Good afternoon to you all, fair readers of DIY. It’s been a rather tasty week for new music and we’ve rounded up all the best bits in another red hot edition of Tracks. London crooner Matt Maltese has dished up another slice of sweeping gorgeousness on ‘Comic Life’, while fellow city dwellers Yonaka are treading a ballsier path on ‘Bubblegum.
Elsewhere, Brighton riffmongers Demob Happy are back with a belter on ‘Be Your Man’, it’s another slice of weirdness from Baths and King Krule-tipped LA jazz man John Keek’s on a genre-bending odyssey.
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.
MATT MALTESE - COMIC LIFE
With previous, preposterously lush singles ‘As The World Caves In’ and ‘Vacant In The 21st Century’, our Matthew’s already proven that he can do sweeping, sucker-punch epics. Now, on self-produced newie ‘Comic Life’, the South Londoner’s dialled things down to a softer but no less potent concoction. A rumination on “those pathetic moments when your life seems like one big Channel 4 sitcom”, it’s a deliciously soft-focus musing on a universal feeling; next time you’re sitting around at 3pm, eating a whole bar of Dairy Milk in your pants, at least you’ve got a comforting soundtrack to make it that bit better. (Lisa Wright)
YONAKA - BUBBLEGUM
A highlight and set closer at the band’s recent live show, YONAKA’s new single ‘Bubblegum’, revealed along with the release of new EP ‘Heavy’, is the sound of the band finally settling into their skin. A fidgety, provocative sample blasts down the door, before vocalist Theresa Jarvis emerges with her most charismatic vocal performance yet - sitting somewhere between Karen O and Jack White - and a track that keeps YONAKA in that brilliantly flexible middle ground between your standard rock band and something altogether weirder and electronically motivated. (Will Richards)
DEMOB HAPPY - BE YOUR MAN
In debut LP ‘Dream Soda’, Brighton riffers Demob Happy concocted one of the most underrated albums of recent years. Brilliantly saucy and full of the kind of gnarly growls that’d make your nana blush, it was a treat from start to end. Now they’re back with ‘Be Your Man’ – the first single proper from their forthcoming follow up – and it’s no less fruity. A fuzzy, sleazy monster, dredged up from the murkier quarters of indie rock’s backwaters, it’s an undulating throb of a thing full of slightly glammy harmonies and crunching guitar stabs that are begging for a live stage. Welcome back boys. (Lisa Wright)
BATHS - OUT
‘Yeoman’ - the first track from Baths’ upcoming third album ‘Romaplasm’ - was the best thing Will Wiesenfeld had written in years. His sweetest vocal melodies yet collided with bustling, otherworldly instrumentation. Its follow-up and second preview of the record, ‘Out’, is a slower, more considered beast. Wiesenfeld’s vocals are as instantly inviting as ever though, worming their way around skittish percussion. A multi-dimensional voice, it’s one that’s truly coming into its own on ‘Romaplasm’, amping up excitement for the record even further. (Will Richards)
JOHN KEEK - IF + WHEN
Hailing from a family filled with musicians, John Keek began playing the saxophone when he was 14, inspired by jazz. Through time though, he gravitated to other genres too, eventually coming to combine elements of jazz, R&B, hip-hop and pop into a smooth, contemporary blend. It’s a fusion that’s already caught the ear of one King Krule, who asked if John could join him live in the US (including opening for him at a secret show in LA).
Previously, Keek had only posted two tracks online – ‘By Your Side’ and ‘Give It Up’ – but his latest single is probably his boldest statement yet. Taken from his upcoming EP to be released on Big Dada later this month, ‘If + When’ has been inspired by Keek’s move from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Kicking off with soulful, swirling vocals that reverberate around the track and classic R&B piano melodies, it’s a tune that gradually morphs to become a jazz-inflected juggernaut filled with cascading brass and sax (naturally). (Eugenie Johnson)