AS the nation bathes in the glory of last night’s football result, our thriving music scene continues to produce wonders. We’ve got a treasure trove of new tracks to share with you this week from the likes of Lizzie Reid, Ruby Gaines, Fauves, Slow Weather, Pale Waves and more.
Lizzie Reid ‘Always Lovely’
Marking her third release in as many months, Lizzie Reid is seizing our hearts once again with the release of her latest track ‘Always Lovely’.The single arrives with the announcement of Reid’s debut EP ‘Cubicle’ which is slated for release on 22nd January via Seven Four Seven Six (Matilda Mann, Matt Maltese). The EP will also feature recent single ‘Tribute’ and ‘Seamless’ which have so far racked up plays on BBC 6Music and Phil Taggart’s Chillest Show on Radio 1.
Like those previous songs, ‘Always Lovely’ is breathtaking in its intimacy and striking vulnerability. Delving into ideas of identity, perfection and worth, her lilting vocals are accompanied by pensive guitar lines which come to life on the more emphatic and rhythmic chorus. It’s another beautifully crafted track delivered with remarkable authenticity.
Fauves ‘Spaced Out Face’
Fauves dig out their snazziest pair of flares and jump straight into the shimmering world of disco on their brand new track ‘Spaced Out Face’. The latest chapter of their ever-evolving sonic journey opens with a chime of guitars and flute before leading us onto the dancefloor with a welcome burst of 70s-indebted funk. It’s the kind of glitzy escapism we all need at the moment with wistful verses that lead into fervently upbeat choruses, full of the danceable energy that Fauves can seemingly throw up at will.
As with all Fauves tunes, the sheer volume of ideas and twists and turns that they manage to consolidate into the track’s runtime is testament to their inventiveness; enchanting flute melodies and saxophone trills are peppered throughout while Ryan Caldwell breaks into his lower register around the midpoint.
Conjuring images of light-up dancefloors and shimmering disco balls, ‘Spaced Out Face’ is a track that finds escapism in dance and we’re absolutely here for it.
Ruby Gaines ‘Without A Gun’
A couple of months ago, Ruby Gaines emerged in a burst of vibrant colour with the release of her debut single ‘Cardamom’. Pairing a full-band sound with a dynamic jazz-infused arrangement, it was a confident opener that was elevated even further by her staggering vocal delivery.
Just a couple of months later and Ruby Gaines is back with the equally impressive ‘Without A Gun’. Boasting all the drama of a gun-slinging Spaghetti Western, the new track reinforces Gaines’ mesmeric star power; her incredibly soulful vocals delivered over swinging guitar lines and powerful, energetic drum tones. Much like ‘Cardamom’, there’s clever twists in the arrangement that keep us on our toes throughout as she reflects on the feeling of loneliness that permeated her youth; the shifting nature of the track designed to reflect her turbulent state of mind at that time, full of teenage angst and anxiety.
With its dark undertones and deeply personal lyrics, its an intensely captivating listen that finds Ruby Gaines wielding her immense vocal power once more.
Slow Weather ‘Clean Living’ EP
Following the release of ‘Great White Male’ and ‘Clean Living’, Slow Weather have unveiled their five-track debut EP in full. Formed after working on separate projects in Chris McCrory’s studio, the Catholic Action frontman and Edinburgh-based songwriter Annie Booth pull from their individual influences to come up with a striking amalgamation of folk, ambient electronica and indie-rock. At the heart of it, their enchanting harmonies reel the listener, their vocals blending seamlessly together over thoughtfully crafted instrumentals that range from the intensely emotional to the deeply atmospheric. Inspired by the likes of Brian Eno, Andy Shauf and Aldous Harding, the ‘Clean Living’ EP marks a very organic evolution for both artists that showcases a whole new side to their immense talents.
Happydaze ‘What’s It For’
A new addition to Scotland’s ever-evolving music scene, pop-punk outfit Happydaze emerged last week with their first single ‘What’s It For’. While there’s not much information about the band online, their crushing debut offering has us gripped from the outset with its brooding guitar lines, emo vocals and razor sharp hooks.
Constant Follower ‘I Can’t Wake You’
For Constant Follower, music is inextricably linked to the power of healing and survival. After falling victim to a savage attack when he was a teenager and subsequently losing all of his childhood memories, Stephen McAll retreated to the West Coast to heal and it was here that songwriting became such a powerful force of strength. Building songs around thoughts and feelings that were forged in fleeting moments, his music carries the power of those experiences and transposes them into simple yet beautiful folk songs. His latest two-part release features the stunning ‘I Can’t Wake You’; an understated acoustic track that glides along gracefully for nearly 6 minutes. With stunning male and female vocal harmonies inviting the listener in, it’s a simple yet poignant piece of songwriting.
Django Django ‘Glowing In The Dark’
Django Django have announced details of their new album ‘Glowing in the Dark’ along with its kaleidoscopic title track. A band who have always turned left when others have gone right, their latest evolution sparks of even more ingenuity as they explore the running theme of escape; “from despair, from constraints, from small town life, and even, in dreams, from the Earth.” Built around Dave Maclean’s spoken word vocal samples and upholstered by frenetic drum loops and Moog synths, the album’s title track is full of the vibrant, danceable energy we’ve come to know and love from Django Django.
Cahill//Costello ‘Io II’
Formed of guitarist/composer Kevin Daniel Cahill and drummer/composer Graham Costello, the new single from this collective may have been born of the same experimental spirit that led to their inception, but every single note and percussive hit seems purposeful. Steeped in ambiance but no less riveting, Io II is as experiential as it comes and could lead listeners both passive and engaged down many cognitive avenues across its stirring 7 minute runtime. the most exciting and adept team-up we’ve seen this side of Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes, we can only advise that you flock to it immediately.
Medicine Men ‘Change My Mind’
Among the highlights of their sophomore album ‘A Different Port’, Medicine Men have unveiled the video for their latest single ‘Change My Mind’. Adorned with brass flourishes and the unmistakable vocals of frontman Ian Mackinnon, the track sees the band pull off the inimitable feat of I=invoking the excesses of late 70’s era Doobie Brothers with tact and poise to spare. Courtesy of their insatiable knack for a hook, it’s an offering that will usher you back time and time again
Union of Knives ft Ladytron ‘A Tall Tale’
First emerging back in 2006 with their enticing blend of indie and electronica, Glasgow outfit Union of Knives have returned with the first new track in 13 years. With original member and founder Chris Gordon still at the hub, ‘A Tall Tale’ brings vocalists Anthony Thomaz (Dopesickfly) and Helen Marnie (Ladytron) into the fold; Thomaz’ soulful delivery complementing Helen Marnie’s signature ethereal tones. Driven by a powerful backbeat, a catchy refrain of ‘Who Am I?’ permeates the track, evoking a feeling of confusion before the track builds to a soaring, hopeful climax. A number of remixes have followed the track, including one today by CHVRCHES drummer Jonny Scott.
Loyle Carner ‘Yesterday’
Loyle Carner is back with his first new track of the year and it’s up there with his finest. With one of his most hard-hitting lyrics to date, ‘Yesterday’ sees Carner confront racism in the past and in the now, asking how much has really changed. Backed by a thumping beat, Madlib’s distinctive production lends an optimistic feel to the tune – his skewed samples and dissonant horns taking things back to the golden age of hip-hop. Offering a perfectly weighted fusion of the past and the present, it’s a sublime collaboration and welcome return from the rapper.
Pale Waves ‘Change’
Manchester indie goths Pale Waves are back with a new alt-pop banger called ‘Change’. The song previews the band’s second album ‘Who Am I?’ which is slated for release on 12th February via Dirty Hit. It is said to find lead singer Heather Baron-Gracie “reflecting on her own growing pains – depression, distraction, and feelings of darkness. But also her experience of falling in love, emerging with a clarity and optimism – being more open about her sexuality and stepping forward as the sort of front woman she couldn’t see when she was growing up.”
Adding a glorious pop sheen to the sound of their hugely popular debut album, new single ‘Change’ will immediately appeal to those who used to rock out to Avril Lavigne. It’s bright, grungy and brilliantly nostalgic.
All Things Blue ‘Lully’
The India Coombs-led All Things Blue continue the rollout for their upcoming album with the trippy ‘Lully’. There’s a kind of loose, lysergic feel to the track as it ambles along at a gentle pace, fully immersed in its own dreamworld. Coombs’ versatility shines through once again; her vocals delivered like a pinched whisper over a dreamy multi-textured backdrop. Drenched in melancholy, her lyrics are once again rooted in very existential issues; this time she takes aim at unsustainable farming.
“My brother sent me an article about farms using flood irrigation on their cotton crops in Arizona and how unbelievably wasteful it is. Cotton is the most widespread profitable non-food crop in the world and its current production methods are completely environmentally unsustainable.”
Luke Gomm ‘I’m Thru’
Having spent some time cutting his teeth as a writer and producer over the last few years, working with artists such as Miraa May, Joy Crookes, Sampha, Florence and others, North London’s Luke Gomm has emerged from behind the desk to release his debut solo track ‘I’m Thru’. With reference points ranging from Prince to Daft Punk, the track is slinky piece of disco that comes armed with snappy vocal hooks, funk-indebted grooves and a smooth electronic production. Based on the idea of leaving negativity behind in order to start a new chapter, Gomm has described it as “a breakthrough song, not just a break- up song”.
Elisabeth Elektra ‘Crystalline (Elektra’s Dance Mix)
Following on from her critically acclaimed debut album ‘Mercurial’, Glasgow synth-pop artist Elisabeth Elektra has shared a new dance mix of one of its standout tracks. Taking inspiration from French electro and artists such as Chromeo and Hercules & Love Affair, the track is elevated by driving bass lines and shimmering synths. A heady dose of escapism, it’s joyful in all the right place, transforming the original into an invigorating slice of dance-pop euphoria
Lava La Rue- Angel (feat Deb Never)
Although she’s been versatile from the outset, West London’s Lava La Rue is truly demonstrating her prowess and versatility on ‘Angel.’ While happy to dabble in the outer rim of hip-hop and r&b, Lava’s latest comes complete with a a neat segue into modern psychedelia that’s only a stone’s throw away from Currents era Kevin Parker at its most impactful. As far as crossover offerings go, there’s every possibility that ‘Angel’ takes the founder of the NiNE8 clique from underground acclaim to widespread acknowledgment
Kiwi Jr ‘Cooler Returns’
Along with the announcement of their new album on Sub Pop, Kiwi Jr have shared its witty title track ‘Cooler Returns’. Full of humorous and very surreal lyrical observations, frontman Jeremy Gaudet unleashes his sprawling stream of consciousness over a barrage of infectious riffs and hooks. With a rapturous guitar solo thrown in the mix, Kiwi Jr may sonically remind you of Parquet Courts but their mad view of the world is undeniably unique.
Run The Jewels ‘No Save Point’
After a brief hiatus, Run The Jewels are back on impudent form with No Save Point Filled with the same vigour that made their fourth record so special, RTJ’s latest track harkens back to the futuristic sonics of El-P’s Company Flow days while Kiiller Mike brings his insightful Atlanta drawl in all its glory. In the pursuit of not mincing our words, all that we can say about the latest dispatch from Mike and El is that it’s everything that you fell in love with the group for and perhaps a little bit more.
Billie Eilish ‘Therefore I Am’
Billie Eilish swipes back at the haters on her thrilling new single ‘Therefore I Am’. Advancing on the minimalist, laid-back funk of her 2019 debut album, it’s a bruising cut that’s built around a sturdy bassline and one of her catchiest choruses to date. Stating that the song is open to interpretation, there’s a carefree feeling to the track as she hits back at the endless media coverage and delivers sharp lines like “get my pretty name out of your mouth” and to not “talk about me like you might know how I feel”. With every new release after her debut album as different as the next, it’s impossible to predict where Eilish goes next; all we know is that the great level of self-awareness that’s imbued throughout her material continues to produce truly addictive results.
Check out our New Music Radar playlist which features other additions such as Foo Fighters, Gerry Cinamon and more.