Tracks: Daughter, Gengahr, 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. Daughter have made their long-awaited return, touching on an especially tricky subject with their usual subtle handle. Gengahr, meanwhile, scared us all out of our wits earlier this week with a whole EP full of new songs. In other words, this week has been chocka. For everything else out this week head over to the DIY Listening Hub, or hit play on our Essential Playlist.

Daughter - Doing the Right Thing

Daughter have always kept things close to home. And on ‘Doing the Right Thing’, the first take from second album ‘Not to Disappear’, they bring the most stark, emotional portrayal of family life yet.

With a story from author Stuart Evers and a video from Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard to match, the song relates to dementia, and how the disease can shake the foundations of everyone around us. Elena Tonra sings: “Then I lose my children / Then I lose my love / Then I sit in silence,” like her world’s unfolding, and she’s surrounded by Daughter’s signature guitar lines, which manage to sound sky-reaching and perfectly grounded at the same time.

Few songs come darker, but Daughter are masters of their craft at this point. You’d be pushed to find safer hands to entrust this kind of subject with. (Jamie Milton)

Gengahr - Tired Eyes

‘Tired Eyes,’ huh? We’re not bloody surprised! After tumbling out the other side of a summer schedule busier than Paris Hilton’s club appearance rota, nobody would have blamed Gengahr for settling down with a cup of tea, and a Gossip Girl boxset. Then again, that wouldn’t be a ‘very Gengahr’ thing to do, would it?

Instead, Gengahr celebrated Halloween several weeks early, springing an almighty ‘Boo!’ with a surprise new EP, ‘Tired Eyes’. Containing songs that didn’t quite make it onto their debut album ‘A Dream Outside,’ title-track ‘Tired Eyes’ is produced by Nicholas Vernhes, who has worked with Animal Collective, Deerhunter, and The War On Drugs. Driftinf into different, territory to the band’s first full-length, John Victor, as per, is quietly monstrous behind the fretboards, matching Felix Bushe’s restless, hubba-bubba fueled vocals note-for-note. Contrary to name, there’s no hint of fatigue in ‘Tired Eyes’. (El Hunt)

Oscar - Breaking My Phone

Every millennial is guilty of it. Happily going about their business one second, the next they’re staring down at the floor, a cracked phone screen giving back a splintered, tragic reflection. Either that or they accidentally drop the thing in the bath. These people have no excuse. They’ve been handed a piece of technology that can quite literally do anything. Take better care, stop pretending it’s not the most important thing in your life - buy a case for crying out loud.

Oscar, however - he has every right to smash fancy gizmos into pieces. It’s someone else’s fault. Or at least, that’s the impression of ‘Breaking My Phone’, which finds Oscar Scheller singing: “I keep on breaking my phone / after I’ve spoken to you.” This person’s riled the poor chap (although he should probably invest in sturdier screens or maybe even a coping mechanism for when something irks him). It doesn’t help when Oscar’s also gone beyond his shiny but rough-edged pop into distorted, post-Britpop territory. Like Damon Albarn on a rampage, this is the sound of Scheller finding inspiration in frustration. He might want to get out the habit of smashing stuff though, if only to save the pennies. (Jamie Milton)

Modern Baseball - The Thrash Particle

“This is just a fucking band, we can do what we want with it”, Modern Baseball told DIY at the end of their UK tour for second full-length ‘You’re Gonna Miss It All’. The youthful exuberance of that record is mixed with a ton of grit on this new, heavier, mightier cut, the first new material since the 2014 LP.

‘The Thrash Particle’ sees the band head towards the Weezer end of the pop-punk spectrum, while ‘You’re Gonna Miss It All’ was nearer to Blink-182. The lyrics are still as rambling and autobiographical as ever, but they appear above slabs of fuzz that remove much of the band’s bounce, and a little of their ability to emotionally affect. Their knack for a tune hasn’t gone anywhere though, and the heavier turn the track shows the band taking is an exciting one.

The track’s chorus asks “is this the hook you wanted? Is it stuck inside your head? Can you sing it with your friends?”, and ‘The Thrash Particle’ is a new beginning that shows Modern Baseball, as they promised, doing exactly what they want with this fucking band. And yep, the hook’s still here, going round and round and round. (Will Richards)

The Big Moon - Nothing Without You

It’s probably a coincidence that The Big Moon chose to release their new track on the same week as The Actual Moon’s freaky blood-coloured turn, but it’s one that works out rather well. Murky, and half-dark, like neon signs reflecting on a luna-lit stroll in the early hours, ‘Nothing Without You’ initially sounds gritty, but look past the dark melodic alleyways, and the percussive cracks across the pavement. At the centre, it’s as mushy as a linked-arms skip home after a night on the tiles.

“Cats can swim, and dogs they can look up, it’s really not astounding,” deadpans Juliette Jackson, idly twiddling an unimpressed straw around the surrounding musical whiskey and coke. “I can’t do the simplest things, without you standing by my side,” she adds, hitting on The Big Moon’s usual knack for finding heartfelt sentiments - that don’t induce cringing - in unlikely places. (El Hunt)

Yak - No

No time for questions. If Yak haven’t already sold themselves on being one of the UK’s most deranged, unpredictable forces, their new single does the talking. 2015 has seen Oliver Burslem and co. establishing a rep of being psych droners one minute, hit-after-hite delivers the next. They can spend half an hour leaning over organs and shaking walls with bass. But then up steps a song like ‘No’, spanning three-minutes, launched on Jack White’s Third Man label, and sharing the same vicious tropes as the Nashville obsessive.

Burslem sounds like an escaped convict. “You’re out of the woods… You see no danger,” he chants in an echo chamber of doom. But there’s a sense of imminent peril racing round ‘No’, a cascade of guitars dive-bombing into the depths of hell. Yak mean business, and there’s a sinister edge defining their every move. (Jamie Milton)

Tags: Daughter, Listen

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