News Tracks: Big Deal, Laurel Halo, City And Colour And More

We know you’re busy people, and so we’ve given our writers and radio presenters the heady task of taking some of the pressure off you, and just making you a list of brilliant new music that you might have missed this week. And what a fine job they did; for your aural pleasure, we present, this week’s Tracks.

Big Deal – Teradactol
If you’re already aware of the type of music that Big Deal make, then their new track ‘Teradactol’ may come as a bit of a shock. As the band’s debut album – ‘Lights’ - saw the boy-girl duo construct a handful of delicately laced, heartfelt indie-pop numbers, but upon their new single, set to be taken from their second album, the duo have brought in a full set of instruments; recruiting a drum beat and a bass-line, thus providing a sound that is much richer in texture than their previous material. Stipulating a soundscape that wanders back in time, placing the track somewhere between Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ period and Sonic Youth’s masterpiece ‘Goo’. A trip that wasn’t quite expected from Big Deal, but provides the basis for an exciting forward thinking movement for the band. (Jonathan Hatchman)

City And Colour – How Come Your Arms Are Not Around Me
While Alexisonfire tug on devotees’ emotions during their bittersweet farewell tour, fans of guitarist Dallas Green can seek comfort in the recurrent wonder that is his solo project City and Colour. In the midst of recording his next record, Dallas provides us with a cover of Kristofer Åström’s ‘How Come Your Arms Are Not Around Me’ to act as a warm bear hug through the cold, Alexisonfire-less winter months. Ok, so its melancholic tones may not quite fix your emotional state – you’ll most likely end up reaching back for that already half-empty box of tissues – but as gentle harmonies and country-twanged acoustics flutter around Green’s tender vocals, it’s difficult not to get caught up in the vulnerability of it all. And in true Dallas Green style, he manages to make every painfully wholehearted lyric sound like he penned them himself, so that you just want to bear-hug him right back. (Hannah Phillips)

Laurel Halo - Sunlight On The Faded
The album ‘Quarantine’, released last May on Hyperbdub by Brooklyn based ambient experimentalist Laurel Halo, is one of the year’s more oblique and challenging records. It is a difficult yet infinitely rewarding listen. And the latest single is similarly divisive and abstruse; but also singularly brilliant. ‘Sunlight On The Faded’ is loosely a gossamer thin pop song or, more accurately, as close as she gets to a pop song. The verse melodies are awkward and disorienting before a lovely warm chorus provides solace. As abstract and formless as the beats and synths are, there is a distinct soul that has not always been present in Laurel Halo’s myriad ambient excursions. The lyrical refrain of, “only the best memories remain” is genuinely affecting. (Martyn Young)

St Gregory Orange – The Funeral Drunkard’s Hymm
For a good couple of years now, St Gregory Orange have stood out as Wakefield’s answer to Arab Strap, equal parts barbed witticism, fatalistic resignation and glorious melancholia. It’s no surprise to find their contribution to the pay-what-you-want Rhubarb Bomb Christmas EP - ‘The Funeral Drunkard’s Hymn’ - isn’t your traditional Christmas tune. Beginning with a haunting music-box rendition of ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ and including the line ‘for someone with a face like a myopic pugilist you don’t tell too many jokes’, before swelling to an almost euphoric climax, yuletide wallowing never sounded so good. (Gareth Ware)

The Funeral Drunkard’s Hymm by St Gregory Orange

Sunken House - Jinja Safari (YesYou - The Pride Land Remix)
Yeasayer meets Late Of The Pier? Whatever it is, I’m enjoying the work of production duo YesYou. Another reason why I feel my heart is locked into the Australian music scene as aka Jono & Gav (for it is they) effortlessly tweak an otherwise sultry indie tune into something aurally tingling. Their debut EP is full of little gems - both original and remixed work. Following on from the work Sydney producer ‘Flume’ has put into platforming the Aussie electro / dance scene, these guys aren’t far behind. It’s the middle of summer down under and you can hear it in a tune like this. A favourite over on Alive And Amplified; Thursday’s 10pm on DIY Radio. (Elise Cobain – Alive And Amplified)

Allo Darlin’ – Only Dust Behind
While some of the best Christmas songs from Darlene Love to Slade are slices of pure, unashamed bombast, there’s always been a place for the more reflective school of holiday tunesmith-ery - The Pretenders’ 2000 Miles sitting near, if not actually on top, of the list. Allo Darlin’s Elizabeth Morris takes the school of thought and adds her own take for ‘Only Dust Behind’, their A-side for the December edition of Where It’s At Is Where You Are’s singles club. Heartfelt, and poignant, it’s laced with details such as the lawyer with champagne in her hair, the streets in the rain reflecting the Christmas lights, and the man in the santa hat ‘singing the only Pogues song he knows’. As lovely a seasonal song as you’re likely to hear this year. (Gareth Ware)

Only Dust Behind by Allo Darlin

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