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.
Jockstrap - Hayley
Weirdness defines ‘Hayley’, the first track from new London duo Jockstrap. Case in point: the song is written about a person of the same name that features in Louis Theroux’s 2003 documentary about sex workers in the United States. “She’s very charming, intelligent, gorgeous,” vocalist Georgia Ellery explains. “Louis falls for her - the chemistry is so blatant. It’s about her, and the back story I made up about her.”
Woozy, fluid pop that maintains a DIY pop aesthetic without being shackled by the often minimal characteristics of the genre, ‘Hayley’ is an intriguing first step, defined by its hesitation to fall into any particular box, and Georgia’s brilliant, versatile vocal.
WWWater - SCREEN
Charlotte Adigéry - aka WWWater - has been quietly impressing over the last year, releasing the brilliant but restrained ‘La Falaise’ EP late last year. Watery synths and honeyed vocals collided on songs that felt incredibly accomplished if slightly scaled back.
Any idea of holding off the throttle are comprehensively thrown in the bin within second on new song ‘SCREEN’, though. The singer’s vocals turn from melodic whispers to impassioned yelps, crashing her way through a track about the limitations of modern technology (“I need a screen to keep me saaaafe,” she shouts) and it’s a brilliant, unexpected change of pace.
Cal Raasay - Rona
‘Rona’, the debut track from Newcastle’s Cal Raasay, values simplicity. Waves of layered vocals sit atop of simple, delicate acoustic guitar, perfectly reflected in a slow pan across a clifftop in its video. Slowly, a swell of synths and strings back up his probing, atmospheric vocals, lifting the largely intelligible lyrics to new heights and bringing quite a few goosebumps along the way.
Arlie - wait
We first met Arlie, a four-piece from Nashville, early last year with their infectiously catchy new one ‘Big Fat Mouth’, a track we said “just can’t stop unleashing illegally infectious hooks”.
Now returning with a new EP called ‘wait’, it’s clear the band’s penchant for all things jangly and catchy hasn’t gone away; on the new collection, the hooks are sunnier, the bass pops out of the speakers with even greater bounce, and the vocals sound sweeter.
Following ‘big fat mouth’ on the EP are the warm, inviting ‘barcelona boots’, the jangly ‘water damage’ and smooth, Tame Impala-esque closer ‘tossing and turning’. Arlie continue to deliver.
Leyma - bumpintheroad
Back in July, we were introduced to 18 year-old East London newcomer Leyma with the smooth, jazz-flecked sounds of ‘Lavender’. Drawing from the same pool of sounds as Rex Orange County and Yellow Days, the track skips along the line between honeyed singer-songwriter and rapper without a care.
“I had been thinking a lot about the subject of dependency in relationships, so “couple bumps and he’s longing her”, was the phrase that came to mind,” he says of the track. “No matter how rich, tall or funny you are, you always find these bumps in the road.” Maybe so, but on ‘bumpintheroad’ things are running straight and true for Leyma.
Hannah’s Little Sister - 20
‘20’ is the debut single from Liverpool-based four-piece Hannah’s Little Sister. In its video, the band head to a kid’s birthday party; caterpillar cakes, jelly, party hats - it’s all there. The track’s just about as much as fun as said parties, too.
‘20’ clearly takes inspiration from rock’s grubbier, ’90s side, but the vocals of Meg Grooters soar above the distortion and become brilliantly anthemic, adding bundles of fun and passion into the gritty rock song. (Will Richards)
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‘I Love You Jennifer B’ is an album of weirdness and whimsy, of technical prowess and nostalgic escapism. At its core sit Jockstrap: two musicians tinkering around in their own curious playground.
A record creaking and groaning under the weight of its ideas.
Check out lead single ‘Glasgow’ now.
Their eagerly-awaited debut full-length is (hopefully) on the way.