Last weekend’s Live at Leeds was both a pulse-raiser and a reminder that this year’s festival season promises to be something special. It begins this month with showcase weekenders, where industry and punters alike huddle into tiny spaces and eyeball each other in separate queues. Leeds’ get-together was the first of these, the best acts being The Big Moon, Nashville punks Bully and the showy, organ-obsessed Yak.
We’re hoping it continues next week at Brighton’s The Great Escape. Plenty of acts appearing at the fest had plenty to share over the past few days. Smoke-doused pop had its say with Honne and Aquilo’s latest tracks. And LA punks HO99O9 dazzled as much as they disturbed on a brutal, twisted double-video. Bully’s ‘I Remember’ video was quite something, too.
Other highlights arrived from UMO relative Silicon (for his ‘God Emoji’ video) and Public Access TV’s lulling ‘All We Want’ single. Catch up with all of the above, then see below for our highlights from the past seven days:
THIS WEEK IN DIY PREMIERES:
Elvis Depressedly, Radical Boy, Foreign/National, Royce Wood Junior
This week we gave debuts to new names from opposite ends of the planet. Elvis Depressedly - a prolific outfit whose new album is out in the States this week - brought simplicity and sincerity to their ‘Wastes of Time’ track. Back home, meanwhile, Radical Boy were similarly upfront, with an apathy-shunning blast of fuzz in the shape of ‘Summer Resort’.
Melbourne outfit Foreign/National switched things up a gear with ‘The Hedonist’, a song that backs our belief they’re the best dance/pop Aussie export since Jagwar Ma. Royce Wood Junior closed things out, soulfully stepping forward with the brilliantly titled ‘Clanky Love’, whatever the hell that is.
TRACK OF THE WEEK:
Beach Baby - No Mind No Money
All of a sudden, every snapshot lyric sounds darkly relevant to the UK’s bastard of a new dilemma. When charming newcomers Beach Baby sing “I’ve got no mind, no money / I try to find it funny,” they go from chirpy indie-pop peddlers to barnstorming politically-inclined potential saviours. Maybe something’s in the air. But even at face value, the Chess Club-signed four-piece have truly put themselves on the map with a song that brings bright invention to an otherwise simple pop song. Guitar parts scratch around in the distance, like they’re searching for something, and at one point Beach Baby sound like they’re squeezing a rubber duck. Anything but a bold rallying cry, then. It’s still something of a triumph.
DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK:
On the one hand, Leeds group Trudy purr and pounce like Wild Beasts on stimulants. On the other, they sound like simple, charming fellows who’ve been misunderstood. Violence and beauty compete on ‘All My Love’, a track produced by Spring King’s Tarek Musa. Falsettos fluter with thrashing guitars clutter, cuss words and lulling phrases having an equal say in things. Whichever side they end up choosing - brutally dark or perky and light - Trudy sound like very little else around right now. This split-personality look suits them well.
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