Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, I’m begging of you to please go get yourself a zooper dooper and jump into a hammock to prep yourself for this week’s thirst-crushing tunes. Featuring Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus, Julia Jacklin, Toro Y Moi, Arlo Parks, and Cat Power!
Mark Ronson feat. Miley Cyrus, Nothing Breaks Like A Heart
Sometimes when Miley sings something a bit challenging, you can hear the incredible vocal control (anchored by her country roots) behind her notes. Although Nothing Breaks Like A Heart is total dance-pop, its ascending triad melody illustrates that total authority which blew everyone away back when Miley shared her live cover of Jolene six years ago. Song of summer material right here.
Also, here’s Jolene because you need it.
Cat Power, What The World Needs Now
The cutest piano, whistles, shaker, and maybe a little melodica. Sweet as hell – just what w’all (?) need right now.
Julia Jacklin, Head Alone
Julia pulls out another superb dress (see Body for previous superb dress) in this new clip for slightly new single Head Alone – a song I’ve had on repeat at work, at home, in boyfriend’s car, at mummy’s house, in my dreams, in the clouds, all the wheres.
Julia’s said of the clip: “This was the last take; I was exhausted from chasing the car but I think it worked because I gave up being graceful. I couldn’t think of what to do for this song because the words mean a lot to me and I didn’t want to distract people from the song. I just wanted to act the way the song makes me feel.”
Her album Crushing is due out Feb 22 via Liberation.
Toro Y Moi, Ordinary Pleasure
Squidgy lo-funk goodness from the chillwave poineer. It doesn’t go where you think it’s going to go – the chorus is pretty wiggly, with some rather inventive harmonics going on. Toro’s previous single Freelance contained a similarly surprising oddity: he actually sings the glitchy repetition of vowels that you’d expect a musician to just artificially chop into perfect little bits, allowing the little flaws to shine through. (Have you tried singing one note in a start-stop fashion, trying not to waver or lose key? It hard.)
Dude’s album Outer Peace is out January 18 via Mistletone/Inertia.
Arlo Parks, Cola
Eighteen-year-old English vocalist Arlo Parks describes her quiet, poetry-obsessed, “uncool” childhood self thusly: “I’m a black kid who can’t dance for sh-t, listens to emo music and currently has a crush on some girl in my Spanish class.” She’d heard Afrobeat and soul music in her childhood home but then discovered King Krule, Kendrick Lamar and David Bowie; at 17 she realised she was bi and wanted to pursue music, and a year later she’s stunning critics at home on BBC1. She’s just dropped the video for her beautifully sauntering single Cola. Absolutely worth your time.