New Music Roundup, 18 September – Featuring Iron Maiden, Arcade Fire & CHVRCHES

Coming in a bit later than planned, our latest New Music Round-Up features new music from some of the best new albums out now and on the way later this year, as well as one rare upcoming entry from Arcade Fire. Read on for more.

Now, this one has actually been around for a while. Having first been played live at a Haitian benefit concert in back in 2012, the Canadian collective Arcade Fire are now finally going to be giving it a release. On 25 September, the band will put it out as one half of a 7” double single (backed with Get Right) in support of new documentary The Reflektor Tapes. The only existing video of the song sees the song embellished in swathes of Neon Bible-era Arcade Fire. The lyrics also relate to the same record, making it sound like it would’ve been quite out of place on Reflektor. Whether or not Crucified Again has been given a new, funk-laden sheen to accompany the album campaign it’s a part of remains to be seen, although all signs currently point to the original, stripped-down version being released. Listen to the original live recording here.

Scottish electro pop trio Chvrches haven’t been strangers to our New Music Roundup section, with previous releases Leave a Trace and Never Ending Circles both featuring recently. Clearest Blue, the third single to be lifted from new album Every Open Eye, is another sharp stab of Chvrches-by-numbers electro pop. This time round, the synths and rhythm section are more pulsating and menacing than before, with Lauren Mayberry’s vocals sounding more urgent than ever before. Clearest Blue is perhaps the strongest track to be released so far, standing out in its own unique way alongside previous releases. Although Chvrches still sound pretty much identical to how they sounded back when they emerged, it hasn’t made the anticipation surrounding Every Open Eye any less exciting.

Parkway Drive
’s new album Ire may only be one week away, but the Aussie metalcore outfit still haven’t shied away from releasing its contents. Bottom Feeder is the fourth song to be released from the upcoming revolutionary opus, and it’s yet another example of Parkway Drive’s evolution as a band. With every song the band put out (from the anthemic Vice Grip to the violent The Sound of Violence), they seem to present a new side to their ever expanding musical vocabulary. This time round, it sounds like an effervescent mixture of everything Parkway Drive do best, with extra subtle hints of nu-metal, clean vocals and stadium-ready choruses. Although their new sound has become more accessible, it’s still not quite mainstream enough for Winston McCall to take over the airwaves. Who knows, though, because maybe Ire will change the way people think about heavy music.

One band who have made a major crossover into the mainstream world is Sheffield quintet Bring Me the Horizon. New album That’s the Spirit has finally drawn a thick line between the vicious metalcore kids of old-BMTH and the stadium-ready band they’ve now become. One major example of this on That’s the Spirit is the radio-ready What You Need, which encompasses a chorus so massive that frontman Oli Sykes may as well have been projecting his missives within the confines of Wembley Stadium. “You make me wanna slit my wrists and play in my own blood” sings Sykes during the breakdown, showing everyone that, despite the accessible music, Bring Me the Horizon still haven’t shied away from writing lyrics which don’t hold back.

Iron Maiden
’s new album The Book of Souls, their first in five years, features three songs longer than ten minutes. But who cares, right? Because it’s not about the quantity of music, but the quality. Thankfully, Bruce Dickinson and co. specialize in both, in particular on The Red and The Black. The 13-minute long metal missive is every inch the powerful monolith its title and track length make it out to be. An opening salvo of acoustic guitar (subsequently obliterated by chugging guitars) eventually make way for a full-on music explosion, much like a metal journey through the ages. At times, it feels like everything Iron Maiden do best compressed into one song, which definitely isn’t a bad thing if you consider the immense back catalogue this band possesses. Its crowning moment spans the final five minutes of the track, which are essentially a full-on blast of magnificent metal. 2015 is definitely the Year of the Eddie if the Book of Souls is anything to go by.

The final song this week comes courtesy of London duo Oh Wonder, who only played their first ever live show a couple of days ago, despite having first released music in 2012. Last week, the two-piece told All Things Loud that the main reason behind this was (other than other work) because they felt it was good to not force anything. Thank god they didn’t force anything, because otherwise debut album Oh Wonder likely wouldn’t have materialized in the way that it did. Album highlight Drive encompasses electronic trip hop drum beats, sultry piano and Josephine Vander Gucht’s hypnotic voice, proving exactly why they’re living up to all hype that surrounded them over the last three years. It won’t be soon before Oh Wonder start selling out massive venues, because that’s exactly where they belong.

Check back in two weeks for a new edition of New Music Roundup.