BETWEEN the release of the new Foals album, the return of The Black Keys aswell as Be Charlotte’s first single since her deal with Sony/Columbia, it has been a massive week for new releases. This week’s bumper edition of New Music Radar features a wealth of talent, both homegrown and from further afield. Check it out below.
Be Charlotte ‘Do Not Disturb’
Exactly one year and a day on from Be Charlotte inking a deal with Sony/Columbia, the Scottish singer/songwriter attests to why her signature was so sought after on ‘Do Not Disturb.’ An apropos title for her first single post-hibernation, the Dundee-born artist places her best foot forward with a glimmering piece of pop that speaks in an emotional language that we can all understand. Over a luscious musical base that incorporates poignant piano and more optimistic bursts of synth, ‘Do Not Disturb’ is a touching examination of a life that’s been left reeling but demonstrates the innate courage to carry on. Based on this evidence, Be Charlotte could be the next Scottish export to go toe-to-toe with pop music’s elite.
Lazy Day ‘Mumma’
Lifted from their upcoming EP Letters, London outfit have shared new single ‘Mumma’. An ode to singer Tilly Scantlebury’s mother, the track is a tempestuous yet exuberant one that captures the strange feeling of looking in the mirror and seeing a parent. There’s an underlying frustrated feeling of history repeating itself but overall it’s a track made with sheer love and devotion. Led by a sultry, cooly arresting vocal, ‘Mumma’ bursts with a joyous, vital energy thanks to its muscular guitars.
Sam Fender ‘Hypersonic Missiles’
BRITS Critics Choice winner Sam Fender is back with a new single called ‘Hypersonic Missiles’. A track inspired by a newly developed Russian missile he read about in the media, he creates a fictional end-of-the-world narrative based around a character who in his words is a “complete tin foil hatter”. His lyrics remain incredibly potent though and there’s obvious strains of reality weaved through them; stark and eerie yet juxtaposed by an underlying sense of hope. A bold statement about the current state of the world, he sings “I’m not the first to live with wool over my eyes” and “we’re due another war” over the Springsteen-esque track which builds into a chorus fit for a stadium. Yet this isn’t the kind of dark and brooding song you’d expect. “This world is gonna end but till then, I’ll give you everything I have” he declares before a punch of saxophone and a pounding, euphoric chorus carries you through. The world might be ending but at least we’ll have a good time while it lasts.
Vampire Weekend ‘Sunflower’
Vampire Weekend’s upcoming album Father of the Bride may be a while away but the previews are coming in thick and fast; and it’s safe to say it’s looking increasingly like the band are about to release one of their most creatively inspired LPs to date. Teaming up with The Internet’s Steve Lacy, latest single ‘Sunflower’ is a peculiar, vibrant, slightly psychedelic number which treads the line between cheesy and cool. Full of proggy basslines, frantic guitar lines and harmonised scatting, Lacy sprinkles his imaginative funkadelic vibes all over the song. Not to be taken too seriously, it’s Vampire Weekend at their most fun and playful.
The Black Keys ‘Lo/Hi’
The Black Keys surprised everyone yesterday by dropping their first new song in about five years. Having retracted from view in favour of side-projects and production duties after the release of their slightly forgettable psych-tinged album Turn Blue, the duo are now back with a beefy, bluesy number called ‘Lo/Hi.’ Revisiting the ethos of some of their most popular songs, the gospel-tinged track sounds like it could have come out a decade ago with Dan Auerbach crooning over big, distorted riffs and crunching drums from Patrick Carney. Augmented by the addition of soulful female backing singers, there’s no talk of a forthcoming LP yet but one suspects that may be coming soon.
SOAK ‘Deja Vu’
SOAK – aka Bridie Monds Watson – is about to unleash the follow-up to her multi-award winning 2015 debut album Before We Forgot To Dream. Slated for release on 26th April, Grim Town sees her expand her songwriting both lyrically and sonically as she tackles everything from long-distance love, anxiety, depression and the changing political landscape all while subtly building on the charm of her debut with a brighter pop palette. ‘Deja Vu’ is the lead single from the album and it’s upbeat backdrop is juxtaposed by its thoughtful lyricism as she sings about someone in her life who she was “worried about a lot”.
Amyl and the Sniffers ‘Monsoon Rock’
Hotly tipped Australian punk band Amyl and the Sniffers have announced their debut album with the appropriately named ‘Monsoon Rock’. Utterly relentless from start to finish, ‘Monsoon Rock’ is a thunderous beast of a track that rains down with force. Full of metal-style guitar solos, feral vocals and ferocious riffs, it comes in at just under two and a half minutes to form an electrifying introduction to the outfit.
FONTAINES DC ‘Roy’s Tune’
FONTAINES DC show their softer side on new single ‘Roy’s Tune’. Having established themselves as one of the most exciting punk bands around with a series of blistering anthems detailing life in Dublin, the band have shown there’s more than one side to their talents with this tender, more contemplative offering. Written by guitarist Conor Curley, he says the song is for Ireland and “comes from a mindset of frustration, depression, and a loss of innocence”. A thoughtful piece of songwriting, the gentle guitar melodies allow the focus to remain on the story behind the song; one which shines a light on the people of Ireland who are ignored in favour of massive corporations like Apple. Curley said: “We intend to explore whatever emotions or ideas we see, not just make ‘another post-punk album’.”
Just off the back of an extensive UK tour with fellow punk outfit Strange Bones, Rascalton are showing no signs of slowing down with the release of a new track called ‘Eddy’. The first new cut since last year’s CSC EP, ‘Eddy’ opens with a pulse-quickening bassline before launching into one of their trademark guitar-driven punk anthems. Inspired by a catfishing incident, the song thrashes in at just over a minute and a half to create one of their most immediate offerings to date. And it seems that in amongst all their relentless touring there’s been time to hone their craft aswell. Shedding the youthful bravado of their earlier tracks in favour of a more controlled chaos, the band are starting to show the steely self-assurance of their bygone punk heroes; the type that comes after two years on the road.