Photo: Jemima Marriott

Neu The Neu Bulletin (Nell Mescal, Heartworms, Girl Scout and more!)

DIY’s essential, weekly guide to the best new music.

Neu Bulletins are DIY’s guide to the best new music. Each week, we pick out fave new tracks out of all the exciting, emerging artists we’ve been playing at full volume over the past seven days.

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!

Nell Mescal - Homesick

“I’m a little bit homesick but I don’t wanna go home yet,” sings Nell Mescal on her rollicking new offering. Building upon her more reflective, melodic singles - 2020’s ‘Missing You’ and last year’s ‘Graduating’ - but still channeling the awkward confusion of life’s changing seasons, ‘Homesick’ is a fuzzy but cathartic track that not only highlights but celebrates the uncertainty that moving to a new place - and, in turn, beginning a new life - can bring. (Sarah Jamieson)

Heartworms - Retributions of an Awful Life

Only the second single proper from Speedy Wunderground-signed Jojo Orme, her Heartworms project is already bursting with its own distinct identity: metronomic beats; an icy, cold core; a palette that could sit alongside krautrock, Interpol and Berlin electronica simultaneously. Both early tracks are hugely exciting, but ‘Retributions of an Awful Life’ is by far the superior. A dead-eyed, stabbing thing filled with staccato vocals and jerking guitars, it’s built for dancing in the same sexy, scary way that Crystal Castles might have enjoyed. (Lisa Wright)

Girl Scout - Weirdo

Stockholm newcomers Girl Scout channel the free-flowing nature of their jazz background into a wistful slice of indie-pop - ‘Weirdo’ blends moody melancholy with laidback mildness, an instant musical tonic to the song’s anxiety-ridden themes. Girl Scout go back and forth, vocalist Emma Jansson overanalysing herself from the outside and picking apart all her feelings, but ultimately letting herself realise it’s all alright. Though the lyrics reflect the struggle, the soft guitars and swimming textures wrap Weirdo up like a comfort blanket, the gloom giving way to a sunny cautious optimism. (Ims Taylor)

Priestgate - White Shirt

A shimmering ode to their hometown of Driffield, Priestgate’s ‘White Shirt’ - the latest single from the Yorkshire five-piece - is a lush dedication to conflicting feelings of home, whether it’s “missing it, loving it or hating it”. “It’s about seeing the same old stuff growing up,’ the band’s Rob Schofield explains. “I’d never really left the place all that much before the band started. I had it in my head that I’d end up making coffins with my dad.” The first taste of their upcoming new EP ‘One Shade Darker’, the anthemic notes hint at the band’s forthcoming experimentation with new sounds. Time to get excited. (Elly Watson)

cowboyy - Tennis

Underpinned by a relentless, looping math-rock guitar hook, but filled with the sort of wild-eyed, seemingly ad-libbed vocal nonsensities rarely associated with the genre, ‘Tennis’ makes for a strange and lovable entity. It’s hard to spout lyrical madness and make it sound believably off-the-cuff, which vocalist Stanley Powell manages rather well - the result bringing to mind cult ‘00s weirdos Larrikin Love, with added muso tendencies. (Lisa Wight)

Softcult - Dress

Packing heavy topics into compelling grunge-pop gems, Canadian duo Softcult’s latest single ‘Dress’ sees them once again addressing difficult topics head on. A song about consent, the lyrics “It’s a dress, not a ‘yes’ / Not a fucking invitation” cut to the core of the song’s message. “It’s about being followed while walking alone at night or being cornered in a bar when we’re just trying to have a night out with our friends,” the band’s Mercedes explains. “It’s about the lingering fear and trauma that haunts us long after these experiences have happened. It’s about how these experiences make us feel powerless and change the way we see ourselves.” (Elly Watson)

Tags: Nell Mescal, Neu Bulletin

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