New Music Alert, 27 November – Featuring Foo Fighters, Cage the Elephant & Quilt

Here at All Things Loud, we’re inches away from unveiling our Top 50 albums and Top 75 songs of the year. With the year almost at an end, the amount of new music is becoming few and far between, yet this hasn’t stopped a handful of artists from ringing in the end of 2015 with some powerful output. Read on to see which six songs we’ve selected for our penultimate New Music Alert of the year.

In a move which many saw coming, Foo Fighters dropped a surprise EP on Monday. The five-track collection, dubbed Saint Cecilia, has been dedicated to the victims of this month’s tragic Paris attacks, which saw the Eagles of Death Metal (who are close friends of Grohl) show at the Bataclan worst affected. The Foo’s cancelled the remainder of the European tour not too long after, yet this EP (and particularly its title track) shows how we should all stand and remain strong in tough times. “There ain’t no secrets anymore” sings Grohl during the title track, his vocals underpinned by muted guitars. Anthemic sections join in not too long later, although the emphasis here is definitely on a rawer, more jangly sound which used to be synonymous with older Foo’s output. The whole of the Saint Cecilia EP has ties with the old Foo’s sound, and it’s a definite breath of fresh air for all those who weren’t satisfied by the grandiose and bombastic Sonic Highways.

What are we gonna do with Coldplay? The Chris Martin-fronted quartet are a group who you either love or hate, yet right now their new output really warrants the former choice. New album A Head Full of Dreams (out next week, December 4) features collaborations with Noel Gallagher, Tove Lo and Barack Obama (seriously), and it showcases a freshly rejuvenated direction. 2014’s demure Ghost Stories featured nine lovelorn songs, with the title of hit single A Sky Full of Stars being countered for the title of this new studio collection. A few weeks ago, the band unveiled lead single Adventure of a Lifetime in all its funky glory, with the Gwyneth Paltrow-starring Everglow the second song to be unveiled. Much like older Coldplay output, Everglow is a sincere and serene piano ballad. Will Champion’s percussion is, for the most part, centred around Mylo Xyloto-era electronic drums, whereas the focal point of the song is Martin. “We see people coming, we see people go” he muses during the first verse as he sings of his Paltrow heartbreak in a relatively open fashion. You might not love Coldplay, but the least you could do is give their new direction a chance.

As they carry out the role of Australia’s biggest metal band of today, the weight of the world is definitely starting to weigh down on The Amity Affliction. Last year’s Let the Ocean Take Me looks set to be followed up by a new record next year, with lead single Shine On having been put out a couple of weeks ago. Like most Amity songs, Shine On centres on a pulsating metal riff, which has this time round been accompanied by choir vocals. “So let the last light fade out” screams Joel Birch early on, before Ahren Stringer’s clean vocals lace the chorus in beautiful vocal tones. A metalcore-by-numbers breakdown appears just over the halfway mark, before leading the song into a massive close. The Amity Affliction are one of the biggest metalcore bands on the planet right now, with their upcoming arena tour with A Day to Remember just one example of this growing popularity increase.

Upon the announcement of new album Tell Me I’m Pretty, many fans of Cage the Elephant reacted in fear when lead single Mess Around sounded like a Black Keys re-hash. Producer (and Black Keys frontman) Dan Auerbach’s claws may have been all over the bluesy track, however his influence is far less visible on its follow-up, Trouble. An eerily twinkling melody and haunting vocal sections are at the forefront of the track, sounding more like 2013 album Melophobia. The verses start off extremely laid-back and subtle, with occasional acoustic
guitars making way for fuzzy instrumentation. “My sweet love won’t you pull me through” asks frontman Matt Schultz, before the chorus sees the haunting vocal sections return once more. Even though Mess Around and Trouble are on completely different planets from one another, Tell Me I’m Pretty is still shaping up to be one of the best records of the year.

A few weeks ago, when Tonight Alive resurfaced with Human Interaction, Jenna McDougall and co. waved goodbye to their beloved pop punk musings of old. Human Interaction was a pulsating, subdued electro rock track which showcased McDougall’s impressive vocals. There was an expected fan backlash, although this wasn’t a surprise considering the massive switch from pop punk to electro. New single To Be Free, taken from upcoming abum Limitless, sounds more like an 80s stomper than a moshpit rocker, with McDougall’s heavily altered vocals underpinned by electronic percussion and a distinctively increased inclusion of synths. It’s more powerful than Human Interaction, but it still bears all the hallmarks of an extremely attractive new direction which the Aussies are pursuing.

QUILT – ELIOT ST. (Stream here)
Have you heard of Quilt? We don’t think you have. The Boston outfit have been dabbling in the lower reaches of psychedelic folk for a while now, having slowly but surely been foraying into a more mainstream capacity. New single Eliot St., taken from upcoming album Plaza, is extremely hypnotic and woozy, with John Andrews’ vocals underpinned by trippy melodies and wavy guitars. “Oh, I can’t sleep, I’m thinking all too much” he sings during the chorus as co-vocalist Anna Rochinski accompanies him. String instruments enter the frame during the bridge, before the track comes to a beautiful end. You may not know much about Quilt, but you’re probably going to be hearing far more about them in the future.

Check back in two weeks for our last New Music Alert of the year.