Summer’s here! As we’ve hurriedly rushed to grab some suncream this week, some of our faves decided to take the opportunity to drop some new bangers.
Father John Misty was first, sharing two new tracks from his upcoming album ‘God’s Favourite Customer’, and they find him as deadpan as ever. Slightly less suited to summer, but a shot in the arm nonetheless, is a return from Deafheaven, with the brilliant progression that is ‘Honeycomb’.
We’ve also got Let’s Eat Grandma, whose new track ‘It’s Not Just Me’, might be their finest yet, a barrage of euphoric synths and personal revelations. With new FIDLAR also in our round-up, it’s safe to say it’s been a huge week.
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.
Father John Misty - Disappointing Diamonds Are The Rarest Of Them All
Father John Misty is at his finest when he’s skewering cliched old tropes about love and life with his own uniquely scabrous pen. Whether he’s eyeball rolling an insufferable former lover on ‘The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apt.’ or wryly detailing his own unravelling on recent single ‘Mr. Tillman’ (“Is there someone we can call? Perhaps you shouldn’t drink alone”), the singer has a uniquely deft touch when it comes to taking these lofty themes and wittily sending them crashing back to cold hard reality (albeit a far more poetic version).
On newie ‘Disappointing Diamonds Are The Rarest Of Them All’ – one of two tracks released following the announcement of forthcoming LP ‘God’s Favourite Customer’ – he deploys these kind of bon mots with deadpan brilliance. Wearily commenting on the claustrophobic nature of long-term love - “Like a constant twitching in my eye/ This love of ours will never die” - over lush, deceptively full pianos (another Misty trope), he systematically compares love to the uncomfortable glare of a pervert on a bus and the seeping contamination of an oil slick before declaring “Does everybody have to be the greatest love story ever told?” Jaded yet with a twinkle firmly in its eye, ‘Disappointing Diamonds…’ is an absolute gem. (Lisa Wright)
Deafheaven - Honeycomb
With 2015’s ‘New Bermuda’, Deafheaven moved on from the revelation that was their 2013 crossover hit, ‘Sunbather’, building on the firm, blisteringly exciting blocks that it put in place for them.
‘Honeycomb’ is what follows - presumed to be the first taster of the band’s fourth full-length - and it proceeds to blow all preconceptions out of the water in its 11 exquisite minutes.
Its intro isn’t quite Deafheaven-by-numbers, but it certainly channels the brutal yet shimmering power of what came before it. George Clark’s vocals are pelted out over relentless, hammering drums and sky-reaching guitars that feel like the best of ‘Sunbather’ channelled into something new.
There’s a switch, though, at around the four-minute mark. The rhythm the track has settled into is shaken up like a snow globe, its boundaries reset. ‘Honeycomb’ pelts forward with the (whisper it) danceable momentum of a punk song, punctuated by Clark’s ever-present, blackened yelps, and irresistible, sunny guitar melodies that feel more akin to Queen or Thin Lizzy than the band’s black metal predecessors. It’s as exhilarating as it is surprising.
A sprawling, cinematic outro then fades its way in, sending the track off towards the 10-minute mark, knowing its work is already well and truly done. As a first glimpse of the band’s return, ‘Honeycomb’ serves as a repositioning for one of the most exciting bands in their scene, and a firm desire to move beyond it, the revelation that was ‘Sunbather’ a speck in the rear-view mirror. (Will Richards)
Let’s Eat Grandma - It’s Not Just Me
On ‘Hot Pink’ and ‘Falling Into Me’, the first two tracks from Let’s Eat Grandma’s second album ‘I’m All Ears’, the Norwich-based duo presented a new, hyper-modern twist on the weird, swirling pop of their debut album ‘I, Gemini’.
Most importantly, though, they saw Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth prioritising the core of the songs themselves, where ‘I, Gemini’ often felt bogged down by its own weirdness and flowery arrangements.
For all of ‘Hot Pink’ and ‘Falling Into Me”s promise, though, it’s new cut ‘It’s Not Just Me’ that sees them truly come good. As with ‘Hot Pink’, the track is produced by SOPHIE and Faris Badwan of The Horrors, who add significant sheen to the track, while stopping short of overdoing it, as the former’s signature plasticky synths threatened to do on the slightly saturated ‘Hot Pink’.
‘It’s Not Just Me’ skips along with a headstrong, persistent momentum, cutting through the awkward denial of an inevitably blossoming romance on both sides, taking one for the team by just coming out and saying it. The revelation the song depicts is also extremely relevant for the band themselves: it sees them breaking through to a whole new level. As if to ramp up the feeling of a barrier being smashed down even further, the chorus is set over a euphoric, sharp synth line that defines the track.
Trading off verses between them, the track also sees Rosa and Jenny forming their own, separate identities - where previously they’ve presented themselves as a two-headed but one-dimensional force - and bring far more to the table as a result. Rosa’s cleaner, breathy vocals helm the first verse, while Jenny’s follow-up brings more edge, with a vocal twang that sets the two apart. Diversifying and writing their best songs to date, ‘It’s Not Just Me’ is a superb step forward. (Will Richards)
FIDLAR - Alcohol
FIDLAR first backed us up on our choice of tinnies for the park in 2012’s breakthrough track ‘Cheap Beer’. They introduced our side of the Atlantic to the concept of guzzling a two-pint can with ‘Too’ lead number ‘40oz On Repeat’. Now… “I wake up in the morning and I’m loose / and I chew a couple pills and I hit the juice”? Er, maybe not. But then frontman Zac Carper’s not exactly been secretive about his substance issues - and you, dear reader, should probably not take life advice from a punk band. The boys Gallagher did warn you.
‘Alcohol’ swaps the LA foursome’s skate punk for a harder sound - they’re veering strangely close to ’80s hair metal, but somehow it works. A rousing paean to self-destruction - or self-aware warning, who can tell? (Emma Swann)