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'A Quality Of Mercy' is one of the best new tracks added to Double J this week.

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RVG – ‘A Quality Of Mercy’

I’m not sure what your relationship comment section on major news sites is like. But if you’ve ever found yourself aghast at the way people talk about fellow humans in these often toxic discussions that unfold at the bottom of articles.

RVG’s ‘A Quality Of Mercy’ is a thoughtful reflection on some of the most heinous things frontwoman Romy Vager recalled reading recently. She put herself in the shoes of the Bali Nine members who were set to be executed and wondered how they’d feel if they read what people were saying about them.

These keen lyrics, combined with the perfect backing of dark, jangly, 80s indie-rock from Vager and her band, make ‘A Quality Of Mercy’ a really powerful piece of music and one that deserves to be heard by a lot of people. Send it to a friend. 

Tinariwen – ‘Assàwt’

Tinariwen are one of the world’s greatest rock bands and their 2017 album Elwan was only further proof of that. When (not if) you get caught in their irresistible groove, think about the Tamashek women who remain in Mali that the exiled band wrote the song for. While it’s music for dancing, it’s important not to forget to have some empathy for the hard struggle Western Africa faces. 

Totally Mild – ‘Today Tonight’

I’ll tell anyone who’ll listen that Totally Mild are one of this country’s best bands and it’s nice to be armed with another two-and-a-half-minute piece of proof for whenever that’s called into question.

It’s an unpredictable, curious pop song that takes a whole series of twists and turns that keeps us on our toes. Elizabeth Mitchell turns in another engrossing performance, her versatile voice steals the show as per usual, though the way the band follow her (not to mention the killer guitar solo towards the end) are just as vital.  

Rapsody – ‘Pay Up’

North Carolina’s Rapsody signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation last year and after hearing her second album Laila’s Wisdom, we reckon Hova got the good end of this deal.

Take ‘Pay Up’ for example, it’s got everything a good, timeless hip hop jam needs; sweet funk guitar, a catchy refrain (‘Pay up! Pay out!’) and unbelievable flow from Rapsody herself. She is one of the best rappers around right now and this track, which admonishes dudes who leech of strong, financially independent women, is just perfect. 

Fever Ray – ‘To the Moon and Back’

It’s been eight long years since we heard new music from Fever Ray, so the surprise release of ‘To the Moon and Back’ late last week was very welcome indeed. Just as we had hoped, it’s both accessible and edgy. It’s complex, weird, catchy, (kinda) profane and everything that has made this boundary pushing pop artist such a revered voice in modern music in the past. 

Sophie Lowe – ‘Trust’

‘Trust’ is such a beautiful piece of music. It’s achingly sad, but the crystalline production – those stunning pianos, chiming guitars and the way the strings and synths add such a lush texture to the undulating arrangement – gives it strength.

It’s an incredibly raw break up song, Sophie Lowe pours her heart out but does it with a measured confidence that gently, but definitively says ‘This is over, but I’m a better person than you’. Most importantly, she doesn’t rush it – the song is over five minutes long and pretty simple in its core ideas, but the length allows it to build properly and elicit precisely the amount of emotion it deserves. 

Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – ‘Continental Breakfast’

Another relatable, heart-warming back-and-forth from this most pleasing collaboration between the equally excellent Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile. This is a dedication to friendship in all its forms, but most distinctly about the relationships we share with those mates who live on the other side of the world. It’s super cute, but also kinda deep. 

A Perfect Circle – ‘The Doomed’

You’ve gotta admire Maynard James Keenan’s sense of humous. “A new release is long overdue,” he said in a statement issued alongside A Perfect Circle’s new single ‘The Doomed’, knowing full well that his fans are in all sorts of paid waiting for a new Tool album that he’s allegedly been working on for years.

‘The Doomed’ is an enormous sounding piece of art-metal, all gloomy and theatrical and wonderfully overblown. It’s almost comically huge, but has enough guts that its pretentious prog fanfare actually feels like it means something. 

Django Django – ‘Tic Tac Toe’

Django Django’s first new music in a couple of years is typically perky, with a fine balance of punchy garage flair and psychedelic flourishes. The kind of music that might not change your life, but could well brighten your day. Their third LP is out in January. 

Diger Rokwell – ‘Universe, Unite Us’

 

Another smooth electro jam from Western Australia’s favourite son Diger Rokwell. ‘Universe, Unite Us’ is perfect dancefloor fodder, a slightly of psychedelic take on progressive house that would slip perfectly into the middle of a marathon set in any club environment. 

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