UPDATE: we’ve had to reupload this because the youtube videos kept getting deleted. Also now that we’ve had a bit of time to evaluate this we can confirm that it is GREAT. Gwen is one of the best in ‘the industry’ at chill yet emotional midtempo pop epics and this definitely in that vein. It is a little bit repetitive (it only really has 2 chords) and it’s not quite the explosively weird lead single we’re accustomed to from her, but it could just be the buzz teaser thingy to whet our appetites (‘whet’).
Anyone who knows anything about pop music will know that Fergie is a great pop star and the singles from her first solo album are all officially exemplary and excellent.
Good news: she’s finally returning with what looks to be a second solo record. Here’s the debut track. It’s about loving The Weed (as the youth call it) and loving the city you’re from or the city you live in (be that Stockholm or L.A., there are lots to choose from) and it has one of those simple but deeply effective DJ Mustard beats that all the girls are using these days.
Disappointing but not surprising: Elliphant & MØ in ‘yellow face’
Here’s something that should be exciting: emerging Scandinavian bad girls of pop Elliphant and MØ collaborating on a fizzing, melancholy and euphoric mid-tempo single whose video sees them fight, kiss and piss in the street.
Here’s the catch: they spend the whole video in ‘yellow face’ hair and makeup. Seemingly geisha-inspired, their faces are painted white, their lips red and their hair arranged in the traditional chignon-style up-do, adorned with flowers.
This is disappointing for the obvious reason that cultural appropriation - specifically of an aspect of culture already so misunderstood, misrepresented and specific - by white people is gross and unnecessary. Apparently no area of popular culture is safe from the morally abhorrent artistic choices of white artists.
FINALLY we get the album artwork from Jonna and Claes that is worthy of their glacial panoramic music. This is stunning and possibly the album artwork of the year, so far (although FKA twigs is offering stiff competition).
Zola Jesus has unveiled - we like to imagine album art is actually literally unveiled by someone in an art gallery, pretentiously whipping away the cloth to gasps of delight - the cover and tracklisting of her 4th (5th? Does Versions count? These are the philosophical questions that haunt us) studio album. Here are both: