Once again, we’ve delved deep into the best releases of the last two weeks for our fortnightly New Music Roundup. We’re now halfway through August, meaning that the festival season is almost over. Read on to see which new music we’ve got lined up for you this week.
CHVRCHES – NEVER ENDING CIRCLES TRACK OF THE WEEK
This week, our Track of the Week comes courtesy of Scottish electro pop trio Chvrches, who have just announced their sophomore studio release Every Open Eye. Comeback single Leave a Trace was trademark Chvrches, and its follow-up Never Ending Circles is no different. A swagger-laden synth and drum combo accompany Lauren Mayberry’s sickly sweet vocals for the majority of the track, with it in parts sounding like older single Lies. “Here’s to taking what you came for” sings Mayberry ahead of the chorus, her voice soaring over Martin Doherty and Iain Cook’s squelchy instrumentals. It may not be a new direction which Chvrches have headed in for their new record, but that definitely doesn’t make Every Open Eye any less exciting. Listen here
COURTNEY BARNETT – NOBODY REALLY CARES IF YOU DON’T GO TO
Aussie slacker Courtney Barnett has returned with another touch of genius rock wit. New single Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party is roughly three minutes of grunge-infused stoner rock, complete with carefully crafted lyrics and fuzzy guitar undertones. “You’re saying definitely maybe, I’m saying probably no” she sings during the first verse, before the chorus sees her voice wail and express her desires for going out whilst staying home. Although the garage rock-y grunge instrumentals of the track are addictive and upbeat, the lyrics are what make this song so great. “I wanna go out but I wanna stay home” sings Barnett during the chorus, contradicting herself nicely in the space of one line. It might take a while yet, but Barnett is a singer-songwriter hero of the future. Listen here
ENTER SHIKARI – ANAESTHETIST (RESO REMIX)
This week, St Albans quartet Enter Shikari announced a brand new remix album based on January release The Mindsweep. The Mindsweep: Hospitalised sees the four-piece team up with the famed label Hospital Records for a remix album which will feature Mindsweep reworkings by the likes of Reso, Lynx and London Elektricity. The first cut to be taken from this collaboration is Reso’s remix of recent Shikari single Anaesthetist, which has been given the classic Hospital Records Drum and Bass treatment. Anaesthetist’s opening melody has been slowed down and de-tuned significantly, with frontman Rou Reynold-s vocals bathed in effects alongside a cacophony of hard bass and pounding bass drums. The drop is a hard hitting mixture of waspy synths, two-step percussion and occasional vocal stabs, perfectly complementing the original track. “Illness isn’t a crime for which you should be punished” states Reynolds over the diverse instrumentation, his declaration more valuable than ever in this day and age. Listen here
NECK DEEP – THREAT LEVEL MIDNIGHT
Pop punk frontrunners Neck Deep put out their sophomore studio album Life’s Not Out to Get You last week Friday, with it receiving a positive review from All Things Loud. The rest of the music world has felt many of the same things about the record, in particular the most recent track to be unveiled from it – Threat Level Midnight. An opening salvo of balls-to-the-walls pop punk melodies and chugged chords accompany Ben Barlow’s angst ridden vocals over the course of the track, with Barlow and co. not making much room for rest throughout. “I’m getting sick of being broke” sings the frontman during the upbeat chorus, his vocals equal parts pop punk and stadium-ready as they collide with powerful percussion, distorted bass and speedy guitars. Neck Deep are the new saviours of a dying genre, that’s a simple fact. Listen here
CROSSFAITH – DEVIL’S PARTY
Japanese electronicore collective Crossfaith are undoubtedly one of the hottest bands in their genre at the moment, with new album Xeno set for release next month. Following the release of lead single Ghost in the Mirror, the band have now put out its follow-up, Devil’s Party. If you’re familiar with Crossfaith, then this song won’t be much of a surprise to you. The only differences this time round are the distinct inclusions of more clean vocals, as opposed to the scream-heavy verses of Crossfaith circa 2013. Devil’s Party opens with a dark, wobbly bassline which bubbles up and leads into a Linkin Park-on-steroids riff. Kenta Koie’s vocals are as addictive and powerful as ever, intertwining nicely between hints of radio-friendly singing and hardcore screams. Crossfaith aren’t the first name on everyone’s mind when it comes to electro-infused hardcore, but that looks all set to change in the near future. Xeno might just change the game for Koie and his band, yet only time will tell. Listen here
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE – PLAYING GOD
Following a disastrous few years, Welsh hard rock outfit Bullet for My Valentine are finally returning with a new album – the infectious Venom (punintended). The most recent single to be released from this record is the 80s hair metal-flecked Playing God, which sees the band go back to their early roots as they combine elements from across all their influences. “No one will stop us now we’re playing god” sings vocalist Matthew Tuck during the chorus, before the verses chug along in a cacophony of 80s-laden swagger. Hardcore screams are interspersed throughout the chorus, keeping the track fresh as it careers towards an anthemic end. It’s nothing revolutionary by any means, but it doesn’t mean that the song isn’t any less explosive. A haunting mid-section pulsates effervescently, before climaxing in a pit-ready breakdown made for main stages the world over. It seems that, after an unsightly dip, Bullet for My Valentine are well and truly alive and kicking. Listen here
VELUDO PLANES – WICKER MANRECOMMENDATION OF THE WEEK Our Recommendation of the Week comes in the shape of Veludo Planes’ catchy new single, Wicker Man. The quartet, who hail from Portsmouth, have slowly been building momentum whilst the hype surrounds them. Wicker Man’s anthemic chorus seems lifted straight out of the late 90s Britpop era, with an added modern twist included in the form of intricate guitar work and polished verses. It’s nothing game-changing or ‘never heard before’; rather, it’s a breath of fresh indie rock air in a scene which is currently more than saturated already. Give it five years and you’ll be hearing much, much more from Veludo Planes. Listen here
Check back in two weeks for another New Music Roundup.