Round-up: Tracks: Animal Collective, Big Ups & More

The DIY writers pick out the biggest and best songs from the last seven days.

Photo: Mike Massaro / DIY.

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. Animal Collective finally lifted the lid on new material after playing ‘Painting With’ in an airport, as you do, and Kate Tempest has penned a very timely tirade against the current state of affairs. That’s just for starters. 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.

Animal Collective - FloriDada

Bouncing into life in a soupy swirl of slinky-boinks, ‘FloriDada’ instantly departs from the static-fuzzed sound of Animal Collective’s ‘Centipede Hz.’ and kick starts the next chapter, ‘Painting With’. It’s a typical sonic leap from a band that hasn’t sat still for 16 years. Uproarious cackling punctuates, squealing dog chew synthesizers sound, and vague imitations of standard issue 60s pop melodies peep through the gaps; Avey Tare, Panda Bear, and Geologist assembling a doo-wopping backing choir. Despite being a hub of busyness, though, what’s more striking is the relative minimalism - by Animal Collective’s standards, at least. Everything is pushed right forwards in the mix - almost pressing on the studio’s glass divide - and each sound is distinct, and crisp. Obsessed with anarchy, silliness, chaos, and nonsense, the idea of Dada has long figured in the band’s music, and on ‘FloriDada’, it finally gets a namecheck. (El Hunt)

Big Ups - Capitalized

There’s a propulsion to Big Ups’ every move – a feeling of barely contained chaos driving everything forward. ‘Capitalized’ is their pedal-to-the-metal moment.

Swaggering into frame with a slack-jawed bassline in tow, it takes mere seconds for everything to erupt. The tension that’s underpinned every scrap of their fidgety hardcore to date is torn asunder, and in its place stands a furious Joe Galarraga, foaming at the mouth and spitting his catharsis with more venom than ever before. By the time things pull themselves back for the briefest of moments, it’s like trying to hold back a tsunami with a single sandbag.

“Don’t sleep ‘til it’s all been capitalized,” is the lynchpin. It’s that feeling of disquiet and discontent that defines Big Ups’ return, as they strap reigns on a displaced generation and drag them kicking and screaming into the light. ‘Capitalized’ is timely in a way that only the most important punk bands can harness – Big Ups might just be this generation’s defining ferocious force. (Tom Connick)

Kate Tempest - Europe is Lost

Somehow cramming a Hamlet reference (“to sleep, to dream,”), glass ceilings, emojis, and a biting critique on #piggate into one single song, the latest from Kate Tempest is as lyrically dexterous and restless as you’d expect from a celebrated poet as well as a musician. ‘Europe is Lost’ emerged on the same week that British MPs sat guffawing and jeering at each other in the House of Commons; setting aside an entire day from their busy schedules of claiming expenses for a debate on whether to launch air strikes on Syria. “We have learnt nothing from history,” Tempest says, and in the wake of a shameful ‘yes’ vote, her anger towards the current state of affairs has never felt more relevant or important. (El Hunt)

ANOHNI - 4 Degrees

Quite a few things come to mind when Antony Hegarty of …& The Johnsons fame announces a new album co-produced by Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never…

‘4 Degrees’, the first cut from Hegarty’s upcoming album ‘Hopelessness’ -her first under the ANOHNI moniker - is more cutting and instant than almost anything she’s shared up until now. She’s been extremely frank in stating her intentions for the song, and sharing its message, saying in a recent interview “4 Degrees is kind of a brutal attempt to hold myself accountable, not just valorize my intentions but also reflect on the true impact of my behaviors.”

Brutal is certainly a word that can be applied to the song, with ANOHNI’s voice harsh and visceral, set against music that can clearly tie itself to OPN. She’s described ‘Hopelessness’ as “as different as could be from my previous work”, and the difference is clearly something she’s relishing. A new name, a new album and a new outlook makes ‘4 Degrees’ refreshingly current, honest and absolutely fantastic. (Will Richards)

Glassjaw - New White Extremity

A thirteen year break between albums is pretty unconventional by any standard – but then Glassjaw have never been a band to even flirt with the idea of convention. Their genre defining second record ‘Worship and Tribute’ is now thirteen years old and hopes of a follow up have been dwindling as the band have undergone various member changes and label disputes, not to mention frontman Darryl Palumbo’s well documented battle with Crohn’s disease. There have been numerous false starts and one off singles but now, for the first time since 2002, we have tangible evidence of a new album.

While Glassjaw have been away from the studio for over a decade they have lost none of the intensity and venom that defined them in the first place. The thrashing guitars and pounding drums that open ‘New White Extremity’ are as intense and punishing as anything on classics like ‘Tip Your Bartender’ or ‘Mu Empire’. When Palumbo’s vocals cut in soaring over the cacophony it serves to confirm that Glassjaw are well and truly back.

‘New White Extremity’ is classic Glassjaw, pushing the boundaries of the post-hardcore bubble that they were originally pushed into, it serves as a reminder that in all the years since ‘Worship and Tribute’ was released no act has managed to emulate their unique approach to heavy music.

If you were to find fault with ‘New White Extremity’ it might be that it doesn’t really push the band in a new direction, but that would undermine the entire point. Glassjaw have always been a band who have done things their way, that they are doing them again at all is a fact for which we should all be grateful. (Stuart Knapman)

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