We know you’re busy busy people, and that’s why every week our writers hold a wrestling match wherein the winners get to pick their favourite tracks of the last seven days. There’s been a few bruises this week, but without further ado (or fisticuffs), we present… Tracks.
Biffy Clyro - Black Chandelier
So far, we may have only been blessed with a handful of tracks from their forthcoming album ‘Opposites’, but we’re already well prepped for what’s to come: a double album of undoubted epic-ness. And in their latest single ‘Black Chandelier’, that sentiment is epitomised beautifully.
For a band like Biffy Clyro, that’s no real surprise but, whether it’s thanks to the tender introduction, soaring vocals, or the rousing choruses, this is a song that already yearns for a stadium stage. And whilst ‘Black Chandelier’ is yet further proof that Biffy are set to go one step further with their most ambitious work to date, it still rings true to their heavier roots, thanks to a middle section that drops so far that it’s enough to make you feel a little motion sick. The only problem? Whatever speakers we try and play it on don’t really do it justice, so we’ll just have to wait for the real thing. (Sarah Jamieson)
Among Brothers - I Do Not Believe
Cardiff’s Among Brothers have been sharing their ambitious and experimental take on pop music since 2010, with their impressive debut Barely Regal-Released ‘Homes’ EP signalling them out to be a band worth keeping an eye on - especially for fans of the likes of Sufjan Stevens and Efterklang - but the six-piece might have just stumbled upon their best song yet with new Too Pure B-side. Flitting between the big and bold sounds of crashing drums, piano and strings to frontman Alex Comana’s delightful, delicate vocals - ‘I Do Not Believe’ is quite simply a beautiful piece of music. Also, does anyone else get a strange sense of nostalgia when they hear the sound of the chain clunking against itself at the start of the song? Just me? (Jake May)
C Duncan – For
Chris Duncan is a singer songwriter from Glasgow who has a degree in composition and performs under the name C Duncan. This is absolutely all we know about this musician. There is no other information available, other than that he has been writing and recording songs in his flat. His soundcloud feed has a number of really delicate and beautiful acoustic songs that suggest a considerable talent. ‘For’ appeared on Fat Cat Records feed this week and it is perhaps the best of his work. A winsome piece of beguiling folk featuring a whistled melodic hook line that will embed itself directly in your head. The mystery around its composer makes it all the more alluring. C Duncan is an artist to look out for. (Martyn Young)
Alarm Bells – Cocoons
Remember Dananananananananananakroyd? Those self-proclaimed fight-pop pioneers from Glasgow? When they announced their split - or more accurately their decision to stop ‘smashing audiences around their collective faces’ – in September of last year, many mourned the loss of a band that never quite achieved the mainstream recognition that they probably deserved. Thankfully though, for all those still listening to Black Wax on loop, there is a glimmer of hope.
This spring two thirds of the briefly defunct band, and one new addition, formed Alarm Bells. The sort-of-fledgling group have already toured with Bloc Party and Maps & Atlasses and, this week, they uncovered the mind-bendingly progressive, Cocoon – and the surreal, confusing, and slightly nauseating, video that accompanies it. (Sam Bolton)
Majical Cloudz - What That Was
It’s a time honoured musical debate. What is more important, the music or the voice? Devon Welsh, aka Montreal musician Majical Cloudz, has that rare ability to combine both interesting sounds with a classically brilliant voice. Both elements combine perfectly to create music that is enchanting and deeply resonant. Welsh is possessed with a marvellous stately croon and on ‘What That Was’, the second track from his forthcoming ‘Turns Turns Turns’ EP, he aligns that voice with a buzzing synth melody that offers a perfectly stirring counterpoint to his voice. Welsh has previously worked closely with his fellow Canadian Grimes. On the evidence of this record, though he is swiftly developing into a considerably proficient songwriter himself. (Martyn Young)
Jamie Lidell – What A Shame
On the opening bars I wasn’t sure if I was in for an electronic song or a shoe-gazer type riff. I was greeted by an electro-indie-soulful-beautiful mix combined with Jamie Lidell’s Cee Lo Green style vocals. Lots of production on this track which has a relatively slow tempo compared to his usual style. With the new album due early next year I’m hoping the quality of ‘What A Shame’ continues with the big beats and heavy bass; not only would it sound epic on a nice pair of speakers but a club or venue or indeed field would be set alight by such a track. With a set of awards, an album and a festival performances under his belt this may not be the first you’ve heard of Jamie Lidell, but it’s the first time you’ve heard him like this. We’ll be following him over on Alive And Amplified on DIY Radio. Check him out! (Elise Cobain – Alive And Amplified)
Pissed Jeans – Bathroom Laughter
Pissed Jeans front man Matt Kosloff is an incredibly angry and slightly unhinged man. ‘Bathroom Laughter’ is their first material in almost four years and it is an incredibly invigorating listen. It is 2 and a half minutes of tightly wound, coruscating aggression with Kosloff disdainfully spitting out his lyrics over the thrash punk racket punctuated by a number of visceral guttural screams. This track is the very definition of a striking comeback. It’s also unquestionably brilliant. Expect to hear much more material like this on Pissed Jeans forthcoming fouth album ‘Honeyz’ released through Sub Pop in February. For now though just play this very loudly repeatedly. (Martyn Young)