IN a week of big album releases and comeback tracks, we’ve picked out our favourite releases for your perusal. Featuring an amalgamation of established acts and local artists who continue to impress, check out this week’s New Music Radar below.
SHREDD ‘Freak Out’
Almost a year to the day since they unveiled their fiercely impressive ‘Eat Your Enemy’ EP on Fuzzkill and a couple of months after the incendiary ‘Rot’, Shredd returned this week with ‘Freak Out’.
Already a live favourite and sure to incite chaos when the band headline King Tut’s Summer Nights next week, the track opens with a straight-up driving riff before jolting to life with an onslaught of raging guitars, crashing cymbals and foreboding muscular rhythms. Charging through at a relentless pace, the ferocity briefly subsides at the half way mark for one of the band’s most dynamic and well-executed breakdowns yet – razor sharp riffs build climatically and unnervingly into a wild, monstrous outro. It’s hard not to imagine the mosh pits opening up around you, bodies flailing over shoulders as it hurtles to its conclusion with reckless abandon.
The band said of the song: “‘Freak Out’ has been in our live set for a while and it seems to be a favourite when we play. Lyrically the song is about overthinking and reading into situations too much, the issues that can cause for you and the others involved.”
The Big Moon ‘It’s Easy Then’
The Big Moon returned this week with a big open-hearted pop anthem called ‘It’s Easy Then’. It’s the first piece of new material we’ve heard from the London outfit since their 2017 Mercury Prize-nominated and universally loved debut ‘Love in the 4th Dimension’ and it marks a shift towards a more widescreen sound and thoughtful, existential approach to songwriting. Juliette Jackson’s voice chimes with a booming piano melody, depicting a rather dim image of her mental state before the song takes off with a flourish of electronics, a singalong chorus and those distinctive choral harmonies. It’s a slow-burning return that is as understated as it immediate, building into a moment of wholesome euphoria. Jackson has said: “I wanted to write a song that made me feel better. Something that captured the frustrations, but also the hope and joy all at the same time.”
Mystery Jets ‘Screwdriver’
After a flurry of festival dates over the last month which included an appearance at TRNSMT, Mystery Jets have announced details of their protest-influenced new album ‘A Billion Heartbeats’. A band who have taken on a different guise with each record, their new single ‘Screwdriver’ perhaps features one of the heaviest choruses they’ve laid their hands on as they take aim at the far-right. Brimming with classic rock energy and full of big heavy guitars and rallying vocals, the uncompromising track comes armed with a positive message. Blaine Harrison says: “whereas political agendas fuel divisiveness, music unites and reminds us of all that we have in common. The message of Screwdriver is not a pessimistic one – because perhaps faced with confrontation we can find understanding, and even maybe learn how to listen to, and love one another.”
Marika Hackman ‘hand solo’
Marika Hackman is sharper and more unapologetically direct than ever on her brand new album ‘Any Human Friend’. Bringing electronic transitions to the forefront of her sound and freely wielding an electronic guitar which soars and cuts throughout, the album feels like we’re listening to a completely different artist to the one who emerged with the plaintive wispy folk debut ‘We Slept at Last’ back in 2015. ‘Any Human Friend’ sees her fully embrace the sharp, sexually charged songwriting that we saw glimpses of on 2017’s ‘I’m Not Your Man’. A lot of the album is about reclaiming the queer female gaze as she unearths her frustrations with the rest of the world’s inability to catch up to a less traditional mode of desire. All the while, she delivers one lethally sharp pop hook after another, one of which arrives in the form of the sultry ‘hand solo’
Dry Cleaning ‘Good Night’
After seizing our attention with their debut single ‘Magic of Meghan’ last month, London’s Dry Cleaning are back with the wonderfully direct and unfiltered ‘Good Night’. Lead vocalist Florence Shaw delivers a monologue over a jaunty and at times frantic instrumentation, drifting from overheard conversation to snippets of nearby newspapers and gossip magazines to Youtube comments. It’s like sifting through someone’s agitated thought processes against a backdrop of taut, paranoid post-punk as the band continue to form their own completely unique and idiosyncratic style.
BROCKHAMPTON ‘If You Pray Right’
The latest preview of BROCKHAMPTON’s upcoming fifth album ‘GINGER’ has arrived in the shape of ‘If You Pray Right’. Upping their musical game once again, it’s hard-hitting, brass-emboldened return centred around a skittish drum groove and lackadaisical trombone riff that has been accompanied with a suitably surreal Spencer Ford-directed video.
Voodoos ‘Do it to Myself’
Ahead of their appearance at the Saint Luke’s All Dayer tomorrow, Glasgow’s Voodoos are back with another fizzing indie anthem called ‘Do it to Myself’. After a string of impressive singles, the four-piece show off their songwriting chops once again on this instantly addictive track that brings their pop sensibilities to the forefront. Steeped in the throes of a failed romance, a lightly distorted lead vocal seeks clarity over a barrage of taut rhythms and fuzzy guitars and while it’s a sound that may be familiar, Voodoos are certainly well on their way to leaving their own stamp on the guitar-centred soundscape. Mixing the hard-edged aspects of punk with a more measured and melodic approach, it’s another fiercely impressive outing which is sure to incite mayhem at their now renowned live shows.
Temples ‘You’re Either On Something’
Temples have shared the latest cut from their new album ‘You’re Either On Something’. Driven by booming drums and a rumbling, buzzing bassline, the woozy track is a more robust, muscular take on their otherworldly, psych-infused sound, heavy with reverb and swirling guitar riffs as lead vocalist James Bagshaw sings of how ‘confusion rocks the earth’. Brimming with nostalgia and a Kevin Parker-esque sheen, it’s a bold return from an outfit who have perfected the art of sparkling psych-pop in all its glory.