Round-up Tracks: Laura Marling, Fall Out Boy & More

DIY writers pick their favourite new songs from the last seven days.

Good evening dear readers, and welcome to another edition of Tracks. With Christmas peering its head round the corner, and the shops absolutely rammo, you could be forgiven for getting a little stressed out, a tad flustered. Sit yourself down right this minute with a brandy snap (and perhaps even a thimbleful of brandy, should you fancy it) and hit play on this lovely selection of new releases, chosen by the DIY writers. And for a definitive catch-up with everything else released this week, head over to the DIY Listening Hub.

Laura Marling - Short Movie

Laura Marling has always made albums that stand alone as separate, individual journeys. Less sombre and gnarled than last record ‘Once I Was An Eagle’, Marling’s welcome return is one of string-arrangements and watercolour horses running across peachy landscapes, and it seems to come from a more sprawling, cinematographic place. Over the course of her four albums so far, Marling has battled against folk as a one-size-fits-all adjective, delivering wry lyrics nods to Bob Dylan and Bill Callahan, and barely entertaining traditional folk licks before letting it all twang out into thudding discordance. On ‘Short Movie’ she finally seems to settle, and the only pushing comes naturally from the melodies spiralling ever outwards. It’s a title-track statement of intent for her next record, due on 23rd March. (El Hunt - @whattheel)

Fall Out Boy - The Kids Aren’t Alright

‘Save Rock and Roll’ was the sound of a band rediscovering their voice. Now, with album six ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’ on the horizon, Fall Out Boy have to rediscover their place in the world. Following on from the colosseum-baiting ‘Centuries’ and the Internet-dividing title track, comes ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright,’ a pebble kicking march down a dirt road. Hood up, eyes down. Continuing the ‘poisioned youth’ sentiment ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’ waltzes with melancholy before throwing its arms wide in a fit of youthful defiance. Lush vocals and lashings of self-belief gift the track a sense of poignancy, while the haunting whistles that stalk the song, give the whole affair a sense of unavoidable doom. The kids might not be alright and your heroes should have quit a long time ago but Fall Out Boy’s ability to pair the unexpected with glorious sentiment has never been healthier, or as vital. (Ali Shutler - @Justdip)

Panda Bear - Boy Latin

Gurgling beats, off-kilter vocals and a lucid video; no surprises, then, when Panda Bear shared his new track ‘Boys Latin’ this week on American cable network Adult Swim. Taken from forthcoming album ‘Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper’, it’s supposedly a veiled dig towards a preppy school in Noah Lennox’s native Maryland. If Panda Bear is teaching the Grim Reaper (or anybody else) anything, it’s finding new ways to use melody, and in ‘Boys Latin’ it’s by way of his mellow, honeyed vocals. Choirboy Lennox finds himself surrounded by a hymn that does not rest - every aspect of the track is moving, or writhing in the case of the video’s anemone. Of course it wouldn’t be distinctly Panda Bear-esque without the off-beat pulses that babble underneath Lennox, engulfing and swelling into ethereal realms. With ‘Boys Latin’, Panda Bear plays a game of musical chairs, except the only chair left is firmly reserved for him. (Sean Stanley - @SeanPStanley)

Pond - Sitting Up On Our Crane

Pond’s latest release ahead of forthcoming new album ‘Man It Feels Like Space Again’ sounds a little bit like ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay’ by Otis Redding being sucked through a cosmic transponder fuelled by meteorite dust. That’s a recipe for success, by the way. Described by the band as “an anxiety power ballad,” all those lulling half-time drum beats and pleasing little surges of melody ‘Sitting Up On Our Crane’ feel far less rooted and immediate than Pond’s previously scuzz-covered wares. Preferring to drift around detached above planet Earth, sat precariously on a space shuttle’s robotic crane arm, it comes complete with a strange video where androids made from white noise walk around a virtual aeroplane. It’s probably Richard Branson’s wildest dreams summarised in a single piece of film. (El Hunt - @whattheel)

Petite Noir – Till We Ghosts (ft. Yaasin Bey)

Yannick Ilunga is riding his noir-wave once more, the South African’s presence becoming ever more pertinent in the run up do his debut Domino release in the New Year. This new version of his breakout track ‘Till We Ghosts’ is just what was required, with Yaasin Bey (the artist formerly known as Mos Def) offering his input in to Ilunga’s humming, hazy take on post-punk. It’s not just Bey rapping over the original either, as Ilunga’s delayed delivery in the chorus is a subtle tweak that points to an artist who won’t rest on their laurels. Everything about this track seems on the edge, brittle and almost ready to break as pent-up feelings of worry and self-doubt attempt to be reassured. “It’s alright / It’s okay” runs around your head, battling insecurities whilst even the fractured riff seems a little uncertain of itself. As the track closes the jittered riff can be heard fading in to the background to leave Bey’s cooing falsetto to sign off quite beautifully. (Liam McNeilly - @liammcneilly)

Corbin - Worn

Minnesota’s hottest property in glitchy, hyper-sexual R&B, Spooky Black, is a part of something of a collective. It’s basically a bunch of young, talented producers and singers with a bad attitude, a tireless work ethic and more monikers than a PC Music mixtape. ‘Worn’ is the first release by Spooky Black under his ‘real’ name, Corbin, and features production from Shlohmo, D33D, Bobby Raps and Psymun; who are all a part of the collective production credits of THESTAND4RD and WEDIDIT. Confused yet? Don’t worry about it, just know that they all know what they’re doing and hit play. Although under a different name ‘Worn’ is typical of Spooky Black; his 16 year old voice once again pushed to its mid-pubescent limits, at once delicately soft and spine-tinglingly menacing. ‘Worn’ starts off spacey, Corbin’s desperate cries reverbing wildly through pitchy piano chords, then races into beat-laden aggressive trip-hop laced declarations of love and war. It’s the raw aggression underpinning every word snarled out of Corbin’s mouth that ages him, giving him credibility and merit way beyond his years. (Henry Boon - @HenryBoon)

Tags: Fall Out Boy, Laura Marling, Listen, Features

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