The best (and worst) new singles: Róisín Murphy, Cool Sounds and more

The best (and worst) new singles: Róisín Murphy, Cool Sounds and more

Words by Augustus Welby

Rising songwriter Gena Rose Bruce also features alongside Nérija.

Róisín Murphy – ‘Incapable’

Grinspoon’s upcoming ‘Chemical Hearts’ tour is named after a song from 2002. No one gave a shit about Darude’s Eurovision 2019 performance because he wasn’t playing ‘Sandstorm’. The internet went mad last month because Stardust’s 1998 single ‘Music Sounds Better With You’ is finally coming to streaming services. As one half of Moloko, Róisín Murphy was behind two of the turn of the century’s finest pop songs, but she’s never rested on nostalgia. The Irish singer just keeps getting better – the eight-minute ‘Incapable’ is a disco house number with a transfixing lead vocal.

Label: Mickey Murphy’s Daughter

Nérija – ‘Riverfest’

Nérija didn’t aim low with their debut record, Blume, setting out to channel the inspired energy of Miles Davis’ latter-day Colombia releases (Bitches Brew, The Man With The Horn). It seems useless to compare anything to Miles, but fuck it if ‘Riverfest’ doesn’t feel loose and brilliant. A four-piece horn section, including tenor saxophonist Nubya Garcia, dances over afrobeat guitar playing and a slinky jazz rhythm section.

Label: Domino

Gena Rose Bruce – ‘I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You’

Gena Rose Bruce meditates on the difficult process of letting someone go, laser removing their inscription from your head and your heart. The arrangement is achingly restrained, with producer Tim Harvey adding keyboard tickles, boxy drums and twinging distorted guitar. These additions represent the pangs of a love that won’t easily fade away. For the listener, they embody the urge to dive back in again and remember what made the love great, consequences be damned.

Label: Dot Dash

Cool Sounds – ‘Around and Down’

Without suggesting there’s any forgery at play, Cool Sounds recall Vampire Weekend recalling Phish on ‘Around and Down’. It’s a bit funky, a bit goofy, and generally a good indie rock tune. It’s a daft comment, perhaps, but ‘Around and Down’ matches the claim of the band’s name – unruffled, in control, and aware this whole thing’s going to burn to the ground soon enough so we should just be nice, pleasant and enjoy ourselves.

Label: Hotel Motel