New Music Editor, Christian Northwood, gives your ears some loving for August, in the shape of Self Esteem, Park Motive and Black Midi.
You might recognise Self Esteem. Her voice may have a certain power, a certain definition that feels familiar too. And if it does, you probably have heard her before. Self Esteem is the new project from Slow Club’s Rebecca Taylor, but one that propels her into a different sphere altogether.
Gone are the earthy, nostalgic textures of Slow Club, and instead in their place lies electrifying pop, with Rebecca freeing her vocals in the way she’s always threatened to. Although she’s never shied away from a huge chorus, Self Esteem finds Rebecca absolutely nailing you with hooks on the two cuts released so far.
‘Your Wife’ is driven by skittering handclaps and shimmering synths, reaching euphoric heights on the chorus, whilst new song ‘Wrestling’ hits you with distorted synths from the off, before slinking bass overwhelms everything. Both are dark, powerful pop songs, but they also show how much space Rebecca can explore with this project. Exciting, entrancing and, most importantly, catchy as hell, Self Esteem is your new favourite pop star.
Calm, collected and smooth, but with a pulsating heart of emotion, Bristol-and-London-based Park Motive are your new musical infatuation. We fell in love with the electronic project a few months ago with the release of their single, ‘In Movies’, an ice-cold, synth-led tune that sprinkles house influence over its soulful vocals. It’s bouncy, yet subtle, with Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs the nearest comparison, but finding a space wholly of its own. The band’s talents have not gone unnoticed: earlier this year they were selected as winners of Green Man Festival’s emerging talent competition, meaning they’ll be opening the festival. A band to keep watching as they rise.
Loud doesn’t always mean heavy, and London’s Black Midi prove this. It’s not to say that the band aren’t a caustic, cacophonous and physical affair – they’re all those things – but there is a certain calculation to their noise. The band have become one the most hyped new acts, thanks to the brilliance of their live shows, with many tipping them for great things before they’d even put a song online. Their math-influenced rhythms and looping melodies bring to mind Girl Band, but there’s an urgency and scrappiness to their sound which is refreshingly original – and a playfulness which sets them apart. Catch them soon in a basement near you.
Get more new music from Christian every Monday via Tracks of the Week.