THIS bumper edition of New Music Radar features a vast array of exciting releases from some of our favourite artists as well as some new discoveries. Check them all out below.
Kitti ‘Young, Careless and Free’
Kitti’s debut EP ‘Young, Careless and Free’ is a life-affirming story of self-discovery and self-acceptance; one that has been years in the making but is so immediate in its impact that you’re hooked from the very opening bars. Founded on an ethos of self-love and a desire to make a real difference through her music, the EP explores both the ups and downs of life – the uplifting and the painful, the personal and the universal – as she holds up a mirror to her own journey of personal growth and in her own words “the contrast between my good and bad sides”.
Rooted in the resonant sounds of soul and jazz yet distinctly contemporary in execution, the level of talent and creative ingenuity displayed in the Paisley singer-songwriter’s first extended player illustrates exactly why she deserves to be acclaimed far and wide, in locations that stretch far beyond the reaches of our own nation’s celebrated music scene.
With a voice that is unhindered by time, genre or place, it almost goes without saying that Kitti’s phenomenal vocals sit front and centre of every piece of music she lays her hands on but when delivered against a backdrop of sumptuous neo-soul and nu-jazz, the results are truly breath-taking. Armed with a depth of character that feels so rare nowadays, she professes the importance of self-love over a slinking groove on ‘kandy kissin’ while ‘Chasing The Crowd’ sees her deliver a stunning sermon on body positivity and self-acceptance. Transporting us to a bygone age, her stirring rendition of the Grease classic ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’ gains a well-deserved spot on the EP while the collection is completed by brand new opener ‘Rain’. With airs of Kali Uchis and Tyler the Creator’s ‘Flower Boy’ era , the track also features the unmistakeable nu-jazz touch of Glasgow-based instrumentalist Liam Shorthall (corto alto) and the perfectly pitched rap stylings of ZEBEDE’s Leah Cleaver. With funky guitar licks, brass flourishes, warm keys and more weaving in and around Kitti’s beautifully wistful vocals, there’s something so effortless in the way it all assembles to create one of her most versatile and impressive cuts to date.
A track that sees DRIFT shift things up a gear once more, ‘Lifeline’ opens in soft, understated fashion before taking their ethereal electro-pop to new cosmic heights – trading in the immersive dream-pop explored on previous singles for an emphatic invite to the dancefloor and a night spent under the glittering shards of a disco ball.
Featuring vocals from producer Andrew Quinn for the first time, his soulful harmonies are the perfect accompaniment to Linzi Clark’s sublime vocals which weave in and out of his pulsing production, her lyrics retaining the thoughtful introspection that has informed all of their material thus far as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery and reflection. Exploring the blurred lines that exist between lust and love, it makes for a sensuous and wholly invigorating listen as through a beautifully cascading sonic journey, they capture the all-consuming feeling of casting aside your inhibitions and just letting go.
Already a firm live favourite and a staple of their mesmerising live shows, ‘Lifeline’ is easily DRIFT’s most vibrant and ambitious release to date.
Voodoos ‘What Was That Supposed To Mean?’
One of the shining positives to take from the last couple of months has undoubtedly been the unassailable rise of Coatbridge outfit Voodoos. With the help of some well-placed playlisting on Spotify, the four-piece have ranked up some seriously impressive streaming numbers with tracks such as ‘Going South’, ‘TV Set’ and ‘Young Punks’, elevating them from hopeful indie prospects to perhaps one of the nation’s most exciting emerging outfits. Today they lay down their biggest statement to date with their debut EP ‘What Was That Supposed To Mean?’. Featuring the three tracks already mentioned as well as a brand new offering called ‘Party’s Over’, the EP is testament to their irrepressible strike rate at the moment – full of Strokes and Vaccines indie vibes and catchy melodies galore. A band destined for big things, we recommend you tune in now.
Stanley Odd ‘FUWSH’
Scottish hip-hop pioneers Stanley Odd have made a bold and unflinching return with the release of ‘FUWSH’. Described by the band as a “tongue-firmly-in-cheek story of resistance and resilience”, ‘FUWSH’ is an ode to anti-heroes and outcasts; an emphatic expression of fearless individuality and ambition and a devastating sign-off to their critics. Ultimately though, Stanley Odd want to take something positive out of the darkness and they do so here in enthralling fashion. MC Dave Hook is in formidable form as with his tongue firmly in cheek, he takes aim at the naysayers, the critics, the political elite and apathetic voters in one fell swoop, delivering his hard-hitting lyrics with a profound sense of social realism and an unwavering sense of humour. Full of attitude and infectious hooks, it’s an ambitious, refreshing and unapologetic track that ends with a message of hope – ““Don’t let the whammers get yi’ down – and don’t dwell on the negative,”
To front man Solareye, FUWSH “takes an overcast collection of gathering storm clouds and dances in the rain. All with a lop-sided grin.” He adds “The new single channels a core element of hip-hop, taking a list of negative attributes and turning them into art and poetry; subverting their meaning; making something beautiful out of the darkness. Championing anti-heroes and outcasts.”
Joesef ‘Thinking Of You (Sister Sledge cover)’
Joesef has unveiled his very own cover of Sister Sledge’s classic 1984 hit ‘Thinking of You’. Following Spotify’s global pride campaign, Unlike Any Other, Spotify Singles have enlisted the Glasgow star and other rising LGBTQ+ artists Rina Sawayama and Orville Peck to cover their favourite musical heroines and heroes. Recorded in his home, Joesef retains the disco magic of the original while bringing his own distinctively smooth croon to the track. Check it out below.
All Things Blue ‘Dicking Around’
After recently catching our attention with the enchanting ‘Chad’, LA outfit All Things Blue have announced the release of their debut album ‘Get Bit’ on 2nd October along with a new track called ‘Dicking Around’. Much like its predecessor, the track is a whimsical, dream-like affair led by India Coombs’ charismatic vocals as she tussles with the piling thoughts in her head and a desire to act on her worst impulses, even when she knows it may not be the right thing to do. Backed by a rich, detailed instrumentation, it’s a playful number that subtly invites you in to Coombs’ dream-like world and encourages you to let go of your inhibitions alongside her.
She says “The phenomenon Edgar Allen Poe once coined ‘the imp of the perverse’ rang true to me as a strong parallel of the tone in Dicking Around. The mind can be surprising without what feels like the ability to help it. I wrote this as a wrap for thoughts of acting on my own worst impulses despite recognising they’re naughty hehe.”
John Rush ‘Sister’
The unmistakable wail of a harmonica opens the latest track from Paisley-based singer-songwriter John Rush. Marking his first release since last year’s ‘Beneath The Apple Tree’ album, ‘Sister’ is an emphatic return from an artist who continues to revel in soulful, bluesy and impassioned rock and roll. Channelling blues-rock giants of the past and present – Nathaniel Rateliff and The Black Keys to name a few – while staying true to his own songwriting style, John Rush plays every instrument across the riveting track which was recorded in a session that lasted over eight hours. You can almost feel the temperature of the room it was recorded in – his voice raw, rugged and full of emotion, bursting into a howl at some points as if he is the fallible protagonist of a western film. Delivered against the powerful strums of an acoustic guitar, piano and a pulsing tempo, it makes for an intoxicatingly hazy and anthemic track. Not only that, the stomping track is a tale of reflection that comes armed with an enlightening reminder to let love in.
Dancing On Tables ‘Riviera’
Dancing On Tables continue to strive for pop-rock perfection on their latest single ‘Riviera’. After recognising that they often craft big singalong tunes that are encumbered with darker lyrical themes, the band challenged themselves to “write a track that would be the catchiest yet, but with a subject that would fit the saddest of songs”. However, what initially began as a running joke between members has transformed into their official summer anthem as strident guitars and catchy hooks come together with an air of defiance to create an infectious track that just has to see the protagonist win out in the end.
Two Tone Television ‘Old News’
Two Tone Television today released ‘Old News’ but the band continue to prove that they’re quite the opposite. This track veers into the heavier side of rock with guitar riffs and synthesisers intertwining to create a sort of controlled madness and aggression. Two Tone Television guarantee an element of surprise in their music and this song is no different; whether it’s a voice that’s repitched several octaves lower or teasing guitar harmonies before a climactic end, Old News will throw something your way to keep you on your toes. Two Tone Television are a band that deserve to be firmly on your radar.
Matilda Mann ‘As It Is’
Following the release of last year’s hugely popular debut EP ‘If That Makes Sense’, Matilda Mann is back with news of a follow-up EP and a stunning new track called ‘As It Is’.
Opening a new chapter to her songbook, the new single is a gentle, beautifully crafted piece of music. Matilda’s whispered vocals swirl delicately over a circling acoustic guitar line as she sings about missing someone for the first time. Painting a picture of honest vulnerability, she sings ““I guess I’ve changed, it’s not a phase, nothing like before. You miss it though but only cause you’re sentimental.”
With the announcement of a new two-part EP project, Jordana has unveiled a crunching new single called ‘Big’. Written in what the singer describes as a “state of pure confidence”, the song is far more urgent and direct than the bedroom pop of her early days and bursts with electro punches and hooks galore. Sparking with electricity and spontaneity throughout, it marks the beginning of an exciting new era for the singer.
Fontaines D.C ‘Televised Mind’
The latest preview of Fontaines D.C’s eagerly anticipated second record ‘A Hero’s Death’ has arrived in the shape of ‘Televised Mind’.Opening in dark and unsettling fashion with an onslaught of anxious, circling guitar lines, the track never quite lets up throughout as Grian Chatten delivers his nihilistic lyrics in signature deadpan style. “All your laughter pissed away/ All your sadness pissed away/ Now you don’t care what they say/ Nor do I“, the frontman sings over a brooding instrumental that almost seethes with malicious intent.
Submerging the listener in deeper to their menacing world, it’s a track that captures the hypnotic feel of bands like The Prodigy and The Brian Jonestown Massacare. Much like its title suggests, it’s like zoning out to the world with the propulsive noise of television in the background.
Oh Wonder ‘Don’t You Worry’
Oh Wonder continue their ‘Home Tapas’ project this week with ‘Don’t Worry’ , the fifth track they’ve written, self-produced and released during lockdown. Offering a vivid snapshot of their 2020, the collection has so far taken them in many unexpected directions while remaining very rooted in the present – from the existential, electronic-leaning ‘Lonely Star’ to the upbeat ‘Keep On Dancing’ to the more meditative ‘Oceansize’. This latest offering falls in the latter category as they deliver a beautifully stripped-back love song about the intimacy and connection still possible under lockdown.
Disclosure ft Aminé & slowthai ‘MY HIGH’
Disclosure team up with Aminé and slowthai on their incendiary new track ‘MY HIGH’. Centred around the one potent hook (“please don’t fuck up my high, my high, my high”), the two rappers bring their own swagger and braggadocio to the frantic track with Aminé setting the pace and slowthai following suit, keeping the pace at 10 all the way through to the finish. Capturing the riotous feeling of their earlier tracks with the added element of rap, it’s a brilliant, rampaging follow-up to the similarly upbeat ‘ENERGY’ which was released a few weeks ago.
Remi Wolf ‘I’m Allergic To Dogs!’
Having pricked ears with last year’s ‘You’re A Dog’ EP, Remi Wolf is back with another healthy dose of kaleidoscopic pop on her follow-up EP ‘I’m Allergic To Dogs!’, her first outing on a major label. The EP is a brilliantly crafted collage of R&B, candyfloss pop, funk, soul and more with plenty of clever samples, witty lyrics, addictive grooves and feel-good vibes thrown in for good measure. From the fidgety, multi-textured ‘Down The Line’ to pop banger ‘Woo!’ to the funk-indebted, feel-good EP closer ‘Disco Man’, it’s an accomplished collection from an artist who continues to feverishly pluck from her favourite artists while retaining her own signature style and creativity.
Dream Wife ‘So When You Gonna….’
Dream Wife’s hotly anticipated second album ‘So When You Gonna….’ arrives today and it most certainly lives up to the hype. While the record may not be as loud and raucous as their debut, ‘So When You Gonna’ features some of their most empowering and topical material to date as the trio reveal greater depths to their songwriting. The album’s titular title track, a direct and punk-fuelled expression of whole-hearted consent, and the high-caffeine pop sheen of ‘Sports!’ are joined by slower, more considered moments this time around as they show a new penchant for control in their customary blend of punk and pop – examples being the more subdued dreamy pop of ‘Hasta La Vista’ and the album’s emotional peak ‘Temporary’, a tender track about a friend who had a series of miscarriages. Emboldened by a clean, contemporary production, ‘So When You Gonna…’ is a record that has empathy at its heart. It’s loud, soft, fun, heartwarming and it doesn’t shy away from difficult and personal subjects. It asks the right questions, challenges society’s complacency and reaffirms Dream Wife’s ‘girls to the front’ ethos. More than anything though, it’s a challenge and an invitation to go after what you want.
Empty Days Club Volume 1
Empty Days Club Volume 1 is made up of members from Catholic Action, Diving Station, The Golden Age Of TV, The Howl & The Hum, Marsicans, Sea Legs, Talkboy, and the Empty Days Club House Band who have put together a number of tracks to raise money for the NHS. While most of the musicians are yet to meet in person, they have managed to create a collection of music that is a sign post of the times. Available to purchase on BANDCAMP, all profits from the project will be donated to the NHS.
Dominic Fike ‘Chicken Tenders’
Kevin Abstract collaborator Dominic Fike has an eagerly anticipated debut album on the way later this year and has given listeners a first taster of what to expect with the release of ‘Chicken Tenders’. Melding his R&B tendencies together with a catchy infusion of pop, it’s a track that shows all the signs of a bonafide star-in-the-making.