Round-up Tracks: Biffy Clyro, Parquet Courts, and more

DIY writers pick out the biggest and best new songs from the last seven days.

Good noole, dear readers, and a happy Friday to you all. As usual, its been a busy week of new music, and up to their usual antics, artists have been releasing new songs left right and centre. We’ve picked out the biggest and best new songs to emerge this week, and there’s plenty to get stuck into. Biffy Clyro make their intentions well and truly known for newly announced album ‘Ellipsis’, Parquet Courts grow increasingly complex, and that’s just for starters. In other words, it’s all kicking off. For everything else out this week head over to the DIY Listening Hub, or hit play on our Essential Playlist.

Biffy Clyro - Wolves of Winter

Don’t blame Biffy Clyro for trying something radically different. For months they’ve been warming the world up to “the best thing we’ve ever done”, a record that sounds like Death Grips and Tears For Fears - at the same bloody time. They claim BOOTS was a big influence on new LP ‘Ellipsis’. What’s going on? Have Biffy evolved into a new beast?

They give hints of it on ‘Wolves of Winter’. Simon Neil tries out a bit of vocoder, because why not? Crashing cymbals share space with manic drum machine parts. There’s a stop-start cheerleader-like method to Neil’s opening chants. But let’s not pretend this isn’t Biffy Clyro. Yes, they’re trying out new tools and seeing what sticks, but they don’t let their original mantra slip for one second. In fact, the giant choruses are even bigger, the sky-reaching ambition even more front and centre. If anything this is a new, more assured Biffy Clyro, embracing their festival headliner status and spitting venom in every direction. (Jamie Milton)

Parquet Courts - Outside

From day one, Parquet Courts denied the slacker tag, which at the time was lumped onto any self-starting Bandcamp find churning out scrappy records at a record rate. It’s a complete contradiction, obviously. Always has been. But the more days roll by, the more Parquet Courts exist further and further away from a ‘that’ll do’ mentality.

Frontman Andrew Savage’s artwork is increasingly front-and-centre, decorating murals and vending machines, of all things. And new album ‘Human Performance’ is a detailed, decorated insight into life in the city. ‘Outside’ is a fleeting glimpse - a slacker move? Don’t even ask - of their clever craft, more fully realised than ever before. Within two minutes, Savage tells a story that could develop into a feature film. Gagged by a friend’s secrets, he keeps schtum but feels his insides twist because of the guilt. It’s deep, complex and it’s the sound of Parquet Courts in 2016. (Jamie Milton)

Yeasayer - Gerson’s Whistle

Naysayers be silenced; with ‘Gerson’s Whistle’ Brooklyn’s barmiest band (try saying that three times fast) show yet another sign of steaming towards their boldest record yet. A five minute epic of whiny little synths that whizz amid warm brassy washes and clanky, percussive grooves, like previous single ‘I Am Chemistry’ the track also features guest vocals from cultish folk legend Suzzy Roche of The Roches. In other words, Yeasayer continue to swipe right on every sonic texture imaginable. And if this song was a Tinder profile, its main gripe would be people who don’t stop whistling.

“One of these days I’ll get out of this place, it’s too damn loud,” ‘Gerson’s Whistle’ declares repeatedly. A wonky, swampy, oddly-paced groove which eventually soars in hyper-epic fashion in a host of cranked-up choirs and enthusiastically strummed guitars, for a brief second it sounds like Noel Gallagher is there in the background on an absolutely mad one. Overwrought, gaudy, and forever verging on the teeting edge of ELO-level melodrama, their new record ‘Amen & Goodbye’ might be out on April Fools Day, but this lot know what they’re doing. Yeasayer don’t seem to have a duffer in them right now. (El Hunt)

Whitney - Golden Days

Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek are an everyday two-piece, on face value. But there’s so much more stirring in Whitney’s melting pot. For one, Ehrlich is a singing drummer existing a million miles away from gimmicky Phil Collins impressions. His earnest falsetto doesn’t sit with a typecast for that role, either. And on the evidence of debut single ‘No Woman’ and new cut ‘Golden Days’, the pair go beyond their simple size. At times, it sounds like they’re channelling a hundred other bands at once, snapped up from different timestamps throughout the past few decades.

‘No Woman’ was as sweet-hearted and strangely uplifting as lonely, downtrodden songs can get. ‘Golden Days’ plays a similar card. On the outside, it’s an upbeat, dreamy ode to fleeting youth, but there’s more swimming around under the surface. “Those golden days snuck away from us,” Ehrlich laments, in the style of a diary entry. He sings about being in new parts of the world, not being able to connect a relationship’s increasingly scattered jigsaw pieces. “It’s a shame we can’t get it together now,” runs the nonchalant chorus, sung like Ehrlich’s just spilled a teaspoon of milk. Whitney capture so much at once - love, loss, everything in between - and they walk a beautifully balanced tightrope. It’s magnifying. (Jamie Milton)

SBTRKT - Good Morning

With last album ‘Wonder Where We Land,’ SBTRKT placed himself at the forefront of boldly experimental electronic music. In one swift flourish, the producer turned Ezra Koenig’s drawled ramblings about gargoyles gargling oil into one of the biggest tracks of 2014; fearlessly lined up straight-up basement club tailored gems like ‘Temporary View’ next to the unsettling, paranoid chill of ‘Voices in my Head’. It left SBTRKT with all the options in the world, and everybody wondering where he would land next.

On very unsteady ground, is the answer. Squealing into life in a heavily-treated fanfare of barely recognisable brass-stabs, ‘Good Morning’ never settles into any kind of rhythm. Thrashing, flailing and darting through about seventy hook options - occasionally clutching at wild bursts of cascading synthesiser - this has got all the focus of a sherbet-filled toddler on the loose in IKEA’s children’s department. When Aaron Jerome commits to an idea, and rolls with it to the limit, he’s one of the most exciting producers around. With this much going on, he just sounds lost, and sadly very little of SBTRKT’s latest seems to add up. (El Hunt)

Woods - Morning Light

You’d be easily fooled into thinking Woods were the same laid back-types churning out album after album like they’re chopping logs. Accompanying new album ‘City Sun Eater in the River Light’ will be the band’s own skateboard. Tony Hawk, eat your heart out. But instead of grinding their way through the gears, Woods’ latest LP is a rich, ultra-refined work, the kind most studioheads would take years to replicate.

Everything is simplified on ‘City Sun…’. Whereas before Woods could get lost in a sea of psych and effects, now they put the melody first. ‘Morning Light’ stands out as one of their clearest songs to date, concise in delivery and old-school in its analog aesthetic. Hawaii-style guitars float by, Jeremy Earl’s falsetto leading the way. Woods have nine records to their name, but they’re latching onto something new. (Jamie Milton)

Tags: Biffy Clyro, Parquet Courts, Listen, Features

Read More

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Stay Updated!

Get the best of DIY to your inbox each week.

Latest Issue

April 2024

With Bob Vylan, St Vincent, girl in red, Lizzy McAlpine and more.

Read Now Buy Now Subscribe to DIY