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Each week on the FACT Singles Club, a selection of our writers work their way through the new music of the week gone by.

With the way individual tracks are now consumed, the idea of what constitutes a single has shifted dramatically in the last half a decade, and its for this reason that the songs reviewed across the next pages are a combination of 12″ vinyl releases, mixtape cuts, Soundcloud uploads and more. Up this week: Junglepussy, Deerhunter, Faze Miyake and more.

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Junglepussy – ‘Now Or Later’

Son Raw: Junglepussy is approaching Queen of New York status. The Cam influence is still as visible as say, Ghost’s was to Bronson, but in a year where being a fan of NY rap is about as encouraging as being a fan of the NY Knicks, you’d a be a fool not to be checking for an emcee as talented, rude and hilarious as she is. (8)

April Clare Welsh: Firstly, I’ll never look at kale in the same way and secondly, I’ll think I’ll have kale for dinner tonight. Fuck Deliciously Ella and her beige GAP wardrobe – if eating healthily and “fucking loving yourself” makes you as fierce as Junglepussy then I don’t mind spending my hard-earned cash in Whole Foods. But on top of JP’s appeal as a (self-proclaimed) “life artist”, she spits pretty hard lines too; “Silly ho / must be eating GMOs”, essentially makes this the song The Green Party should have used back in May, but would have been too afraid to ask. (9)

Tayyab Amin: Junglepussy pulls it off, c’mon, those flows, that hook – it’s a strong track. I always get a little wary when rhymes are packed too densely, as if the rapper’s trying to mask not actually saying anything with saying everything they can at once – I find them suspect outside of freestyles. But it’s effective if they can make it work, and Junglepussy does. The beat is tight, with its eerie melodies during the chorus and those pixelated keys throughout. Tight enough that I’d usually wanna hear everyone and their nan flow over it, but I’m fully content with Junglepussy’s get-with-the-winning-team attitude. (8)

Claire Lobenfeld: Howl all you want about how New York rap is trash now, but Junglepussy is putting on for the city in ways Troy Ave can only dream to and Nicki Minaj cannot because she’s just too damn global. If there’s anyone continuing Big L’s legacy of menacing spun-yarns, it’s her. And while she is less of a terror than L was — I mean, ‘All Black’ is still the foulest, but brimming with unimaginable wordplay — she still knows how to tell a story with so much swagger you don’t even realize she’s just spent three verses detailing her booty calls. God bless. (8)

8.3

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W.W.A. – ‘Straight Outta Chicago’

April Clare Welsh: It’s great to see some fierce femme-powered action coming off the back of Straight Outta Compton. (7)

Son Raw: Straight outta ideas. These are all dope emcees but that group name is down there with Lez Zeppelin in terms of tacky knock-offs, and I can’t imagine a single situation where I’d want to hear this remake over the original. Plus if you’re gonna call yourself the world’s new dangerous group, you probably shouldn’t start by biting a bunch of 50 year old millionaires. (4)

Claire Lobenfeld: I am sure they all got a lot of shit for doing this while the Internet has become rudderless with Straight Outta Compton ephemera, but, as we continue to learn, it’s the women contributors who are making it all worth it, whether it’s the legendary Dee Barnes’ review of the film or Katie, et al.’s tribute to the musical history that necessitated it. This is fun, the perfect update to the N.W.A. original and made even more rad because it celebrates how precisely communal Chicago seems. Can we get a remix with Shady, tho? (8)

Tayyab Amin: I can’t get past the novelty of ‘Straight Outta…’ on this one. It’s cool this happened. It’s cool this came out, it’s cool that the East/West Coast hip-hop dichotomy is long gone, it’s cool that more people are seeing black women run shit. But I feel like the tie-in with N.W.A.’s current (in)famy distracts from their talents rather than amplifies them. And they do throw down on this, make no mistake, but this just makes me look forward to the EP more and not for all the right reasons. (6)

6.3

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Deerhunter – ‘Snakeskin’

April Clare Welsh: Apparently the new Deerhunter album sounds like INXS, but I like to think this is more XTC. I have so much time for Bradford Cox – apparently he calls his mum every night he’s on tour – so I’m really glad he’s back on the mend and raring to go. This comeback track has definitely got the loose, jangly feel of Atlas Sound and minus that wink-wink nudge-nudge southern rock vibe, and although I had initial trouble getting down to this sunnier, funkier side of Deerhunter, by the third listen I was pretty hooked. (8)

Tayyab Amin: It’s catchy, it has those jangly funk inflections going on, and Cox’s drawls are mesmerising. I’m not here for that extended outro though, all those incidental sounds sweeping over have no bite in comparison to the rest of the track. A little too tempered for my tastes, I guess. On the whole I’m pretty into it, I like how mature and beguiling it is. Damn, I really gotta get into this songwriting business, I’m so down to drop a single on this RPG villain origin story tip! (7)

Son Raw: I always slotted Deerhunter in as one of those bands that kids who majored in sculpting pretended to like so they could look smarter, but this is actually pretty funky. The rolling drums vaguely recall Beck’s better days and all the sharp edges are rounded off; I wouldn’t mind hearing it in a pub. (6)

7

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Faze Miyake – ‘Ice Cold’ (ft. Inga Copeland)

Claire Lobenfeld: More often than not, some of the Singles Club selection is so much better suited for dark warehouse rooms and mid-set selections than as a standalone track. ‘Ice Cold’ is something I’d rather hear for two minutes sandwiched in between some harder stuff. Inga Copeland sounds great, though, and if anything this is just making my Eastern Bloc ass ready for the summer to dissipate into bubblegoose weather. Otherwise, not that interesting on its own. (5.5)

April Claire Welsh: It sounds a bit like something Super Hans would cook up; “the longer the note, the greater the sense of dread,” or whatever it is he says. In fact, it sounds like The Executioner’s Bong covering ‘Tubular Bells’. I’m disappointed Inga Copeland is involved because this track is a very boring journey to the very back of a very boring freezer. (5)

Son Raw: A brilliant left turn from Faze: ‘Take Off’ was about as massive as grime riddims got pre-‘German Whip’ and this completely inverts the formula. There’s still a distinct Atlanta influence here but now it’s abstracted through a dub aesthetic 10,000 leagues deep and the track manages to sound mature without the tedium that term implies. Plus Inga Copeland is the perfect foil here, and once again proves that she’s at her best when she can build her delivery around a strong hook. (8)

Tayyab Amin: Harpsichord-like synths going over an especially reverb-heavy UK spiritual successor to ‘Lollipop’, whilst Copeland’s sounding her most R&B. It’s as if they scoped out my Last.fm and made a song just for me! (9)

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Moiré – ‘STFN’

Son Raw: I don’t think anyone should be expected to actually ever pay attention to something that fades so easily into the background. When they write the history books, let it be known that my generation’s greatest mistakes were lumberjack beards, man buns, and puddle-deep house. (2)

Claire Lobenfeld: Another one I want to hear out more than I do on headphones at my desk. There are flourishes imbued through the track that keep it interesting, but not enough to inspire me to spin it back. (5)

Tayyab Amin: This retains the hypnotism I found coursing through Shelter, now mixed with mind-addling moments of disorientation. It sounds like staring at the sun too long and blinking. I love that audible boomerang that doppler shifts in and out of frame, and then there are those squashed bass pulses weighing the whole thing down. I want to marvel at this happening upon unsuspecting clubgoers and see their limbs lose synchronicity, and I wanna join in. (8)

April Clare Welsh: This is that minimal house track you hear at warehouse parties when you’re edging towards a full-blown, anxiety-ridden psychological-physiological meltdown. It’s got a definitive London feel to it – possibly in the way it sounds slow and disconnected like its heart has been ripped out but its batteries are still going – and it sets my teeth on edge; but I still love it. Come to think of it, I’d say it pretty much sums up my relationship to this godforsaken city. (5)

5

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Deafheaven – ‘Brought to the Water’

Son Raw: I could do without the screamy metal bits but the uplifting post-rock sections in between are fairly interesting examples of extreme guitar music. As long as I don’t have to deal with any ponytailed dudes talking my ear off about how this is “real” music, we’re cool. (5)

Tayyab Amin: Sunbather was one of those albums I liked, didn’t go back to for several months and returned to find it wasn’t quite how I’d remembered it. And then I stopped, because the cornier aspects tainted the things I liked about the record. This new single feels like four different songs in one. The church bells ringing the track in are indulgently cringe, the rolls and riffs in the first chapter sound standard-fare, and then there’s a lead guitar that waltzes in horribly and unapologetically. It sounds like a slower Stereophonics. What are Stereophonics doing in this bowl of Deafheaven? Sure, the post-rockish stage that follows is nice, but it can’t be redeemed by the fade out into delicate piano. The only thing clear to me is how puzzling this saga is. (5)

Claire Lobenfeld: This is my 11th grade boyfriend’s wet dream. A song that employs every element of metal that inspired second wave emo — I’m talking Mineral and ’em; not Revolution Summer babes like Moss Icon — laced with grindcore vocals. There are too many people out here talking about how innovative George Clark is as a vocalist and while his stage presence is almost unmatchable, this is not anything that didn’t already exist. And you know what I’ve always found most detestable about vox like this? They’re always buried underneath the rest of the music. All that said, I think the riff that comes in at the three and a half minute mark and drives the rest of the cut to the finish line is really powerful and lovely, but I think I’d like Deafheaven a lot better if it wasn’t cluttered with this Pg. 99 pantomime. (6)

April Clare Welsh: This is a fucking rock symphony of the highest order and it will feed all your wildest hopes, dreams and ponytail-led nightmares. OK, so it’s got the ‘portentous’ church bells and vein-busting death-rattle dragging you to hell and back, but I like how the band aren’t afraid to step outside the black metal circle and employ shimmering Explosions in the Sky style post-rock guitars as well as a classical piano finish. It is pretty cheesy but Deafheaven deserve (8) for the effort that must have gone into putting this together.

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Final scores:

Junglepussy – ‘Now Or Later’ (8.3)
Faze Miyake – ‘Ice Cold’ (ft. Inga Copeland) (7)
Deerhunter – ‘Snakeskin’ (7)
W.W.A. – ‘Straight Outta Chicago’ (6.3)
Deafheaven – ‘Brought to the Water’ (6)
Moiré – ‘STFN’ (5)

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