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The best (and worst) new singles this week: Sleaford Mods, Robyn, and more

New tracks from Sleaford Mods, Robyn, and more

Single of the Week

Sleaford Mods : Stick In a Five and Go 

It’s hard not to be amused by Sleaford Mods even if what they’re describing isn’t exactly a joke. The UK duo’s signature minimalism is scaled back even further here, with just a drumbeat and simple bassline supporting Jason Williamson’s East Midlands brogue. This leaves space for a somewhat comic but all-too-familiar narrative of someone seeking violent revenge after being riled by a Twitter exchange. It raises questions about the illusion of invincibility facilitated by social media and the sickened imaginations of so many regular citizens. It’s also a heck of a lot of fun.

Robyn : Missing U

After ‘Dancing On My Own’, Robyn stepped away from solo material to make a couple of dance music EPs with Röyksopp and La Bagatelle Magique. But her return single picks up where ‘Dancing…’ left off, fixating on another’s absence. Boasting an uplifting, near-radiant chorus, ‘Missing U’ feels like an act of conscious progression rather than a maudlin sob-fest. The Swedish singer lays down her sorrows but in doing so looks to gain strength. 23 years on from her debut, Robyn sounds as vital as ever.

IDLES : Samaritans 

IDLES’ new single could just as easily be referencing the secular UK charity, Samaritans, as the biblical parable of the Good Samaritan. Both are concerned with giving support to those in distress, but the charity focuses specifically on mental health. In another subversion of blokey rock music, the Bristol quintet unsheathes the mask of masculinity to implicitly advocate vulnerability, exploration and self-love. The highly appealing sentiment is somewhat weighed down by a trudging post-punk arrangement that hangs like a plate of sheet metal.

Xani : Sun White 

Who says you can’t make pop music using just a violin and loop station? Xani Kolac has long been one of Australian indie music’s finest instrumentalists and her entirely improvised 3 EP zeroes in on her wily talents. ‘Sun White’ delivers on the promise of its title – a continual crescendo that offers more light and joyful melody as it progresses.