The Neu Bulletin (CATTY, The Dare, Imogen and the Knife and more!)

Neu The Neu Bulletin (CATTY, The Dare, Imogen and the Knife 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, this bumper two week roundup features some of the tracks we’ve been rinsing at full volume over the last fortnight.

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

CATTY - I Wish I Gave You Hell

For the first few seconds of CATTY’s latest single, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re hearing a straightforward, fuzzy and fierce pop/rock song; there's an unsettling fade in, gently menacing vocals, and chugging power chords. But CATTY takes it much further, mixing in masses of colour and liberal sprinklings of surprise. There’s an organ and a piano appearing in the mix, well-judged vocal effects, pace changes and silences galore - plus a “woo-hoo” motif made for top-volume crowd singalongs. The result is an irresistible and fast-paced revenge-themed power track that crosses boundaries. It’s catchy enough to drive you mad, but you’ll love the process. (Phil Taylor)

The Dare - Perfume

After the last few year’s nostalgic indie sleaze resurgence, The Dare (or a version thereof) was always going to happen. The aural equivalent of a Cobrasnake photo at a ketamine-fuelled warehouse party, the New Yorker’s brand of ironic electroclash harks back so heavily to a specific niche of the late ‘00s it lands two degrees to the left of parody and yet… it’s kind of brilliant? ‘Perfume’ is ridiculous, unapologetic, shallow, VERY ‘Brat’ (so much so that The Dare produced recent XCX track ‘Guess’), but also about 100 times more fun than most other new tracks you’re likely to hear this month. He who Dares, might just win. (Lisa Wright)

Imogen and the Knife - Red (is my colour)

Intensely delicate as it opens, but quickly becoming dramatic and powerful in its simplicity and poetic lyricism, ‘Red (is my colour)' is something of a miniature masterpiece. It possesses a deceptive lilt - a swaying lightness that draws you in and holds your attention, making the words all the more impactful as you begin to listen more intently. The lines “Patience is power / Said those with the power” begin to press home the message, and Imogen’s gently poised voice is the perfect vessel to convey it, before leaving us with her determinedly-evocative parting words: “This whole house has to come down”. (Phil Taylor)

Alien Chicks - Curtains Up

London experimental post-punk trio Alien Chicks have delivered a brash, unrestrained performance on their newest single ‘Curtains Up’. Against a menacing bassline and sharp riffs, the track follows an unpredictably winding road with its urgent instrumentation and theatrical vocal stylings. Integrating spoken word, rap, and emboldened screams, 'Curtains Up' runs staggering circles around you, leaving vivid anticipation for the next spurt of energy to come from the band. Take a bow for this one, Alien Chicks – you’ve earned it. (Kayla Sandiford)

Automotion - It Was Over Before It Began

Despite the title, this track from South London alt-rockers Automotion takes its time to get going, beginning with carefully picked out guitars that are layered up one by one. There’s a consistently muted, elongated feel here, with low-toned vocals wending their way through thickets of instrumentation with sinuous grace. But when everything opens up towards the end of the track, the sense is one of a final triumph. This is a song which points to a band who are very comfortable in their own skin - a trait which is on full display throughout their dense, intriguing latest EP, ‘Dissolve’. (Phil Taylor)

HONESTY (feat Liam Bailey) - NO RIGHT 2 LOVE

Following the release of their debut EP 'WHERE R U' last year, and their 34-minute project 'BOX' earlier this year, Leeds-based collective HONESTY returned this week with new single 'NO RIGHT 2 LOVE'. The politically-driven track doesn't shy away from tackling important topics, including the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, the Black Lives Matter movement, and social inequality. Nottingham vocalist Liam Bailey incorporates himself seamlessly into the mix as the track builds around his emotive vocals, forming something much more intertwined than you might expect from a typical feature. The approach to constructing 'NO RIGHT 2 LOVE' may have been unconventional, yet the result is undoubtedly special. (Gemma Cockrell)

total tommy - ADELINE

After initially making waves earlier this year with hypnotic debut single ‘microdose’, Sydney-via-London newcomer total tommy continues to make her mark with latest cut ‘ADELINE’. Self-described on Instagram as “a pep talk to [her} teenage self”, it’s a dazzling display of all that the PIAS signee has to offer. Placing glimmers of rose-tinted nostalgia amongst wide-lensed reflection, the track effortlessly blends lo-fi elements with grunge-tinged guitars to create a multi-dimensional sonic. As the Aussie musician’s third offering in merely a few months, total tommy is fast securing herself as a creator to watch. (Emily Savage)

The Heavy Heavy - Happiness

Five-piece The Heavy Heavy are joining the recent trend of rejuvenating the summery, harmony-driven spirit of the '60s. 'Happiness' is a case in point, its harmonies really capturing the spirit of bands like The Beach Boys or The Mamas & The Papas, but with a contemporary sheen. Its accompanying video keeps this retro feel too, with visuals that could almost be lifted out of a Wes Anderson film. The perfect accompaniment to a warm summer evening, it's a gorgeous throwback and an inviting taste of their forthcoming debut LP. (Christopher Connor)

Etta Marcus - Death Grips

A thoughtful piano is the anchor of ‘Death Grips’, beautifully played to elicit the kind of bright, soft chords that make the heart sing and weep at the same time. Combined with Etta Marcus’ effortless but concentrated vocal delivery, crisp drums, and noticeably elevated guitar moments, there’s no choice but to surrender to the track's mood. The 6/8 time signature offers a lilting feel which adds to the timeless and dreamlike charm, but this is no soothing background music; there's challenging reality there, too. (Phil Taylor)

Emmeline - Night Rider

East London artist Emmeline has proved herself to be a stand out act of late, and ‘Night Rider’ showcases a further evolution in her sound. Produced by Alfie Auckett (Pink Panthress), it blends a spoken word sound with an almost trip-hop, heavy drumbeat backdrop - something that might sound an odd marriage, but is in fact a highly successful experiment. It’s a lively, exciting track that contains plenty of wry lyrics; she says she has "range", and this track underlines that she does. (Christopher Connor)

Tags: Automotion, CATTY, Emmeline, Etta Marcus, HONESTY, Imogen and the Knife, The Dare, The Heavy Heavy, total tommy, Listen, Watch, Neu, Neu Bulletin

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