The shop shelfs may be bare, but this week’s track picks are overflowing. Guest picks by the brilliant Ross Jones. Tuck in:
Iceage – Pain Killer feat Sky Ferreira
There is a lot going on here isn’t there. Firstly: Danish punks Iceage are back with the second single from their new album. Secondly: they’ve hooked up with Sky Ferrerira, who provides angelic backing vocals on the track. Thirdly: there is a lot of horns on this. Like it’s basically just horns. Big ol’ glitzy brass. And you know what, it all comes together magnificently.
Gender Roles – Gills
More addictive punk from Brighton trio – and Bristol Live new music pick – Gender Roles. The track is full throttle, in-your-face, pop punk, starting with a cutting riff and ending with the shout of “Grow gills!” Their debut album is looking more and more exciting.
Gork – Gunk
New Bristol-based garage rock outfit Gork treat us to their new single, the dreamy ‘Gunk’. Driven by the looping bassline and twinkling guitars, the soft, laid-back vocals chant “Gunk is everywhere I go, gunk is everything I know”. The track builds and builds before finally biting guitars break the tension, showing the band have some darkness to counter-point their dreamier side. An exciting new prospect for the Bristol scene.
Frankie Cosmos – Apathy
A brilliant new single from Frankie Cosmos, dripping with frustration and angst. Examining a relationship turned sour, the song’s soft guitars form a bed for Frankie’s tender, but frustrated vocals. Her voice is honest, open and beautiful, showcasing why Frankie Cosmos is one of the best artists going right now.
Margaret Glaspy – Before We Were Together
A wonderful surprise from New York’s Margaret Glaspy. She released a new EP ‘Born Yesterday’ on Friday, and it gives us a chance to see how she has continued to grow since her 2016 album Emotions and Maths. Margret’s unique voice lends itself perfectly to this scuzzy, stripped back number. Only a hi-hat and some muted guitar accompany her voice for the first verse, before it is slowly joined by other instrumentation, building to a wonderful crescendo.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Not in Love We’re Just High
Compared to the garage-rock assault of previous album taster ‘American Guilt’, ‘Not in Love We’re Just High’ is pretty chill. In fact, I’d go as far as saying it goes further than chill and, with it’s soft synths and finger clicks, becomes pretty sexy. Who knows what the rest of the album is going to sound like, but so far it’s looking pretty eclectic.
The Love-Birds – Hit My Head
I wholeheartedly believe The Love-Birds are here to wrap us up warm and keep us snuggled with their tender, lovelorn power pop. There’s a deep sense of existential crisis in the undertow of ‘Hit My Head’, further dug up by the loose, raspy delivery the band exorcise within immediately rememberable melodies and solemn synth. These San Franciscan’s already seem criminally underrated, yet are one of those bands you selfishly want to keep all to yourself.
The Saxophones – Picture
From the opening seconds of ‘Picture’, you are instantly drawn into the world of The Saxophones. Gorgeously atmospheric instrumentation wraps itself into tangible romanticisms, subtle and spacious as wind and keys flutter amongst striking, minimal percussion. It’s only then you begin to be drawn into the brooding disorientation that envelops the duo’s narrative, rooted in the present rather than hinging on the clouded glorification of nostalgia and all the more absorbing for it.
Canshaker Pi – Put A Record Out
Abrasive, caustic, seriously infectious. Not normally descriptions that would match, yet for Amsterdam’s Canshaker Pi, it totally fits the bill. Thankfully not defined by one particular genre, the bands’ lucid, sardonic witticism can be engaged with more seriously, a healthy balance of tongue in cheek and untethered distaste. Matched with their pretty raucous hooks, it makes for significant listening.
700 Bliss – ‘Ring The Alarm’
The befitting joint project of DJ Haram and Moor Mother, 700 Bliss grasps the idea of experimental electronica and force feeds it with singular and, perhaps most surprisingly, highly melodic percussion and instrumentation. ‘Ring The Alarm’ is a blast of tense string samples and a flurry of individually enticing beats. Moor Mother once again exceeds behind the mic, unmatched in conviction and deeply impressive in conveyance. A bracing introduction for those not yet in the know.
Against All Logic (A.A.L) – ‘I Never Dream’
Enough is being made of Nicolas Jaar’s casual, undemanding return with his project A.A.L without actually focusing on just how good this new record is. Stirring up the encompassing sentiment of bustling city percussion that thematically surrounded Jaar’s last Record Sirens, ‘I Never Dream’ holds gentle command over house-heavy hooks and a gaggle of seamlessly weaved vocals, crafting a sense of withheld elation that’s excreted through each and every warbled inflection.