Photo by Madeline Harvey
It’s a new year everybody, I don’t know if you’ve heard. I’ve been crunching the numbers over the Christmas break, really getting my head down. Trying to work out the best formula for picking out the best new music for 2017. And let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, I think I’ve cracked it. I don’t want to bore you the workings, but I can confirm that it’s a pretty big calculation. Here’s the results of my hard work:
cuddle formation – trails to the peaks of mtns
As an ode to nature, running away from cities and losing yourself in tranquility, it goes without saying that ‘trails to the peaks of mtns’ is calm and reflective. But ‘calm’ doesn’t quite describe just how easy it is to get lost in this glitching, lo-fi song. It’s echoing strings and simple drums swirl together, giving the same feeling of zen as watching a babbling stream.
Poisonous Birds – Cloud Level
Bristol electronic duo Poisonous Birds teased us with the first track off their new EP towards the end of last year, but ‘Cloud Level’ takes it up a notch. Starting with a quiet, shimmering introduction, the track’s soft piano and washed vocals lull you into a false sense of security, puncturing your bubble of calm with harsh, spiky guitar when you least expect it.
Robin Mitchell – 10 Winters
Had a good new years did you? Well Bristol’s Robin Mitchell wants to remind you something about what another year means: “Another year closer to death” he sings on the opening line of his chilly, sparse song ‘10 Winters’ letting you know exactly what 2017 is bringing for you. His isolated vocals sit on top of simple but enthralling organ, and its moments of silence only help to bring chill your bones.
Pixx – Different For Girls (Live cover)
Wrestling Joe Jackson’s classic song from post-punk into dreamy, new wave, Pixx flips the song on its head. Carried by her distinctive voice and tight backing band, the chorus heavy guitars and crisp drums create something special.
Lomelda – With You
Coming out on New Years Day, ‘With You’ was the soothing start to the year my crumpled up brain needed. It’s delicate vocals, harmonies and soft, earthy instrumentation relax you almost instantly. Oh yeah, and did I mention that the duo have been announced as the support for our fifth anniversary party with Pinegrove?
Sam Skinner – Chestnuts
Continuing on the Pinegrove theme, here’s the band’s Sam Skinner’s latest offering off debut solo album Danny Through Junior. It features the twinkling banjos of Pinegrove, as well as the band’s frontman Evan Stephens Hall on additional vocals, but apart from that has a very different atmosphere altogether.
Head to Gold Flake Paint to hear the track
Dead Pretties – Social Experiment
BIG ROCK BANGER ALERT. Seriously though, ‘Social Experiment’ sounds kinda like Dirty Pretty Things, and enough time has passed for that definitely to be ok now. It’s a gritty, fun as hell guitar anthem and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Zuzu – What You Want
After being named one of our ones to watch for 2017, Liverpool’s Zuzu has responded quickly, instantly dropping a fantastic new single. Moving away from the motor-mouthed slacker of her previous single, ‘What You Want’ is a pretty straight forward, festival ready indie-rock anthem; it’s the kind of song that you’ll try sticking on at every house party over the summer.
Fuzzy Plums – Headbutt
We premiered this track, the debut from Bristol two-piece Fuzzy Plums, on the site earlier today, but if you missed it here it is again. It’s a charming, ramshackle piece of garage-pop, with an infectiously fun video to go with it.
Run The Jewels – Hey Kids feat. Danny Brown
Well isn’t this just a Christmas fucking miracle. As I’m sure you’re all aware, hip hop veterans Killer Mike and El-P surprise dropped their third project a few weeks early, on Christmas-eve no less, and it’s yet again absolute fire. ‘Hey Kids’ has run away as an early favourite, mostly due to Danny Brown joining in the fun.
Come back next week and I’ll see if my formula has worked again!