Good noole, dear readers, and a happy Friday to you all. As usual, its been a busy week of new music, and up to their usual antics, artists have been releasing new songs left right and centre. We’ve picked out the biggest and best new songs to emerge this week, and there’s plenty to get stuck into. Battles have continued teasing new record ‘La Di Da Di’ in beserk form, and Girl Band are busy smearing themselves with sudocrem and watching Top Gear in their pants. In other words, this week has been chocka. For everything else out this week head over to the DIY Listening Hub, or hit play on our Essential Playlist.
Battles - FF Bada
Sometimes it’s best to imagine Battles songs as giant beaming pinball machines the size of giants. How else do you make sense of music so freakishly wired and uptight? ‘FF Bada’, their latest, is a song that’s ready to spill over, but instead of self-destruction it finds solace in hyperactive noise that sends the senses giddy. Going instrumental for third album ‘La Di Da Di’ isn’t the safest of moves, but if the rest of the record reflects ‘FF Bada’’s berserk shifts, it’ll either be a sonic assault that’s too much to take or a stroke of genius. Seatbelts safely secure, this feels like just the beginning of an assault course ride. (Jamie Milton)
Girl Band - Pears For Lunch
If you’ve ever woken up in the morning, attempted to up those potassium levels with eight bananas, and gone for the shortest jog ever “around the gaff” in a half-arsed health kick, your incredibly specific anthem has finally arrived. ‘Pears For Lunch’ - lagging along at wobbly-breakneck speed, all bleeping, tenacious guitars and foghorns - has long been one of Girl Band’s most formidable beasts live.
Dara Kiely typically plays a rocket-fuelled game of join the dots with his imagery choices, and in ‘Pears For Lunch’ he tips out all the unfinished, often nonsensical, fragments zipping round his cranial matter into one big, delicious mess. Live, this is a drawling, incomprehensible onslaught of fast combusting energy, but here it takes on a different kind of more audible fascination. Yelling manically about looking crap with his top off, digestive fingernails, and watching Top Gear with his trousers down, nappy rash cream smeared all over himself, Kiely is a totally unique band-fronting force. Imagine if it was possible to painlessly saw the top of your head off, and pull out your pure, unfiltered thoughts - about everything from facial hair bleach, to tap dancing octopuses and pissed off otters - in lumps of destructive, fizzing, neon coloured jelly. Welcome to the sound of Girl Band. (El Hunt)
The Big Moon - The Road
The closest comparison to The Big Moon singer / guitarist Juliette Jackson is Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner. A lofty link, but it’s one with substance given this hyped four-piece’s early singles. Like Turner, she commands spiky and thunderous guitar work with storytelling capable of flicking a switch at any second. ‘The Road’ has her verging into the ‘Submarine’ soundtrack territory Turner mastered with more sombre songwriting. Dark and ghoulish synths circuit like they’re passing through a ghost town, and Jackson delivers dark truths with a confidence that doesn’t budge. It’s bold without being too grandiose, showy without any unnecessary antics.
That’s The Big Moon in a nutshell, so far. They pen grand, arching songs that can also be consumed in three-and-a-half sweet minutes. Pop songs coated in darkness, place this up alongside ‘Sucker’ and you’re looking at a band with more than mere momentum by their side. (JM)
Martin Courtney - Northern Highway
Over time, Real Estate have cut through the haze of their early recordings with something more precise and weighed down in meaning. Frontman Martin Courtney always seemed to be at the heart of this move, his lyrics incorporating family life and growing up to the band’s tales of suburbia. It’s confirmed in Courtney’s first solo gambit.
It’s odd that Courtney is the last of Real Estate’s members to try something out on his own, but on the evidence of ‘Northern Highway’, he’s been bottling things up. A richer, more folk-rooted guitar line to his day job takes centre stage, while Courtney laments on how “I just wish I had you near me baby / I don’t have a chance in hell.” It might not be as hard-hitting as Real Estate’s ‘Talking Backwards’ in portraying long-distance relationships as a slog, but it tracks the same paths. Penned on the road, it’s the sound Courtney finding his muse in being fed up and away from home. (JM)
Jeffrey Lewis - Outta Town
Thumbs on braces, feet firmly set into endless jig mode, and partners lined up for a country dancing ho-down; the lead track from Jeffrey Lewis' new record 'Manhattan' is rollicking good fun. "The houseplants aren't doing very well without you, the recycling starts to pile up and smell without you," Lewis sings on 'Outta Town,' the anti-folk figurehead typically straight talking and no-frills in his say-what's-on-his-mind delivery. His number one love pal is out of town, the cockroaches are running amock over the shower curtains, and to add insult to injury, it leaves Lewis with a vague empty feeling that stops him finishing his crossword. 'Outta Town' is a charming take on a feeling we've all experienced. (EH)
Oneohtrix Point Never - I Bite Through It
Giving a whole new meaning to “where’s the drop?!”, Oneohtrix Point Never’s first glimpse of new album ‘Garden Of Delete’ is a sanity-shunning collision course. Glimpses of open space get shredded into pieces. Hard drives melt, connections combust, keyboard keys rebel and re-arrange. Throughout, the song always sounds like it’s stumbling from one dead end to the next, but out steps the next move, like there was only ever one option. Freakishly inventive and capable of sending normality into hyperspace, it’s OPN at his best. (JM)
More like this
Recorded in their hometown of Dublin.
Lifted from their second LP ‘Walking Like We Do’.
All proceeds from the one-off vinyl are going to funding specialist, reusable PPE equipment for NHS key workers.
They were supposed to be travelling the UK in May.