Singles Club: In the case of Kanye vs. the people, everyone is a loser

FACT Singles Club features a panel of writers rating and slating the biggest new tracks of the last seven days.

It’s been nearly five years since Kanye West released ‘Black Skinhead’ and in this week’s Singles Club, our panel of music writers are stuck reviewing a song in which Yeezy defends his love of Donald Trump. Nothing makes sense! But at least there’s Eartheater’s fire-breathing new single, the motion-picture-perfect pairing of Mitski and Xiu Xiu and way more to quell our confused hearts this week. Get into it.


Oneohtrix Point Never – ‘Black Snow’ Feat. ANOHNI

Cameron Cook: Leave it to OPN to turn ANOHNI into an Auto-tuned mumble rapper? I kind of wish this were giving me a little bit more of a global-warming-waters-rising-into-the-club Hopelessness vibe, but anything Daniel Lopatin touches turns to gold, so I remain stoked for the full album. (7)

Jesse Bernard: I really love how haunting the distorted vocals from ANOHNI sound over the clicking and deep synths in the background. The second half sounds like a remix of a song that should be on the Stranger Things OST. (8)

Caroline Whiteley: From the absolute fever dream of a music video, to the distorted voice to the drippy, creeping crescendo towards the end and the last notes on the flute, this is like a cloud rap track that’s become possessed by a demon. A work of art from start to finish. (9.5)

Michelle Lhooq: The first two minutes nearly put me to sleep — you lost me at the whimsical flutes — but luckily, the second act redeems itself, as song cracks open into uncanny Daxophone wheezes and Lopatin’s trademark insectoid noises. Still, who puts ANOHNI on a track and relegates her to backup vocals? (6)

7.6


Eartheater – ‘C.L.I.T.’

 

Michelle Lhooq: “Yeah, I rejected that culture,” snarls Alexandra Drewchin, stretching out her vowels so we can stew in her vinegar. Although it creeps along as if mired in toxic industrial sludge, the song never lets you out of its anxious, white-knuckled grip. The terrifyingly brilliant Drewchin might have rejected the culture, but the culture clearly needs her. (9)

Caroline Whiteley: On an intellectual level I can appreciate the raw and aggressive sound design, but at the risk of sounding very un-chic (this is on PAN, after all), this track is not for me. (4)

Cameron Cook: I really appreciate all the ideas (like, all 60 of them) that are going on here, but it’s not quite grabbing me for some reason. Not bad, and well-produced, but where would I listen to this? A bathtub full of crickets? A Zumba class that’s also on fire? (5.5)

Jesse Bernard: Eartheater’s classical vocals distorted over the choppy drum pattern feels like it opens the senses up without ever feeling too cluttered. I’m interested in what the rest of her forthcoming album’s going to sound like. (7)

6.3


The Internet – ‘Roll (Burbank Funk)’

Jesse Bernard: This very much feels like a continuation of that early-’80s electronic funk sound that The Internet has long been inspired by, but it’s more pronounced on this track which is a great thing. It’s been a long time since we’ve been blessed with material from the band so you can really hear their growth. (8)

Caroline Whiteley: They’re back and not a second too late! This is just the kind of summer BBQ soundtrack we needed. (7.5)

Michelle Lhooq: A perfectly groovy ’70s disco-funk roller that will likely soundtrack plenty of barbecues and blunts this summer. Goes down smooth, but I can’t help feeling like we’ve heard this all before. (6.5)

Cameron Cook: Can we talk about how Syd is actually the most promising artist that came out of Odd Future (OK, I guess next to Frank, but still)? I feel like she’s been just chilling in her own corner releasing banger after banger for years, without necessarily getting the same props as her peers. In any case, this song’s bassline just bought me a drink in this low-lit cocktail bar and I’m about to go home with it. (7.5)

7.4


Mitski and Xiu Xiu – ‘Between the Breaths’

Cameron Cook: Every time I see promo for this How to Talk to Girls at Parties movie I care less and less, but if it’s in any way as good as Mitski and Xiu Xiu writing space-prog-electro-indie-pop together, I’m all in. In my book, if you can hold my attention for more than three minutes you’re doing something right, and I could actually stand this being even a little longer. (8.5)

Jesse Bernard: Whoever scouted Mitski and Xiu Xiu for the How To Talk To Girls At Parties soundtrack was onto something. The collaboration between Mitski and Xiu Xiu sounds almost effortless and her atmospheric vocals led by the synths is a dream. (7)

Caroline Whiteley: I absolutely adore Mitski and I understand what an important collaboration this is on paper but I needed a few listens for it to really click with me. (7)

Michelle Lhooq: They might seem like strange bedfellows — or a genius marketing ploy that landed them on an upcoming rom-com soundtrack — but Mitski’s exquisitely ethereal voice proves to be the perfect foil for Jamie Stewart’s melancholic, post-punk guitar riffs. (7)

7.4


Diplo – ‘Wish’ Feat. Trippie Redd

Caroline Whiteley: I was almost certain I’d despise this because I haven’t enjoyed a track by Diplo since ‘Where Are Ü Now?’, his and Skrillex’s epic 2015 collaboration with Justin Bieber. However, something about the punky, apathetic, screamo voice of Trippie Redd saves this one for me. I’m genuinely impressed Diplo has managed to produce a track without relying on cultural appropriation, lol. (6)

Jesse Bernard: Two artists whose names don’t excite or inspire me in any way managed to create a song that I actually can vibe to. It has the millennial angsty-tone that we’ve come to know Trippie Redd for and, combined with Diplo’s piano-led production, it definitely surprised me. (6)

Cameron Cook: Confession, I was all ready to hate on this because if I never see Diplo’s divorced dad mustache ever again, it will be too soon. But this current trending cross-section of emo and trap/mumble rap is really taking me back to my high school moods and I can’t knock it. Trippie Redd sounds like Taking Back Sunday on lean, and I can’t in good conscience disapprove. (8)

Michelle Lhooq: The lyrics are silly (“Might just blow my brain, I’d be Kurt Cobain”) and Diplo usually triggers my gag reflex, and yet… this kind of bangs? I hate myself for not hating it. (5.5)

6.4


Kanye West – ‘Ye vs. The People’ Feat. T.I.

Jesse Bernard: The whole song is Kanye trying to justify a very weak argument, one that he’s been trying to convince the world of for the past week. T.I. happens to be the most interesting thing about this song but Kanye’s lyrics are just so off-putting to make the song worth listening to repeatedly. (6)

Caroline Whiteley: I’ve ran out of fucks to give about Kanye. If I must offer up my humble opinion: the poopity scoop scoop track bangs more. (2)

Michelle Lhooq: Ye just saved himself from the brink of being totally canceled with this brilliant move. How many new Trump supporters do you think he’s converted with this song? (9)

Cameron Cook: No, Kayne West is canceled. (0)

4.3


Final scores:
Oneohtrix Point Never – ‘Black Snow’ Feat. ANOHNI (7.6)

Mitski and Xiu Xiu – ‘Between the Breaths’ (7.4)
The Internet – ‘Roll (Burbank Funk)’ (7.4)
Diplo – ‘Wish’ Feat. Trippie Redd (6.4)
Eartheater – ‘C.L.I.T.’ (6.3)
Kanye West – ‘Ye vs. The People’ (4.3)

Cameron Cook is an American culture journalist currently residing in Berlin, Germany. He would go to the ends of the Earth for Kate Bush. (@iamacameron)

Caroline Whiteley is freelance writer based in Berlin. (@carowhiteley)

Jesse Bernard is freelance music and culture journalist based in Brooklyn and London, still hotsteppin’ in a Nike Air sneaker. (@MarvinsCorridor)

Michelle Lhooq is an LA-based journalist writing about music and weed. (@MichelleLhooq)