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Music

Haim – Gasoline

After being fairly obsessed with Haim for a few years after they released their first EP, and seeing them perform at what feels like every Glastonbury I’ve ever been to, I honestly can’t remember anything about their previous album, 2017’s Something To Tell You, except that it exists and I definitely listened to it at least once. Gasoline is taken from their new LP Women In Music Part.III, which a lot of critics are losing their shit about. For me the first half kind drifts past – pleasant but unremarkable – before a much stronger second half, kicked off by Gasoline which is unequivocally brilliant.

http://haimtheband.com

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Music

Feature: 20 Best Albums of 2020 So Far

For obvious reasons, 2020 is probably not a year that humanity will look back on especially fondly. But in musical term (aka the most important terms) there has already been a remarkable wealth of incredible albums.

It’s difficult to judge one year’s musical credentials against another, as often the enjoyment of the newly discovered can outweigh the importance of records that have been with you for a while, but I genuinely think 2020 has roundly trounced recent years in terms of the amount of quality albums… and it’s only June. At least 2020 has been good for something.

So in the time-honoured tradition of judging the unjudgeable, here are The Predatory Wasp’s best 20 albums of 2020 so far.

070 Shake – Modus Vivendi

Packed full of memorable hooks, slick production and a fierce energy that radiates throughout, Modus Vivendi is an astonishingly accomplished debut from the GOOD Music affiliated 070 Shake. Released back in mid January there’s a chance this will get a little lost when it comes to end of year lists, but I hope it doesn’t, as tracks like Morrow, Microdosing and Under The Moon are some of the most creative, urgent music I’ve heard in 2020.

Listen on Spotify

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Music

Mechatok – Agency Loop

The first minute or so of Agency Loop is nothing more than a gently undulating synth line set against the backdrop of some especially tuneful birdsong, and it’s entirely blissful. To be honest, I’m less into the final movement when the drums roll in and it all becomes a bit sub Boards Of Canada, but the tranquility of the that early section is really special. It’s taken from the official soundtrack of Defective Holiday, a trippy indie video game that’s available now on Steam.

https://soundcloud.com/mechatok

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Music

Sofie – Try To Reach Me

Sofie Fatouretchi was born in California to Austrian and Iranian parents, and spent time in Vienna studying at music conservatory in her teens. Over the last 6 months or so she’s been releasing a steady stream of very good bedroom pop, so hopefully there’s an album coming before too long. Try To Reach Me is restrained yet quietly insistent, and I especially love the twangy bass guitar that rolls in halfway through. Sofie was also one of the original Boiler Room US crew and has put together a number of excellent mixes over the years, including this one for XLR8R which is worth checking out.

EDIT: Just found out that the album is due this week – so really not long to wait at all.

https://www.instagram.com/sofieroyer/

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Music

TENGGER – Eurasia

Soothing ambient electronics from the New-Age drone duo TENGGER for you today, and I have to say this is the most relaxed I’ve felt listening to music for quite some time. TENGGER translates to ‘unlimited expanse of sky’ in Mongolian, which is incredibly appropriate for the sweeping harmonies and spacious atmospheres conjured by not only this record, but much of their catalogue. Eurasia is from their new album Nomad, which is out now on the brilliantly named Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records.

https://tengger.bandcamp.com/

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Music

Allsides – I’m in Love With the European Union (feat. Jakub Dudek)

Allsides is a joint project of Polish artists Z ^ L ^ X, Gap The Boy and Jakub Dudek, who also appears as a featured artist. I’m In Love… is wonderfully glitchy electronica with some lovely melodies floating behind the crushed drums and percussion, and a bleepy lead synth that holds everything together. It’s the lead track from their new LP Toy Division, which is varied, at times challenging, and definitely worth a listen.

https://whattodo.bandcamp.com/music

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Music

whattodo – Weekly feat. NEY LIQA

I’ve spent about half an hour looking for any background information at all about whattodo, but as a search time it’s a tough one, and I keep getting reccomendations for “what to do in London on a shoestring budget”, etc. Their Bandcamp page simply states “producer, songwriter, dogwalker”, and at the time of writing Weekly has two views on YouTube, so it doesn’t look like self-promotion is high on the agenda here, which is a shame as it’s a beautiful, subdued, melancholic record that more people should hear.

https://whattodo.bandcamp.com/music

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Music

Photay – Existential Celebration

Existential Celebration is taken from Waking Hours, the third album from New York musician Evan Shornstein aka Photay: an alias he established after a formative trip to Guinea in West Africa on which he discovered and embraced the distinctive and expressive styles of percussion that has characterised much of his musical output. This album opener is actually fairly sparing in its delivery of percussive elements, focussing instead on an epic intertwining of strings and synth lines.

https://photay.bandcamp.com

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Music

Kaleida – Other Side

I’m a big fan of Kaleida’s 2017 debut album Tear The Roots, especially Echo Saw You and their cover of 99 Luftballoons, which is completely inspired. Other Side is the first single from their forthcoming album Odyssey and seems to pick up where the previous LP left off: breathy vocals, ethereal atmospheres and hushed tones over a gently pulsing mid-tempo beat. Like much of their music it’s quietly beguiling, and a welcome glimpse into what I hope will be another excellent album.

https://kaleidamusic.com

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Music

Rae Khalil – benny!

benny! is one of the breeziest songs I’ve heard all year: bouncy, chunky drums, hazy background melodies and Khalil flowing effortlessly over everything. In and out in under two and a half minutes leaving a dopey smile plastered all over my big stupid face. More of this please.

https://www.instagram.com/raekhalil