50 great tracks for July from TisaKorean, Trash Kit, Ellen Arkbro and more

From Lifted’s new age jazz to Flume’s best track yet, here are 50 new tracks to check out this month – and read about our 10 favourites

Spotify and Apple Music playlists

TisaKorean – Double Dare (Soapy Anthem)

Praised in this column last month for his brilliant guest verse on Chance the Rapper’s GRoCERIES, TisaKorean continues to mark himself out as 2019’s most left-brained new MC. The 24-year-old sounds younger than he is, with naive-melody raps that fall off the beat like a failed skipping rope chant and only ever hang around for a couple of minutes. He is obsessed with soap (his chosen metaphor for announcing his freshness) and his signature ad-lib – a kind of surprised “eww” noise – is like a drag queen accidentally touching a hot barbecue. His fashion sense is from the Lil Yachty stable of “14-year-old girl being able to wear whatever she wants on non-uniform day”. He will utterly enrage anyone who thinks rap is about poetic, socially conscious lyricism, but even people who don’t like him wandering off from the beat like a happy toddler might enjoy Double Dare, one of his most focused tunes yet. BBT

Ashley O – On a Roll

What looked like the most exciting episode from the new series of Black Mirror turned out to be a total sham: Miley Cyrus’s compromised, purple-haired pop star Ashley O realises that she has “sold out” and would be much happier ditching the wig to play bar-room rock in sweaty clubs. To be fair, it is a dystopian concept, if a painfully outdated one. She revamps her character’s trademark song, On a Roll – a full-throated embrace of ambition – into something that sounds like Nickelback come the end of the episode. But, thankfully, it’s the hard-edged, trashy pop version that’s broken out and become a gay anthem for summer 2019. LS

Invigorating and meditative ... Trash Kit.
Invigorating and meditative ... Trash Kit. Photograph: Samuel Mitchell

Trash Kit – Sunset

Glasgow-based guitarist Rachel Aggs could joust with Oh Sees and Ty Segall for the title of music’s most productive: she’s in polemical party band Shopping (who released The Official Body last year), high-life duo Sacred Paws (who just released Run Around the Sun last month) and trio Trash Kit, who release new album Horizon this month. Their take on post-punk has a lot in common with that of the Raincoats: pattering, circular percussion, interweaving and gang vocals that do away with the idea of a lead singer and an energy that’s as invigorating as it is meditative. Sunset seems less rooted in watching the sky go pink, can in hand; more in the existential anxiety of time passing. LS

Flume – Let You Know (feat. London Grammar)

Flume is Sydney producer Harley Streten, who broke through back in 2012 with a sound that bumped like rap but shone like EDM, and which went on instil itself in every backpacker bar, Clapham house party, and anywhere else that Australians congregate. To these ears, he was a bit of a pale imitation of Hudson Mohawke, killed off by some pretty tepid pop songcraft – but new single Let You Know is a complete gamechanger. There’s something so much more impulsive and unconstrained about the chorus chords compared with his previous work, and the vocal line by Hannah Reid – concerning a breakup that toxically lingers on – is properly beautiful and worked through. The joyous sound of someone finally coming into his own after a long, slow journey. BBT

Hiss Golden Messenger – I Need a Teacher

Over the past decade, North Carolina songwriter MC Taylor has built up a robust and rewarding catalogue of spiritually inclined, existentially wracked Americana. His trademarks are a chipper but nervy pace, rendered in burnished golds and a clenched voice that the New Yorker once memorably likened to “a bud that hasn’t quite opened yet”. I Need a Teacher is the first song from his forthcoming album, Terms of Surrender, and it glitters with his trademark agitated beauty. LS

Unexpectedly fresh ... Korn
Unexpectedly fresh ... Korn Photograph: -

Korn – You’ll Never Find Me

You might expect pop-metal pioneers Korn to be past their sell-by-date in 2019, but this new offering (the lead single from their upcoming 13th album, The Nothing) is unexpectedly fresh. It is distinctively Korn – slick production combined with guttural vocals and crunchy instrumentation – but there’s a new urgency to frontman Jonathan Davis’s angst, no doubt shaped by the untimely death of his wife Deven Davis last year, aged just 39. Well worth a listen for fans of the band’s old hits who thought more recent releases lacked vitality. SS

Delightfully quirky ... Shygirl.
Delightfully quirky ... Shygirl. Photograph: Sam Ibram

Shygirl – Uckers

The latest release from up-and-coming London singer and DJ Shygirl is a delightfully quirky nugget of experimental club hip-hop. Beginning with a series of blood-curdling screams over a garage beat, the track echoes Shygirl’s debut EP Cruel Practice (released last year), which combined horror film aesthetics, anxious beats, and moody lyrics to create something surprisingly danceable. The accompanying video is equally fun, a Lynchian affair featuring Shygirl herself, embodying the menacing dominatrix vibe of the track in black latex and killer heels. Recommended for fans of SOPHIE’s hyperkinetic pop. SS

Chelsea Wolfe – The Mother Road

American singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe, whose influences span folk music and black metal, is difficult to pin down, but the common thread connecting her work is its Gothic qualities. The lead single for her sixth studio LP, Birth of Violence, shares the foreboding tone of Wolfe’s previous work, but replaces the harsh distortion of the critically acclaimed Hiss Spun (2017) with a relatively stripped back acoustic sound. Reminiscent of Marissa Nadler’s folk noir, it is proof of Wolfe’s versatility. SS

Lifted – Rose 31

Lifted’s 2 is one of our favourite jazz releases this year, one that is miles away from the cosmic stank and propulsive bop that is currently en vogue. Offbeat house producer Max D combines with experimental pop producer Co La to make improvisatory muzak for the lifts of a futuristic utopian commune deep in the Brazilian rainforest: all clean tones, ambient moods, and proudly corny instrumentation. Rose 31 is the most tangible jazz number, with flutes and sax lolling around Balearic guitar. BBT

Ellen Arkbro – Chords for Guitar

This Stockholm-based composer blew minds with her 2017 album For Organ and Brass: three minimalist studies featuring powerfully moving chord changes, and a microscopic interrogation of sound – you could almost feel the notes chafing against one another. For her new album Chords, she continues these experiments, first with organ again, then with the guitar. For 17 minutes, big metallic chords ring out, decaying incredibly slowly and shaking the air around them. The piece feels like it’s in the lineage of mystic guitarists like John Fahey and Robbie Basho, but also rooted in doom metal. BBT


Ben Beaumont-Thomas, Laura Snapes and Sarah Staniforth

The GuardianTramp

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