Yuck - Another One
A lot of bands could quite easily be let off the hook for treading water a bit after the departure of their former lead singer - let alone just one album into their output. Yuck need no such excuses making, though, because since Max Bloom took up the mic, their feet have barely touched the ground. The aptly named ‘Another One’ is, simply, yet another prime example of Yuck doing what they do best - bleary-eyed, sparkling melodies that stink more of the 90s than a whiff of forgotten flannel shirt. Taken from the band’s forthcoming Spring EP, ‘Southern Skies’, ‘Another One’ combines hints of Titus Andronicus (incidentally the band that first led to Bloom bonding with American drummer Jonny Rogoff over a band t-shirt) with the heady vocal interplay of Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. This is more than a sum of its many finally curated influences, though, and Yuck show no signs of triggering a gag reflex. (El Hunt)
JUNGLE - Busy Earnin’
JUNGLE are being whispered about as a strange entity, a mysterious troupe of minds that meet somewhere in the middle by writing flexing, funky pop tracks. All the hype and rumours surrounding their stock will seem like complete nonsense this time next year. By that point, they’ll be churning out triumphs like ‘Busy Earnin’’ by the second, watching over minions as they sit neatly at the top of charts. Just wait. If ever their credentials needed validation, this song provides it. Coming off half like a daytime TV 80s cop show theme tune, the sirens blare and the basslines get slapped into smithereens. Shamelessly draped in previous decades it might be, but don’t think for a second music like this would exist without these daring, crazy characters. (Jamie Milton)
Real Estate - Crime
Real Estate’s decision to make their latest music video a tutorial on how to play the song may merely be seen as neat marketing. But it’s more than that. In fact, it neatly encompasses the personal connection that the New Jersey indie rockers make through their bleary-eyed (or teary-eyed, depending on your emotional state at listening) masterpieces, by directly allowing the listener to join in and play. ‘Crime’ - although perhaps the darkest the fourpiece have ventured title-wise – is no different. It feels like it’s a soundtrack to your own thoughts, as it glides over waves of cucumber-cool guitar and Martin Courtney’s vocals. Everything brought together, it’s more squeaky-clean than a comedy about a laundrette on BBC Radio 4. Sure, it’s nothing revolutionary, and sounds like most other Real Estate tracks. But it’s a portal to chilled-out vibes and an introspective, nostalgic trip down memory lane; and perhaps it’s that which makes their music so memorable. (Kyle MacNeill)
Oliver Wilde - On This Morning
After releasing his stunning debut LP ‘A Brief Introduction to Unnatural Lightyears’ only last summer, Bristol based Oliver Wilde isn’t hanging about in bring us more woozy, lo-fi lullabies with the announcement of a short UK tour and news of a second album – ‘Red Tide Opal in the Loose End Womb’ – to be released in May. The first cut, ‘On This Morning’ evokes pure aural nostalgia – a strange feeling to be conjured considering everything Wilde produces goes beyond the boundaries of comparison or neat categorisation. Nevertheless, those drowsy vocal murmurs wrapping themselves around the lax, looped laptop beats and intricately assembled instrumental textures do seem to have an odd familiarity - a sense of yearning perhaps - for a sound that was never there to start with. What he’s producing is something quite extraordinary; delicate, sepia-tinged slices of acoustic electronica which not only create a new genre in themselves, but scoop you up, lure you in and gently float away leaving you wondering how you possibly survived without it. (Laura Eley)
AQUILO - You There
Lake District-dwellers Tom Higham and Ben Fletcher first met because they were in different bands in the same town; the legend goes that one favoured heavy metal whilst the latter occupied himself with grunge. One day the two of them presumably put aside their Battle of the Bands-related rivalry and realised they were perfect musical allies - ain’t it just like an ambient Disney film? AQUILO’s debut track ‘Carry Me’ won the duo comparisons to Mount Kimbie and befringed-electro-crooner of the moment James Blake, but a year on Fletcher and Higham have soared to new heights. ‘You There’ is an understated beauty of a track - the kind of gem that basically gathers together all your heartstrings with its first crystal clear note. The key here is restraint, and AQUILO are absolute maestros at it. Out with the fog and in with the pure, unmuddied blue. Expect terrifyingly good music from these two in the future. (El Hunt)
Superfood - Houses on the Plain
At the start of the year I made a prediction. I may not have maintained my New Years’ Resolutions (taking-up Extreme Frisbee on quad bikes is quite hard in leafy Surrey), but I stick by this one. Superfood are going to be the band of 2014. ‘TV’ was a jaunty pilgrimage to ’90s Mecca via uncontrollable cackles and hysterics. Now they’ve released ‘Houses On The Plain’, a grungy and erratic potpourri of angular riffs that spews-out confidence, fun and Graham Coxon’s Telecaster. Heartbreakingly, they didn’t include it in their setlist at the Oslo on Wednesday, but instead the crowd were treated with several golden nuggets from their upcoming debut that sound just as ludicrously cheeky. As Orsino - who I’m told was quite the fan of soundtracking #MadOnes with Britpop – put it so beautifully in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: ‘If music be the Superfood of love, play on’. Or something like that. (Kyle MacNeill)
Juice - Sugar
This debut offering from Juice consists of concentrated, succulent verses and a chorus that will no doubt get a little too friendly with the radio. The chorus nags at your sub-conscious until it all gets a bit hot under the collar when solos and repeated refrains of ‘sugar sugar’ crash together. If cheap and cheeky thrills is what you revel in then look no further than Birmingham’s Juice.(Jack Parker)
Woahnows - Watching Accidents
With Woahnows sharing both a label and future tour dates with fellow punk-rockers Gnarwolves, the comparisons are inevitable, but there’s a little something more to this skittish ode to enthusiasm. “I’m sick of hearing ‘that’s just how it is’” goes the hook - a welcome antidote to the apathy that often punctuates punk-rock. Woahnows are much more than your by-the-book three-chord wonders. ‘Watching Accidents’ perfectly encapsulates their bouncy and energetic take on the genre, and the playful video is a flawless match (and showcases a brilliant dog/skateboard combo). Perhaps better filed alongside Great Cynics and Japandroids, though ultimately standing just as comfortably on their own, ‘Watching Accidents’ is the ideal accompaniment to the sun’s gradual creep around the clouds. Summer is coming, and Woahnows are the soundtrack. (Tom Connick)
More like this
The two bands visited DIY HQ for a stripped-back set as part of The DIY Den.
While ladybird carcasses and sky-high expectations haunted Yuck’s second record, the band hit a new stride of confidence in ‘Stranger Things’.
‘Say Yes! A Tribute to Elliott Smith’ is out this October.
It’s the London band’s third record.