10.07.2019

The best (and worst) new singles: Spoon, Baker Boy and more

Baker Boy
Words by Augustus Welby

RIDE and Parsnip also feature.

Spoon – ‘No Bullets Spent’

Spoon’s Britt Daniel has a limitless supply of quality songs in him. The Texan indie stalwarts have just announced a Best Of compilation spanning their 20+ year career. Capping off the retrospective is ‘No Bullets Spent’, which warrants its place among such estimable company as ‘The Way We Get By’ and ‘You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb’. It circulates around the hook, “All we need now’s an accident/No one to blame and no bullets spent.” True to Daniel’s signature, the track diffuses an enigmatic mist, leaving you wanting more.

Label: Matador Records

Baker Boy – ‘In Control’ 

“Doesn’t like you? How can anyone not like you?” Helen Seinfeld poses this rhetorical question to her fictional son Jerry in season four of Jerry’s blockbuster sitcom. It sums up my feelings towards Baker Boy. Any distaste for the Arnhem Land MC could only stem from a juvenile contrarian impulse. The guy just has it all: killer flow, patent authenticity, infectious energy, and with ‘In Control’, an unbroken streak of optimistic, aerobic party rap.

Label: Island Records

Ride – ‘Repetition’ 

Ride shoegazed their way through the early ‘90s; their debut LP, Nowhere, occupies an enduring position on the genre’s mantle piece. Guitarist and co-songwriter Andy Bell then spent 15 years in the Gallagher-verse as a member of Oasis and Beady Eye. The reunited Ride are less shoegaze and more your-dad’s-mate alt-rock. They’ve got a contingent of diehards, but no one’s expecting dazzling novelty from Bell and co. in 2019. This is reflected in the lyrics of ‘Repetition’, which posit that “repetition is a form of change.”

Label: Wichita Recordings

Parsnip – ‘Lift Off’

It’s all shaggy guitars and Monkees backing vocals on Parsnip’s newie, ‘Lift Off’; a perky garage pop song that gets your head automatically bobbing from side to side. The lead vocals are matched by a budget-sounding keyboard melody, which injects radiance. There is something unsettling about the flowers in bloom flavour, though. You can’t help but be suspicious of the band’s ability to sound so unperturbed and weightless.

Label: Anti Fade