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The best (and worst) new singles this week: Neil & Liam Finn, The 1975, and more

New tracks from Neil & Liam Finn, The 1975, and more

Single Of The Week

Neil & Liam Finn : Back to Life

You mightn’t have realised it, but you wanted to hear this. We all did. The sensibilities of father and son are so deftly entwined they become inextricable. Rooted in the earthy psychedelics of Neil’s Dizzy Heights LP, ‘Back to Life’ unfurls a succession of pleasing paradoxes. It’s melodically grand, but brandishing lo-fi textures; the sound remains spacious despite baroque instrumental flourishes; and the vocals are openly sentimental yet steeped in ambiguity. With songs this good, who gives a shit about Fleetwood Mac?

 

Charli XCX : 5 in the Morning 

Charli XCX is more than qualified to ascend into the now-pop elite. We should probably treasure this time before her music becomes absolutely ubiquitous. Here, the British singer reconnects with ‘Fancy’ producers Invisible Men on a trap-inscribed testament to her superiority. Although lacking the outré fun of last year’s Pop 2 collection, ‘5 in the Morning’ further cements Charli’s versatility, backing up the lyric “I only fuck with the ones who are rare enough, real enough, down to keep going.”

 

The 1975 : Give Yourself A Try 

The 1975 aren’t as disposable as Bastille or as irredeemably haughty as Thirty Seconds to Mars, but they do invite such comparisons. ‘Give Yourself A Try’ has a bit of a Nordic goth-pop vibe, which suits them. But it’s still hard to gauge the band’s self-awareness – if they’re intentionally making post-punk for the Lego universe then good on ‘em, otherwise Matthew Healy’s earnestness runs a bit thin. This is frustratingly infectious, though.

 

Moaning Lisa : Good

Moaning Lisa’s ‘Carrie (I Want A Girl)’ was a certified power pop stinker (good thing). On its follow-up, the Canberrans venture into angular shoegaze territory. The texture recalls Slowdive, but the song doesn’t rely too heavily on ‘90s references, much to its benefit. The vocals, guitars and bass all throw in melodic input, swaddling listeners in a sonic web that gets cosier with each listen.