With the summer very nearly in full swing, it’s time to check out some of the biggest tracks that have been put out in the last couple of weeks. Read on for more.
FOALS – WHAT WENT DOWN
“I buried my heart in a hole in the ground” wails Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis at the start of new single What Went Down, sounding ultimately defeated as the instruments clatter and collide around him. “They threw me a party, there was no one around” he continues before the track builds up in pace. A grizzly sounding synth underpins the whole affair as pounding drums make for a massive, screeching chorus. “When I see a man, I see a liar” Philippakis screams during the chorus in complete and utter defiance for everyone who did him wrong. And quite rightly so, because this negative energy is utilized so well that it sends Foals right back up to the top of the musical stratosphere. “You’re the apple of my eye, I want you” Philippakis screams further, before the track becomes more melodic by means of some added synths. Foals are back, and they’re ready to take over the world.
PARKWAY DRIVE – VICE GRIP
Australian metalcore giants Parkway Drive are set to release new record Ire later on this year, having now put out lead single Vice Grip. The track sees Winston McCall and co. say goodbye to their brute hardcore roots, rather opting for a more glam metal approach to their new music. McCall’s growls are still there, yet this time round they’re far more melodic and anthemic. A stadium-ready “yeah, yeah, yeah” chant is seemingly perfect for raising your fist in the air and defying everything and everyone, before McCall snarls “keep the flame alive” later on. The breakdown is potentially one of their most defiant moments ever, encompassing a repeated claim of, “Rise! Rise! Rise!” which brings the track to a euphoric end. It might be less brutal or menacing than what came before it (see: Carrion), but it’s definitely a step in the right direction for Parkway Drive.
EDITORS – MARCHING ORDERS
Editors’ comeback this year has taken considerably longer than before. That’s not referring to how long it took for them to put out a song, but due to how long the tracks are. Marching Orders, the second track taken from their as-of-yet untitled 5th album, is another brooding synth-swamped banger. Although the Editors of old were used to bashing out mega indie rock anthems, this sound seems to suit vocalist Tom Smith’s vocals far better. “Even though you fucked up, there’s still the makings of the dreamer in you” he sings in a suitably dark tone, perfectly complementing the 7-minute long track’s build-up. The arpeggio-synths spend a couple of minutes building up before they explode into a huge, emotional chorus which culminates in an anthemic chant of, “trying to keep up”. Smith’s vocals are more than ready to tear at your heartstrings, something which Editors know how to do best. It may be a definite farewell to circa-2004 Editors, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that what they’re making right now is no worse than what got them here in the first place. Progression is natural, and Editors are the masters of progression.
PIERCE THE VEIL – THE DIVINE ZERO
After what seems like an absolute age, new Pierce the Veil songs are finally blaring through our speakers! Off the back of a successful European tour with Sleeping With Sirens (as part of their joint World Tour), Vic Fuentes and co. have put out brand new track The Divine Zero. Where their scene counterparts have tended to go more melodic (or ‘mainstream’), Pierce the Veil have done exactly the opposite and stuck to their heavier roots. An arpeggio keyboard line opens the track before frontman Fuentes’ recognizable vocals enter the frame. He sings of cigarette ends and “oceans of kerosene” as the song hits full force thanks to pounding drums, menacing guitars and gritty bass. It sounds extremely refreshing on one hand, yet on the other hand it sounds like Pierce the Veil have never been away. The breakdown sees a mixture of faster guitars and drums mix with Pierce the Veil’s regular tone changes, before Fuentes effortlessly flitters between his higher-pitched lead vocals and haunting screams. The Divine Zero sees the quartet send out a firm message – Pierce the Veil are back, and they’re taking absolutely no prisoners.
FLORENCE + THE MACHINE – THIRD EYE
Florence Welch and her band, Florence + the Machine, have had a rather whirlwind year. In and amongst all the promotion surrounding new #1 album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, Welch ended up breaking her foot jumping offstage at Coachella. Now she’s set to replace Foo Fighters as headliners of the legendary Glastonbury Festival, with Foo’s frontman Dave Grohl succumbing to a similar fate when he fell offstage in Sweden last week. Florence’s new record, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, is a step into the direction of extreme grandeur. The record is swamped by swooping orchestral segments and massive choruses, with Third Eye being one of the catchiest cuts. Its “ooh ooh” chanted vocal holds the track together alongside pounding percussion, booming brass and an upbeat mid-section. The chorus sounds as much like one that you’ve heard a million times before as it sounds like something completely new, which is something that Florence does extremely well.
GENGAHR – HEROINE
London quartet Gengahr have just put out their debut album A Dream Outside, a record which encompasses all the hallmarks of a modern day indie release – sickly sweet riffs and melodies, lo-fi vocals and catchy choruses. New single Heroine is no different, kicking off with a subdued riff which eventually picks up in pace over the course of the track. “Oh, you can be my heroine” sings frontman Felix Bushe in a light tone before a whammy-led solo fuzzes in and out of distortion to play the track out. Gengahr are one of the hottest indie prospects of 2015, and it’s not very hard to see why.
Check back in two weeks for a new roundup.