WITH such a wide variety of excellent new music on show, it’s often hard to cut it down to just a few tracks. Covering an eclectic array of genres and songwriters, this week’s New Music Radar features Declan Welsh & the Decadent West, Snack Villain, Honeyblood, Another Sky and more.
Declan Welsh & the Decadent West ‘Absurd’
Having bagged a deal with Modern Sky UK, Declan Welsh and his band The Decadent West recently announced that their debut album is on the way. Set to feature a collection of songs old and new, ‘Absurd’ is our first preview of what’s to come and it finds the quartet in truly inspired form.
A commentary on the current climate working class artists must traverse, the track finds Welsh ruminating over the idea of ‘wokeism’ and the act of standing up for what you believe in without being contrived in the midst of financial insecurity. It all comes to a head in the song’s emphatic and uplifting finale which sees him conclude that we all need to self-reflect and forgive ourselves while striving to be the best we can. It’s a snapshot of deep honesty and self-reflection from an artist who is aware of his own flaws but continues to use his music to make the world a better place.
Delivered through a slice of taut, catchy indie-rock, complete with singalong ‘la-las’ and refreshing electronic touches, it’s particularly pleasing to see that Welsh’s mission statement has not changed since the day he started; to shine a light on issues that affect us all as humans and explore the connections we make along the way. Done with genuine integrity and a Glaswegian flare, it’s a promising insight into his upcoming album.
Snack Villain ‘Death Disco (I Wanna Go)’
A five-track compilation we were delighted to premiere here on TENEMENT TV this week, Snack Villain unveiled his new EP this week. Traversing through that eclectic array of influences that we’ve come to know and love, ‘Vision Vortex’ is an EP which simply doesn’t stop moving. A complete rejection of complacency and expectation, it sends you from pulse-quickening euphoria to playful pop to a skewed state of world-weariness in a wildly experimental fifteen minutes. Playing with rhythm as much as he does with all the inventive sounds at play, the result is a fresh, infectious and visceral listening experience. A perfect summation of this wildly experimental release is the EP’s closing track ‘Death Disco (I Wanna Go)’; a wildly frenetic and beat-driven track which sees it out in typically colourful fashion with a splash of drum & bass and a flourish of brass.
Just Mustard ‘Frank’
Currently on tour with band of the moment Fontaines DC, fellow Irish outfit Just Mustard are giving fans all the more reason to get down early to see them with the arrival of their mesmerising new single ‘Frank’. Led by the sweet yet subtly foreboding vocals of Katie Ball, the track emanates darkness and a sense of danger in its slow burning melodies and glitchy rhythms. Reminiscent of Warpaint in their ethereal, intricate approach, the track soon builds into a big menacing slice of amped up shoegaze. It’s one that pinpoints them as ones to watch out for in the future.
Honeyblood ‘She’s a Nightmare’
The latest excerpt from Honeyblood’s upcoming album comes in the shape of ‘She’s a Nightmare’. Inspired by Stina Tweeddale’s incredibly vivid and frightening recurring night terrors, the track depicts her strange relationship with a spooky, ghostly figure. The clearest example yet of the more eclectic approach Tweeddale has taken to this new record, ‘She’s a Nightmare’ is less jagged than the songs that have come before it but the songwriting is every bit as potent and infectious.
Kevin Abstract ‘Baby Boy’
BROCKHAMPTON leader Kevin Abstract has certainly been busy. After releasing a new EP Arizona baby last week, he’s just dropped a new collection of songs under the name Ghettobaby, led by ‘Baby boy’ which has also been given cinematic video treatment. And after the deeply subjective material that was present on last week’s EP, this latest instalment will hopefully abate those rumours of a BROCKHAMPTON split with its suggestions of a happy ending for his chosen family. It’s a soft and subtle track that sees him singing over a ticking r&b production and gentle guitars.
Another Sky ‘Cracks’
Lifted from their upcoming EP Life Was Coming In Through the Blinds which is slated for release in June, Another Sky have added another massive track to their increasingly impressive repertoire. Described as a response to the Leonard Cohen lyric ‘the cracks, that’s how the light gets in’, ‘Cracks’ is a deeply moving ode to our self-aware generation and those willing to have difficult conversations about progress. “It’s about our generation’s unique position of facing extinction.” they say. Showcasing Catrin Vincent’s incredible voice once again, she oscillates between heavenly and ethereal to deep and poignant over a cinematic soundscape; one that is driven by rhythmic force and a real sense of drama. Nothing is overblown though as the band demonstrate the breadth of their sound across this bold and ambitious new offering.
The Good Arms ‘Cautionary Tales (From One to Another)’
A band who are beginning to gain a strong foothold in the local music scene are The Good Arms. Wearing their influences on their sleeves, the quartet have so far presented the kind of blistering and urgent rock’n’roll that bears all the hallmarks of classic rock bands of the past, delving into elements of psych, funk and grunge with swathes of confidence. Latest single ‘Cautionary Tales’ is perhaps their most accomplished to date though , coolly swaggering to life with with its melodic groove and strong lead vocal. It feels like the comedown to a hedonistic night out before the track erupts with heavy psych-tinged guitars and a rousing solo.
Much like Joe Strummer felt compelled to declare that ‘I’m So Bored With The USA’, this Glasgow four piece have grown weary of the 24 hour news cycle’s seemingly endless rundown of gun violence and mass murder in the alleged ‘land of the free’. Commonly known as the acronym for the National Rifle Association, Voodoos’ latest effort is a riotous critique of the titular organisation and the right wing commentariat’s deflective attitude in reference to America’s percieved “right to bear arms.”
Delivered with scorn and sheer bewilderment towards the nation’s ideological antiquity, it compiles all of the punchiness and punk-based tenacity of their earlier work and transposes it to a hot button issue of the day.