It’s the end of another week, and what a week it’s been for new music. The last seven days have seen Sunflower Bean offer up details of an incredible new EP, heralded the return of metal legends Slipknot - in time for Halloween, nonetheless - and seen Vince Staples drop a hum-dinger of a new album as a special little surprise for us all.
That’s not all we’re delving into in this week’s editions of Tracks: Young Fathers have offered up a previously-unheard cut from their ‘Cocoa Sugar’ sessions, Sundara Karma have turned up the bombat levels to eleven for their new offering and Deerhunter are back too, with the first preview of a new record.
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.
Sunflower Bean - Come For Me
Sunflower Bean’s second album ‘Twentytwo In Blue’ saw the New York trio taking the harmonious beginnings of first effort ‘Human Ceremony’ and melting them together with chunky riffs, belters of choruses and enough glam and glitz to become true rockstars.
They’ve now announced new EP ‘King Of The Dudes’, and its first track ‘Come For Me’ marks a brilliant progression, played out with fists clenched and toes tapping. “Twentytwo In Blue allowed us to find our strength,” they say of the new effort, “and on King Of The Dudes we use it, no holds barred.” Seconds into the track, it’s clear that no statement could be truer.
‘Twentytwo In Blue”s calling card was ‘Crisis Fest’, a rousing hammerblow of ’80s-influenced gusto, punctuated with Thin Lizzy-esque riffs thrown out with abandon - ‘Come For Me’ serves as the track’s natural predecessor. The track explodes into life via a choppy disco riff, before Julia Cumming takes further steps towards becoming a superstar-in-waiting, strutting her way through the track’s verse with intoxicating confidence, more than a few hints of Madonna in her delivery.
‘Come For Me’ is so unashamedly big, radio friendly and in-your-face that it’s almost a shame it’s consigned to a between-albums EP - it’d more than hold its own as the huge first single of any album, and could well become the band’s biggest hit yet. As it closes with a hair metal-worthy shred from Nick Kivlen and a vigorous, chanted outro, ‘Come For Me’ immediately asserts itself as Sunflower Bean’s finest hour, and the next step of three future rockstars. (Will Richards)
Sundara Karma - One Last Night On This Earth
More upbeat than the waltzy, slow-jam of previous single ‘Illusions’, the new one from Sundara Karma takes things in a more rock opera direction and tells a story about aliens. Yep, according to frontman Oscar Pollock ‘One Last Night On This Earth’ tells a space-age tale about an “extra-terrestrial who’s been sent to Earth to observe human interaction. The being’s mission is to find an emotion that their species has never felt before but it ends up finding nothing…until it falls in love the night before it has to leave and realises, ahh this is the trick, this is the game we haven’t been playing.”
“Can you teach me how the heart works? / And the essence of your human quirks?” Oscar asks, before the tracks whooshes into a winding guitar line complete with a stomping bass and a theatrical piano scale. Another preview of the weird and wonderful direction Sundara Karma are taking their sound with on album two, with ‘One Last Night On This Earth’ the band seem to be shaking off their indie roots and pushing forward with their own vision. (Rachel Finn)
Vince Staples - FUN!
Yesterday (1st November), Vince Staples announced details of a new album with basically no warning, and it was released at midnight. Following last year's hyper-modern, genre-bending masterpiece 'Big Fish Theory', new album 'FM!' is - in the Long Beach rapper's own words - "a project created by Vince Staples that contains 22 minutes of only music. No concepts, no elaborate schemes, just music. Because nowadays, who needs more bullshit?"
In line with this added context, 'FM!' serves as a refreshingly simple, honest collection not tied into a greater narrative or concept. Its lead single - or at least the track that's been given its own video is 'FUN!'. Coming after the largely dark, introverted 'Big Fish Theory', the track's title comes as an unusually sunny splash in Vince's career. The song itself also sits firmly sunny side up - taking a trip through Long Beach via Google Maps in the track's video, the song skips along with consummate ease, Vince playfully repeating "we just wanna have fuuuuuun". As part of a new release with no pressure, expectation or back story, 'FUN!' sees Vince Staples letting loose and showing his playful side. (Will Richards)
Slipknot - All Out Life
Let's be honest, Slipknot have never really been known as the shy and retiring types, but it's easy to assume that as an artist gets further into their career, and priorities begin to change, their sound might start to shift. What most people probably didn't expect, however, was for Slipknot to release a new single which feels more akin to their frenzied assault of their second album – 2001's infamous 'Iowa' – than their most recent incarnations. Yet, that's exactly how 'All Out Life' feels. Opening with relentless percussion paired with a juddering sample – not too dissimilar to that visceral intro of their little-known 'People = Shit' – it's a track that proves Slipknot to still be one of their fiercest voices in heavy metal, even after well over two decades of making music together. (Sarah Jamieson)
Deerhunter - Death In Midsummer
While never straying too far into gloomy territory, the music of Deerhunter could rarely be described as sunny or particularly joyous. Things look to change from the very first line of 'Death In Midsummer' - the first offering from new album 'Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?' - though.
"Come down from that cloud, and cast your fears aside," Bradford Cox coos sweetly over bouncy harpsichord notes, and the track - which comes complete with a video that sees the frontman roaming the open road - is a brilliantly sunny reprieve, firmly looking at the positives to glean some light from dark times. (Will Richards)
Young Fathers - Cocoa Sugar
Released back in March, Young Fathers' third album 'Cocoa Sugar' saw the band once again dodging expectations, flirting with lighter, more instantly appealing textures, but continuing to relentless tread their own path.
As part of a new 7" including album track 'Border Girl', the band have shared 'Cocoa Sugar', the title track the album never recieved, and an offcut from the album's sessions.
'Cocoa Sugar' is a brilliantly anthemic, widescreen cut that could easily have sat as the album's cacophonous closer. Starting with soft whispers, the track then careers into a barrage of noise - like sun through the clouds - that takes the band almost into post-rock territory. As with everything the Scottish trio touch, the track fits into their world perfectly while, once again, managing to be brilliantly unpredictable. (Will Richards)
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Alfie Templeman and Phoebe Green also wowed the crowd.
We chat to the band before their Radio 1 stage slot and their Safe & Sound show tomorrow (28th August).