THIS week’s New Music Radar features an impressive batch of releases from some of Scotland’s most promising new bands, alongside some huge releases from further afield. A diverse list of vintage pop, punk, funk and more, including Fauves, Gallus, stmartiins, Dream Wife and more.
Following the announcement that they have joined the roster at Glasgow-based indie label First Run Records, home to some of the nation’s most exciting new talent, Fauves are back with their most ambitious track to date ‘Bathe’.
A band who are known to be meticulous in their approach to both songwriting and production, ‘Bathe’ is a seven-and-a-half-minute epic that gradually uncovers different layers with every listen, swirling and morphing from section to section while revealing more beautifully crafted textures and hidden sonic gems along the way. The hallmarks of their sound are still there – the band’s smooth blend of funk, psychedelia and loungey jazz oscillates into another sweet dreampop gem of a chorus – but this time they seem willing to push the parameters of their sound more than ever, in ways that many of their peers wouldn’t attempt. Bringing their R&B and modern jazzy influences to the fore, ‘Bathe’ is in its own dreamland – swirling with twinkling guitar lines, Ryan Caldwell’s hushed falsetto, airy harmonies and sax flourishes. Said to be over two years in the making, it’s an ambitious return from a band who have been steadily evolving with each release while also carefully carving out their own space in the city’s vibrant soundscape. It would appear that ‘Bathe’ signals the beginning of an interesting new era for the band – one that will certainly be worth following.
Currently in the midst of a quick run of dates around Scotland that will take them to Dundee, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, Glasgow’s Gallus are back and in fine form on their latest single ‘Breathless’. Just as it’s title suggests, it’s the kind of blistering, high-octane indie-rock that fans all over the country have come to adore from the fast-rising outfit – driven by scorching riffs and the token Gallus combination of punch and cleverness in the vocals throughout the tune.
stmartiins ‘hoping for the worst’
Following a stream of singles spanning two years, Dundee’s stmartiins dropped their debut EP today. Known for a swooning, layered sound of dreamy vocals, echoing guitars and a smooth feel underlying every track, this EP is no different. The surprise release of ‘Intro’ last night offered fans an insight into the EP, and it certainly delivered, with 60’s sounding drums adding an element of vintage pop to the fantasy melodies that swoon over the top. The standout tune on this EP is the stunning ‘Holly’s House’. Incredibly simple and lo-fi, this track is inventive and relaxed in equal measure, the kind of effortless cool and scene-setting sound of artists like Grouper. An ensemble of previous singles and the some new incredible additions, this EP offers an amazing insight into one of Scotland’s best and most unique emerging bands.
Dream Wife ‘Sports!’
This week, Dream Wife announced details of their second album along with a cutting new single called ‘Sports!’ “Put your money wear your mouth is” Rakel Mjoll commands as the band christen the start of their next era with another sucker punch of a track. Brimming with confidence, attitude and cutting guitar riffs, it’s an apt continuation of where the trio left off – this time bringing their riot grrl inspirations to the fore more than ever.
With Rakel Mjoll in typically charismatic form, it’s a track that takes an equal parts satirical and equal parts celebratory look at the world of sport via electrifying guitars, winking vocal asides and schoolyard chants.
Speaking of the track, the band said “Sports! sits on multiple levels; of satire and celebration, of nonsense and commonsense, of the body and the mind, of IRL and digital,” they explain. “The video simultaneously plays with and celebrates ‘sports’ through multiple levels of reality and non-reality; exploring the nonsense of sports, toying with the seriousness of competition and the rigidity of rules while also asserting how important it is to be in your body, the joy of being in a team, the purpose in doing something for the sake of doing it, the endorphins and the sweat.
Hinds ‘Come Back and Love Me <3’
Following a run of dates with The Strokes, Hinds have released another teaser of their upcoming album ‘The Prettiest Curse’. The new track unveils a different side to the quartet, in their own words going “full on Spaniard” for the first time by adopting old Spanish guitars and creating a plaintive, swooning bossanova lament that we’ve not heard from them before.
The Magic Gang ‘What Have You Got To Lose’
The second single from The Magic Gang’s second album ‘Death to the Party’ arrived last week in the shape of the punchy ‘What Have You Got To Lose’. After quickly finding their feet once again with the Northern-soul inspired ‘Think’, their latest offering sees them match their penchant for euphoric pop hooks with a darker, moodier atmosphere and conscious lyrics. Focusing their lens on themselves and their early-twenty something contemporaries who may be struggling to find contentment, it’s a lasting and empathetic statement that reveals a more vulnerable yet increasingly mature side to their songwriting.
Fenne Lily ‘Hypochondriac’
Following her signing to Dead Oceans, also home to Phoebe Bridgers, Kevin Morber and more, Fenne Lily has released her first single with the label ‘Hypochondriac’. Known for her heart-on-sleeve lyrics and confessional approach to songwriting, she says that her latest offering is about “pressure to feel enough but not too much in a time of hyper connectivity, plus a personal reminder to be accountable for and have agency over the part of me that gravitates towards meltdown. It’s the first in a collection of tracks addressing myself as both the cause of and solution to my anxieties, as well as a shift in attention from predominantly relationship-based writing to a more self-reflective dialogue.” It’s the sound of an artist coming into her own as her impeccably well-observed lyrics combine with breezy guitar melodies and hushed yet strong vocals.
Working Men’s Club ‘A.A.A.A’
With their self-titled debut album now slated for release on 5th June via Heavenly Recordings, Working Men’s Club have also shared the propulsive new track ‘A.A.A.A’. Built on an unflinching foundation of frenetic electronics, it’s a snarling insight into what’s to come – revealing a darker, more industrial side to their sound after the likes of ‘White Rooms and People’ and ‘Teeth’.
The Snuts ‘Mixtape EP’
After stepping up their game in 2019 by storming the main stage at TRNSMT, Scottish indie sensation The Snuts have showed no signs of slowing down in 2020, releasing back to back singles and now dropping the highly-anticipated ‘Mixtape EP’. One of the stand out moments of this EP is the band’s latest single, ‘Coffee & Cigarettes’, a guitar and bass driven tune reminiscent of early Arctic Monkeys, which feels blended with near folk songwriting and storytelling in the vocals providing a perfectly married contrast. This record is broken up by interesting interludes, with little snips of studio chatter which perfectly paint a picture of a band honing their craft. ‘Don’t Forget It (Punk)’ brings this record to a rallying finish. This demo, as the title suggests, is a ferocious piece of indie-punk with aggressive vocals and guitars that sounds like The Hives raucous instrumentation, mixed with classic punk vocals.
Check out the TENEMENT TV New Music Radar playlist below.