THE solstice has arrived and whilst it may be somewhat gloomy outside, there’s plenty to rejoice about.

Summer is about to begin in earnest and with it comes the season in which the world’s bands descend upon festival stages and embark on massive tours that will allow them to scour the length and breadth of the globe. Meanwhile on a more localised level, the nation’s next crop of up-and-coming breakout stars will find their feet amid all-dayers, inner-city events and beer-fuelled shows in cramped venues across the country. Miraculously, this new focus hasn’t dampened the level of amazing new music that’s making its way into the world and here’s all of the essential tracks that we’ve encountered this week.

The Bellybuttons- WIRES EP

Proponents of a sound that is so engrossing that it sounds as though it’s been there for all of your life, The Bellybuttons’ laid back new EP is a beautiful collection that is perfect for the introspective days that will arrive this summer. Although it rarely delves into the ramshackle and up-tempo realm of last year’s Nostalgia Factory, their newest work is a thoughtful collection of tracks that are fraught with beautiful sentiments and equally glorious arrangements. Among the standouts is ‘Referendum On You (Enemies)’, a gorgeous, piano-tinged pop ballad that recalls Teenage Fanclub at their most candid.

Model Aeroplanes- LOVER

Queens Of The Stone Age- The Way You Used To Do 

Josh Homme and co have an uncanny ability to take the sounds of a bygone era and transport them into bold new terrain and that’s precisely what they’ve done on the frenetic ‘The Way You Used To Do.’ Helmed by none other than the revered Mark Ronson, the first insight into what can be expected on new record Villains is a mad-cap voyage into the heart of 50’s pop and early rockabilly but still unmistakably Queens Of The Stone Age. Featuring one of Homme’s more flamboyant vocal performances and mutated guitars that provide just that right amount of ferocity, it’s an enticing opening salvo that makes the concept of their new album absolutely titillating.

Parcels- Overnight

After plying their trade for a couple of years, Australia’s Parcels appear to have well and truly came into their own on the disco-laden sound of ‘Overnight.’ Filled with allusions to the sound of pioneering groups such as Heatwave, Brass Construction and The Fatback Band whilst also sharing a bloodline with modern art-poppers such as Metronomy and Jungle, the group’s newest effort is one of the most sultry pieces of dance music that you’ll hear all summer. In spite of the fact that this track would shine in the hands of any competent producer, the fact that it was brought to life by none other than Daft Punk has likely added to its ability to make you long to hear it once more as soon as it has reached its gyration-inducing conclusion.

L.A. Witch- Untitled

Released via Suicide Squeeze, L.A. Witch’s new single ‘Untitled’ is one that has firmly ingrained them into our minds as a band to fall in love with. Drenched in swathes of menacingly employed reverb that provides their music with a uniquely morbid sound, their latest track is a fusion of bluesy riffs and garage rock playfulness that any fan of the darker side of the lo-fi spectrum is sure to throw themselves at the mercy of.