Tracks of the week reviewed: FKA twigs, Bruce Springsteen, Stormzy

Twigs deals with rejection, the Boss does what he does, and the Glasto headliner resists the urge to ‘go stadium’

FKA twigs

Abandoning her usual “Torture Garden but make it branded content” shtick, Twigs opts for a stripped-bare vocal with nods to Kate Bush and Fiona Apple. Many of the lines here repeat but shift slightly, sometimes one word at a time, running over a romantic rejection as you do in the weeks after a relationship falls apart. Vulnerable, honest and apparently not flogging anything, this is an FKA twigs we can buy into.

Bruce Springsteen
Hello Sunshine

Woah, we weren’t expecting this! With Skrillex and Sub Focus sharing production duties, this womp-heavy D’n’B hybrid is … just kidding. It’s the Boss; you know what it’s going to sound like: heart-stirring piano, “pain” rhymes with “rain” etc. When it comes to Americana cliche, you can’t beat a Brucey bonus and he really delivers here: “You know I always loved a lonely town / Those empty streets, no one around” is a personal favourite.

Vossi Bop

You might think with a Glastonbury headline set on the horizon, Stormzy’s first new track in two years would succumb to stadium-itis and be filled with singalong moments and #relatable one-liners. Instead, he has gone in completely the other direction, with a darkly funny rap track based around a niche four-year-old video of Twitter personality NL_Vossi dancing. It hints at an anarchic new chapter.

Taylor Swift

OK, maybe this one’s on us. We’ve pored over every previous Taylor single to find something wrong with it: cultural appropriation, lack of self-awareness, phony feminism. So now she’s back with a song that feels as if it’s had all its corners trimmed. If you were being generous, you might say this was a camp satire of clean-version pop (one refrain goes: “You can’t spell awesome without me!”) but with each listen, any potential sarcasm drains away and you’re left with a less-interesting repeat of the music Taylor was making at 16.

So Long

This has been billed as Diplo “going country”, seemingly because there’s a press shot of him knocking around wearing a cowboy hat. In fact, it’s just like much of Wes’s recent output: bland, air-flavoured hold music so concerned with sounding commercially palatable that it falls short of major commercial success. Rihanna recently described his music as “airport reggae”, but even that would be too generous here; this is Nashville via Megabus.


Sam Wolfson

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Tracks of the week reviewed: Troye Sivan, Stormzy and Nicki Minaj
Also this week, Jack White releases the same song he’s been releasing since 1999, while the Black Eyed Peas shock with their actually quite good new single

Joel Golby

19, Jan, 2018 @11:00 AM

Article image
Tracks of the week reviewed: Sophie, FKA twigs, and Clean Bandit
This week we’ve got doomsday synths, precariously perfect pop, and a Capital Radio banger by numbers

Sam Wolfson

12, Feb, 2021 @11:00 AM

Article image
50 great tracks for May from FKA twigs, Sunn O))), Stormzy and more
From Bruce Springsteen’s return to Dorian Electra’s magnificent electropop – read about 10 of our favourite songs of the month and subscribe to our 50-track playlist of the best new music to start summer

Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes

08, May, 2019 @5:00 AM

FKA Twigs, Example, Birdy: this week's new tracks

FKA Twigs | Example | Birdy | The Stepkids | Katy Perry

Harriet Gibsone

06, Sep, 2013 @12:00 PM

Article image
This week’s tracks reviewed: Childish Gambino, Gaika, the Lemon Twigs
Gambino brings a vapid summer vibe, Gaika mixes Afrobeat with hip-hop, while the Lemon Twigs have gone full oddball

Kate Solomon

20, Jul, 2018 @10:00 AM

Article image
This week’s tracks reviewed: the Lemon Twigs, Sam Smith and Lil Yachty
Featuring precocious mulleted New Yorkers, Chilean-Norwegian indie pop and a teen tearaway who went viral

Hannah J Davies

06, Apr, 2018 @10:00 AM

Article image
Tracks of the week reviewed: Yungblud, Beabadoobee, Idles
This week we’ve got glammed-up future-punk, some dreamy grunge, and a dark fuzzy ballad

Mark Beaumont

31, Jul, 2020 @10:00 AM

Article image
Tracks of the week reviewed: Metronomy, Grimes, Foals
This week there’s an electro take on Boys of Summer, glacial synths, and some big Paula Radcliffe energy

Mark Beaumont

13, Sep, 2019 @10:00 AM

Article image
Tracks of the week reviewed: Madonna, Beck, Kehlani
The queen of pop hits it with her Latin shtick, Beck and Pharrell team up, while something else sounds like drunk Massive Attack

Luke Holland

26, Apr, 2019 @9:59 AM

Article image
Tracks of the week reviewed: Christmas singles special
This week we’ve got a veritable cheeseboard of schmaltz, from Robbie Williams to Tinashe to Liam Gallagher

Sam Wolfson

11, Dec, 2020 @11:00 AM