• By: Owen Maxwell

Miles Kane’s new release will have you dancing in seconds

Miles Kane – Change the Show (Birkenhead, U.K.)

Bringing the level of acoustic range we get in his Last Shadow Puppets project, while churning it through vintage pop, Miles Kane makes a layered and catchy record. Though definitely interpolating on a narrow scope of classic sounds, Kane has so much fun that it’s an utter joy to listen to. The harmonies, harpsichord and blown out guitars satisfyingly modernize the throwback riffing of “Tears Are Falling” into a swerving masterpiece. The intense groove and dark underpinnings of “Don’t Let It Get You Down” will have you dancing in seconds, and the saxophone just ramps that need to cut loose up to eleven. There’s a full on Bowie “Young Americans” swing on “Change the Show” as Kane calls to bring a little revolution and change the world in a truly bombastic track. The high-flying hooks of “Caroline” give a sense of euphoria every time they ring out, and Kane’s ability to weave so many great moments together past that shows how well he’s able to play with vintage aesthetics.

John Orpheus – House of Cards (Single) (Toronto/Trinidad)

While a Radiohead cover driven by a lot of Caribbean influence doesn’t seem intuitive on the surface, it brings a whole new brightness to the song concept you’d never expect. The beat swings in a warm and welcoming way, injecting even more of a live and let live-style ethos to the track, and lifts spirits all at once. John Orpheus rises with the harmonies as well, seemingly calling on the voices in the song with a spiritual quality. Each verse layers in more synth and voices too, leaving you in a heavenly glow by the time the song wraps.

FKA Twigs – Caprisongs   (Cheltenham, U.K.)

Opting for the more rotating styles of the a mixtape on her latest release, FKA Twigs releases some of her most ambitious tracks in years. While it doesn’t always feel cohesive as a unit, there’s so much amazing song writing here you won’t mind. The warped production and beat work on “Ride the Dragon” finds Tahliah Barnett alternating between smoky vocals and charged harmonies for  a truly mystifying listen. Barnett’s brilliantly drenched aesthetic lets the hook-laden core of “Tears in the Club” feels so magical to listen to, as every dark tone in the track is contrasted with a shimmering piano note, and great melody by her and the Weeknd. The shorter drive of “Pamplemousse” drifts in with a lot of hyper-pop influence, but somehow stays quieter in its runtime. Groove rules on “Jealousy” as if to simulate both the sexual frustration and twisted way our love can be intoxicating at times, and dangerous at others.

 Lili-Ann De Francesco – IDC (Single) (Montreal)

Finding her own spot in the addictive pop canon, Lili-Ann De Francesco’s latest single shows the limits of good intentions versus personal needs. “IDC” sees a sense of warmth, and love, heightened by the softer tones of the pianos and velvety strings. But it’s in her words and the slow warp of the production that you find her having to push through to help herself before anything else. The cinematic scope of the production also lets this overall size of the sound work, and give the sense of difference between her friendliest and most personal actions. De Francesco knows when to pull back and play to the chorus here too, especially as she enhances the sense of growing small from the world around you, and then trying to come back from that to heal.

A Place to Bury Strangers – See Through You (Brooklyn)

Not all that different since their lineup changes, A Place to Bury Strangers have stuck the landing again. Though lighter in their riffed-based approach, they bring a weight to their focus on droning structures to make them really land with a punch. “Nice of You to Be There for Me” rolls with a thunderous assault of drums, while the wailing guitars in its bones shriek to the heavens like an endless death cry. Even the repetitive thrall of “Let’s See Each Other” feels furious in its approach, as every drum line and guitar seems to get a new layer to make them a gargantuan wall of power. The movement of “Ringing Bells” feels closer to previous records, though it’s the more high-pitched and brilliant tones that litter its background that show a new more diverse sound for the band. Even a surfy vibe slips in on “Broken” with the group finding a dance-ready track in their repertoire, while still leaving it soaked in watery echo.