New music guide The Neu Bulletin (Elf Kid, Smash Williams, Palm Honey & more)

DIY’s weekly guide to the best new music.

Neu Bulletins are your weekly guide to the best new music doing the rounds. They’ll 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. This week, we’ve hosted everything from frenetic, math-tinged indie pop troupe BLØSH to the darkness of one-girl-and-her-harp songwriting sensation Emilie & Ogden.

Catch up with all our Neu Picks here.

(Photo: Elf Kid)

Smash Williams - ‘After A Time’

Boasting members of Frightened Rabbit amongst their ranks, Smash Williams already have Scottish pride on their side - not that they’ll need it. ‘After A Time’ couldn’t be further from those associations, dealing instead in an upbeat synth-pop that brushes aside the dreariness of a year’s end. “We got here, for better or worse,” declares singer Stuart Dougan - a unifying and effortlessly earworm ode to pulling up your socks and pushing through.

Palm Honey - ‘Bewitched’

Across over six minutes, Palm Honey present themselves as conductors on ‘Bewitched’. Beginning as a series of seemingly disparate synth lines and warbling, blown-out guitars, it’s the drawled, Harrison Koisser-esque vocals that begin to tie those threads together. A minute in, though, and Palm Honey jump straight to the point - cutting through the haze with a forceful crunch, there’s might be a lot going on on ‘Bewitched’, but it’s worth every second of the journey.

Elf Kid - ‘Golden Boy’

Anyone and their mum could’ve told you that grime’s had something of a resurgence this year, and with Elf Kid the cycle keeps on trucking. Taking elements of South London contemporaries like Novelist and Stormzy and tarting it up with a little dash of pop polish - helped along the way by a frankly genius chopped sample of Amerie’s ‘One Thing’ - don’t be surprised to see this ‘Golden Boy’ take his odes to Lewisham, Brockley and the surrounding areas straight into the charts as 2016 rears its head.

Isaac Bloodworth - ‘The Wine Story’

“This is a song about a man who never realized the problems in his life until it was too late and had to learn the hard way from a letter made by his wife,” tersely explains Illinois songwriter Isaac Bloodworth on his Bandcamp. That sense of complexity in storytelling is key to Isaac’s niche - there’s a feeling that it could’ve been plucked from any era and would still hold every ounce of emotional weight as his tempered evaluations on love and loss wilt their way across strained, strummed guitars.

Hortlax Cobra (feat. Beatrice Eli) - ‘Light As A Feather’

Sweden’s Hortlax Cobra deals in both murky, basement works and lighter pop moments, and on ‘Light As A Feather’ that duality is perfectly trod. Helped along the way by a guest vocal from Beatrice Eli, there’s a funk-laced swagger to ‘Light As A Feather’, that comes off like Nao nine pints in and aching for a dance floor.

Tags: Elf Kid, Palm Honey, Listen, Features, Neu, Neu Bulletin

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