There is no Neil Frances
Is or isn’t there a Neil Frances? The message is conflicting; however, the album is anything but. What an absolute gem. Sydney-born Jordan Feller and southern Californian Marc Gilfry come off the blocks hard with their debut full-length release There is no Neil Frances. Now, sure, all the major comparisons will be made: the Tame Impalas, the Caribous, the Slum Sociables – hell, I even get some real Jagwa Ma vibes, too. But there’s enough of a personal imprint on their psych-pop, disco, soul, and electro sounds to set them apart from the pack. And so far, this is my favourite release of 2022. Break out the daybed, slip on the tanning oil, and invite the neighbours ’round. This is straight-up poolside Sunday cocktail music.
Other You, Steve Gunn’s sixth studio album, dropped only in August of last year. So it’s a bit of a surprise to see new work so soon, kinda. Because the Nakama EP is in fact a reworking of five tracks from his latest release. Gunn collaborates with a swag of artists like Modu Moctar, Natural Information Society, Circuit des Yeux and Bing & Ruth to reimagine the work of Other You. And it’s gorgeous. Nakama is a little deeper, a little slower, a little more introspective with the material, and the result is a gentle EP with a wealth of heart. Just quietly, this one works real well with ambient lighting and a nice drop of vino.
Like or loathe her, there’s no denying the formidable pop presence of Grimes. And if preparing a swag of material for an upcoming double album (Book 1) wasn’t enough, Grimes doubles down in 2022 to produce a prelude EP for it. ‘Shinigami Eyes’ is the opening single to her hotly anticipated Faires Cum First EP, and it’s a banger. Grimes’ trademark acidic vocals shimmer across a club-friendly bass beat in a multitude of neon flares. The Shinigami are evil Japanese spirits that invite humans towards their deaths, and so here Grimes invites us to die for her devilish serving of wicked beats. And what a sweat death it is. This track slaps. My advice, play this one loud and many many times over.