It’s Friday! And as per, some of the biggest acts have returned with comeback tracks, while new acts have made promising starts with buzzy debuts. There are more #NewMusicFriday playlists to shake a stick at. Everyone under the sun is releasing new music left, right and centre. We’ve boiled things down to the bare essentials.
Sticking to tradition, we’ve compiled the most head-turning and impressive tracks of the past seven days. Jamie T is back, and reinventing himself like never before. Angel Olsen tackles all-consuming devotion, and newcomers Doe pack a sucker-punch ahead of their shaping-up-to-be-ace debut album.
Jamie T - Tinfoil Boy
You’ll have to forgive Jamie T his reinvention - only the most blinded would deny that his trademark’s been spray-painted all over by a certain young Essex troublemaker in recent years. It’s been a while coming, though. Indeed, 'Tinfoil Boy’ is evidence that perhaps Jamie T’s been ready to move on for quite some time.
Last year’s ‘Carry on The Grudge’ did exactly what it said on the tin, really, never taking Jamie’s cockney accent and modern-day frustrations too far from the path previously trodden. By contrast, ‘Tinfoil Boy’ is an explosion of fresh ideas, like the fizz-bang of a Panda Pop wedged in Jamie’s back pocket as he hopped around all those post-hiatus festival stages last summer.
Some experiments work better than others - the almost Chase & Status-esque “BOI, BOI, BOI, BOI, BOI, BOI” drop one of the more eyebrow-raising elements - but on the whole it’s a welcome, darker evolution, still housing that inner-city nausea that made him such a compelling prospect in the first place.
With a style as distinctive as Jamie T’s, it’s all-too-easy to sink into routine. ‘Tinfoil Boy’ is a rulebook ripped up - mixed though the results may be, it’s in the shreds of his past that T’s next moves reside. (Tom Connick)
Angel Olsen - Shut Up Kiss Me
Angel Olsen has a knack for honing in on one emotion, keeping a firm grip, and expressing it in a purified form. In this case, ‘Shut Up Kiss Me’ is all about devotion, safety in small numbers. Every line serves its purpose, from repeated bursts of “shut up, kiss me, hold me tight!” to the promise “I could make it all disappear… we could rewind all of those tears.” It’s about two people taking shelter, shutting themselves off from the fear and paranoia of a big wide world.
Life’s worth living if it’s with you, baby - that’s the message. Backed by simple, punchy, distortion-soaked guitars, there are no gimmicks to ‘Shut Up Kiss Me’. Free of frills, best served without any sides, it’s as pure an expression as Angel’s delivered to date. (Jamie Milton)
Doe - Sincere
Don't be fooled by this lot's doe-eyed moniker. London noise-makers Doe pack more punch than a bottomless boozy fruit bowl, and 'Sincere' takes pinpoint aim at irritating do-gooders of the world atop squalling fret-licks and biting lyrical take-downs. “Say all the right things, watch as the praise rolls in.... congratulate yourself on doing nothing,” spits Nicola Leel, letting the venom drip from each word.
The first taste of their debut album ‘Some Things Last Longer Than You,’ it's a song powered forward by ferocity, taking no prisoners, and sparing no snark. Levelled squarely at well-intentioned, but ultimately misguided men who try to muscle their way into every conversation, and dominate every dialogue, Doe take them down in one smart swipe. Glimmering and fuzzing, and dripping with lagging harmonies, there's a brilliant tension fuelling 'Sincere'. Step aside, mansplainers. Doe are the ones in command, here. (El Hunt)
Joanna Gruesome - Pretty Fucking Sick (Of It All)
Joanna Gruesome have always felt like an approachable bunch. Having first rolled onto the scene as students in Cardiff and Bristol, they’ve since tugged us into their creative friendship circle featuring the likes of Trust Fund, Grubs and Two White Cranes. This latest cut ‘Pretty Fucking Sick (Of It All)’ is an honest account of touring the states and running into some trouble with the CIA, as you tend to do. Also; it’s the first release without much-loved former vocalist Alanna McArdle.
The current line-up came from a chance meeting in an occult bookshop, although that’s a story which is told on the more wistful B-side. Despite the changes, it only takes a few seconds to tell that this track is unmistakably Joanna Gruesome.
Similar to the sounds heard on their early release ‘Weird Sister’ it hits with a messy barrage of guitar and drums, contrasting starkly against their distinctive vocal melodies. This is a band with the ability to take you through the motions, but it’s in the more hushed sections where their talents are really laid bare. It’s everything we could have expected to follow the gutsy album ‘Peanut Butter’, and definitely enough to keep us locked into their beautiful little world for now. (Rhys Buchanan)
Mabel - Thinking of You
On Mabel’s latest, ‘Thinking of You,’ she steps away from the shadow-dwelling trip-hop, and plunges headlong into an Aaliyah and Destiny’s Child-channelling universe of slick, confessional Rn’B. Here, she’s got a special someone on the mind, and it’s distracting from absolutely everything.
“Driving on the wrong side, thinking of you,” Mabel sings over strolling drums and synthetic trills of string. It’s deliciously infectious, though it must be said that some of the song’s more novel distractions sound a bit dangerous to be honest. Eyes on the road, Mabes.
Dodgy driving aside, ‘Thinking of You’ doesn’t make a single wrong swerve. A straight-up banger that gets right to the point with no messing along the way, it’s the fast-rising singer’s boldest release to date. (El Hunt)
Public Access T.V. - Sudden Emotion
“New York moves very quickly and it’s always about things moving forward and what’s happening now and what’s happening in the future,” Public Access T.V. head honcho John Eatherly told DIY. With that in mind, ‘Sudden Emotion’ is a suitably immediate and fresh-sounding cut to lead their upcoming debut album, ‘Never Enough’.
These four have always been ones to strut purposefully through their songs and ‘Sudden Emotion’ sees them carry on doing just that. Written down, the lyrics “It’s all around, sudden emotion / I gotta keep it together now” might suggest a mental struggle, but they’re delivered as the start of a gleaming, summer-ready chorus that couldn’t arise or advance more effortlessly. The entire track is one continuous, invigorating stream of indelible hooks that serves to reaffirm what’s been the casefor decades: New York + rock and roll = enviable coolness.
Eatherly has made a point of how important it is to persevere when the going gets tough in the Big Apple. Public Access T.V. would know all about that – their Manhattan apartment burned down last year while they were on tour – but this is arguably the most at ease they’ve ever sounded and their most toe-tappingly tight output so far. (Tom Hancock)
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This month’s issue also features chats with Tkay Maidza, Bright Eyes, Haiku Hands, The Magic Gang and more.