Good 4 U
If Rodrigo’s star-making Drivers License mournfully pored over mementos of a lost love, her new one douses the trinkets in kerosene and lets them burn. On a 00s-indebted blast of punk-pop sunshine, Rodrigo snarls, shouts and cackles as she wishes hell on her ex. It’s a pleasingly unhinged kiss-off to a turbo-shagging “sociopath” with barbs that pierce like the needles of a voodoo doll.
Phair’s bruised ballads always had a world-weariness beyond their years, but her new album, Soberish, shows a sense of ease, like when a knot in your stomach subsides. Her balmy vocals on In There wonder at a partner who has cracked the shell of a steely exterior, finding a way in “like smoke under the door”. Ambient wobbles recall the magic of William Orbit productions, making blissed-out textures feel brand new.
The Goon Sax
In the Stone
Aussie trio the Goon Sax make creating perfect indie pop look as easy as cooking Super Noodles. Think classic Morrissey without the awfulness – and with better jokes, too. Among a creeping groove and guitars that shimmer, singers Riley Jones and Louis Forster trade verses and sly putdowns as they describe a partner with the emotional intelligence of a toaster. Been there.
With no messing around, Sigrid returns with a weapons-grade banger just in time for tops-off weekends in the park. Mirror is a blast of disco-house future nostalgia that – unlike the whiff of cynicism in some other pop about self-love – is fuelled by her winsome sincerity and infectious “ah-ah-ahs”. It’s as refreshing as an ice lolly and sticks like a spilled Rekorderlig.
Erika de Casier
UK garage throwbacks are all the rage, but no one bottles the joy of Sweet Female Attitude quite like De Casier. The Portuguese-Danish pop auteur reaches heady heights on this inspired merge of 2-step, Darkchild-era R&B and futuristic bass that practically demands that you park up by a speaker stack, sling your phone in your bum bag and snog a stranger.
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