Lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living

The Official Chart for March 6

Beth Orton’s releasing a new album, and apparently it’s going to be a return to the more electronic sound of her early work, which is very exciting. The lead single isn’t exactly exciting, it’s more of a slow burn; but the more I listen to it, the more I like it.

The new All Saints single isn’t exactly exciting either, but it does sound impressively like an All Saints single (and that’s no mean feat – lots of band reunions have foundered on the difficulty of recreating an old sound in a way that sounds compelling).

The new FKA Twigs song, however, is extremely exciting and quite extraordinarily good. It’s more straightforward than her previous work, but that simplicity has distilled the beauty of her work to an even more pure form.

There’s something of FKA Twigs to Australian artist Kučka, although perhaps with a more straight-ahead dance influence.

The new Kitten EP is good, although it doesn’t have the sweaty physicality of their previous records.

A really excellent EP by Ethiopian dance producer Mikael Seifu. I’m struck by Seifu’s lack of interest in playing the other, his insistence he does not “westernize or electronicize extant Ethiopian music.” This is if anything even more apparent in his previous single, “The Lost Drum Beat.”

A ridiculously airy and upbeat banger from Dutch band Rugged.

In other banger news, I very much approve of the new Pet Shop Boys song. Their last album, Electric was full of bangers, in marked contrast to the album before that, Elysium, which was exhausted and depressed, and actually quite a hard listen. This new track seems to have found a middle course between the two – a nostalgie de la banger, if you will.

Last but by no means least, the great new single from Fifth Harmony. Their last album was a bit inconsistent, but the best tracks were very good, and those were the R&bass ones. They continue to disruptively innovate in that sphere, with the first tropical-house-n-bass track I’ve heard.