The best (and worst) new singles: The Strokes, King Krule and more
28.02.2020

The best (and worst) new singles: The Strokes, King Krule and more

Photo by Charlotte Patmore
Words by Augustus Welby

Also featuring tracks from Primo! and Nadia Reid.

The Strokes – ‘At The Door’

At age 13 I fell off my bike and broke my wrist. I spent the next day listening to triple j, where I heard ‘Barely Legal’ by next-big-things The Strokes. I’ve devoured everything they’ve done since and ‘At the Door’ sounds like the band’s most inspired release in years. It’s led by a hulking synth progression and forgoes drums entirely. Julian Casablancas borrows some weirdness from The Voidz, but sounds unmistakably himself bellowing lines like “Struck me like a chord/I’m an ugly boy”.

Label: RCA/Sony Music Australia

Primo! – ‘Best and Fairest’

Little band scene revivalists Primo! are the kind of act that remind you why you live in Melbourne. Their music has no ulterior
motives – it isn’t trying to be cool, showy, or even very innovative. It exists within an ecosystem that allows bands not to conform. ‘Best and Fairest’ is direct and approachable, all raw guitars and garage rock chord changes. The vocals are the standout element, pondering how the decisions you make will come to define your life.

Label: Anti Fade

King Krule – ‘Alone, Omen 3’

It’s fair to predict King Krule becoming one of his generation’s great artists. Archy Marshall is known as an acerbic figure with multitudinous musical proficiency, but he lets the light shine in on new record Man Alive!. ‘Alone, Omen 3’ is influenced by the birth of his first daughter. Beneath the twisted, stereo-panned guitars are reassuring lyrics like “The ache and thunder in the storms of your mind/Soak it in, for the rain will pass in time”, and “Don’t forget you’re not alone”.

Label: XL Recordings/Remote Control

Nadia Reid – ‘Oh Canada’

Nadia Reid’s vocal style closely resembles Saskatchewan songwriter Andy Shauf. It’s a good reference, but titling a song ‘Oh Canada’ while resembling a standout Canadian musician is either intentional or one of indie-folk’s great coincidences. Reid’s upcoming record was made with Matthew E. White and it’s sounding bloody excellent. ‘Oh Canada’ questions an impulse to travel the world,
and underlines how we struggle to leave home behind.

Label: Spacebomb/AWAL

Never miss a story. Sign up to Beat’s newsletter and you’ll be served fresh music, arts, food and culture stories three times a week.