THE fast-paced world of the music industry allows no time for complacency so it comes as no surprise that the beginning of the new year has seen an influx of exciting new material from artists all over the world. We’re only three weeks into 2019 and there’s already signs that many of our favourite artists are feeling more creatively inspired than ever and are striding into the new year with more confidence than ever before. This week not only marks the release of The Twilight Sad’s eagerly anticipated fifth record, but also return of James Blake aswell as the final gigs of this year’s King Tut’s New Year’s Revolution. In amongst all the chaos, TTV have curated a list of our favourite tracks to come out over the past seven days.
OK Button ‘Flesh and Blood’
OK Button had us instantly hooked when they unveiled their dark and gripping debut single ‘The Message’ last summer and then followed it up with the equally intriguing ‘Beds’. Starting the new year as strongly as they finished the last, the band have shared their latest instalment ‘Flesh and Blood’. Every bit as polished and crisp as the tracks that came before it, Amber Wilson’s ice-cool vocals cut right through you; her lyrics poignant as they are empowering as she recounts the effects of depression and the feeling of gradually drifting away from those you love. Delivered over ripples of electronica, it’s a deeply moving exercise in catharsis that reinforces their blossoming potential.
The Ninth Wave ‘Half Pure’
After closing 2018 with their biggest headline show to date at Saint Luke’s, The Ninth Wave have refused to rest on their laurels and have instead thrust themselves into the new year with the release of a brand new track called ‘Half Pure’. Brimming with the confidence of a band who have been tipped to have a massive 2019, ‘Half Pure’ falls thematically in line with the tracks that came before it, dealing with issues of identity and superficiality over some typically seismic post-punk. Widescreen in its ambition and built on an unflinching foundation of gothic synths and cavernous drums, it’s another sign of the band’s relentless desire make it to the big stages. It also notably features the renowned Alan Moulder on mixing duties, known for his work with The Killers, Foals, Nine Inch Nails, The Jesus and Mary Chain in more.
Walt Disco ‘My Pop Sensibilities’
By working tirelessly behind the scenes and operating entirely on their own terms, Walt Disco have carefully and commendably managed to carve out a wholly unique niche for themselves over the last 12 months in a city awash with guitar bands. Not just another band riding the new wave trend though, the quintet, who have recently added a new member to their lineup, have displayed a striking new confidence with each release; and it all comes to the fore on their latest single ‘My Pop Sensibilities’. Starting the year as strongly as they finished the last, ‘My Pop Sensibilities’ is a weird, wonderful Sparks-esque whirl of jarring synths and theatrical vocals. Refined in its execution yet melodically unrestrained, their anti-pop irony arguably conceives their snappiest song to date. They headline the closing night of King Tut’s New Year’s Revolution this Saturday.
Beafets ‘Rules for Fools’
After showing glimpses of early promise back in 2016 with some sporadic tracks and a series of local live shows, East Kilbride outfit Beafets have re-emerged from the shadows with their first new track in over two years. And while they are still very much in the formative stages of their development, ‘Rules for Fools’ has certainly done enough to seize our attention and indicate that they could be ones to watch out for in the coming months. Delivered by its lovesick protagonist, ‘Rules for Fools’ has a breezy, summery charm about it aswell as an enticing vocal drawl that reels you in. Betraying a charming vulnerability as he addresses the object of his affections, the lead vocalist has us on side; but it’s the simple, catchy melodies and inherent poppy sensibilities that leave us intrigued as to what may come next from this reinvigorated outfit.
Heavy Rapids ‘Going Down’
Already spinned on Radio 1 earlier this week, Heavy Rapids have burst out of the blocks with the release of the incendiary ‘Going Down’. A band who deal in rapturous, no-holds-barred punk rock, ‘Going Down’ demands your attention from its very opening gambit; ‘May I have your attention please’ Dillon Squire-Strong roars over an onslaught of guitars and aggressive drums. A devilish, high-octane barrage of punk rock, it’s a track that is set to incite mayhem at their upcoming live shows.
The Japanese House ‘Maybe You’re the Reason’
Known for crafting deeply moving songs against glacial, transcendental soundscapes, Amber Bain aka The Japanese House is set to release her long-awaited debut album Good At Falling on 1st March. After exhibiting her striking new confidence on ‘Lilo’ and ‘Follow My Girl’, the Dirty Hit signing has now unveiled the beautifully poignant ‘Maybe You’re The Reason’. Another carefully crafted, synth-driven number, the song grapples with self-doubt and reason before Bain’s cautious optimism shines through and we are left with a tender message of hope in its uplifting chorus.
The Twilight Sad ‘Shooting Dennis Hopper Shooting’
One of Scotland’s most eagerly anticipated albums of 2019 arrived today in The Twilight Sad’s ‘It Won/t Be Like This All The Time’ and it’s everything we wanted it to be and more. Harnessing their skill for impassioned, defiant hammer-blows with even greater intensity than before, the band’s vision for an even bolder sound has been fully recognised over eleven tracks that will rattle your mind and leave an indelible mark on your soul. One of its many fine moments arrives in the shape of ‘Shooting Dennis Hopper Shooting’; a track that oscillates between delicate, brooding, verses and aggressive, fuzz–laden choruses that are backed by glistening, gothic synths.
Stella Donnelly ‘Old Man’
The hotly tipped Stella Donnelly has started the year by announcing details of her debut LP Beware of the Dogs aswell as sharing her most confrontational track to date. Inspired by the #MeToo Movement and the need to tear down toxic patriarchal ideals, ‘Old Man’ may seem melodically simple with its gently plucked guitars and lilting vocals but in reality these features only serve to highlight Donnelly’s brilliantly bold lyrics and palpable disdain for her subjects as she addresses those men who abuse their power. It’s a powerful, defiant and hugely important release ahead of one of our most eagerly anticipated records of the year.
Another Sky ‘Apple Tree’
Soaring atmospherics meet sky-high ambition on Another Sky’s latest single ‘Apple Tree’. Laying down a marker for the year ahead, the band harness Catrin Vincent’s vocal prowess and their strength for cool atmospherics perfectly in this poignant depiction of masculinity. Heading down more anthemic, fuzzy and riff-heavy territory, it’s another potent release from the four-piece which sets them up nicely for the coming months.
Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes ‘Crowbar’
Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes have announced the release of their third album End of Suffering on 3rd May and have preceded it with a ferocious new track called ‘Crowbar’. Bursting with primal punk energy, it’s a blistering and unrelenting return from the outfit which picks up exactly where they left off with its scorching guitars and moshpit-baiting choruses.
The Drums ‘Body Chemistry’
Having re-debuted as the solo project of Jonny Pierce back in 2017 with the release of Abysmal Thoughts, The Drums have shared details of fifth album Brutalism, set to be released on 5th April. Alongside the announcement, Pierce has unveiled the first single to be taken from the album ‘Body Chemistry’; a typically energetic and instantly infectious slice of surf-rock that addresses anxiety and depression aswell as the realisation that you can’t always fix your flaws. It’s a strong statement from an artist who is known for his sunny, beachside sound but it works so well when delivered against funky basslines and electronic flourishes; the result being a track that is as raw and frantic as it is warm and infectious.
James Blake ‘Lullaby For My Insomniac’
Today marks the eagerly anticipated return of James Blake who has unveiled his truly excellent fourth album ‘Assume Form’. Clear-headed and in focus more than ever before, the producer turns dark into light on the new record which features collaborations with Andre 3000, Travis Scott and ROSALIA among others. Preceded yesterday by a couple of tracks which trickled out a day in advance, one of the album’s highlights comes in its closing track ‘Lullaby For My Insomniac’. A spare and ghostly love song presumably inspired by his romance with actress Jameela Jamil, his tender, soothing vocals are delivered over whispy, minimalist sonics before his single voice is multiplied into a powerful backing choir.