Table of contents
1) “6000 Ft.” – Bonobo, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
Bonobo teams up with fellow producer Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. Both from the UK, they both happened to settle in LA in 2015. They met at a few parties where they quickly struck a friendship and started playing at each others shows and exchanging demos for feedback. Finally, they both sat down to start recording and this is the result.
This is the first double sided single release via Bonobo’s new label OUTLIER, a partnership with Ninja Tune, after his September release of “Heartbreak”, a breakbeat club classic with a sample throwback to 80s New York. Anyway lets talk about this song, it’s a slower affair but that’s no bad thing, more meditative in a way. I actually prefer this one to “Heartbreak” as it feels more delicate and nuanced. Less trying to please a crowd and more of what they’re good at. However, if I was listening in a club the tables may be turned.
Single: “Heartbreak / 6000 Ft.” (2020)
2) “Nea Kameni” – Febueder
Febueder’s first single since their debut album in April; its sound is raw and rough around the edges in a pleasing, acoustic way. Good harmonies to top it off. It’s not hyper produced and that’s following the pattern set before by Febueder (as mentioned in Jake 22). Fancy stain glass window artwork can be found for this track if that’s your thing.
The new track is inspired by the Greek volcanic island of Nea Kameni. Vocalist Kieran Godfrey explains, “It began as a vacation lament due to airport strikes in Greece. My wife and I stayed at Santorini for an additional week, so we visited the volcano, Nea Kameni. Nea Kameni was geographically a part of Santorini once. It’s like a relationship that breaks up, but you’re still in sight of that person, still in awe of that person.”
Album: “Nea Kameni” (2020)
3) “Feral” – Elder Island
Those with an excellent memory, will recall me hyping up Elder Island considerably on Jake 2. The bassist recently explained this track is about the juxtaposition of light and dark when recalling childhood fears. Dark due to the fear, but light as they were mainly exaggerated and are now held in our minds with nostalgia. Not sure if that all comes across in the track, but I like it regardless. A bit of drive, one to shake you up and an interesting way to say “feral” all have me sold on it.
Single: “Feral” (2020)
Label: Elder Island
Christine and the Queens profile
Where to begin. Christine and the Queens appears to have erupted from out of nowhere, seamlessly lodging herself in pop stardom as a result of two stellar albums, multiple great EPs, singles and fantastic collaborations. I remember it being my second year of uni and being blown away by “No Harm is Done (feat. Tunji Ige)” (2016). A really elegant track with great production and a brilliant Tunji Ige feature.
“and The Queens” originates from a brief spell in London in 2010 where Christine (real name Héloïse Adelaïde Letissier) was taking a break from France following expulsion from her theatre course (too restrictive). It turns out she met local drag queen musicians, including Russella, who went on to accompany her in her early concerts. She dedicates much of her work to this group and transgender individuals, describing the genre as “freak pop”. This is a positive name as it implies being boundary pushing and inventive, which Christine and the Queens has been very good at.
It took more than a spell in London for Christine and the Queens to be truly comfortable with herself. Christine is gender queer and a pansexual, regarding gender and sexuality as constructs. She is often frustrated at having to explain these topics over and over in interviews mainly to ignorant white men. Anyway, music let her explore herself more and you can hear this in the two albums. You can also see it from the album artworks, music videos and her ease in front of camera today where she is a lot more comfortable. Following advice from someone she cut her hair to match her style and since then has taken on the “Chris” persona as titled in her second album.
Dancing is an excellent tool that Christine and the Queens uses. Not being content writing songs and doing a large part of the production, she often leads on the choreography of her routines for music videos and live performances too. With clear nods to Madonna and Michael Jackson, she excels at adding another element to her performance making her one of the best performers of this generation. Arguably it was her outstanding show at Glastonbury 2016 (the day after the Brexit vote!) where she rose to widespread acclaim and put her foot on the map.
A third album from one of this decades most important artists would be a real treat.
Stand-out tracks: “Gone” (with Charli XCX, 2019), “Girlfriend (feat. Dâm-Funk)” (2018), “Doesn’t matter” (2018), “No Harm Is Done (feat. Tunji Ige)” (2016)
Albums: “Chris” (2018), “Chaleur Humaine” (2016)
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