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
Cellophane

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.

Stormzy
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
ME!

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.

Diplo
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.

Contributor

Sam Wolfson

The GuardianTramp

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