THIS week’s New Music Radar features an exciting batch of releases from established artists, returning favourites and some new faces. Check out Catholic Action, Rina Sawayama, Steven Young, Haim and more below.
Catholic Action ‘Yr Old Dad’
With Catholic Action’s second album ‘Celebrated By Strangers’ fast-approaching, the Glasgow quartet have given us another preview ahead of its release on 27th March by sharing ‘Yr Old Dad’. The band’s latest single is another upbeat, riff-heavy offering – even if the lyrics are bordering on the macabre and absurd. Lead singer Chris McCrory says “This is the sound of the wheels coming off, a sing-along catastrophe. The shrugged shoulders as another funny little plan doesn’t go quite right.” Driven by a brilliant bassline and full of those familiar vibrant, glam-rock vibes, it fizzes with energy from start to finish and is sure to fit in effortlessly to their rollicking live show when they play Saint Luke’s on 8th May.
Biffy Clyro ‘End Of’
With their next album ‘A Celebration of Endings’ slated for release on 15th May, Biffy Clyro have dropped the riff-laden ‘End Of’. After making a leftfield return last month with the electronica-tinged ‘Instant History’, the band return to their roots this team with a formidable and relentless piece of madcap math-rock.
Pleasure Heads ‘Sick of the Sight’
The latest release from Glasgow’s increasingly prolific 7 West label comes from Pleasure Heads with ‘Sick of the Sight’. A band who have had us on tenterhooks with every release to date, they strike gold once again on this surf-rock inspired number – opening in rather unexpected fashion with a dream-like sequence before bursting to life with peppy rhythms and bright guitar lines. Bringing their classic rock influences to the fore, ‘Sick of the Sight’ fits into the band’s catalogue seamlessly with its infectious chorus, witty lyrics and rugged vocals but this time it would sit alongside their sunnier, more poppy tracks – effectively capturing the raw yet endearing surf-rock sound captured by the likes of Hinds. It’s surely only a matter of time before fans south of the border start to take heed of the hugely talented Falkirk outfit.
Steven Young ‘Island’
As frontman of The Imagineers, Steven Young gained recognition for his strident indie songwriting and ambitious, widescreen arrangements, seizing the attention of TV audiences as far as America and becoming one of the first artists invited into TTV HQ to record one of our now iconic live sessions. Now after a quiet period away from the limelight, the Glasgow-based singer-songwriter has made his solo debut with the release of ‘Island’. With the classic songwriting influences still present as well as the natural cinematic flare, the track marks the beginning of Steven’s solo journey with aplomb. A lush, richly textured instrumentation, forms the backdrop complete with orchestral passages and swelling melodies as he carries us away with his intriguing lyricism, shrouded in mystery and an enchanting quality.
Porridge Radio ‘Circling’
New to New Music Radar, London/Brighton outfit Porridge Radio have been building up to the release of their second record with one impressive single after another, each as different as the last but equally mesmerising. ‘Circling’ is their latest effort and is an appropriately swirling composition, one that seems to move elliptically as Dana Margolin sings ‘Everything is fine’ over and over. While the track opens in rather dreamy fashion, the instrumentation lurches to life and builds to an intense, cathartic finale.
Dan Croll ‘Rain’
After starting 2020 with the release of ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Stay in LA’, Dan Croll is back with another couplet of singles in ‘Rain’ and ‘Actor With a Loaded Gun’. Inspired by his life-changing re-location from Liverpool to LA, the move has marked a shift in Croll’s approach to songwriting – both in subject matter and sound as he has delved back into the musical influences who truly inspired him and who happen to slide into the Laurel Canyon’s infamous musical heritage (James Brown, Burt Bacharach, Joni Mitchell). With each single used to chronicle the early stages of the move and its results, ‘Rain’ is an acoustic psych-pop ode to British weather.
Another member of the Dirty Hit community, AMA drops her second EP Pizelheart today following her critically acclaimed debut ‘SCREENLUX’. Enlisting help from both sides of the Atlantic, standout track ‘Rush’ was produced by West Coast Major Lazer, Diplo and Madonna collaborator Santell. Driven by a 2-step groove, she once again fuses a glittering R&B backdrop with big pop hooks and electronic flourishes brilliantly. It’s another vibrant, brilliantly infectious tune to add to her repertoire – one that suggests we’ll be hearing a lot more of AMA in the near future.
Savage Mansion ‘Merrie’
The latest preview of Savage Mansion’s upcoming album ‘Weird Country’ is ‘Merrie’. Described as one of the band’s favourite’s, it’s another heartfelt slice of slacker-pop with twanging guitar lines, touching lyrics and sunshine charm.
Lola Young ‘Pick Me Up’
Rising star Lola Young is at her soulful best on new track ‘Pick Me Up’. Full of that wry, intelligent lyricism and showcasing her incredible vocal range, the singer depicts the struggles of a relationship and the highs and lows of being in love against a beat-driven backdrop before going for the jugular on the chorus.
Haim ‘The Steps’
Haim finally announced that the very tongue-in-cheek title of their upcoming third album will be ‘Women In Music Pt III’. Slated for release on 24th April, the band also shared pop bop ‘The Steps’ this week – an upbeat anthem about not being the perfect significant other for someone else but doing just fine for yourself. Described by the band as a “therapeutic” track that they hope fans will scream along to in solidarity, there’s a vintage, groovy feel to the onslaught of different guitar sounds and stirring rhythms. Once again showing off their immense range, ‘Women In Music Part III’ is shaping up to be a diverse and triumphant record for the prolific outfit.
Rina Sawayama ‘XS’
Hot on the heels of the brilliant ‘Comme des Garcons’, Rina Sawayama is back with another certified banger called ‘XS’. A track that pokes fun at “capitalism in a stinking world”, the Dirty Hit signee cements her status as one of the most exciting names in pop music with her latest single. Full of infectious early 2000 R&B vibes designed to “remind you of a time when everything was alright”, the track pits her smooth vocals against growling riffs and guitar stabs in order to “ reflect the chaos of this post-truth climate change denying world”. An artist who is unafraid to tackle important issues head on through her music, her self-titled debut album is due for release on 17th April via Dirty Hit.
Hotel Lux ‘Eddie’s Gaff’
Hotel Lux reminisce about simpler times on their brand new tune ‘Eddie’s Gaff’. Looking back at the many ‘morning afters’ spent struggling with hangovers and beer fear, it’s a meandering, baggy cut that sonically reflects its subject matter – a charming and relatable exploration of growing up in London in first year at University with new pals. Matching the dark underlying post-punk energy of their early material with a tripping, kind of gleeful energy, it’s a track we can all relate to and will feature on their upcoming EP ‘Barstool Preaching, out on 24th April.
The Lemon Twigs ‘The One’
The Lemon Twigs are back with the announcement of their third album and a brand new cut called ‘The One’. Full of the band’s sunshine charm and retro gold, it’s a tongue in cheek slice of classic rock that retains the glittering glam-rock vibes and vintage guitar licks that made them so popular in the first place.