Best Tracks Of The Week (15th-21st Jan)

Contributions from Sean Hannah(@shun_handsome), Charlie Leach (@Yungbuchan), Ross Malcolm (@RossM98) and Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr)

Young Fathers – In My View

Continuing down a pop route shown on their previous single, In My View is a sultry, anthemic, heartfelt ballad for the Scottish trio Young Fathers. Through its pop leanings, this song still contains some of the hallmarks of a Young Fathers‘ song: lo-fi mixing, skewed and sometimes eclectic harmonies, and the varied and talented vocals of Massaquoi, Bankole and Hastings. If these two singles are anything to go by, their new album Cocoa Sugar could be an introspective, delicate, pop album – another exciting evolution for this excellent band. CL

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Peach Club – Venus

Opening up their latest EP Cherry Baby, this Norwich GRRRL band don’t wanna keep their first impression subtle or timid as they blow into a well-paced, menacing anthem on liberation and sexuality. Having impressed with last year’s Bad Bitch, another track that wasn’t afraid to spit back with venom, Peach Club have established themselves with this latest cut and EP that is chock-full of bravado, fierceness and outright badassery. LM

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Rejjie Snow – Egyptian Luvr (feat. Aminé & Dana Williams)

In the run-up to his debut album dropping in February, Rejjie Snow releases a hint of what is to come in his first release of 2018: Egyptian Luvr.  Egyptian Luvr is a surprisingly bright and chipper track compared to others in his discography. Lyrically he exceeds his usual standards, going for a more emotional approach. If this track is anything to go by, the Irishman’s gonna have a belter of a year. RM

Preoccupations – Espionage

Heralding the group’s forthcoming New Material album slated for release on March 23, PreoccupationsEspionage finds the group in peak form, hitting all of the post-punk/goth tropes they’ve become known for. Moonbeam synths, cavernous drums, and Matt Flegel’s rasping vocal knell comprise this frantic dirge, which culminates in a call and response akin to Joy Division’s Interzone. “We are bound,” Flegel ululates, to which the band responds, “Till we’re deeper in a dead sea”. SH

Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Future, James Blake – King’s Dead

Featuring on the upcoming Black Panther soundtrack, King’s Dead is suitably epic without being bombastic. With Mike Will Made It and Teddy Walton on production duties, resulting in a beat that just won’t quit, this track is undoubtedly the best we’ve seen yet from this OST, packing in an insane amount of energy with incredible flow and playful lyricism on Jay Rock and Future’s part respectively. It’ll be exciting to see how a track like this fits into a family friendly Marvel flick, though. LM

Mount Eerie – Distortion

Last time we saw Mr Phil Elverum, he left us all bubbling messes in his heartfelt, grief full open letter to his late wife Geneviève. While he’s not completely put the situation behind him (and how could you), he has managed to make something into art by giving his work a wider scope: much like his memory of his partner, the guitars linger on as he crafts a 11 minute colussus that is utterly interesting and emotionally evoking. LM

Best Tracks Of The Week (23-29/10/17)

Contributions from Charlie Leach (@YungBuchan ), Kieran Cannon (@kiercannon) Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr)

Smut – Video Cell 

Touching on themes of isolation, predominantly via technology, noise pop outfit Smut manages to take a topic that could border on being a parody and deliver it in a subtle and, most importantly, interesting enough way. The stench of shoegazy guitars can be overbearing but it’s part of the charm, its pungency being totally captivating, leaving Video Cell to be a track that you won’t be able to wean yourself off of. 

Julien Baker – Televangelist

One of the deep cuts off Julien Baker‘s latest release, Televangelist sees the Tennessee singer-songwriter delving into highly personal matters of faith, relationships and drug abuse in trademark candid fashion. Haunting vocals float over swirling piano lines, growing in intensity as the song reaches its conclusion. “Am I a masochist / Screaming televangelist / Clutching my crucifix / Of white noise and static” she contemplates, audibly cathartic as she grapples with her internal demons.

Open Mike Eagle – No Selling (Uncle Butch Pretending It Don’t Hurt)

A track echoing the prevalent expectations in society of unemotional masculinity, the lyrics focus on how “manly” Eagle can be. With lines such as “I tear my ACL, and wouldn’t even limp” and “I hit my thumb with a hammer and wouldn’t shed a tear“, Eagle is playing up to the facade of a man. Though the song does hark back to his previous discography and his more comedic tone, there are still themes that are consistent with the rest of the album. His latest album focuses on his upbringing in the Chicago projects, and here he references the effort he made to keep his cool in a tough neighborhood: “Had a weird childhood, my shit was wild hood, but crying ain’t my style cause I can smile good“.

Also like the rest of the album, the instrumental is lo-fi and understated. Containing a chopped, fuzzy vocal sample and a shuffling, but minimal beat with a deep 808 bass, the instrumental provides a small, yet confrontational backdrop for the subject matter. A standout track for what has been a very underrated release this year, Open Mike Eagle proves once again that he is one of underground rap’s best.

New Luna – Opinionated 

A clusterfuck of different alt-rock influences has resulted in New Luna, a band that at the moment are making their way up in the world but one you won’t soon want to forget. Putting you into a false sense of security early on, only to trap you in its vicious gnarly claws, Opinionated is a song strong in both its production as well as its lyrics: lines like “to fill this mouth with a gun” stick with you soon after this tight little beauty is finished, leaving an eerie aftertaste in your mouth that, much like your personal hygiene, you’ll have to check out regularly. 

Palmbomen II – Ultimate Lovestory Fantasy 

Presenting a sound far grittier and filthy than anything he has ever done before, Kai Hugo’s project under the name Palmbomen II continues to reach new heights, specifically on the latest tease from Memories of Cindy. Titled Ultimate Lovestory Fantasy, the seven-minute journey we’re taken on totally encapsulates the feel Hugo is going for, something he describes as being “supernatural house music crafted with haunted hardware”. A chilling, near purely instrumental wonder, this track is simple by design but utterly alluring nonetheless. 

Fever Ray – Wanna Sip

Starting off with multiple warped but equally entrancing deliveries of “I wanna love you but you’re not making it easy“, the return of Fever Ray is every bit as devilish and delightful as you may have expected. Wanna Sip has the hard task of being the intro track for an album that many have been anticipating for nearly a decade though, thankfully, it manages to place the breadcrumbs without chucking the loaf in your face: Karin Dreijer’s vocals are utterly menacing, managing to stand their ground over some overbearing sharp synths that’ll rock you to your core – if you had any doubts about the new album then they’ve been power washed off you. 

listen to our picks via our swanky wee playlist, updated weekly:

Best Tracks Of The Week (15-22/10/17)

Contributions from Gregor Farquharson (@grgratlntc), Will Sexton (@willshesleeps& Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr)

Lewis Capaldi – Mercy

Lewis Capaldi is back: the young musician’s rise to fame has been nothing short of amazing, and his latest EP and this track just go to show why. His strong vocals and songwriting abilities are on full show on this meaningful, a track that is nothing short of being beautiful. The rest of the EP isn’t much different, acting as a powerful statement of how big a role the singer has played in making the Scottish acoustic scene something worth getting invested in.

Wy – Hate To Fall Asleep

Never judge a book by its cover but if said cover has a girl crying white gunk, expect it to have some sort of emotional resonance with you: step in Wy, hitting out with a debut LP submerged in worrying thoughts. Hate To Fall Asleep is one such track that follows the album’s mantra of feeling pretty shitty, showcasing the luscious, aching vocals of Ebba as she struggles to “see the great in everything”. The quaky, borderline lo-fi guitar that accompanies to leave you feeling that things are far from okay – sometimes that’s okay.

joji – will he

George Miller has finally arrived with his first official single from his first EP (In Tongues) coming to all ears around the world on the 2nd Of November. The song is gorgeous: dark, gloomy, sexy and spacious, it’s everything that Joji has been building up too over the last couple of years and the hype is truly here. The production on this track seems slicker and more finished than the last two tracks he has released on Soundcloud this year. Fans of his internet show persona Filthy Frank and people who have been following him for years are fully anticipating the rest of this EP – beyond excited.

Bully – Spiral

Appearing on their debut LP, Bully have been generating a lot of buzz and tracks like Spiral justifies why: raspy, powerful vocals from Alicia Bognanno are captivating from the get-go and the romantic narrative keeps things interesting, making it pretty easy to find yourself going back to this track again and again. We’ll keep hush hush on our verdict of their album as a whole but for the meantime, Bully seem to be finding their footing very early on.

Bearcubs – Do You Feel

While there’s been a lot of aggression shown in this week’s selection, Bearcubs manages to calm things down with his chilling new track Do You Feel. Extremely meticulous and charming, this song has a bunch of lovely wee quirks that seem to rear their head at random intervals which you may or may not notice on your first listen. From the washed out back up vocals to the tropic instrumentals to the synthesised chirping, Bearcubs pack some angst but doesn’t let it overshadow the hard work that is on show.

Ty Segall – Meaning

We all know he has a ridiculous output at this point but that only makes the fact that Ty Segall can still keep us interested all the more remarkable. On Meaning, we get some frantic guitar playing that segways us into digital drum armageddon a la Death Grips, a moment that comes totally out of left field. Instead of being followed up by MC Ride yelling, we get Segall’s wife Denee to show off her lovely pipes, the instrumentals giving off a punky vibe in its purest form. It’s a total fucking racket and combined with what Denee is singing, it wouldn’t surprise us if this was a cathartic experience.

listen to our picks via our swanky wee playlist, updated weekly: