OUR latest rundown of new music features brand new tracks from Spyres, The Mysterines, Another Sky, Willie J Healey, Hinds, Christine & the Queens and more.
Spyres ‘Fake ID’
It’s hard to think of a Scottish outfit in the last couple of years who have made the same considerable impact with their debut single as Spyres. Since the release of ‘Otherside’ last summer, the four-piece have gained the support of Radio 1’s Jack Saunders, secured support slots with The Jesus and Mary Chain and Nothing But Thieves, signed on with Paradigm Talent Agency and joined the incredible bill at this year’s TTV Discover Tour. ‘Fake ID’ is the band’s long-awaited second single and it’s the kind of emphatic statement we’ve all been waiting for. Opening with a confident swagger, the band turn the relatable tale of a riotous night out and fake ID attempt into a swirling, instantly addictive anthem. ‘The DOB doesn’t match but neither does our street” Emily Downie and Kiera McGuire sing, pairing the sharp wit and precise lyrical style of Courtney Barnett with swirling melodies, alluring vocal harmonies and hazy surf-rock influences. Hugely confident and ambitious in execution, it’s a highly polished return from an artist we think are primed for a massive 2020.
The Mysterines ‘Love’s Not Enough’
With a sold-out show at The Poetry Club in Glasgow coming up on 20th February, The Mysterines have continued their blistering run of form with the release of ‘Love’s Not Enough’. With strong, commanding vocals from lead singer Lia Metcalfe, it’s a universally relatable indie-rock anthem that is as addictive as it is brutally honest. Driven by amped up guitars and a relentless rhythm section, it’s another banger from a band who sound like they’re on the cusp of something very big indeed.
Another Sky ‘Brave Face’
Another Sky left a lasting impression on those who caught them at Tenement Trail last year with a stunning, emotionally rousing set at St Luke’s. Now with a date pencilled in at King Tut’s on 23rd April, the band continue to go from strength to strength, taking their majestic sound to new raw and visceral heights on brand new single ‘Brave Face’. Premiered as Annie Mac’s ‘Hottest Record in the World’ on Monday night, the band harness their post-rock leanings and orchestral sweeping arrangements in stunning fashion on the track which opens quietly before exploding to life with a soaring chorus and propulsive rhythms. Catrin Vincent’s voice is lurching and defiant – fighting back against the impact of a toxic relationship. She says “ The lyric ‘you put on your brave face, now, girl’ is something an ex once said to me. To me, putting on a ‘brave face’ means hiding struggle and living in denial. I wanted to reclaim those words and transform them into a war cry for myself and her.”
Willie J Healey ‘Why You Gotta Do It’
With his second album set to be released on YALA! Records, Wilie J Healey is back and in fine form on ‘Why You Gotta Do It’. Paying homage to the adage that money can’t buy you happiness, the new track is a warm, sun-kissed slice of soft guitar-pop – effortlessly toying between the unequivocally empathetic and lackadaisical. With understated orchestration in the background coming together wonderfully with plush harmonies and Americana hues, it’s Healey’s tenderness and warmth that continues to stand out as well as his often-self-effacing insight. It’s another stirring offering from a refreshing artist – one who is sure to enjoy a landmark year in 2020.
Hinds ‘Good Bad Times’
Slated for release on 3rd April, Madrid four-piece Hinds have announced the release of their third album ‘The Prettiest Curse’ alongside anthemic new single ‘Good Bad Times’. Known for their brilliantly raucous, ramshackle lo-fi indie sound, the new record is said to mark a huge shift towards a bigger, bolder and more widescreen sound than ever before – a transition that is certainly highlighted on their new track as they move slightly away from their sweaty garage roots. Showcasing their pop prowess, it’s the most straight-up pop song the band have produced with dreamy, wistful melodies and yearning vocals. The band say: “Good Bad Times’ is the struggle of communication, time difference, distance. like the two sides of a coin. two sides close together that can’t be separated, even though they seem to be completely different”
Jack Garratt ‘Time’
After a four year absence from music, Jack Garratt is back with a visceral new cut called ‘Time’. Taken from his new EP ‘Love, Death and Dancing Volume 1’ which is set to be followed by three further chapters, ‘Time’ is a pulsating rallying cry for positivity, part electronica and part pop, which ends in a flurry of technicolour and whirl of feel-good energy.
Sharon Van Etten ‘Beaten’
Just over a year after the release of her critically acclaimed album ‘Remind Me Tomorrow’, Sharon Van Etten is back with the smouldering ‘Beaten Down’. Unlike anything heard on that 2019 LP, the track features a beautiful, darkly textured instrumental, led by brooding synths and understated rhythms. Joined by an almost ghostly vocal harmony and layered with atmospherics, it’s a song about “love, patience and empathy” – a quiet display of resilience as Van Etten continues her self-assured trajectory.
Christine & the Queens ‘People, I’ve Been Sad’
After enjoying a prolific 2019 with the release of her own album ‘Chris’ and the Charli XCX duet ‘Gone’, Christine & the Queens’ first single of 2020 suggests that her stellar musical output will continue into this year. ‘People, I’ve Been Sad’ reveals a more vulnerable side to Heloise Letissier’s songwriting – her emotional, heart on sleeves lyrics are paired wonderfully with understated drums, warm bursts of synthesiser and gently soulful melodies. Drenched in melancholy, it’s as if the singer is yearning a new kind of connection but without offering any easy or grand resolutions. Tellingly written, arranged and produced by Letissier, its intimacy feels genuine and striking – instantly standing out as one of her most evocative releases to date.
Bristol’s LICE returned this week with their first single in two years ‘Conveyer’. Looking to distance themselves from the ‘satirical guitar music boom’ they became aligned with the release of their 2018 EP It All Worked Out Great Vol. 2, the band have reinvented themselves – emerging from a period of sonic and lyrical experimentation with some of their most provocative and visceral material to date. ‘Conveyor’ is the first of these new songs – introducing us to a Shakespearian protagonist and throwing us into their new surreal yet sharply satirical world. Driven by commanding vocals, buzzing basslines and heavy riffs, It’s a daring, menacing, bordering on apocalyptic return.
Tom Joshua ‘Cinema’
Hailing from the North East of England, Tom Joshua marries stunning vocals with rich musical accompaniments to create a sound that is as hauntingly beautiful as it is warmly inviting. Known to turn his hand to quirky subjects that are often rooted in his hometown like his old school bus, his latest offering is written about his favourite retail park and multiplex cinema in Teesside. Crafted with a level of ambiguity, it’s Joshua’s ability to conjure such strong, intimate feelings in the listener and to evoke such an atmospheric sense of nostalgia through subjects and settings that are so personal to him that make him such an intriguing prospect. Understated yet beautifully executed, ‘Cinema’ feels like a song that has been with us forever in the best possible way.
The Magic Gang ‘Think’
A few months after etching their names in Tenement Trail history with a glorious set at the Barrowlands, The Magic Gang are back with a new single called ‘Think’. It’s the first piece of new music we’ve heard from the band since their 2018 debut and it marks a creative shift – one that sees the band bring in horns, soulful energy and more effervescent songwriting than ever before. Clearly pulling from a wider range of influences such as Northern Soul, it’s a cautionary tale “about avoiding conflict and reminding yourself not to make things difficult at everyone’s expense”.