Good afternoon dear readers and welcome to another edition of Tracks, and this week there’s more new music knocking around than you can shake a stick at. Creeper are making it rain - with ‘Black Rain’ specifically - PWR BTTM return with a hater-toppling first preview of that second album, and DIY faves and Class of 2017 stars Pumarosa have confirmed their debut!
That’s just for starters, too.
For our verdicts on all of this week’s biggest and most exciting tracks, all you need to do is scroll down. And if you’re itching to check out everything else out this week, step this way for DIY’s Listening Hub, and our Essential Playlist.
Creeper - Black Rain
Creeper don’t do things by halves. ‘Suzanne’ and ‘Hiding With Boys’, the first two singles to be lifted from their upcoming debut album, have dealt gigantic, flamboyant, punishing blows, and ‘Black Rain’ is no different.
The track was released on Valentine’s Day, but there’s no rosy outlook here. “Darling just you shut your pretty mouth,” Hannah Greenwood spits in the track’s chorus, and though it’s a damning condemnation delivered through a character, the vicious meaning attached to ‘Black Rain’ isn’t dulled one jot. As previews for debut albums go, this ramps up the excitement for Creeper’s to breaking point. (Will Richards)
Pumarosa - Dragonfly
After the free-flowing ‘Cecile’ and crunchy ‘Honey’ followed it, the band arrive at ’Dragonfly’, an early demo now beefed up for the five piece’s upcoming debut album. Beginning with ominous, grand strings, it’s a cut that’s as dramatic and full of bombast as we’ve come to expect from the band.
Vocalist Isabel Munoz-Newsome threatens that “it’s the right time to shake it loose like a dragonfly,” but when the track does get going, it’s with more restraint and measure than the runaway trains that are ‘Priestess’ or ‘Cecile’. ‘Dragonfly’ isn’t as revelationary as its predecessors, but Pumarosa’s work is already done in that respect. The new track solidifies the band as ones to keep both eyes on, while also seeing them settle into their stride. “Slide out of your skin and let me in,” she sings, and the band’s debut album looks set to ensure they’ll never leave. (WR)
PWR BTTM - Big Beautiful Day
PWR BTTM specialise in rallying together the world’s outsiders and flipping a pop-punk leaning finger in the direction of nasty pieces of work. Returning with ‘Big Beautiful Day,’ Liv Bruce and Ben Hopkins glare down the starers and judgers in a pogoing onslaught of Eggos and glitter-soaked riffs. ”My advice is to look incredible,” they advise, “as you make their lives regrettable by being your damn self.”
Bold, fabulous, and unshakeably true to themselves in whatever they do, PWR BTTM strike again with another mega-dose of empowerment. There’s no one way to be masculine or feminine, after all, and on ‘Big Beautiful Day,’ Liv and Ben shout loud and proud in the faces of those that claim otherwise. (El Hunt)
Pixx - I Bow Down
Pixx’s last single ‘Grip’ thrust her into a whole new world. There was a lot of promise in Hannah Rodgers’ early EPs, but ‘Grip’ saw her streamlining this ambition into a pop song that possesses hooks in the bucketload.
‘I Bow Down’, her new track that introduces debut album ‘The Age Of Anxiety’, sees Rodgers taking that idea and running with it. Her deep, cascading vocals haunt their way over a creeping melody, but when the track’s propulsive drums barge down the door, it becomes her most danceable track to date. As a gateway into Pixx’s debut LP, ‘I Bow Down’ shows that anything’s possible from here. (WR)
Her’s - Speed Racer
If the cliches are to be believed, then girls love a bad boy and nice guys finish last. Looking to relegate such claims to the Take Me Out cutting room floor, however, are Liverpool’s Her’s: a duo fully invested in the powers of old fashioned romance, but who’ll also charm your lady-friend right into their arms.
‘Speed Racer’ - the newest cut from their forthcoming debut song “collection” (somewhere between an EP and an LP we assume) is a cheeky thing built around the simplest of four chord sequences that channels the bright-eyed charm of ’50s doo-wop and the early days of rock’n’roll and filters it through a Mac DeMarco-loving lens.
Lyrically, meanwhile, it finds singer Stephen Fitzpatrick getting the girl with some truly smooth talking. “I only need your love for one night/ One night repeated for the rest of my life,” he croons. Who could possibly resist? (Lisa Wright)
Ralph - Tease
Ralph presumably decided to call herself, erm, Ralph after getting fed up with the legions of male producers sailing under female pseudonyms; the likes of Sophie, Daphni, Agnes, and Miss Modular. She describes herself as a rough mixture blending Sade, Stevie Nicks, and Donna Summers, AND specialises in sharply produced, 80s nodding pop. So far she’s onto a Ralph winner.
‘Tease’ sees the Canadian taking aim at men with unclear intentions, swiping aside dubious prospects and commitment-dodging wrong’uns. Instead, amid glossy surroundings, Ralph puts forth the importance of sticking together with your pals, and shouting loud about their achievements. (EH)
As the newest member of indie heroes Mystery Jets, you can credit bassist Jack Flanagan for imbuing an old(er) band with some new tricks. It’s no coincidence that recent LP ‘Curve Of The Earth’ felt like a group renewed with a fresh energy, and now Flanagan’s brought some of it to new solo project Bunny and debut offering ‘These Days This City’.
Despite its slightly weary lyrical tone (“These days, this city is getting the better of me”), there’s something innately wide-eyed and endearing about Flanagan’s vocal delivery; rather than coming off like a navel-gazing misery guts, the combination just makes you want to give him a hug.
Musically, too, it’s a gorgeous thing, building from dusky beginnings into a sweetly simple two chord motif, doused with the kind of heart-wrenching harmonies that suggest Flanagan’s as indebted to Neil Young and the like as his more contemporary peers. It may still be a little while until Easter, but this Bunny’s already delivered the only gift you need. (LW)
More like this
To say Creeper’s return is triumphant is an understatement. This is a rebirth.
They’re officially back, baby.
Upon the release of their debut album, Pumarosa’s world was turned upside down and not in the way they expected. With follow-up ‘Devastation’, they’re taking that part of their history and owning it.
It looks like they’re back as Fugitives Of Heaven?