New Music Roundup, 24 March – Featuring Muse, Nothing but Thieves and Speedy Ortiz

For our fourth new music roundup, we’ve delved deeper into the latest releases and included some up and coming bands that you’re going to absolutely love.

The first single proper from Muse’s upcoming seventh studio album, Drones, sees Matt Bellamy and co. head into an electro-funk direction in the vein of Prince and Queen. From its opening, falsetto-led wail of the track title to its funk rhythm and wobbly synth lines, Dead Inside is a world away from Psycho, which received its premiere nearly two weeks ago. “I gave you everything, I can’t give you anymore” sings Bellamy emotionally during its climax, which is two minutes of pure perfection and something which Muse do oh so well. The lyrics, just like previous singles Madness and Undisclosed Desires, focus around love, this time intertwined with Drone metaphors. The album, set for a June release, will see Muse generally stick to their three-piece rock roots. Dead Inside, however, is the one exception on a record which is already the most hotly anticipated one of 2015.

Nothing but Thieves
began their year on the shortlist for MTV’s Brand New list, a collection of artists that the music (debatable) channel thinks will make it big in 2015. Following tours with Gerard Way and Darlia, they’ve slowly made a strong name for themselves by means of killer singles Ban All the Music and new release Itch. The track, which featured on their 2014 Graveyard EP, recently received its own single release and features all the hallmarks of a killer track. An opening, twangy intro precedes a demure and intense verse which is followed by a massive chorus set to blow up every venue the quintet plays in. If you haven’t heard of Nothing but Thieves before, expect that to change very, very soon.

James Bay
may just be another product of the machine, but that doesn’t stop him from releasing credible music. Following his smash hit single Hold Back the River, the Hitchin singer-songwriter has now come out with debut album Chaos and the Calm. Craving, the first track on the album, sees Bay reach out and include a full band as an opening riff leads into a folk rock-by-numbers verse and chorus combination. “’cus I’m craving something I can’t feel” sings Bay during the chorus, one of the best on his better-than-average debut album. His world domination has, whether you like it or not, already begun and hasn’t showed any signs of stopping quite just yet.

The Sadie Dupuis-fronted Speedy Ortiz are gearing up to release their second studio album, Foil Deer, later this year following the critically acclaimed Major Arcana, which surfaced in 2013. The Graduates is not a drastic change in sound for the Massachusetts quartet, a quirky opening riff transforming into a catchy chorus underpinned by grunge-laden guitars. Although they haven’t changed their sound drastically, they have demonstrated a more refined and polished sound on this new track. Whatever the future brings for Dupuis and co. remains to be seen, but right now it’s looking very bright.

Minimal quartet Warpaint are still busy touring the world on the back of their successful second album, Warpaint, which they put out last year. I’ll Start Believing is lifted from a recent double EP the group released as a sort of stop-gap between records, encompassing more of the upbeat and catchy elements that the band tend to avoid. A distorted riff and echoed, haunting vocals intertwine alongside Stella Mozgawa’s precise drumming and pulsating bass from Jenny Lee Lindberg, hinting at a possibly more energetic future sound for the group.

Sleeping With Sirens
recently released their fifth studio album, Madness, to mixed responses from critics who picked up on their drastic shift in sound to a more poppy spectrum. Don’t Say Anything, the final track on the album, gives Madness the explosive ending it deserves, with distorted riffs and a massive chorus intertwining nicely. “Breathe in, breathe out, some way, somehow“ demands frontman Kellin Quinn before vocalizing his hatred for the town he lives in. The track ends on a powerful rock-out and mix of ”na na na“‘s, giving the record a hopeful and positive ending. It might not be what we’ve learnt to expect from Sleeping With Sirens, but it’s certainly not bad.

Previous All Things Loud Rising Stars Kassassin Street are slowly but surely building a strong reputation for themselves back home in the UK, with debut single The Royal Handkerchief Ballet and its eclectic follow-up Centre Straight Atom both being received well by the likes of XFM and independent music outlets. New single To Be Young sees the Southsea-quintet encompass many of the same elements seen on previous releases, yet take them into a more refined direction which demonstrates less experimental effects. A continuously pulsating synth line and handclaps accompany Rowan Bastable’s instantly recognizable voice, before a xylophone-led interlude makes the song catchier than anything they’ve ever released before.

If you haven’t heard of Pangea before, fear not – they’ve only just begun! With merely a handful of tracks to their name, the Watford quartet encompass classic, distorted rock with elements of classic metal and grunge to create a young and raw end product. Debut single Love Machine features a dirty riff, accompanied by frontman Ed Hawken’s gritty voice. Next week will see them launch their debut EP, #1, at the Alleycat on London’s famous Denmark Street. There’s certainly potential present, it’s just a matter of what they’ll do next and how the wider public will receive them.

Check back in two weeks for a new music roundup.