Here we are, dear readers, once again. We have all communally faced down another week in the baking hot Mad Max-style desert-scape that has somehow become Summer 2k18 and emerged out the other side of it: sweaty, smelly but here. Together. And ready for a sumptuous dish of ice cool new music to soothe our poor melty brains.
Heading up this week, is the return of pop queen Robyn. After several years out of the spotlight, she’s back with ‘Missing U’ - nice to know she’s felt the same way. Elsewhere, CHVRCHES have teamed up with Japanese electropop trio Wednesday Campanella for a surprise newie; Interpol are serving up another taster of forthcoming LP ‘Marauder’, and Black Honey take us down the disco with ‘Midnight’.
For our verdicts on all of this week’s biggest and most exciting tracks, all you need to do is scroll down. And if you’re itching to check out everything else out this week, step this way for DIY’s Listening Hub, and our Essential Playlist.
Robyn - Missing U
When Robyn’s arguably biggest track ‘Dancing On My Own’ came out in 2010, the song came to define what the Swedish pop star did best: explore life’s loneliest moments through upbeat, melancholic and bittersweet pop made for the dancefloor.
Now back with her first solo song in eight years, Robyn’s ‘Missing U’ is no different. Here she tackles that same sense of the unfairness of loss again, exploring lack of closure when someone leaves your life and leaves behind so many unanswered questions.
“‘Missing U’ is a song about this trippy thing that happens when people disappear, it’s like they become even more clear and you see them everywhere,” Robyn said of the new track. Someone’s gone, the scent of them has faded from their pillow, leaving an “empty space”, a “clock that stopped”, a “residue”, as she sings in the track, over the top of shimmering synths and a punchy drum beat.
Robyn recently told Annie Mac that ‘Missing U’ follows the direction of her older material as opposed to that of her as-yet-untitled forthcoming album, but whilst the track seems steeped in a sense of nostalgia, it doesn’t seem like a step backwards. It’s both a welcome return and a fresh start after what seems like so many years away. (Rachel Finn)
Black Honey - Midnight
If you’ve been in attendance at any of Black Honey’s recent run of festival dates, you will have noticed a niggling little earworm, shimmying its way into view midway through the set. Full of pulsing disco beats and falsetto vocals, it was a curveball even in its reasonably beefed-up live incarnation.
Now cometh the hour, and ‘Midnight’ – the track in question – is upon us. And in keeping with the (be)witching hour of its name, it’s a fully intoxicating, heady trip of Saturday Night Fever stomps and pure dancefloor joy.
Temporarily ditching the riffs for ’70s sparkle and a spiralling, synth-laden instrumental break, its recorded version is like nothing they’ve done before; if the Brighton quartet have never exactly been lacking in ambition, then this is the track where they fully go for broke and throw the biggest, ballsiest pop nugget of their arsenal into the ring.
You can tell why they’ve been keeping this trick up their sleeves until just before album time (the band’s self-titled debut is due next month). ‘Midnight’ is a huge, exciting statement of a track; a mic drop that dares people to pigeonhole them. Or maybe we’re reading into it and it’s just a big old brilliant pop song. Who knows. We’re too busy dancing.
CHVRCHES - Out Of My Head (ft Wednesday Campanella)
For their first first new release since recent third album ‘Love Is Dead’, Chvrches have teamed up with Japanese electropop trio Wednesday Campanella for new song ‘Out Of My Head’. A typically synth-packed offering from the band, it finds singer Lauren Mayberry delivering a huge infectious chorus, whilst Wednesday Campanella’s Kom_I takes over the verses, singing in Japanese.
The track comes at perfect timing for the band, who just wrapped up a Japanese tour and huge set at Tokyo’s Fuji Rock Festival. It’s instantly recognisable as a Chvrches track, but by taking a risk to appeal to a non English-speaking audience, ‘Out Of My Head’ is testament to the band’s stratospheric rise and international appeal. (Rachel Finn)
Interpol - Number 10
'The Rover' - the first taster of Interpol's upcoming sixth album 'Marauder' - was the band at their best; Daniel Kessler's trademark tinny guitar melted together with Paul Banks' suitably moody vocals to see the NYC trio returning to the sound that made them so revered at the turn of the century.
Follow-up 'Number 10' sees the dark indie-rock turn from its anthemic and defiant - shown on 'The Rover' - to something that bares its teeth more freely. When the track careers into life at the minute mark, it's without restriction, no thought for tapping the breaks. Paul's vocals sound inspired, fighting against intricate, worming guitar lines to create something intoxicating in its intensity. (Will Richards)
Yonaka - Waves
With one foot in riffy, stomping rock world and the other in hook-laden, radio-friendly commercial land, Yonaka have always been a hard bunch to pin down. Much like crossover behemoths No Doubt before them, they're a proper band with all the credible trappings that come with it, but you could also quite easily imagine the token cool one off X Factor attempting to cover any of their tracks and getting a reasonable thumbs up from the judging bench for it.
'Waves' - the latest track from forthcoming LP 'Teach Me To Fight' - is another solid example of this multi-layered approach.
On the surface it's a surly, sassy number, like a female-fronted Royal Blood given a pop makeover. Singer Theresa Jarvis spits pissed-off missives about a doomed relationship with finishing school-level elocution, as stabs of crunchy guitars and keys echo the melodrama around her.
And yet, it's not just a rock song. There's something of the early 2000s angsty blustering chart hit (see: Evanescence, TaTu) about it all too. Which is not a bad thing. But it is a thing. Make of that what you will. (Lisa Wright)
Death Cab For Cutie - Autumn Love
Another taste from their forthcoming new album, ‘Autumn Rush’ arrives with the nostalgic warmth that Death Cab For Cutie do so well. Sparkling guitars open up for the chorus, the story of our narrator’s acceptance of discontent; “No more lighthouses to deceive me, just leave me / Floating on the open ocean, and let the moonlight take me anywhere on the tidal flow / And if I capsize, it’s alright.” A poignant and touching offering which swells into a glorious crescendo, it’s another great glimpse of ‘Thank You For Today’. (Sarah Jamieson)
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