It’s Friday and that means two things! Firstly, it’s getting agonisingly close to that first, delicious weekend pint. And secondly, it’s Tracks time! This week has been an absolute stonker for new music, and we’ve rounded up and reviewed all the biggest and best new cuts.
Leading the way are Friendly Fires, who return after a huge half-decade away with the brilliant ‘Love Like Waves’, which forcibly ushers summer in and has us pining for festival season.
Elsewhere, Calvin Harris keeps the high-profile collaborations coming, this time linking up with Dua Lipa on ‘One Kiss’, while The Horrors share two offcuts from their ‘V’ sessions.
Whenyoung and Miya Folick complete this week’s round-up, which, we think you’ll agree, is an absolute monster.
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.
Friendly Fires - Love Like Waves
Across their two albums, 2008’s self-titled effort and 2011 follow-up ‘Pala’, Friendly Fires effortlessly strode to the forefront of British indie, adding a tropical, shiny twist to the landfill indie they emerged alongside. 2011 was a long time ago, though, and on their return with ‘Love Like Waves’, it would take quite something to reassert their dominance.
Unsurprisingly, though, they make it look effortless: ‘Love Like Waves’ is quintessentially Friendly Fires, but shows subtle but definite progression, and a drift into the welcoming arms of the mainstream.
Pelting straight into a brilliant, carnival-like opening, Ed MacFarlane’s distinctive vocals come in, and it truly is like they’ve never been away. A shiny hammerblow of a return, the track’s chorus is punctuated by forceful stabs of piano that are simply grin-inducing. We’re not faced with a new Friendly Fires here then, just one that we’re incredibly glad to have back.
Calvin Harris ft Dua Lipa - One Kiss
On last year’s brilliant (and brilliantly titled) ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1’, Calvin Harris traded in the sharp EDM of his previous work for a series of infectious, laid-back tropical bops, featuring an eye-watering amount of high-profile collaborations, including slots from Frank Ocean, Ariana Grande and Katy Perry.
He’s now returned with ‘One Kiss’, and his latest collaborator is pop star of the moment, Dua Lipa. The confidence that both Calvin and Dua are carrying at the moment seeps into every facet of the new single; it’s a track fundamentally clear in its message. It’s also blindingly good fun.
Set over bright, propulsive house beats, Dua contemplates an insatiable love, before a simple but instantly appealing chorus barges down the door. Calvin Harris’ evolution continues on ‘One Kiss’, while Dua Lipa’s star just keeps on rising. A raging success, we’d say.
The Horrors - ‘Fire Escape’/’Water Drop’
On last year’s ‘V’, The Horrors found themselves rejuvenated, and cast the rulebook aside in the process. They’ve now shared two offcuts from the album’s sessions, and they provide an even greater insight into the album’s creation, and probably both deserved to make the cut.
‘Fire Escape’ is a slinky, industrial cut sees the band at their darkest, fitting perfectly alongside huge ‘V’ highlight ‘Machine’. ‘Water Drop’, meanwhile, skips along far more freely, with synth melodies popping out of the speakers with abandon. Turns out even The Horrors’ offcuts are worth marvelling at.
Whenyoung - The Collector
Whenyoung’s latest single ‘Pretty Pure’ remains one of the best indie-pop songs of the year so far, a forceful but incredibly sweet thrash through gorgeous harmonies and biting vocals.
‘The Collector’ arrives as the b-side of the Ireland via London trio’s new 7” for ‘Pretty Pure’, and proves them to be a multi-faceted proposition. Aoife Power’s brilliant, distinctive vocals circle around reverberating guitars in the track’s intro, before a chorus as instant and catchy as we’ve come to expect from the trio barges its way in. Once again, Whenyoung show themselves to be a true delight.
Miya Folick - Deadbody
Fresh from releasing her ‘Give It To Me’ EP back in November, Miya Folick has returned with ‘Deadbody’, a vicious, uncompromising new single. Miya’s vocals are thrust to the front of the track, its undeniable focal point.
“Over my dead body,” she repeats over and over, and the sense that the new single is do or die for the singer is unavoidable. “I wrote Deadbody after reading article after article about people’s exploitation by people and power structures, and then talking to my friends about our own heavy experiences,” she’s said of the song. ”I felt defeated by the weight and pervasiveness of the system we are fighting.” Defeated she might have felt, but ‘Deadbody’ sees her come out fighting.