The Playlist: Florence + The Machine, Jon Hopkins, Passion Pit, Jack White
florence and the machine

Florence + The Machine make a long-awaited return in this week’s round-up of the hottest new tracks, while Jon Hopkins reinterprets Yeasayer, Passion Pit do their best Passion Pit impression, and Win Butler offers a spot of mashup-based diplomacy in the Beck / Kanye dipsute.

Florence + The Machine – ‘What Kind Of Man’

Warning: NSFW video

It would be fair to say that Florence + The Machine’s third album, which has just been announced as How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, is one of the year’s most hotly anticipated records. This week we got the first new music from Florence Welch in a long time, in the shape of ‘What Kind of Man’, a brassy, sassy hit-in-waiting that marks a pretty major departure from her more ethereal folk-driven sound of old. Produced by Markus Dravs (the man behind Bjork’s Homogenic and three Arcade Fire albums), it’s a bold statement of intent from the singer-songwriter, who also tries her hand at acting in the extended video’s Hollywood-style intro.

‘What Kind of Man’ is available now, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is out on June 1

Jon Hopkins – ‘I Remember’ (Yeasayer cover)

Jon Hopkins made one of the finest albums of 2013 with Immunity, and now the British producer returns with a cover of New York experimental indie-pop outfit Yeasayer. He recorded this quietly beautiful piano interpretation of the track from the band’s 2010 album Odd Blood for his contribution to the Late Night Tales mixtape series, which is out in March. The track also bears the hallmarks of Hopkins’ ability to use studio techniques to endow simple instrumental sounds with a fragile, faded texture.

Late Night Tales by Jon Hopkins is released on March 2.

Passion Pit – ‘Lifted Up (1985)’

Passion Pit were the taste of the blogosphere back in 2008, when it seemed you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing Michael Angelakos’ signature falsetto. While some of the hype has subsided, the Cambridge, Massachusetts electo-popsters have announced their return with new album Kindred. New single ‘Lifted Up (1985)’ is exactly the kind of high-spritied, bubblegum pop you’d expect (especially with Katy Perry producer Benny Blanco on board) – but it’s still a cut above the usual Radio One playlist fodder.

Kindred is out on April 20 via Columbia.

Jack White – Blue Light, Red Light (Someone’s There)

It’s Jack, but not as we know him. As a B-side to his 7″ single ‘That Black Bat Licorice’, the former White Stripes man has largely ditched the axe-shredding and rock’n’roll bellowing for something a lot less brash. Covering Harry Connick Jr, White-the-crooner is almost unrecognisable, but still gets to cut loose when the moment calls for it. At least it’s helping to take his mind off guacamole.

The single is released on February 17 via Third Man Records.

DJ Windows 98 – ‘Jesus Walks, Loser’

The furore surrounding Kanye West’s did he, didn’t he let Beck finish at the Grammy Awards last week may have caused a row between the indie kids and hip hop heads on your Facebook feed, but one less tiresome side-product is a sudden proliferation of mash-ups. We’ve already had Beckyoncé’s ‘Single Loser (Put a Beck on It)’, but Arcade Fire’s Win Butler, posing as DJ Windows 98, has combined ‘Loser’ with Kanye’s ‘Jesus Walks’ to magnificent effect.

The Playlist – listen on Spotify

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