ON a week that we’ve been blessed with some much-needed sunshine, we’ve also heard some fantastic new tracks from all over the UK and beyond. Check out our essential tracks of the week below.
Another Sky ‘Fell In Love With The City’
Known for crafting ambitious, enveloping soundscapes that are as cathartic as they are hugely evocative, Another Sky have announced the release of their debut album ‘I Slept On The Floor’ on 7th August via Fiction Records. Along with the announcement, the four-piece have unveiled one of their most euphoric tracks to date called ‘Fell In Love With The City’. Taking their sound to towering new heights, the band’s new single is quite simply massive – majestic, sweeping soundscapes meet warm walls of guitar while Catrin Vincent’s astonishing, otherwordly vocals are beyond compare and enough to give you goosebumps. Written after a transformative period in the singer’s life when she moved from a small town to London, the track captures the freedom and sheer euphoria of that life-changing moment. With their debut album finally on the way, Another Sky are a very special band you don’t want to let slip by.
Vocalist Catrin Vincent said of the track “I hate breakup songs. I don’t know why, it’s the most universal feeling. Maybe because the world has so many of them. Moving to London was a dramatic shift from small-town life where it didn’t even occur to me I could do music, where this vision of me as a housewife who never amounted to anything felt inescapable, in to a bigger world, of people from all over, of new ideas and a new version of myself”
Pleasure Heads ‘Sweethearts’
Riding off the back of their strong start to 2020, Pleasure Heads return with more original material in the shape of ‘Sweethearts’. Long time fans will remember this number from as long ago as 2015, this time reimagined with a DIY music video. Recorded by their very own Ross Coulter and shot around the band’s shared flat, Pleasure Heads are finding a way to flourish and embrace the challenges that the music industry shut-down has brought them.
The moody lighting and air of solitude in the video speaks to the melancholic undertone of the song and reflects a position perhaps many of us have found ourselves in over the last few months, but it’s nonetheless a fun and whimsical accompaniment to a catchy song that features some excellent acoustic guitar work.
Scottish rapper LOTOS confidently asserts herself at the forefront of Scotland’s budding hip-hop scene with the release of ‘Home’. Produced by Edinburgh-born DJ Show’N’Prove, the track sees the rapper deliver her incisive flow over a grime-tinged dancefloor groove – effortlessly blending old school influences with a present day perspective. Inspired by civil rights leader Marcus Garvey, who believed, “a people without the knowledge of their past history and culture is like a tree without roots”, the track feels incredibly timely as she reminds us that in order to create a better future, we must respect the past. Pairing infectious grooves with a meaningful reminder to stay grounded, ‘Home’ is a big statement of intent from the Scottish rapper.
Kapil Seshasayee ‘The Pink Mirror’
Looking to build on the momentum gained by his widely acclaimed 2018 debut album ‘A Sacred Bore’, Scottish Indian multi-instrumentalist Kapil Seshasayee has returned over the last few weeks with a pair of invigorating new tracks called ‘The Pink Mirror’ and ‘The Gharial’. Known to offer great insight and often caustic wit through his experimental creations, Seshasayee’s upcoming album ‘Laal’ will see him turn his focus to Bollywood cinema and Indian pop culture and offer forward pointed critiques of issues such as hyped-up nationalism, objectification and LGBTQ representation. Recent track ‘The Pink Mirror’ is named after a Hindi film by queer film maker Sridhar Rangayan which was banned by the Indian Censor Boarddeals. He says “The Pink Mirror” highlights the prevalence of problematic narratives in modern Bollywood films, which includes transphobic portrayals of trans characters as villains trying to deceive other characters through seduction. Proceeds from “The Pink Mirror” will be donated to Solaris Pictures, which champions the production and distribution of Indian queer cinema.
Pushing the parameters of his sound conceptually and sonically, ‘The Pink Mirror’ is a compelling slice of electronica, driven by a pulsating synth line and a brooding darkness. As he wrestles with a feeling of cultural angst, the track becomes increasingly intense with layers upon layers of sounds – eighties-inspired electronics, guitar lines and a pulse-quickening rhythm section are all thrown in to the intoxicating mix.
Chuchoter ‘I’m Good’
Emerging from Edinburgh’s underground, electronic duo Chuchoter have become known for their unpredictable and eclectic approach to electronic pop and for their captivating stage presence. Led by the confident vocal stylings of Emily Smith and ambitious producer Owen McAllister, the duo have released a new mixtape called ‘I’m Good’ and it features some of their most inspired work to date – pairing pop brilliance with big, dirty production and a club focus. Lead track ‘I’m Good’ is perhaps the biggest pop moment on the collection, opening in understated fashion before thumping to life around the minute mark with a stomping, syncopated rhythms and glitchy, disco-tinged synths.
Joell ‘Head Like Home’
After teaming up with Chlobocop on the hard-hitting ‘Holla’ earlier this year which was championed across BBC1XTRA, Complex and more, Edinburgh’s Joell is ushering in the summer with a brand new track called ‘Head Like Home’. Part of a mixtape titled ‘Left On Read’ recorded entirely in lockdown, the new track earmarks Joell as a vital new addition to the UK rap scene.His trademark autotuned vocals and catchy melodies are delivered over an understated yet subtly addictive electronic instrumental that twitches and sparks with positivity. Always on the pursuit for new ways to create, ‘Head Like Home’ is a product of Joell’s spontaneity and raw emotion. A perfect addition to your summer playlist, check it out below.
T Truman ‘Holiday’
Otherwise known as a touring member and keyboardist for The Vaccines, Timothy Lanham has shared his debut single ‘Holiday’ under his new pseudonym T Truman. While letting his indie roots show, the track also see him flirt with retro-pop influences such as Todd Rungdren and Elton John, effectively bridging the gap between 70s pop-rock and modern indie. Painting a care-free picture of a nihilistic life throughout while singing about seeking success without wanting to work for it, he confidently repeats lines like “let tomorrow take care of itself’ and “I’m just a typical guy” as if they’re disclaimers for his attitude. “It’s an approach I resonate with but equally despise,” he notes in a press release.
SPRINTS ‘The Cheek’
Dublin outfit SPRINTS have burst into everyone’s field of vision with the release of their thunderous second single ‘The Cheek’. Formed by four long-time friends who share a love for raw, energetic punk and distortion, the band pour all of this and more into ‘The Cheek’ and leave us with 3 minutes and 43 seconds of pure, unadulterated chaos. It’s a track that calls out the questionable morals of club grafters, inspired by singer Karla Chubb’s negative experiences at bars where her sexuality has been questioned. As such, it’s absolutely dripping in sarcasm and a touch of disgust as she takes rightful aim at those very people against a barrage of guitar feedback and relentless rhythms. It’s definitely one to be played loud.
Karla says: “As a person who is bisexual, your experiences can be difficult. You’re not gay enough, you’re not straight enough, you can be over-sexualized or demonized, I’m going to bed or I’m going to hell. People of any gender identity or sexuality will face criticism and pigeonholing based on their label. Whether it’s being told I wouldn’t have been kissed did they know I was bi, or being asked would I do a threesome, having your ass grabbed and your space invaded – this is my big fuck you to all those people.”
Willie J Healey ‘Fashun’
Willie J Healey continues his rich vein of form with the release of ‘Fashun’, the opening track from his upcoming album ‘Twin Heavy’. Bringing his 70s power pop influences together with his inimitable raw indie sound, it’s a nice piece of sunny euphoria that emanates the same sense of spontaneity in which it was recorded. “The session was so exciting,” recalls Willie. “I was having a really good time in New York. One night a bunch of Loren’s friends came down to the studio and we just started playing. It was so fun, we didn’t speak about who would play what which made it really wild and I think we got ‘Fashun’ in two takes. I’ll never forget the look in Loren’s eye while behind the kit. A wild man was driving the train and we all loved the ride.”
Fenne Lily ‘Alapathy’
Along with the announcement of her second album ‘BREACH’, Fenne Lily shared the brilliant ‘Alapathy’ this week. Channelling her anxiety and racing thoughts into a driving rhythm section and insistent guitar riffs, the track may show a more upbeat side to her songwriting but the warm intimacy and poetic turn of phrase that we came to know from her debut are still very much there. Inspired by a period of self-enforced solitude, ‘BREACH’ is underpinned by Lily’s journey to find peace inside herself and if this lead single is anything to go by, she has crafted some of her most sensitive, finely upbeat and visceral material to date.
Dermot Kennedy ‘Giants’
Following the announcement that his UK tour dates will be moved to next spring, Dermot Kennedy has shared ‘Giants’. The first new track since last year’s No 1 debut album ‘Without Fear’, ‘Giants’ is steeped in bittersweet nostalgia with Kennedy in particularly anthemic form. “It’s about acknowledging our loss of youth and how time inevitably changes things. Yet in the same breath the song is an encouragement to be brave – individually, and collectively. Walking into an unknown future together can be beautiful just as much as it is scary,” he added.