Florence + The Machine's new single 'Hunger' is powerful and perfect

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Expectations are high, but 'Hunger' doesn't let us down.

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Florence + The Machine – ‘Hunger’

Florence Welch holds herself to a pretty impeccable standard. So, expectations are high for the first official single for the soon to be released fourth album from Florence + The Machine.

‘Hunger’ smashes those expectations, and then some. The lyrics, melodies and production all come together to make something so unbelievably rich and powerful. The way the song examines anxiety is so clever, packed full of evocative and relatable lines like:

At seventeen, I started to starve myself / I thought that love was a kind of emptiness / And at least I understood then the hunger I felt /And I didn't have to call it loneliness

I thought that love was in the drugs / But the more I took, the more it took away

And it's Friday night and it's kicking in / And I can't dress, they're gonna crucify me

Match this brilliant lyricism with the track’s rich production (courtesy of both Welch and her friend Emile Haynie) and you’ve got a track that is so deeply affecting that it’s four-and-a-half minutes absolutely flies.

Her new album will be called High As Hope, it will be out on Friday 29 June, it features guest spots from Kamasi Washington, Sampha, Tobias Jesso Jr, Kelsey Lu and Jamie xx, and it’s probably going to be really amazing. More details over here.

Speedy Ortiz – ‘Lean In When I Suffer’

If you haven’t had a listen to the new Speedy Ortiz record Twerp Verse, which came out a couple of weeks back, get onto it. Particularly if you’re into that kinda warped, kinda slack, kinda tuneful and pretty intelligent indie rock that bands like Pavement and Archers of Loaf gave us in the 90s. Speedy Ortiz do it just as well, with a little extra sheen that makes the whole thing seem even brighter. ‘Lean In When I Suffer’ is one of the highlights – give it a go and you’ll know pretty quickly whether it’s for you or not.

Pongo – ‘Tambulaya’

The debut single from Portuguese singer Pongo is a high-octane, pulsing cut of dance-pop fusion that serves as an immediate jolt of energy. The song was inspired by the story of her uncle and aunt meeting on a dancefloor during wartime in Angola and is a brilliant testament to the power of dance. Keep your ears out for more from this exciting new artist.

Ben Howard – ‘Nica Libres At Dusk’

Ben Howard’s knack for writing such warm, hypnotic songs continues with ‘Nica Libres At Dusk’. It’s a long and immersive piece of indie-folk that unfolds so beautifully over six minutes. It never gets too big, its power most evident in Howard and his band’s restraint. His third album Noonday Dream is out early next month. He’ll be out here for Splendour and sideshows in July; tickets are selling like crazy so get onto it.

Dirty Projectors – ‘Break-Thru’

Typically wild, inventive, warped pop from Dave Longstreth on this new Dirty Projectors jam. It’s a bit lighter and perkier than what we’ve had from the project in recent times, and the levity is welcome when its delivered as brilliantly as this. The project returned after a lengthy break in 2017 with the deeply personal eponymous LP. Thankfully we don’t have to wait long this time, their new LP, Lamp Lit Prose, will be out mid-July.

Dan Sultan – ‘Reaction’ (ft. Meg Mac)

One of the best songs from Dan Sultan’s excellent 2017 record Killer gets a little nudge from the brilliant Meg Mac for this version from his forthcoming EP. It’s tough to say that the song is necessarily improved here, because the original is a cracking tune. But it’s great to have an excuse to revisit the song in a whole new light. Mac’s voice is brilliant, of course, but it’s the modern disco vibe that makes it feel like a proper reinvention.

Zuri Akoko – ‘Lunar Phases’

 

The smoky vocal and crisp production here will make you wonder why this is the first you’re hearing of Zuri Akoko. Well we’re pretty sure this won’t be the last. This is great modern electro-soul from the Sydney vocalist and producer, and the jazz flourishes fit in pretty nicely too.

Johnny Reebok – ‘You Don't Know Flavors Bwoy’

Western Sydney producer Johnny Reebok gives us a nice, sample heavy cut of vintage-sounding electro that tips its hat to The Avalanches and the best of the late-90s chillout electro on his second single. But he’s taking a unique approach that keeps it sounding fresh and has us wanting to hear more, as soon as possible.

Cog – ‘Altered States’

Cog’s latest single is a little more subdued than the last one they gave us, but this is still Cog, so it’s still enormous. Their proggy alt-rock is slick, tight and powerful, and their fans are just so happy to have them back. The band have a few live shows coming up over the next few months, but we’re sure they’ll be ramping up even more as the year progresses.

DREAMS – ‘Silence’

Luke Steele and Daniel Johns, two of Australian music’ biggest ever exports, give us another taste of their debut album as DREAMS. ‘Silence’ has a decidedly retro feel, kinda like a long lost mid-80s dance jam.

But there are weird rap moments and turntable scratches in there, and some super modern production touches as well, meaning that it remains a completely unique piece of work. That’s pretty much what we expected from two artists as eager to push their sound as these two men.

Their album will be out in July, and they’re playing their first Aussie dates as a part of Vivid LIVE at the end of this month. 

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