August is delivering thick and fast with new releases – check out the best three from this week.
Novelist – Girls around the world
Young Lewisham hope Novelist has stepped back from pioneering his aggressive ‘ruff sound’ to lend grime some flexibility with ‘Girls Around The World’, a self-produced love letter to his ‘diamond girl’. Nov refuses to fully abandon the genre’s classic machismo even when doting, yet it’s still disarming to hear that BPM in such a tender setting, dropping its guard for warm beats and synth twinkles: “Who told you badmen don’t cry?” Tender chirpsing isn’t new in grime, yet it’s a delicate art which Nov appears to have a strong handle on.
Jamie T – Power Over Men
With Trick looming, Jamie T has come forward with ‘Power Over Men’. Previous record Carry On The Grudge saw the Wimbledon troubadour exercise his folky tendencies, but so far Trick is impossible to read. It’s more agreeable than the yobbish ‘Tinfoil Boy’, easy on the ears and sees Treays buoyed up in a Hendrix-lite swagger that cuts deep grooves. At times it’s overly wordy, but “She used to make do/But now she makes men” already feels like one of those classic, weighty Jamie T lines.
Keaton Henson – The Pugilist
There’s a strong argument now that Henson’s forthcoming record is a turning point. Expect moments of small courage like ‘The Pugilist’ (Latin for boxer), which from an individual so fraught by neurosis should be seen as crushing victories. The progression in the strings and lonely twangs of his electric guitar have that hearty flutter of Buckley’s Hallejuhah, and encase its rise in stomping drums and epic flourishes. It’s a fiercer Keaton than we’ve known, desperately pleading that the world not forget him and his art.