboot of Panjabi MC’s ‘Mundian To Bach Ke’. That’s a testament to how effusively likeable yet idiosyncratically distinct the song is.

Martin Frawley 

End of the Bar (Merge)

Twerps co-frontperson Martin Frawley steps into angular bluesy territory on his second solo single. The jangly guitars remain, but they’re decorated with some E-Street Band-inspired piano trills. It feels a bit like hanging tinsel on a tree though; a nice if somewhat incongruous addition that isn’t able to obscure the grubby essence of Frawley’s songwriting and vocal performance. He tries on an aloof storyteller persona, which should suit him but falls a bit flat. That could have something to do with the main riff’s similarity to Robbie Williams’ ‘Let Me Entertain You’. But maybe that reference says more about me than the song itself.

The Dandy Warhols 

Be Alright (Dine Alone Records)

I have utterly no interest in a new Dandy Warhols song. You probably don’t either. So I approached ‘Be Alright’ expecting to expose the Dandys as rock music’s preeminent has-been hacks. But there’s plenty to enjoy about the song’s steady upbeat trot and driving distorted bass lines. Likewise the simple, lyric-less melodic motifs. Even Courtney Taylor-Taylor’s barely legible grizzly whisper has its charm.