New music guide: The Neu Bulletin (Azusena, Happy Spendy, Common Holly & more)

DIY’s essential, weekly guide to the best new music.

Neu Bulletins are DIY’s guide to the best new music. They contain every single thing that’s been played at full volume in the office, whether that’s a small handful or a gazillion acts. Just depends how good the week’s been.

Alongside our weekly round-up of discoveries, there are also Neu Picks. These are the very best songs / bands to have caught our attention, and there’s a new one every weekday. Catch up with the most recent picks here.

Azusena - Red Sky

Azusena’s pair of debut offerings, ‘Crosby’ and ‘Better’, introduced a brilliantly unorthodox pop star. Its follow-up and first proper single ‘Red Sky’ takes this promise even further, and down darker, weirder paths. A track explained to be about “a selfish lover in a relationship who is naturally emotionally manipulative to the other person without realizing it because of their need for control in the relationship,” ‘Red Sky’ is as paranoid and emotional as its protagonist, and thrusts you firmly into the story with her. It’s a brilliantly immersive and gripping next step. (Will Richards)

Common Holly – If After All

If there’s one word that couldn’t be used to describe Montreal-based Common Holly, aka Brigitte Naggar, it’s predictable. Her first single ‘If After All’, from upcoming album ‘Playing House’, plays with all your senses of expectation, cramming three altogether different moods into the space of just three minutes. There’s the acoustic, folk section and a string-heavy segment, but then it all culminates in a cascade of driving yet hazy guitar riffs. How Brigitte gets this all to gel together into a singular, unified mass is anyone’s guess, but she somehow manages it. Common Holly? She’s anything but. (Eugenie Johnson)

Happy Spendy - Flex

Glasgow’s Happy Spendy might well be a familiar face; besides pushing a Casio keyboard to its limits with her solo project, ringleader Eimear also fronts the ridiculously fun Neu faves Marble Gods. This, though, is a completely different prospect. A heady mix of ‘True Blue’-era Madonna and lo-fi bedroom production, debut EP ‘You Look Lovely’ sways between pure romance, melodrama, and longing. It’s a big fuzzy pop hug, in other words. She plays local haunt Nice N’ Sleazy tonight (27th July) along with Lovers Turn to Monsters, Lush Purr, and the aforementioned Marble Gods. (El Hunt)

Adwaith – FEMME

As anyone who knows Welsh might guess, Carmarthen-based trio Adwaith are looking for a reaction – and they’ll probably get it with their latest single ‘Femme’. It’s one half of their new double A-side single due for release on 25th August, alongside ‘Lipstick Coch’ (aka ‘Red Lipstick’), and is a witty take on what it’s like to be a woman in the contemporary world. Adwaith deftly call out objectification, the issue of equal pay and criticise the double-standards of promiscuity between the sexes, all while wrapping it up in a sweet, jangly, hook-laden melody reminiscent of C86 that makes it all the more biting. (Eugenie Johnson)

Someone – Say Something

Say Something by Someone on VEVO.

With a practically un-Googleable name like Someone, you’d think that Dutch singer-songwriter Tessa Rose Jackson might be wanting to remain pretty anonymous. When she’s producing buoyant bursts of psych-pop like ‘Say Something’ though, it might be quite difficult to hide in the shadows. All fuzzed-out guitars, nonchalant yet spiky vocals and upbeat melodies, it’s an effervescent slice of guitar-pop. Oh, and it’s accompanied by a ridiculous and pretty hilarious video that parodies unqualified self-help gurus. You know, just in case you weren’t charmed enough. (Eugenie Johnson)

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