New music guide: The Neu Bulletin (Liima, Alex Vargas & more)

The Neu Bulletin (Liima, Alex Varga, SMILE & more)

DIY’s weekly guide to the best new music.

Neu Bulletins are your weekly guide to the best new music doing the rounds. They’ll contain every single thing that’s been played at full volume in the office, whether that’s a small handful or a gazillion acts. Just depends how good the week’s been.

Alongside our weekly round-up of discoveries, there are also Neu Picks. These are the very best songs / bands to have caught our attention, and there’s a new one every weekday. This week, we’ve hosted everything from the fuzzed out love ditties of Fruit Bomb to barbed punks LIFE.

Catch up with all our Neu Picks here.

(Photo: Shannon Hayden)

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Easy Kill - ‘Samson’

There’s more than a hint of Future Islands about Easy Kill’s latest bout of soul-enriching dream-rock. Pinned around a steadily pulsing bassline, it’s lifted by a sky-scraping vocal - lofty and inspiring, it soars towards a conclusion that could crumble mountains.

Liima - ‘Amerika’

Spiralling percussion takes the lion’s share of this first taster of Finnish/Danish quartet Liima’s debut album ‘ii’. Clanking and clattering like a worn out relic of an old industrial age, it’s when paired with that softly billowing vocal that this lot mark themselves out as something beautifully jarring, and at odds with so many of their 4AD contemporaries in the best way possible.

Shannon Hayden - ‘Vanished’

Experimental cellist (bear with us, here) Shannon Hayden pairs her stringed instrument with a haunted vocal that’s reminiscent of Neu favourite Cross Record to dazzling effect. At once ambient and electronic-leaning and yet tangibly real-world, there’s a lasting, heart-warming echo to ‘Vanished’.

Alex Vargas - ‘Shackled Up’

There’s nothing restricted about ‘Shackled Up’ - taking Vargas’ soulful, spine-tingling vocals and driving it upwards through swathes of electronica, there’s no glass ceiling to his glacial take on future-facing pop.

SMILE - ‘Holiday’

Like post-punk on diazepam, there’s a melancholy, hazy pulse to ‘Holiday’. Reminiscent of both those titular beachside jaunts and a murkier, city at nighttime sense of discovery, the juxtaposition of the two is gripping.