Track Of The Day: Janette King (ft. Dijah SB) – ‘Cool Me Down’

‘Cool Me Down’, the second single in as many months from Canadian singer and producer Janette King, is a shape-shifting slow jam arriving just in time for summer. With a verse from Toronto-based rapper DijahSB lending extra weight, the track manages that rare trick of packaging a lyrically considered, musically inventive song in an immediately accessible form. 

King and producer Jonny Tobin play with genre to the extent that you could make musical comparisons to everyone from Tune-Yards to A Tribe Called Quest, Syd to Four Tet. Though the track is clearly rooted in an R&B tradition, ‘Cool Me Down’ embraces a more experimental approach to the genre, an approach which artists like Solange and Abra have recently utilized while still gathering streams in the millions – something it’s not hard to imagine King achieving in the not too distant future. DijahSB’s verse provides both contrast and complement – the styles of each vocalist, while different, seem well matched; similarly smooth and polished in a manner which throws the content of their lyrics into relief.

Following this single, King will release her debut album, What We Lost, in June this year. Recorded against the backdrop of the BLM movement and addressing loss and grief, the record promises more of the insight and invention on offer here. Having already picked up support slots for a range of artists including CupcakKe and Sudan Archives, we hope we’ll have a chance to see King on tour internationally before long.

What We Lost, the debut album from Janette King, is set for release 25th June via Hot Tramp Records.

Gregory Metcalfe

Track Of The Day: Death Valley Girls – ‘Little Things’

Death Valley Girls’ new video for ‘Little Things’, a track from their recent album Under the Spell of Joy, provides a determinedly optimistic slant on life’s difficulties. The track was inspired by a friend of the LA band’s response to living with chronic pain and the lyrics emphasise allowing ourselves to take respite and pleasure where we can – a theme with particular resonance at the moment. The accompanying video recalls the work of Michel Gondry: charming, DIY, and pleasingly absurd – a dreamscape of homemade clouds and singing moons. Director Kelsey Hart has clearly succeeded in the stated aim of “reflect[ing] the unbridled hope and joy” of the track.

Musically, the track recalls some of the band’s West Coast contemporaries. The lead guitar line, a shimmering surf melody, is reminiscent of Seattle’s La Luz while the rhythm section drives the song along like a sunnier Chastity Belt. And sunny is certainly the word for a song like this; everything from the lyrics to the chord progression – even the lightly up-tempo rhythm – seem specifically designed to put a smile on the listener’s face and a spring in their step. The chorus, where the rest of the band join lead singer Bonnie Bloomgarden on vocals, is nothing short of delightful.

On this basis, the band’s cosmically inspired album, Under The Spell Of Joy, released last year on Suicide Squeeze Records, is certainly worth delving further into. 

Gregory Metcalfe

Photo Credit: David Fearn