With all the Glastonbury shenanigans (more on that here), we missed rounding up last week’s best and biggest new numbers - but fear not! This week’s update features a fortnight’s worth of new songs to bend your possibly overheating ears around.
For what we have to say on this week’s biggest and most exciting tracks, scroll on! And if you’re itching to check out even more, subscribe to our Essential New Tracks playlist.
Brittany Howard – History Repeats
Do not adjust your sets / screens / wireless headsets: yes, the author of this damn funky slow jam really is the same Brittany Howard best known for shredding her powerful pipes all over Alabama Shakes' southern blues. Completely unrecognisable from her main outfit, 'History Repeats' – the first offering from the singer's forthcoming debut solo LP 'Jaime' – is a bubbling slink of a thing that favours shimmying keys and slap-bass over the dusty gritty earnestness we've come to know her for. Most surprising of all, however, is Brittany herself. Here, her voice has an almost underwater quality, all breathy and treated. If you're wondering why it sounds familiar (and honestly, this isn't even an insult), play a clip of Family Guy's resident skin-crawler, Herbert the Pervert and watch your eyebrow shoot skywards. It's unexpected, but in very pleasing way; rather than history repeating itself, Brittany has chosen to push forward with intriguing results. (Lisa Wright)
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Organ Farmer
King Gizzard vocalist Stu Mackenzie claims he once got whiplash after headbanging to Rammstein in a school assembly performance, but that doesn’t appear to have deterred him from the metal scene.
‘Organ Donor’ is the latest in a flurry of singles building up to the band’s first ever thrash album - which also happens to be the Melbourne collective’s second LP of 2019. Despite only three members performing on ‘Infest The Rat’s Nest’ it looks set to be their noisiest yet, with the bustling drums and lightning guitar solos of ‘Organ Donor’ paving the way for bruised eardrums and sore necks all over. (James Bentley)
The Futureheads - Listen, Little Man!
The recently-reunited Futureheads might have come to fame amidst the mid-'00s indie boom but, really, the art rock quartet were always much weirder, more avant-garde and prone to eccentricity than the majority of their guitar-wielding peers. Don't believe us? Then listen to the latest track of their return mission. 'Listen, Little Man!', for one, takes its name from a book by Wilhelm Reich – the controversial therapist who developed the 'orgone accumulator', essentially a wooden box for trapping your sexual energy. Then, the band place that madness within an uneasy stomp of a track, somewhere akin to a disgruntled giant clumping his way through Lilliput while listening to '80s oddballs XTC. Its main hook is a thickly-accented Mackem “uh-oh”; their guitars spiral in the back like the descent into chaos. It's strange and excellent, and further proof that there's life in the 'Heads yet. (Lisa Wright)
MUNA - Who
Sure, the world of ‘80s-style shimmering synths has got even more crowded since MUNA went away, but if ‘Number One Fan’ showed off their knack for a pop bop, then ‘Who’ has the Californian trio trying their hand at power balladry - albeit in a part-epic, part-haunting way. “Who are you singing about?” asks Katie Gavin, her breathy vocal possessing a hint of exasperation. (Louisa Dixon)
Bleached - Rebound City
“I don’t want what I can have,” snarls Bleached’s Jennifer Clavin on this cut that’s pure ‘70s glam rock’n’roll (there’s little surprise she and sister Jessie look like runaways from the, er, Runaways on the artwork). A playful rumination on getting one’s kicks largely where one shouldn’t, it’s another slice of punkish fun from the pair. (Louisa Dixon)
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With Alabama Shakes, Brittany Howard found success beyond anything she could have imagined. Now, on solo album ‘Jaime’, she’s seeking satisfaction in other directions.
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