It’s impossible trying to keep up with new music when you are spending all your time desperately trying to avoid finding out whatever the fuck Love Island is. Thank God for singles club!

Jay Z – 4.44

No video for this one yet.

Jigga’s last album Magna Carter Holy Grail wasn’t totally shit but it was mostly forgettable. A sad slip from relevance for one of hip hops biggest stars. New album 4.44 has a lot riding on it then. Jay Z’s latest is only available to download through his own streaming site Tidal, subscribed to by literally nobody. Alternatively you can just torrent it for free. Upon first listen this album is… better. The title track sees Jay apologising for past transgressions without the madcap irreverence that makes Eminem’s music so vital but with a confidence Jay Z has been lacking in recent years..The pleasingly old school beat sounds like Jay Z being Jay Z  instead of trying to sound like Kanye an innovator. He appears to be sonically comfortable for the first time in a while. Maybe he ain’t finished after all.

The National – Guilty Party

The first 20 seconds of The Nationals new track ‘Guilty Party’ sounds eerily like Kid A era Radiohead but as soon as Matt Berninger unmistakable vocal kicks in it couldn’t possibly be anyone else. That being said ‘Guilty Party’ is not my kind of track. It drifts along nicely enough and the lyrics are suitably world weary but it never really goes anywhere. I trust The National though and the other new song released from upcoming album American Mary, ‘The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness’, is excellent.

Arcade Fire – Signs of Life

Not content with releasing two underwhelming new songs recently, Arcade Fire have gone all out on the turd-a-rama that is ‘Signs of Life’. The Canadian bands latest sounds like Talking Heads at their most listless. The dull, monotonous beat frames a series of forgettable lyrics suffocated by instrumentation that sounds like one of the demo tracks from a casio keyboard. Arcade Fire have gone from being one of the worlds most exciting bands to a bloated, pretentious mess. Fuck this band. I’m done with them.

Elsewhere…

Ok I’ll admit it, I totally forgot Starsailor were a thing until I randomly received tickets to see them last Christmas. While I genuinely enjoyed that gig, I wouldn’t say I was clamouring to hear the Wigan’s band new stuff. ‘Listen to Your Heart’ is surprisingly good though and sees singer James Walsh pushing his voice to create a more insistent sound than the one usually employed by the band. The lyrics are terrible obviously. Meaningless platitudes about your heart leading you through and other such nonsense but words have never been the bands strong point. They do soaring choruses and thrilling crescendo’s and ‘Listen to Your Heart has both. A minor triumph.

St. Vincent is an artist I have never really managed to enjoy despite, or maybe because of, the army of people that regularly tell me I should love her. ‘New York’ is not the song that is going to change my mind  but it is catchy and endearing and I’m always a fan of someone liberally dropping ‘motherfuckers’ all over their tracks.