The best (and worst) new singles: Tame Impala, Phoebe Bridgers and more
13.11.2019

The best (and worst) new singles: Tame Impala, Phoebe Bridgers and more

Words By Augustus Welby

Plus, a new track from Melbourne-based songwriter Hachiku.

Evelyn Ida Morris – ‘Nameless, Faceless’

Evelyn Ida Morris’ take on Courtney Barnett’s Margaret Atwood-citing ‘Nameless, Faceless’ shows that the peppy power-pop original is not only musically sophisticated but incredibly poignant. Piano provides the primary accompaniment, with a dressing of electric organ and backing vocals. Morris, who identifies as neither male nor female, inserts the line “I’m in between, here for my sisters” in place of “I hold my keys, between my fingers.” It’s a beautiful rendition that stands alone while also making you eager to revisit the original. 

Label: Milk! Records

Matt Berninger and Phoebe Bridgers – ‘Walking On a String’

The National’s latest album wasn’t brilliant, but it did pair Matt Berninger’s voice with a variety of gifted female singers, priming him for this collaboration with Phoebe Bridgers. Taken from the Between Two Ferns soundtrack, ‘Walking On a String’ is an alt-country slow burn that could easily be mistaken for a Wilco cover. It’s not, but as Jeff Tweedy’s band is wont to do, the polite to-and-fro is eventually shed for a belting final verse and flame-throwing drum finish.

Label: Dead Oceans

Hachiku – ‘Shark Attack’

It’s not a Split Enz cover, but a welcome return from Melbourne-based songwriter/producer Hachiku. Anika Ostendorf burrows a bit deeper here, conjuring a brooding intensity that recalls Beach House, only without the layer of dreamy obfuscation. While the production can’t suitably be described as lo-fi, ‘Shark Attack’ retains a handmade quality. By the final chorus, however, everything is cranked to the point of saturation.

Label: Milk! Records

Tame Impala – ‘It Might Be Time’

We’ve learned to assess Tame Impala more on the strength of their albums than singles, despite Kevin Parker’s knack for fashioning festival-uniting melodies. So three tracks into the post-Currents cycle – and onto the second official single from LP number four – we’re fighting the urge to deem the new material a bit a lacklustre, a bit directionless. ‘It Might Be Time’ does bang hard, for what’s it’s worth. Parker’s production is reliably lively as the song recalls acid house-inspired big beat à la The Chemical Brothers.

Label: Modular