It’s finally the end of the week, and we have a brand spanking new edition of Tracks - our weekly round-up of the biggest and best new tracks around.
We’ve got brand new Gerard Way courtesy of his Umbrella Academy, the return of Future Islands, and much more.
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.
Gerard Way - Here Comes The End
When Gerard Way released 2014 solo LP 'Hesitant Alien', you'd have been wise not to look at his former band, but at new photo of the star, blue-suited and lying on a pile of records, for hints. Rather than another MCR-shaped outing for the emo titan, it was these records - Blur's 'Modern Life is Rubbish', Supergrass's 'I Should Coco', The Jesus and Mary Chain's 'Psychocandy' - that informed the album, and on his new solo track, it's into '90s Britain than Gerard once again wanders. If 'Here Comes The End''s driving jangles didn't land with enough of a Primal Scream from the off, then guest vocalist Judith Hill's backing vocals send the track straight into Bobby Gillespie's dressing room, with only a tambourine and some disco biscuits for company. The vibiest track to come from the current apocalypse, Way's latest may lyrically have one eye on the underground bunker, but the other's whacking 'Loaded' on one more time and having a ball. (Lisa Wright)
Future Islands – For Sure
Three years since their last new music, Baltimore chest-thumpers Future Islands are back and they sound... well, they just sort of still sound like Future Islands, really. A band who've managed to carve out an immediately recognisable niche for themselves - soaring, wide-eyed synths, combined with Samuel T Herring's gravelly, oh-so-earnest vocal - theirs is a recipe that both succeeds and fails by its consistency: if you like Future Islands, you'll love 'For Sure'; if you don't care for them, this isn't likely to change your mind. Still, if you're in the former camp, then the quartet's latest is a prime example of their powers - a strong-yet-sensitive fist pumper that encourages you to let it all out and turn your headphones up loud. (Lisa Wright)
Connie Constance - James
Watford-born Connie Constance put out slightly-under-the-radar debut LP 'English Rose' 18 months ago, but it's with recent cut 'Monty Python' and now 'James' that it feels like the singer is truly finding her stride. An 'anti-drug drug song' that begins with a “self-destructive rampage,” it totters through a bender in Stoke Newington like a Gen Z Lily Allen before taking a long hard look at itself and not being too keen on what it sees. Switching effortlessly between characterful speak-sing rap and fluttering vocals, it paints Connie as a top-level storyteller, one more than capable of picking up the cheeky mantle where Lily or Jamie T left off, but adding all manner of new flavours too. (Lisa Wright)
James Blake - Are You Even Real?
Having spent the first part of his lockdown at home in LA covering others' songs accompanied only by his piano, James Blake's turned his hand to new material of his own, following April's 'You're Too Precious' with the closest he's come yet to a love-fuelled pop bop. "All I can do is trust in her / Late nights I can see the lust in her," he sings, "then she ran her hands through my imagination". Still typically musically understated from the producer, but leaning further towards a conventional earworm than before, whether a way to stave off the boredom while stuck indoors or hints at his future direction, who's to say? (Louisa Dixon)
Bully - Every Tradition
With just over a month until the release of third album 'Sugaregg', 'Every Tradition' is another slice of pleasurable noise from Bully, following from last month's stellar 'Where To Start'. A slower burn than its predecessor - pop chorus being swapped for a hard-hitting refrain ("It's like pressure to have a baby / When I don't want one in my body") - it's still an exciting look ahead to the new record. (Emma Swann)
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