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The best (and worst) new singles this week: Serpentwithfeet, The Carters, more

New tracks from Serpentwithfeet, The Carters, and more.

Single Of The Week

Serpentwithfeet : Seedless

Serpentwithfeet songs are like multi-platform artworks. ‘Seedless’ displays the Baltimore musician’s penchant for dramatic staging, detailing the dying stages of a relationship and awkward attempts at moving on: “I wanna fuck, but can we read about it first?” Over impressionistic production, including industrial-scale drums and floating church bells, Serpentwithfeet adopts a range of vocal registers in what amounts to a last-gasp declaration of devotional love. And it’s a persuasive one at that.

The Carters : Apeshit 

It’s not unreasonable to expect Beyonce and Jay-Z releases to have something to say – they’ve both got more than enough money and connections to fully devote themselves to the art of definitive pop music. So for ‘Apeshit’ to sound so yieldingly on-trend is a bit disappointing. It’s more of a Beyonce feat. Jay-Z scenario than a 50/50 encounter, and Bey’s vocals are predictably razor sharp. She holds a stern expression through lines about expensive fabrics and expensive habits, Quavo yelping gratingly in the background. Jay’s verse is adequate, if not hair-raising, and that about sums up the whole song.

King Princess : Upper West Side 

With a half-time groove and the centrality of jangly guitar, there are echoes of late-‘00s indie-pop here. King Princess herself, however, sounds like the sort of pop outsider perfectly suited to right now. While not a challenging piece of songwriting, ‘Upper West Side’ is vividly relatable – the song hinges on the couplet, “I can’t stop judging everything you do / I can’t get enough of you.”

Luluc : Spring 

Musically this is a pretty faithful slice of West Coast folk music. It’s simple and somewhat quaint, but filled with crisp sunlight. However, its lyrical homage to the regeneration and promise offered by the springtime implies a tiresome winter has just been endured. The closing section features a double-tracked drum-kit; a minor touch that capably relates the miracle of a newly verdant field.