CHECK out new music by Run The Jewels, Sports Team and Hinds alongside local acts like Quiche, White Novels, CHECK MASSES and more.
Run The Jewels ‘a few words for the firing squad’
If you listen to any track this weekend, make it ‘a few words for the firing squad’. El-P and Killer Mike have been making important, highly political music since the latter released ‘R.A.P Music in 2012 but their latest full-length LP ‘RTJ4’ feels absolutely vital given its timely arrival. The duo dropped the album on Wednesday after a week of nationwide protests in America against police brutality and the murder of George Floyd, saying “Fuck it, why wait. The world is infested with bullshit so here’s something raw to listen to while you deal with it all.”
The duo address police brutality, racism, corruption, and protest head-on in the record with the presciently-titled ‘a few words for the firing squad’ a poignant closer. Nearly seven minutes in length, it’s a searing. sprawling track that fittingly goes out with a burst of improvised jazz. Backed by El-P’s devastating production, it all builds up for Killer Mike to deliver the final, crushing blow. “This is for the do-gooders that the no-gooders used and then abused,” he snarls. “For the truth-tellers tied to the whipping post, left beaten, battered, bruised / For the ones whose body hung from a tree like a piece of strange fruit / Go hard, last words to the firing squad was, ‘F*ck you too.’”
Voodoos ‘Going South’
It’s hard to pick a band with a better strike rate than Voodoos at the moment. 2019 saw them turn towards a poppier, more indie, sound than had previously been expressed by the Coatbridge outfit with the release of ‘NRA’, followed by ‘Do It To Myself’. After selling out King Tut’s in under a day and making their support slot for The Dunts at SWG3’s Glavanisers seem very much like their own headline show, Voodoos seem to be on the warpath in 2020 to prove themselves as the hottest property in Scottish music. Their two previous releases this year, ‘TV Set’ and ‘Young Punks’, have shades of The Strokes and The Vaccines and the appeal of their sound is evident in their ever-growing popularity in Scotland and beyond. They recently announced that they will be releasing their next EP, ‘What Was That Supposed To Mean’, on July 3rd and today’s release, ‘Going South’, is the third offering from the 4 track release. Every track so far has a summery, uplifting feel to it and this latest single is the perfect way to kick off your weekend.
Quiche ‘Rat Habits’
Psych-pop six-piece Quiche returned last week with the sublime ‘Rat Habits’. The band have made an art of mining through different eras of classic rock music and refashioning them in their own image, touching down on roaming psychedelia, swooning pop, the harmonious textures of the 60s and more while continuing to display their immense songwriting chops in abundance. ‘Rat Habits’ is all swaying melodies, soaring guitar lines and earnest vocals thrown in together in a glorious amalgamation of 50s doo-wop and psych-pop. Under its dreamy, romantic production though, lies darker meaning. Jack Borrill said “Rat Habits is a song I wrote during a prolonged period of self-loathing. The lyrics reflect on self-destructive patterns of spending all of your money, using narcotics and a bad relationship”.Bringing their own unique and refreshing sound to the city’s ever-evolving soundscape, it’s a wonderful piece of songwriting from a band who have been quietly going about their business for some time now with increasingly impressive results.
White Novels ‘On The Bottle’
Introducing White Novels, the new project helmed by Scottish multi-instrumentalist Jack Bestow. Citing an assortment of influences such as Turnover, Del Amitri and American Football, ‘On The Bottle’ is his debut single and it finds him exploring mental health struggles, overthinking and in his own words “the constant struggle of feeling down and sleepless nights.” Driven by a relentlessly steady drumbeat, ‘On The Bottle’ draws from the carefully maintained restraint usually exhibited by shoegaze outfits in crafting rich musical landscapes, all dreamy guitar tones and ruminative, echoing vocals. It’s an immersive listen and a promising introduction to the multi-instrumentalist.
CHECK MASSES ‘Lost In The City’
Lifted from their debut album ‘NIGHTLIFE’, ‘LOST IN THE CITY’ is the latest single from Edinburgh trio CHECK MASSES. Bringing a wealth of collective experience to the table, it’s no surprise that the band made up of DJ-Producer Saleem Andrew McGroarty, Vic Galloway and ‘Philly’ Angelo Collins draw from a diverse range of influences across the record, hip-hop, indie-grunge, soul and blues mythology coming together to make up a collage of shuffling dubby beats, soulful vocals, guitar twangs, melodica and strings. Full of hazy mystique and gritty soulfulness, new single ‘Lost In The City’ is one of the band’s finest moments. Over laid-back, trip-hop beats, twanging guitar and tinkering electronics, Philly grabs you by the hand and takes you down the dark, shadowy streets of Edinburgh at night, as if inviting you in to a seductive world you didn’t know existed. Shrouded in hedonistic desire and trippy psychedelia, it’s an enticing dose of escapism that sums up the album perfectly. Vic says of the track: “It sums up that hazy feeling of being a little wasted, lost and wanting to be with someone… even for a night”.
‘NIGHTLIFE’ is currently available on all main streaming platforms with a physical release slated for 1st July.
The Stoned Immaculate ‘Coming Through’
With the release of their debut EP due at the end of June, The Stoned Immaculate have given us ‘Coming Through’ as a taste of things to come. An infectious bass line coupled with a drum beat that will have you hooked from the start and a catchy chorus that packs a punk, this is bound to get you dancing. Coming in at just under two and a half minutes,‘Coming Through’ is a short, thunderous burst of rock n roll from the Glasgow based four-piece and it’s got future festival anthem all over it.
Travis ‘A Ghost’
Travis are back, with their first album in four years ‘10 Songs’ due for release in autumn and new single ‘A Ghost’ giving us glimpse of what’s in store. It’s a classic indie / folk track from the Scottish veterans with lead singer Fran Healy’s distinctive vocals sounding as great as ever. During lockdown he collaborated with his teenage son on the accompanying video, who acted as cinematographer . A mix of animation and live action that’s also doubling up as a school project for the fourteen year old, it’s an A+ from us.
Hinds ‘The Prettiest Curse’
Hinds are back and in brilliant form on their third full-length LP ‘The Prettiest Curse’. Known for their raucous and uplifting brand of garage-rock, the four-piece tentatively push the parameters of their sound on the record – adding synths, singing prominently in Spanish for the first time and refining their pop hooks while also sharpening up their lyrical wit and broaching more vulnerable subject matter. They manage to pull it all off without losing the ramshackle charm that brought us to them in the first place – the vocal dynamics between Carlotta and Ana are as strong as ever, they’re manic and frustrated one minute and cool and laid-back the next, and the instrumentals are playful and vibrant. Embracing the kaleidoscopic world of pop, Hinds throw everything at ‘The Prettiest Curse’ and it has resulted in their most enjoyable and self-assured album to date.
Sports Team ‘Deep Down Happy’
It feels like the roll-out to ‘Deep Down Happy’ has lasted quite some time but Sports Team have finally unleashed their long-awaited debut album into the world. Known for their chaotic live shows and shooting their mouth off in interviews, you may either love them or hate them but for all the lofty ambitions and high expectations they’ve expressed over the last few months, they’ve served up 12 tracks of crackling indie gold on their debut. Combining the spirit of Britpop with the attitude of punk, they take on boring suburban life, sell-out musical peers, Conservative Britain and more, hurtling between pithy social commentary and youthful abandonment against a backdrop of careening rhythms and riotous modern indie. Led by flamboyant frontman Alex Rice, these tracks are tailor-made for jumping around in mosh pits and you’re left in no doubt as to why they have evoked such a passionate response from indie kids around the UK.
SEIL LIEN ‘I Am Fire’
Quietly gaining momentum in Scotland’s underground music scene, SEIL LIEN is the creative alter-ego of musician and visual artist Marie-Claire White. The singer unveiled her debut album ‘Shatter’ earlier this year, pulling together elements of rock, shoegaze, pop, industrial and more and gaining acclaim from BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 2 and more for her efforts. ‘I Am Fire’ is the latest single to emerge from the album and is a driving slice of alt-rock that seethes with the influence of late 90s guitar bands. Driven by a relentless groove, it’s all amped-up guitars, assertive vocals and fiery hooks.
Caro ‘Figure Me Out’
Art-rock outfit Caro shared details of their debut album ‘Burrows’ this week, out on 25th September via cult indie label YALA! Records, along with this compelling new track ‘Figure Me Out’. Reminiscent of alternative music makers Alt-J, ‘Figure Me Out’ is a meticulously crafted track that subtly builds with layers of shuffling beats, pensive keys, brass-like synths and stunning vocal harmonies that tangle together. It’s a beautifully intimate and unpredictable offering that takes one interesting turn after another. Adam Parde said it’s about “being afraid of letting other people’s perceptions define you. It’s about only being able to make sense of your motivations retrospectively and trying to control how people see you by hiding from them.”
Marsicans ‘These Days’
Marsicans continue to supply the big, infectious hooks and soaring choruses on their new single ‘These Days’. With their forthcoming album ‘Ursa Major’ out on August 14th, it’s the kind of upbeat slice of fizzing indie-rock we’ve come to expect from the outfit. Exploring their own relationship with technology, they say “The song isn’t necessarily a damning indictment of technology. It’s more about pointing to the rapid changes in human connection and asking the question ‘Is this okay?’”
Remi Wolf ‘Disco Man’
‘Disco Man’ is the latest single from singer-songwriter Remi Wolf. A song that came to life after seeing a group of guys dressed as “70s porny cowboys” at her regular Saturday night haunt, it’s a soulful slow burn pop gem with smooth vocals and a simple yet incredibly catchy chorus that will be stuck in your head for ages. With a trippy, Prince inspired video to go along with it, her EP “I’m Allergic To Dogs” is out on June 24th.
Kelsey Lu ‘Morning Dew’
Classically trained cellist and singer Kelsey Lu shared ‘Morning Dew’ last week’. Featuring Onyx Collective’s Isaiah Barr on saxophone, the gentle finger-picked track is all about Lu’s stunning vocals which soar to unbelievable heights and at other points, feel as intimate as a whisper. It’s a song that feels like it has been in existence for decades. “Love can cure us, Love can destroy us and like Nature, we’re constantly in communion with it,” Lu writes in a statement.
NZCA LINES ‘Prisoner of Love’
NZCA LINES, the project formed by producer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Lovett, shared a massive disco-infused bop this week called ‘Prisoner Of Love’. The bittersweet lyrical sentiment is juxtaposed by the vibrant, fluorescent instrumental – all glistening synths and dancefloor grooves. “This song is about the cycle of heartbreak and dependency within a relationship that isn’t working, a constant motion of being pushed away and sucked back in,” he explains of the inspiration behind the funky track. “Both people could be doing this, each at the mercy of the other’s emotions – unable to move forward yet unable to step away, the cycle repeats itself”
Spunsugar ‘Happier Happyless’
Reminiscent of Slowdive, Chromatics or even Cocteau Twins, Malmo-based outfit Spunsugar call on elements of industrial electronica, shoegaze, post-punk and dream-pop to form their trademark ethereal sound. ‘Happier Happyless’ is the band’s first single since last year’s ‘Mouth Full Of You’ EP and the latest preview of their debut album ‘Drive-Through Chapel’, slated for release around Autumn time. Built on a foundation of pulsating synths and industrial beats, the band cleverly balance the cold, razor sharp electronics with growling shoegazy guitars and Elin Ramstead’s ethereal vocals, yearning one minute and euphoric the next. Gliding effortlessly over the verses before delivering the rousing anthemic hook, it’s a track that pulses with emotion.
Check out our full New Music Radar playlist below which is updated on a weekly basis.