Neu The Neu Bulletin (Gretel Hänlyn, Home Counties, bby and more!)

DIY’s essential guide to the best new music.

Neu Bulletins are DIY’s guide to the best and freshest new music. Your one stop shop for buzzy new bands and red hot emerging stars, it features all the tracks we’ve been rinsing at full volume over the last week.

We’ve also got a handy Spotify playlist where you can find all the Neu tracks we’ve been loving, so you can listen to all our hot tips in one place!

Gretel Hänlyn - War With America

Clara Amfo’s Hottest Record in the World on BBC Radio 1 earlier this week, Gretel Hänlyn’s ‘War With America’ was inspired by a trip to Los Angeles earlier this year, during which she felt “out of place and alone”. “I don’t want a war with America / I just don’t like what they’ve done to ya,” she sings in the chorus, punctuated by strings of melodious “da-da-das”. Based on the title, it might sound like it should be a political protest song, but it instead represents her own thoughts and emotions while across the Atlantic, set to catchy, jangly, almost C86-esque guitar. (Adam England)

Hotline TNT - I Thought You’d Change

The lead single of Hotline TNT’s upcoming album, ‘Cartwheel’, ‘I Thought You’d Change’ seamlessly combines elements of hook-filled pop with a heavenly slice of shoegaze whilst dipping its toe into the rawness of punk rock. Switching back and forth between two narrators, the single sees vocalist Will Anderson lyrically explore relationship issues and feelings of self-doubt as he urges a friendship to turn into something more, then wants it to return to being platonic. As Hotline TNT’s first release since signing to Third Man Records, it’s a mesmerizing glimpse of what’s to come. (Katie Macbeth)

bby - money body

Swiftly becoming a new favourite indie outfit, bby are making it all fun again. They’ve followed up their debut single ‘hotline’ with new offering ‘money body’, and 2016 is calling on this one. With flavours of HONNE, Her’s and smooth RnB, their unique brand of indie is full-on feel good. Written at their East London hangout, it sounds like a perfect summer in the capital as jingly guitars meet a slick melody - the ultimate soundtrack for a sunny strut and tinnies in the park. Although newcomers on the scene, we’re sure to hear more of bby if they keep producing earworms like this. (Lucy Harbron)

Al Costelloe - Shrink’s Couch

The first solo moves from former Big Deal vocalist/ guitarist Al Costelloe have showcased a deceptively balmy knack for making life’s more anxiety-ridden moments sound like an easy-breezy walk in the park. Recent offering ‘So Neurotic’ framed a lifetime of overthinking in jangly, ’90s guitars, while ‘Shrink’s Couch’ is a calmly meditative ode to “sleeping at my mum’s house / Sorting my life out”. It might not be prescription, but it’s a blissful tonic of a song nonetheless. (Lisa Wright)

Flat Party - I’m Bored, Give Me Love

Self-coined as “a horny song for horny people”, Flat Party’s latest ‘I’m Bored, Give Me Love’ is a gleefully sardonic number that does exactly what it says on the tin. Pairing what are objectively pretty bleak lyrics (“how do I deal with the fact that she’s doing much better / since she waved ta-ta”) with jangly, pleasingly indulgent guitar-hero riffs, the track acts as our first hint of a longer project to come, due at some point next year via indie London label Submarine Cat (also home to the likes of FEET and Fräulein). Its accompanying video also sees drummer Zander Hearn try out the director’s chair for size, centering around a series of window-framed vignettes of loneliness, boredom, and - what else? - a flat party. (Daisy Carter)

shaene - june

Taken from their recently-released debut album ‘time lost / time regained’, ‘june’ is a darkly-tinged introduction to the world of Leeds artist shaene. Written around her strained paternal relationship and the turmoil of Father’s Day marketing (“It’s hard enough / Why do they dedicate a day to you?”), ‘june’ manages to land sonically somewhere between the gnarly lo-fi fuzz of My Bloody Valentine and the levity of Cocteau Twins, while shaene’s vocal tremors with a poignant intensity. (Sarah Jamieson)

Home Counties - Bethnal Green

The latest installment in Home Counties’s offbeat oeuvre has arrived, and it’s one of their best. An ode to the band’s new home, a flat in the titular Bethnal Green where the six of them live together, it gives a pretty inviting insight into what life must be like in there - absolutely bubbling over with energy, spiky rhythms and oddball chromaticisms. Of course, the gang also drop in tidbits of astute, dry social commentary too, in their brightly ironic way. The energy doesn’t falter for a moment, but rather than leave you breathless, ‘Bethnal Green’ is irresistible and invigorating - Home Counties are back, baby, and we better keep up. (Ims Taylor)

Trinket - Figure Skater

If the newest single from New York trio Trinket actually did attempt the pirouettes and leaps of its chosen sport, you sense it would land flat on its rear fairly quickly, such is the woozy lilt of its shoegazey guitars and ’80s lo-fi sensibilities. But never mind that this particular ‘Figure Skater’ wouldn’t last five seconds on the ice. Instead, the group have created an enveloping three minutes of sweetly warped delight, in the vein of Alvvays or Camera Obscura that’s equally as poignant in its own fuzzy ways. (Lisa Wright)

Slate - St Agatha

New recruits to Brace Yourself Records (Panic Shack, JOHN, Nuha Ruby Ra), Welsh quartet Slate caused quite the stir with their near six-minute debut single, gaining plaudits across national radio and music press. Its follow up, ‘St Agatha’, is similarly arresting: opening with gothic guitars that are almost Western in tone (think Parquet Courts’ ‘Berlin Got Blurry’), a through-line of skittering, Joy Division-esque drums carry frontman Jack Shephard’s poetic musings on national identity and religion. Existential crises have never sounded so captivating. (Daisy Carter)

HONEYMOAN - Seriously, Good Luck With That

Dream pop three-piece HONEYMOAN have released another single ahead of their debut album: the groovy, instrumental-led ‘Seriously, Good Luck With That’. The chorus forgoes any lyrics to showcase the earworm melody, but when Alison Rachel does have something to say, it’s an astute examination of someone whose insecurities have manifested in self-serving behaviour. The accompanying music video shows Rachel alone in a warehouse with a photocopier because - well - why not? (Caitlin Chatterton)

ratbag - exit girl

It’s a familiar feeling, just wanting to escape a situation and get home, and ratbag has penned the definitive soundtrack. Her sharp, emotive delivery is layered into panic, instrumental line after instrumental line swirling into one suffocating wall of noise as she calls “where is the exit girls? Where is the exit girls? Put down your drink and help me get home!” From the first verse, all soft synth and murmurs, the chorus explodes into staccato, descending piano lines, jagged beats and overwhelming countermelodies everywhere you turn, as ratbag’s vivid, unnerving drama plays out. (Ims Taylor)

Tags: Al Costelloe, bby, Flat Party, Gretel, Home Counties, HONEYMOAN, Hotline TNT, RatBag, shaene, Trinket, Neu, Neu Bulletin

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