Lone - "Vapour Trail" (Singles Going Steady)

"Vapour Trail" is a great song and clearly displays a more refined side to house music as a genre.

Pryor Stroud: In "Vapour Trail", Lone dexterously melds a muscular hip-hop beat with a fidgety, chrome-coated electronic melody, forging a unique sound that seems, at once, anchored in cracked concrete and suspended in the clouds. As the track progresses, the reduplicated, half-legible vocal sample begins to assume a hypnotic quality -- that is, it begins to pull you deeper into the track without announcing its intentions. This opens up a set of questions: where is Lone taking us? Where does this vapour trail lead? [7/10]

Emmanuel Elone: "Vapour Trail" is a smooth house track from start to finish. The vocal sample is nice, as well as the tasteful synths that aren't overblown or excessive in any way. Quite possibly the best aspect about this song, though, are the crisp drum breaks that open and close the track out. While smooth, it would have been nice had Lone chose to switch the pace up, especially since the same laid-back groove becomes dull after four and a half minutes. Still, "Vapour Trail" is a great song and clearly displays a more refined side to house music as a genre. [7/10]

John Bergstrom: Not a cover of Ride's 1991 shoegaze classic, but rather an update of 808 State's landmark ocean breeze of a dance track from a couple years earlier, "Pacific State". That means groovy beats, chilled synth pads, and sunbeams coming from your speakers. Nicely done. [7/10]

Jordan Blum: This is another example of a track that works as background distraction but is too grating and repetitious to really enjoy at the forefront of your attention. I appreciate all of the subtle variations and timbres, but the overarching structure isn't very likeable. It feels like techno video game music or what you'd hear if you hit the "demo' button on a keyboard. I'm just not the right person for it, I guess. To each his [or her] own. [6/10]

Chris Ingalls: Lone's breezy new dance single is lush and crystal clear. Sonically, it sounds fresh and contemporary -- thanks to some lovely synth breaks -- but somehow evokes the '90s with a particularly nostalgic-sounding beat. Vocal samples wrap the whole thing up to create a fun, harmless party anthem. [7/10]

Chad Miller: The synth chords were pretty cool. I feel they could've been brought out more. The main instrumental melody was nice as well, and the production did a lot to aid it. Overall, everything was pretty enjoyable here, but it seemed like it was missing a little something as well, leaving it a little forgettable. [6/10]

SCORE: 6.66




By the Book

Jack Halberstam's 'Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire' (excerpt)

Enjoy this excerpt of Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire, wherein Jack Halberstam offers an alternative history of sexuality by tracing the ways in which wildness has been associated with queerness and queer bodies throughout the 20th century.

Jack Halberstam

Sotto Voce's 'Your Husband, the Governor' Is Beautifully Twisted DIY Indie Folk-rock

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Gabos releases another odd, gorgeous home studio recording under the moniker Sotto Voce.


Numün's 'voyage au soleil' Is a Trippy, Ambient Ride and Ambitious Debut

Eclectic instrumental trio numün combine a wealth of influences to create a vibe that's both spacey and earthy on voyage au soleil.


L7's 'Smell the Magic' Is 30 and Packs a Feminist Punch

Abortion is under threat again, and there's a sex offender in the Oval Office. A fitting time, in short, to crank up the righteously angry vocals of feminist hard rock heavy hitters like L7.


Can Queer Studies Rescue American Universities?

Matt Brim's Poor Queer Studies underscores the impact of poorer disciplines and institutions, which often do more to translate and apply transformative intellectual ideas in the world than do their ivory-tower counterparts.


Jim White Offers a "Smart Ass Reply" (premiere)

Jesus and Alice Cooper are tighter than you think, but a young Jim White was taught to treat them as polar opposites. Then an eight-track saved his soul and maybe his life.


Ed Harcourt Paints From 'Monochrome to Colour'

British musician Ed Harcourt's instrumental music is full of turbulent swells and swirls that somehow maintain a dignified beauty on Monochrome to Colour.


West London's WheelUP Merges Broken Beat and Hip-Hop on "Stay For Long" (premiere)

West London producer WheelUP reached across the pond to Brint Story to bring some rapid-fire American hip-hop to his broken beat revival on "Stay For Long".


PM Picks Playlist 4: Stellie, The Brooks, Maude La​tour

Today's playlist features the premiere of Stellie's "Colours", some top-class funk from the Brooks, Berne's eco-conscious electropop, clever indie-pop from Maude Latour, Jaguar Jonze rocking the mic, and Meresha's "alien pop".


Plattetopia: The Prefabrication of Utopia in East Berlin

With the fall of the Berlin Wall came the licence to take a wrecking ball to its nightmare of repression. But there began the unwritten violence of Die Wende, the peaceful revolution that hides the Oedipal violence of one order killing another.


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


Electrosoul's Flõstate Find "Home Ground" on Stunning Song (premiere)

Flõstate are an electrosoul duo comprised of producer MKSTN and singer-songwriter Avery Florence that create a mesmerizing downtempo number with "Home Ground".


Orchestra Baobab Celebrate 50 Years with Vinyl of '​Specialist in All Styles'

As Orchestra Baobab turn 50, their comeback album Specialist in All Styles gets a vinyl reissue.


Hot Chip Stay Up for 'Late Night Tales'

Hot Chip's contribution to the perennial compilation project Late Night Tales is a mixed bag, but its high points are consistent with the band's excellence.


The Budos Band Call for Action on "The Wrangler" (premiere)

The Budos Band call on their fans for action with the powerful new track "The Wrangler" that falls somewhere between '60s spy thriller soundtrack and '70s Ethiojazz.


Creature Comfort's "Woke Up Drunk" Ruminates on Our Second-Guesses (premiere)

A deep reflection on breaking up, Nashville indie rock/Americana outfit Creature Comfort's "Woke Up Drunk" is the most personal track from their new album, Home Team.


For Don DeLillo, 'The Silence' Is Deafening

In Don DeLillo's latest novel, The Silence, it is much like our post-pandemic life -- everything changed but nothing happened. Are we listening?


Brett Newski Plays Slacker Prankster on "What Are You Smoking?" (premiere)

Is social distancing something we've been doing, unwittingly, all along? Brett Newski pulls some pranks, raises some questions in "What Are You Smoking?".

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.