It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for our weekly Tracks round-up!
In this week’s edition, we see Fontaines DC emerge with details of their debut album ‘Dogrel’ with a simply huge opening track, the suitably-titled ‘Big’.
They’re joined in this week’s Tracks by Show Me The Body are back with details of a new record and confrontational new track ‘Camp Orchestra’.
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.
Fontaines DC - Big
It takes precisely ten seconds of Fontaines DC’s new song ‘Big’ for Grain Chatten to get you under his thumb and inside his brain. “Dublin in the rain is mine,” he bellows atop a furious wave of crushing guitars, introducing the band’s debut album ‘Dogrel’ as one that’s set to make them frontrunners in a new scene that’s making the Irish capital the most exciting place for guitar music on the planet at the moment.
“We felt that great ambition was a sickness,” the band say of the track, which comes with a new video which sees Grian’s 11 year-old neighbour strutting his way down a Dublin street with all the swagger and ambition of a rockstar. “He’s got the presence of a hundred frontmen,” the band agree.
The five-piece might believe that there’s downsides to shooting from the stars, but in every move they’ve made over the last year, they’ve shown a world-beating ambition. From the biting honesty and confrontation of last single ‘Too Real’ to the short, snappy ‘Big’ and its gargantuan statement of a chorus - “My childhood was small, but I’m gonna be big” - they’re showing all the hallmarks of a huge, important rock band. ‘Dogrel’ is set to see the prophecy come true. (Will Richards)
Marina - Handmade Heaven
Turns out diamonds aren’t a girls best friend as our Marina has ditched her sparkling extras in favour of a totally solo comeback. But if you thought her high-polished pop would be any less shiny without dem jewels then, well… she wasn’t exactly gonna release a crunk album was she.
Four years since the singer last put out any music, the pop landscape has changed vastly; weirdly ‘Handmade Heaven’, with its sweeping background and drum machine beats, feels more more at home now than Marina’s operatic, hyper extra pop ever have. There are hints of Sky Ferreira’s ‘Heavy Metal Heart’ in its repeated chorus but, for someone who’s always sat slightly strangely among the pop landscape, like the drama kid who’s always 10% more flamboyant than the situation requires, it’s a comeback that feels a lot more, well, normal than we’d expect. Yeah, it’s a hit, but it’s perhaps a safe one. Make of that what you will. (Lisa Wright)
Show Me The Body - Camp Orchestra
“A lot of people have said to us this is a perfect time to make a Punk record. We are disgusted by this prompt,” NYC punks Show Me The Body say in a statement about upcoming album ‘Dog Whistle’. “This album and our music does not belong to a political party. No authority, political movement, or side may claim the function of our music in this society. This album is personal. It is about and for the disenfranchised youth of this city, of this country, and of this earth. It is for our community and anyone who may find shelter within it.”
‘Camp Orchestra’, the first preview of the new record, is as confrontational, uncompromising and fierce as such a statement might suggest, and shows them to be one of the most singular bands around at the moment.
The track and its video were inspired by the band’s recent visit to the Auschwitz memorial, and its title is a reference to the Jewish orchestra groups that were formed in concentration camps during World War II. Thematically, then, it comes with heavy baggage, something Show Me The Body are renowned for. Musically, this heaviness is transmitted perfectly - a disconcertingly melodic bass guitar intro is joined by almost balkan stabs of tinny guitar, before the track handbrake turns into an apocalyptically huge punk song.
“No work will set you free,” Julian Cashwan Pratt spits with venom, flipping the ‘achtung macht frei’ slogan on the steel gates of the concentration camp on its head in a visceral hit of passion and discontent.
Though the band refuse to align themselves with any movement, political or otherwise, ‘Camp Orchestra’ affirms that they’re a group to truly believe in, no holds barred. (Will Richards)
CHAI - CHOOSE GO!
When we first heard new Heavenly signings CHAI on their ‘PINK’ EP from last year, it was with an intoxicating blast of giddy exuberance, a record we labelled “an unapologetic, brilliant melting pot like little else.”
With new album ‘PUNK’, due next year, it looks like they’re set to take this inherent weirdness even further. New single ‘CHOOSE GO!’, complete with a video straight out of an American high school movie, takes the components of a buoyant punk song - chugging bass, fervent slaps of the drums - and adds lavish servings of pure, unadulterated fun. There’s an undeniable gang mentality to CHAI, which flows through the video and its cheerleading, sack racing, baseball, American football and beyond, but it’s also pushed right to the front in the song, with voices and instruments continually overlapping and intertwining.
In our interview with CHAI last year, they championed self-acceptance and a rejection of outdated stereotypes. “It’s music for everybody,” they told us. “In Japan, pink is considered acceptable for little girls and once you start getting older, there tends to be an unspoken word of not wearing pink after a certain age. Because of this, we want to show you that pink is cool no matter how old you are. Also, that women are cool!”
This theme of striving for self-acceptance and grabbing every opportunity possible is at the heart of ‘CHOOSE GO!’, a song that champions making the most of your life. As they write in the YouTube description for the video:
“By all means, I’m going to try! Starting from things I’ve never done before, I will try it all! Because in the midst of being lost, You end up forgetting what you wanted to initially do! You fail, you get really embarrassed, you laugh about it, and then you try it again! That’s the best part! To become who I want to be, I’ll always continue to CHOOSE GO!”
Full steam ahead, CHAI. (Will Richards)
Charly Bliss - Capacity
“I used to think that I should be good at everything,” Charly Bliss’ Eva Hendricks admits on the opening line of new track ‘Capacity’, “but now I know I was wrong”. It’s a simple line, but it pretty much sums up the ethos of the track. A song that warns of the dangers of putting too much pressure on yourself and getting swept up in other people’s opinions of you, ‘Capacity’ is a sweet synth-pop bop about, as the band explain it, “wanting to kill your inner people-pleaser”.
Slowing down the tempo and dialing down the fuzzy guitars that characterised some of their earlier tracks, it’s an insight into the new direction the band are heading in for new album ‘Young Enough’ and the message is clear: push forward, forgive yourself and don’t let other people stand in your way. (Rachel Finn)
Rachel Chinouriri - Riptide
Newly signed to Marathon Artists, things are looking pretty good for Croydon-based 19-year-old Rachel Chinouriri. After releasing ‘So My Darling’ and ‘What Have I Ever Done’ last year, new track ‘Riptide’ begins as as something slow and piano-based, before evolving into a rich mix of harmonies, gentle drums and warm guitar tones. “Can I be the one to tell you that you’re mine?” Rachel asks tentatively on the chorus. She may not be too sure of the answer, but the song oozes confidence and charm anyway. (Rachel Finn)
More like this
Since the release of ‘Dogrel’, Fontaines DC have been on an unstoppable upwards trajectory. As they prepare to close out 2019 with a sold-out tour, we check in with the breakthrough band of the year.
The sizzling new song also feature black midi’s Morgan Simpson on the drums.
Highlights also include girl in red, CHAI and Mac DeMarco.
The new EP follows their second record ‘Young Enough’.