WE may only be six weeks in, but 2018 has already seen its fair share of exciting new music released into the world; from artists who are making their first foray into recorded material to exhilarating debut records to comeback albums from some of our most cherished bands. The last two weeks have been no different so we’ve picked out a selection of the best tracks to come out from a myriad of homegrown acts and globally renowned artists.
Courtney Barnett ‘Nameless, Faceless’
Courtney Barnett treated us to the first slice of her long-awaited second album Tell Me How You Really Feel this week and it’s one almighty punch. A mix of the blunt empathy and dry wit that informed her hugely successful debut record, Barnett’s sharp lyrical observations widen their scope on ‘Nameless, Faceless’ as she takes on darker subjects such as online trolls, fragile male egos and female fears. Following a jangly opening verse, it’s the massive, grungy chorus that really hits home, featuring the brutal Margaret Atwood quote “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them”. Patently political and pointedly clever, Barnett is clearly holding no prisoners on her upcoming album and it feels like a bold move forward.
Pleasure Heads ‘Middle Man’
The latest band to team up with Glasgow’s Public Records, Pleasure Heads’ latest track ‘Middle Man’ is a snapshot of unbridled youth and merry abandon. An outfit discussed in lofty terms by all those who have seen them live, the Falkirk band have followed up their impressive debut single with an equally accomplished offering which sees them delve into their post-punk influences with a modern indie-rock flair. Recalling the likes of Interpol and even the Stranglers, frontman Euan Purves’ deep, husky vocal is delivered over jangly guitar lines and a wonderfully melodic chorus which evokes a glorious sense of sun-kissed nostalgia. It’s a track which cements their position as one of Scotland’s most exciting young outfits.
ST.MARTiiNS ‘do ur words’
A band destined to make their mark on 2018, Dundee duo ST.MARTiiNS have added another brilliantly gripping track to their increasingly impressive repertoire. Reminiscent of Bombay Bicycle Club in its unpredictable and unusual manipulation of rhythm, ‘do ur words’ is a dizzying blend of upbeat pop and dreamy, ethereal vocals. Effortlessly oscillating between wistful moments and bursts of vibrant energy, the incredibly dynamic instrumental is offset by a thoughtful and introspective lyric which carefully conveys a fragile mind full of uncertainty.
Easy ‘Bringin’ Me Down’
After gaining traction and a steady stream of plaudits from shows alongside similarly eclectic and inventive artists such as The Vegan Leather and Pronto Mama, TTV were delighted to premiere the easy’s brand new single ‘Bringin’ Me Down’ last week.
Produced by Mark Morrow and released as a tantalising precursor to their upcoming tour, their debut single brims with an aloofness and sense of auditory adventure that seems altogether organic as opposed to some conscious effort or meticulously planned conceit. Incorporating elements of funk, 80’s electro and reggae before it is all rendered in an unmistakably Scottish brogue, this is pop music that throws caution to the wind and is a spiritual successor to the wanton creativty and reckless abandon of revolutionary mid 70’s stalwarts such as Supertramp, Roxy Music and Steely Dan. Bustling with the potential to garner anyone’s affections with its exuberant hooks and dizzying synths, ‘Bringin’ Me Down’ is the track that will bring easy from the fringes of the nation’s hot prospects and directly into the fray.
Domiciles ‘Common Language’
Built from the same foundations that have made them such an enduringly hot prospect ever since they exploded onto our radar back in 2016, Domiciles’ return to the fray after a period of radio silence has yielded one of their finest tracks yet. Recalling the at once ethereal and stimulating sound of cult psych act Spaceman 3 in its brooding sound, ‘Common Language’ epitomises all that people gravitate towards about the band. Built around sedate vocals, meandering synths and persistent, almost motorik percussion, the end product is nothing short of cinematic in scope and striking vividity.
Pale Waves ‘The Tide’
In what is shaping up to be a milestone year for the group, Pale Waves returned last week with another shimmering banger called ‘The Tide’. Taken from the All The Things I Never Said EP which is set to arrive on 16th March via Dirty Hit, the track is a premature slice of summer; the kind of instantly addictive pop gem that will catapult them onto the global success they have been teasing for months. Bursting with gothic ambition and a feverish, jangly energy, it’s another slice of glossy eighties-indebted indie-pop that sees them continue in their fine run of form.