As we edge closer andcloser to the summer season, it’s time to take another look at the best new music that we’ve heard in the last couple of weeks. Read on for more.
TAME IMPALA – ‘CAUSE I’M A MAN
Our hottest track of the week once again comes courtesy of Australian psychlords Tame Impala, who have re-emerged with the announcement of third album Currents, as well as new single ‘Cause I’m a Man. The slow burning ballad is filled to the brim with a raunchy groove that even Michael Jackson would be proud of, encompassing less psychedelia and more dream pop elements than previous releases. “’Cause I’m a man, woman; don’t always think before I do” sings frontman Kevin Parker in a hypnotic tone as he expresses his appreciation for the opposite gender. “I’ll never be as strong as you” he continues as a combination of waspy synths and dreamy guitar lines intertwine to create a modern classic. Whether or not Currents will be 2015’s biggest album remains to be seen, yet what we’ve heard so far is currently pointing the Australian quintet in the right direction.
THE MACCABEES – MARKS TO PROVE IT Now that The Maccabees have finally returned, it looks like the majority of Reading Festival’s target audience can breathe a huge sigh of relief that they’ve been holding in since Jamie T went on hiatus. Following an extended period of rejuvenation and rest, Orlando Weeks and his band have returned with the upbeat and in-your-face Marks to Prove It. Forming around one main riff, Marks to Prove It has all the elements of a rock classic, which is impressive even by
The Maccabees’ standards. The second half of the song sees a repeated, descending keyboard line appear and disappear out of nowhere as the main chorus flickers in and out of consciousness. Although we can’t judge the whole album based on one song, it does look like 2015 will be a good year for The Maccabees, and we’ve even got the marks to prove it.
THE NATIONAL – SUNSHINE ON MY BACK
Last week, alternative rock behemoths The National returned with the release of surprise single Sunshine on My Back. “Tina loves the violence of living in the country” sings frontman Matt Berninger in an expectedly demure tone as he murmurs his way wistfully through the track, lifted from the band documentary Mistaken for Strangers. The majority of the track encompasses a continuously upbeat drum pattern which is contrasted with slow guitar stabs and occasional string flourishes. “Sunshine on my back is a lonely kind of pain” continues Berninger as he lets the pain swallow him through the music. It may not necessarily mean that a follow up to the acclaimed Trouble Will Find Me is on the cards, but it definitely brings us a step closer.
THE VACCINES – DREAM LOVER The Vaccines are currently gearing up to release their third studio album English Graffiti, having previously released the short-but-sharp lead single Handsome to positive reactions. Second single Dream Lover goes in the opposite direction that the Rock ‘n’ Roll riffs and handclaps of Handsome did, rather opting to act out the part of a slow burning, brooding rocker. Hints of synthesizer and bass wobbles appear in the background as frontman Justin Young wails back and forth between combinations of distorted guitar tones and pounding drums. The Vaccines are learning to reinvent themselves, and it looks like it’ll make English Graffiti one of 2015’s most interesting albums.
BALTHAZAR – BUNKER The Belgian lady and gentlemen of Balthazar originally attracted a lot of media attention in the Benelux region with their eclectic mix of subtle indie and crossover folk rock. In the years since, they’ve grown to become one of Belgium’s biggest musical exports since the likes of dEUS and Soulwax emerged. New album Thin Walls, which was preceded by the magnificent lead single Then What, recently received a release alongside new single Bunker. From its soothing violin line to its laid back percussion groove, Bunker is everything you’d expect from a Balthazar song. Thin Walls will hopefully bring them the attention that they’ve longed for and deserved for years.
CIRCA WAVES – SO LONG Liverpool quartet Circa Waves are slowly becoming one of Britain’s hottest indie exports, having impressed the world over with their upbeat, high-octane indie. Debut album Young Chasers recently hit shelves, featuring the likes of the anthemic T Shirt Weather and powerful Get Away. One of the real highlights, though, is penultimate track So Long. “So, give up on her again” goes the opening line, sung a style so grandiose that it deserves an arena audience. Frontman Kieran Shudall’s vocals are catchy and recognizable, only building up in intensity as the track progresses. Its final minute is pure indie rock magic, enough to satisfy fans old and new the world over. You may not realize it just yet, but Circa Waves are going to be massive and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.
WE ARE HARLOT – ONE MORE NIGHT Former Asking Alexandria frontman Danny Worsnop didn’t come up for air even for one moment when he announced his transition from the hardcore metallers to the classic rock of We Are Harlot. Diving head first into his new project, Worsnop & co. (including the talented guitarist Bruno George) recently released their hotly anticipated debut self-titled record, a record filled with classic rock clichés left, right and centre. Standout track One More Night leans more towards the heavy side of things, with Worsnop unleashing a few screams in and amongst his recognizable grizzly vocal tone. Worsnop’s vocals aren’t the best part of the track, though. That title goes to Bruno George’s sublime guitar skills which, despite all the metal cliché, manage to surpass all expectations set for the record and defy the critics.
THE MYSTERONS – THUNDERBIRD 1 Dutch group The Mysterons, who are comprised of members from Pauw and Jungle by Night, have only recently started making waves with their debut self-titled release. With influences ranging from 70s and 80s funk to afrobeat and jazz, The Mysterons are almost a one-of-a-kind act on Dutch shores. Standout track Thunderbird 1 takes a brassy synth wobble (akin to Gorillaz) and morphs it with a smooth, jazzy groove and psychedelic breeze. Jacqueline van Schaik’s sweet, serene vocals seamlessly weave all the instruments together in the most soothing way possible, creating a magical end product.
Check back in two weeks for a new edition of New Music Roundup.