Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 20 May 2019

From Al Jassmi to Interpol, here are the new releases to listen to this week

The latest batch of tunes includes the return of an Emirati pop-star, flamboyant pop and a soulful new song about a fading relationship

Emirati singer Hussain Al Jassmi performs during the opening ceremony for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, held in Abu Dhabi. AFP
Emirati singer Hussain Al Jassmi performs during the opening ceremony for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, held in Abu Dhabi. AFP

A fine new ballad by the UAE’s Hussain Al Jassmi, a lush dance number by The ­Chemical Brothers and new cosmic pop from Empire of the Sun are out this week.

‘Ma Naseitak’ by Hussain Al Jassmi

The Emirati singer has always tried to mix it up during his ­career by taking on ­different pop styles, ranging from Khaleeji and Moroccan to Egyptian. While they resulted in big hits, Al Jassmi’s most underrated material lies in his smooth ballads, and Ma ­Naseitak (I Haven’t Forgotten You) is a fine addition to that list.

What is surprising here is how western it all sounds. There is the delicate piano, swelling strings and ­Spanish guitars. These are all the ­ingredients for an Enrique Iglesias ballad, but Al Jassmi makes it all his own with his signature soaring vocals.

‘Got to Keep On’ by The Chemical Brothers

This is another cut from the Brothers’ upcoming album. This time around, the ­veteran dance duo switch gears and move away from their ­usual euphoric arena club sounds to something more stylish and nuanced.

Got to Keep On wants you to exchange your raver gear for a pair of disco shoes. The basslines are groovy, the synths are smooth and there are some ­exotic chiming bells and vocal loops chanting the song’s title. This would go down a treat at a sunset Abu Dhabi beach festival.

‘Chrysalis’ by Empire of the Sun

It’s been a decade since the Australian cosmic dance duo came into our lives with their debut album Walking on a Dream. The album still remains a brilliant piece of dance music that shows the genre is more than inane festival bangers.

To celebrate the re-release of the album, ­Empire of the Sun tagged on a new track entitled ­Chrysalis. From its hazy synths to its steady groove, the track fits perfectly within the old tunes. Best of all is Luke Steele’s vocals, which are a pitch-­perfect homage to David Bowie, who died in 2016, as he croons the positive message: “It’s gonna be all right if we stick together for all time.”

‘Strange Roses’ by Ady Suleiman

After a stellar 2018, when he released his debut album Memories, the British-­Tanzanian singer-songwriter returns for this new stand-alone cut.

Strange Roses continues Suleiman’s brand of deeply introspective songs as it examines a ­relationship slowly ebbing away. He drops the acoustic flavours of ­Memories for a lovely minimal, yet jazzy sound that has the piano shuffling along while the horns sigh beautifully in the chorus. Suleiman’s voice is Otis Redding-esque in its search for love and respect. This is good soul music.

‘Fine Mess’ by Interpol

The new release comes only a few months after the New York City post-punk group put out their latest album, ­Marauders. The new tune is no radical departure from Interpol’s brand of haunting rock songs.

The guitar riffs are as spidery as ever, while the bass lines saunter around looking for trouble. Paul Banks’s voice continues that trick of sounding vacant and plaintive at the same time as he croons about his “welts all undressed, no longer seem to weep”.

Updated: February 7, 2019 11:21 AM