Listening Post #17

by Jed Fletcher

Image: Charlotte Day Wilson

1. Anteros – Breakfast

London band, Anteros – named after the Greek avenger of unrequited love – are turning heads with their new track Breakfast, a laid-back, fun-loving new piece of indie pop. Breakfast is one of those songs whose unashamedly formulaic pop structure doesn’t evoke the normal winces of “oh god, give me a break” but instead has the listener contently shaking their head to its unrelenting catchiness.

Breakfast is everything pop should be these days. It’s not grappling with life’s hardest challenges and emotions, it’s about when someone’s waited until the end of the day to bring up the heavy issues and you just can’t be bothered to have the conversation. This light-hearted, refreshingly original subject matter is paired with a marvellously paced instrumental which both compliments that not-so-serious feel of the song and compounds the track’s sonic glory.

2. Charlotte Day Wilson – Work

Work, the new release from Toronto’s Charlotte Day Wilson, is sublime. The minimalistic instrumental utilises just a teetering drumline, the gentle pluck of an electric guitar and some faint interludes of a saxophone for good measure, putting the emphasis on the crisp singing of the artist. Wilson’s vocal performance is incredible throughout the track, even in her backing vocals, exquisitely channelling hope and strength in tandem with uncertainty – a very real combination of emotions which are seldom executed with such aplomb. If you’re a fan of Rhye or just the feeling of tranquillity, then I’d strongly urge you to put Charlotte Day Wilson to your ears this week.

3. Bossy Love – Want Some

A cool clicking sets the pace, the staccato of dark synths prepares you for what’s to come, and finally the self-assured vocals of Bossy Love are injected into the mix, producing Want Some. “Ain’t nobody better than me” is always an attention-grabber as far as lyrics go, and Amandah Wilkinson, the band’s singer’s high pitched sound only spikes these words with even more attitude. The Glaswegian duo have, with Want Some, also struck one of the most confrontational tones that I’ve heard in music for a while – the track’s about someone dumping Wilkinson and her response being along the lines of: No, you can’t because I’m the best and that’s ridiculous.

4. Barney Artist – Stay Close (prod. Tom Misch)

With the grime revival of the last few years still going strong, it’s easy to neglect the other rap music coming out of our little island at the moment. It’s hard to place Barney Artist’s Stay Close as it’s somewhere between grime’s electronic production and hip-hop’s vocal inclination. Whatever it is, the East Londoner’s latest oeuvre is super chilled and rhythmically awesome. Combining an R&B refrain with Barney Artist’s up-tempo yet crystal clear rapping, the song has come out incredibly accessible – so even if you’re not a particularly active fan of rap music, you’ll still be able to enjoy the smoothie lyrics of one of the UK rap scene’s more intriguing inhabitants.

5. Prince – Creep [Cover]

Did you really think he wouldn’t get a mention? We lost another musical great this week, what is it about 2016? But life goes on, and all we can do is celebrate the profound art that Mr Nelson bestowed upon us. So, in selecting a song to include in this, my last entry, I decided to go full-Exeter and opt for Prince’s exceptional cover of Thom Yorke’s Lemmy creation, Creep. Watching the king of purple’s delicate rendition of the instrumental on guitar while infusing Yorke’s amazing lyrics with his own unique voice, it’s hard not to be blown away by the purity of Prince’s cool.

I’ve loved writing this column, but as with all good things, my time has come to an end. Thanks for reading!

“Life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last”

Listen to the PearShaped Playlist for Listening Post #17 below.