“Yeah, it’s abysmal lately, everywhere you turn,” concedes John Hancock III on his latest blast from a vivid disco dreamland. It doesn’t have to stay that way though, he insists in glorious falsetto, urging a return “to the good shit – don’t just stand there, watch it burn!” before a breakdown so funkadelic it’d make the great, late Prince blush. The lyric rings true as we enter election week in America, at the end of a tiring year that yeah, has had its abysmal bits. Hancock’s mode of protest is great, gargantuan party songs to saviour.
Those of you who’ve paid close attention will have noticed a change in the New Jersey troubadour across a year that begun with him singing above a danceable indie-pop bed of lo-fi keyboards and drum machine bleeps. Tracks like ‘Left Me’, ‘Give It Out’ and ‘Negative Space’ were John Hancock III 1.0. Version 2 has been even more ambitious: wild saxophones, mad rushes of electronics and ’80s pomp that somehow feels futuristic at the same time as harking back. Last month’s ‘Guilty Party’ was just the start – ‘Love Life’ is his brilliant next step into the pop unknown. Check it out above, and we’ll see you next week.