It’s time for us to gather our thoughts once more and take alook at some of the music which has been rattling in our brains the last couple of weeks. Read on to see which new tracks by the likes of Pond, The Vaccines, Balthazar and Drenge were so impressive that they called for writing a feature on.
POND – WAITING AROUND FOR GRACE
Australian psychedelics Pond have only gone and released one of the albums of the year in the uber-trippy Man It Feels Like Space Again. Album opener Waiting Around for Grace kicks off as a minute of frontman Nick Allbrook accompanying lone synths, before everything slowly takes shape thanks to some glam rock guitars, melodic synths and a chorus so epic that you have to sit back, relax and contemplate on what you just heard. If you’ve not listened to Pond before, we recommend you start here and work your way back through their previous albums. It only makes sense.
THE VACCINES – HANDSOME
Indie rockers The Vaccines took the world by storm in a very brief space of time with their powerful opening salvo of two albums released in the space of two years. Debut release What Did You Expect From the Vaccines was all short, sharp indie rock whereas its follow up Come of Age encompassed some more thoughtful, drawn out rockers. Their third studio album is set to be released this year, with the sharp and powerful Handsome being its lead single. Catchy vocals from Justin Young take the foreground in this short song, one which will help send The Vaccines higher up into UK rock stardom.
DJANGO DJANGO – FIRST LIGHT
First Light, the brand new comeback single from Scottish/English synth-poppers Django Django, is exactly what you’d expect from four hipster scots armed with synths, electronic drums and plenty of time in the studio. “Sending out a signal from the city we went, towards a future that is greener than the money we spend” sings vocalist Vincent Neff over a throbbing and pulsating intro beat, before the song progresses nicely as it encompasses a catchy chorus and incredibly danceable bassline.
BALTHAZAR – THEN WHAT
Balthazar, who hail from Belgium, have slowly been rising through the indie rock ranks on the mainland side of Europe, having recently toured with the likes of Editors and appearing on festival main stages throughout Europe. This success may not have fully translated in other territories, but those worries may be long gone if their upcoming album Thin Walls is anything like its lead single, Then What. From the off, Then What hits you with fine-tuned indie precision and features a memorable “whoo ooh” howl in the background which makes you feel all funny inside. Well done, Balthazar.
DRENGE – WE CAN DO WHAT WE WANT
Back when rock duo Drenge released debut album Bloodsports in 2013, it showed us two angry young brothers with a knack for a killer riff and angst-ridden lyrics. This time round, though, there’s less angst present as the duo prepare to release second album Undertow in April. Lead single We Can Do What We Want is led by a massive riff and repetitive lyric of “We can do, we can do, we can do what we want” courtesy of vocalist/guitarist Eoin Loveless. It may be one of the more underrated albums we can expect this year, yet that doesn’t take away from how exciting and potentially massive these guys could be.
WILL BUTLER – ANNA
Arcade Fire’s multi-instrumentalist and all-round onstage nutcase Will Butler recently announced he was to go down the solo route whilst the Canadian behemoths take a short break, a decision which has thus far yielded killer results. Debut single Take My Side portrayed him in a swaggering, Rolling Stones-esque light, with new single Anna going down a more beat-driven, danceable rock route. Its accompanying, self-directed music video sees a dancing, suit-clad Butler losing himself to the song, something we’re all bound to be doing once he plays his first headline tour of Europe this spring.
SUE THE NIGHT – THE WHALE
Dutch sextet Sue the Night recently released their debut album Mosaic to critical acclaim, showcasing some of the fantastic talents that can be found within the borders of the Netherlands. The Whale, which is the latest single to be taken from the record, sees the Suus de Groot-fronted band go all Springsteen/80s classic rock on us with a danceable riff and synth combo. De Groot even resorts to half-rapped verses and metaphorical references to the “whale in the closet”. Come summer, there’ll be an abundance of opportunities to see them live as they take their live set throughout the country, stopping at (probably) every single free festival Holland has to offer.