POP trumps ART for Lady Gaga's "Applause", plus Banks, SZA and XL-graduate Laura Groves
Video of the Week: Lady Gaga – "Applause"
The ARTPOP campaign properly kicks off with a Botticelli's Venus pose, Margiela-clad strut and Lady Gaga's face transplanted onto a swan. Sure! There's a lot of Liza With A Z-style hotfooting and quickstepping (see the Flashdance-style practice room larks of "Marry The Night") in this sharp Inez and Vinoodh-directed visual cacophany, but this larky, occasionally-ridiculous video feels like the perfect salve to the slightly over-earnest lyrics of "Applause". Gaga eye-bulges and roars, smudging her Pierrot makeup and dramatically toppling over in every other shot in a video that – phew! – is the length of the bloody song. She actually looks like she's having quite a good time too, as art fades into the background for a pop explosion.
Track of the Week: SZA – "Teen Spirit" (Prod. WondaGurl)
Two new tracks by syrup-voiced New Jersey singer SZA heralded news of her signing to Top Dawg Entertainment, home of Kendrick Lamar, this week. "Julia" was a muffled dose of electro-soul, but our tip is the languorous "Teen Spirit", produced by 16-year-old Canadian WondaGurl who also recently cooked up "Crown" for Jay-Z. The H-Town lean of the beats form the unsettling heart of the track under SZA's beautifully-controlled, passionate vocal lines. Both tracks are taken from her Z EP, released this autumn.
Album Stream of the Week: King Krule – 6 Feet Beneath The Moon
The prodigious Archy Marshall previews his entire long-awaited debut record on his site. Each track is accompanied by a hijacked stream from one of London’s myriad security cameras, documenting the geographical landscape that stirred the riling emotional struggles detailed on 6 Feet Beneath The Moon. The album is a delicately formed work of rare gravitas and confirms that we have a truly great and original artist in Marshall. 6 Feet Beneath The Moon is out on August 24 on XL Records/True Panther Sounds.
Comeback of the Week: Laura Groves – "Inky Sea"
Yorkshire-born singer/songwriter Laura Groves formerly recorded under the Blue Roses moniker for XL, and will now release an EP on Bullion’s DEEK label. "Inky Sea" finds Groves’ stunning voice accompanied by a lush, multi-instrument arrangement which subtly deepens the lyrics’ yearning siren call.
Website of the Week: The Pop Manifesto – Issue 10
This cutting-edge web zine run by the multi-talented Ilirjana Alushaj of Apache Beat covers artists that Dazed loves from Richard Prince, video auteur Grant Singer, underground comic artist Ryan Sands and exciting musicians such as: Fat Trel, Petite Noir, Inc and Trust. Stylishly laid out with sharp graphics and superlative writing, we're already excited for Issue 11.
Track from last week that will be kept on repeat well into this: Banks – "Waiting Game" (Prod. SOHN)
Banks continues to send shivers up all spines with the newest in a steady stream of hypnotic, enrapturing releases. This time the LA-based singer has been paired with another new artist who can’t seem to put a beat wrong, SOHN. It’s a relationship we very much hope continues into her debut album. Read our interview with Banks here.