After a trip to the continent, I have come back a more well rounded and educated individual (or something). Anywhere, on my travels I have picked up a smorgasbord or songs for you. Go on. Indulge yourself.
Rhain – Pavlova
I would put good money on their being no vocalist as versatile and beautiful as Bristol’s Rhain right now. ‘Pavlova’’s sparse, eerie piano and off kilter melodies seem to have come straight from Wuthering Heights supernatural moors.
Foxhol – Plaster Saint
If you’re lucky, you might have got a glimpse of Bristol two-piece Foxhol over the last few months. Noisey, scrappy and in your face, the duo make more noise than most bands with their simple set-up, honed in a cupboard in their house. ‘Plaster Saint’ is one of four tracks they’ve laid down so far, and is a 100mph punk punch.
Trudy and the Romance – My Baby’s Gone Away
TATR’s potent homemade brew of 50’s pop seems to have mutated even further. The dirty riffs in ‘My Baby’s Gone Away’ stray into a Wytches vibe, whilst the insane backing vocals sound like they’ve been pulled straight from a Victorian mental institute. The end result is a song that sounds like ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’’s evil twin.
Spectres – The Heights
It’s not often that you feel Spectres show restraint. But ‘The Heights’, the first taste of their new record, feels more sparse than the tinnitus-inducing noise that populated their last album. Not to say the sense of dread the band create has gone away; The intensity is still there, but ‘The Heights’ feels like the band have narrowed their sights.
Bruising – I Don’t Mind
Only the second single from Leeds’ self proclaimed Sappy Punx, but yet another banger. Striking the perfect balance between early Los Campesinos! guitar riffs and lead singer Naomi’s soft, emotional vocal, ‘I Don’t Mind’ is yet another taste of one of the UK’s most exciting young bands.
DECORUM – Near Gone
Moody, atmospheric and full of reverb; ‘Near Gone’ is post-punk af. The drums keep motorik rhythm, the bass is unrelenting and the duo vocals weave in and out of each other to build a sparse, beautiful layer of drone. So yeah, post-punk af.
Dream Wife feat. Fever Dream – FUU
In which Dream Wife cement their place as a great new band by bringing a) riffs, b) a huge chorus and c) Spice Girls lyrics. Easily their heaviest song set, ‘FUU’ is aggressive in all the best ways.
Bryde – Wouldn’t That Make You Feel Good?
‘Wouldn’t That Make You Feel Good’ is a dark, smouldering stick in your side. As Bryde’s husky, beautiful voice digs into you with it’s rhetorical chorus, sparse guitar and atmospheric bass lulling you into false sense of security before exploding into life.
Peach Club – GR8
“I’m the worst kind of flower” smirks Peach Club’s singer over their first single to come out since their debut EP. And wow, is it a big’un. Fuzzy as fuck, it burns with the intensity of early Bikini Kill and puts dickheads in their place with the first few chords alone.
Lao Ra – Bang Boom
***POP BANGER KLAXON*** Coming at you like a mix between early MIA and MO, Lao Ra is staking a claim for the chart’s next big star. Just listen to those midi trumpets and offbeat steel drums; how can this song not excite you?
Hinds – Holograma
Back when we spoke to the Spanish four-piece nearly a year ago, singer Ana couldn’t stop waxing lyrical about Los Nastys, so it was only a matter of time before the band covered them. Sung entirely in Spanish, the song has the same chilled, lo-fi swagger as Black Lips at their calmest, and the the band’s laid back group vocals make the whole song sound like the best hangover you’ve ever had.
Willie J Healey – Would Be You
Yet another banger from the young Oxford slacker. ‘Would Be You’ feels like the kind of song that would be playing in a montage of you realising what a mistake you’d made by breaking up with your One True Love, before turning around and running through the rain and back into her arms. Or, you know, a really good lo-fi rock song, with a hint of Tribes.
Tass Nata – Let’s Go feat. Rich Kidd and Tona
I know some people think hip-hop is supposed to be super serious and make a statement and that, but every now and then don’t you just want to party? Because ‘Let’s Go’ makes me want to party. Tass Nata twists Bob & Earl’s ‘Harlem Shuffle” (you know, the sample in House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’) into a party banger of his very own.
Hazel English – Make it Better
Hazel English features a lot in this column, which says enough on its own. Her mournful, lo-fi pop songs have had a grip on my heart since her first single this year, and every release she has put out since has only been more confident. New song ‘Make it Better’ is a sepia dream, and the best yet.
Her – Queens
No matter how long you take getting ready, how much time you spend matching outfits, we both know that most of France is dressed better than you. It’s the way it is; we get nice mayonnaise, but the French are simply more stylish. Nowhere is this more obvious than on French duo Her’s new song ‘Queens’. It is, to be honest, the most sophisticated R&B you’ll hear all week.
Check back next week for some more of our fave songs.