Clean Bandit’s Disconnect: so gossamer light it almost tickles

Also this week: Vince Staples new one has all the subtlety of a brick, while Maliibu Miitch takes a walk on the dark side


Clean Bandit ft Marina & The Diamonds

Having tackled the plight of the single mum on Rockabye and the tragic death of a loved one in Symphony’s video, fiddle-fiddlers Clean Bandit move on to crippling technology-based anxiety. The elegant Disconnect finds Marina sighing despondently about mobile phone obsession and the resulting loneliness, the theme’s usual cringe-inducing nature sidestepped by a combination of lyrical simplicity (“I need to take a breath”) and a melody so featherlight it almost tickles.

Vince Staples
Yeah Right

The brain-melting brilliance of Yeah Right lies in its dynamics. The chorus is a lackadaisical call and response, the beat – provided by subtlety-free gonzo-pop producer SOPHIE – is the sound of two electrified ball bearings smacking into each other, while an uncredited Kendrick Lamar verse arrives just as the cacophony dissipates. The calm doesn’t last long, of course, with Staples’s hyperactive flow careening into lava-like sonic eruptions that appear to be beckoning some sort of armageddon.

King Henry & Ry X

Before you get too excited, he’s not a real king. He’s actually California’s Henry Allen, a producer mate of Diplo’s. Don’t let that put you off, though, because as this undulating new single clearly shows, King Henry’s own music is a lot less rave-dad-goes-to-Jamaica-once than Diplo’s, featuring Ry X crooning over a pulsating bassline, suspended in mild arousal.

Maliibu Miitch
4 AM

All creeping piano stabs and head-knocking drum claps, 4 AM finds New York rapper Maliibu Miitch laying claim to her city like a modern-day Foxy Brown. In the video, Miitch and some mates ride the subway in the early hours, knocking back Hennessy and looking cooler than you’ll ever be. The London night tube equivalent, however, would have included unconscious businessmen, a pigeon nibbling some sick and some dolt doing unimpressive pull-ups on that handrail thing.

Icona Pop
Girls Girls

For some reason, probably linked to Spotify algorithms, Icona Pop have switched from big shouty choruses (UK No 1 I Love It) to no choruses at all. So, Girls Girls starts well, building through the first verse, before a singalong pre-chorus tricks you into thinking they’re back on form, only for it all to deflate and trickle inelegantly into the sort of tired instrumental drop I assumed had been forcibly banished from pop around 2013.


Michael Cragg

The GuardianTramp

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