Gwen Stefani’s Make Me Like You: the best of this week’s new music

Gwen Stefani | Tiggs Da Author ft Lady Leshurr | Hozier | XO ft James Chatburn | Rudimental ft Anne-Marie & Will Heard


Gwen Stefani
Make Me Like You (Interscope)

All too often, pop stars fail to line up their single releases to correspond with their personal lives as reported in tabloid magazines. But not Gwen Stefani! She turned her divorce from Bush’s Gavin Rossdale into the launch track for her newly reinstated solo career (Used To Love You) and now that she’s going out with her The Voice US co-judge, country singer Blake Shelton, she’s written Make Me Like You. An upbeat 80s-inspired pop corker, it sees Gwen outline just how head-over-heels in love she is, at the level of detail normally reserved for late-shift Uber drivers and your “best friends” WhatsApp group. Make Me Like You is brimming over with such pure happiness, it’s enough to make you believe that you, too, can find love with a reality show-judging country star. Welcome back, Gwen.

Tiggs Da Author ft Lady Leshurr
Run (Sony RCA)

The only track this year you’ll hear with the confident declaration “You can call me pussy/ Pussy is power”, Run is – yes, yes, it’s the one off the Rugby World Cup ad. It’s the one off Fifa 2016. It’s the one that’s been on repeat in your head since last year, the one you find yourself singing under your breath on the bus, the one you find yourself drunkenly putting on when you hijack the Aux lead at parties, the one you set up an alternative Twitter account to repeatedly tell Tiggs Da Author “sick track, mate!” for. You could say it’s catchy – until one day, you’ll suddenly think: I hate this song. It’s just the same word, “run”, repeated over and over again to a pop beat.

Work Song (Rubyworks/Island)

What starts off as a passable songtune about being in love, warbled by voice-on-every-radio-station-all-the-time Hozier, ends up being a vow to unleash the zombie apocalypse. “When my time comes around/ Lay me gently in the cold dark earth/ No grave, can hold my body down/ I’ll crawl home to her,” Hozier threatens, either describing all of our worst hangovers or the impending takeover of the undead, caused not by a virus, but by love. Love’s ruined now. Love is something to fear. Ban love, ban it all.

XO ft James Chatburn
Divine Disaster (He Loves You Not)

Stoke-on-Trent is famous for a lot of things: football hooliganism, pottery and Robbie Williams. But chuck all that in a massive bin and welcome XO, real name Sunil Heera, a 20-year-old producer from Stoke already being championed by Diplo, a man who has probably never visited Stoke landmarks like Hanley’s Potteries shopping centre, or WaterWorld on the Festival Park industrial estate. Divine Disaster is brilliant: trippy, dreamy, dancey R&B, like Jamie Woon and Duke Dumont played through an underwater speaker when you’re six gin-in-a-tins into your night. Robbie Williams: step down, sorry.

Rudimental ft Anne-Marie & Will Heard
Rumour Mill (Atlantic)

Just when you think: oh, finally, Rudimental have given away those horns in a pop brass amnesty and moved on to a housier sound, there they are – two minutes into Rumour Mill, the ubiquitous brass blast sounds through the speakers. Do Rudimental have shares in trumpets? Do they have a trumpet fetish? Are they worried that no one knows who they are without the trumpets? Still: trumpets aside, the track’s actually very #summervibes, so, y’know, perfect for February.


Issy Sampson

The GuardianTramp

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