Round-up Tracks: Refused, Everything Everything, & More

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

Happy Friday, readers, and welcome to another edition of Tracks. The DIY writers have gathered around and had a good squabble about all of the new music out this week, honing out only the biggest and best releases of the last seven days. Refused return after 17 long years, Everything Everything have written their nearest thing to a power-pop ballad, and that’s just for starters. For everything else released this week, head to the DIY Listening Hub, and check out our Essential Playlist for a round-up of the best new songs about.

Refused - Elektra

Seventeen years is a hell of a long time for a band to leave between new material. When Refused first split, shortly after the release of ‘The Shape of Punk to Come’, many of the people excited about their return today wouldn’t have even been old enough to know they existed. Time away has created legend, though. That album has become required listening; its most famous track ‘New Noise’ - a defiant battle cry few, if any, have matched since - still hitting rotation on music tv stations.

A generation has been raised on Refused, without ever having chance to be part of the story themselves. Reforming to play shows was originally supposed to be a short term thing, then it became something longer. But gigs are reasonably safe territory when compared to new music. The poisoned chalice for so many returning bands, creating something fresh is so often a road to disappointment. For a band who, when they last released a record, weren’t held in the reverential gaze they are today, it’s the equivalent of putting it all on black. But then any suggestions Refused’s new album ‘Freedom’ is a gamble quickly disappear within thirty seconds of opener ‘Elektra’. Those explosions of noise and moments of relative quiet, the riffs, guitar lines, thumping beats all tie together into one all-out assault. A baton dropped back in the late nineties is scooped up without even the slightest break of stride. “Down in the dirt, nothing has changed,” screams Dennis Lyxzén, a line immediately drawn straight back to that legacy again. It doesn’t weigh them down. Not even slightly. This is no reanimated corpse of a band best left buried, but a singular voice able to do what others simply can’t. Refused aren’t dead. Refused rise again. (Stephen Ackroyd)

Everything Everything - Regret

Summer’s so very nearly almost here - and we all know what that means. For many, it’s the season of exams. You’ve been revising all day - reading doorstep-sized books, writing them out, and covering your room in mind maps and post-it notes. All that effort, and NOTHING’S going in!

Luckily Everything Everything aren’t here to give you the mind-numbing relief you think you want. Instead, in an eat-your-greens kind of way, EE are serving up the mind-bending rubix-cube pop we’ve come to trust them for. Speaking to Annie Mac, Jonathan Higgs said “we wanted to make something lively and aggressive, and not sit down and mope about it.” They wanted to make something, he added, that would make listeners “pull their hair out”. Neither’s a good reaction to revision, but, let’s face it, ‘Regret’s an unbeatable soundtrack. It’s just one of many sides to their next quicksilver full-length ‘Get to Heaven’, and an indication of how sprawlingly creative it will be. At the centre of it all, Higgs’ soaring croon bridges the gap between R. Kelly and Aled Jones, winding up somewhere unconventionally beautiful. That’s before even he’s tried his hand at evil ‘Thriller’-style laughter. It’s not easy listening, but you won’t need a post-it note to get this stuck in your head. (Andrew Backhouse)

Swim Deep - One Great Song And I Could Change The World

Something’s switched in Swim Deep. In the space of two years, they’ve gone from everyday escapists to big thinkers. ‘One Great Song And I Could Change The World’ is the definition of tongue-in-cheek - from title to snappy synth solo, it’s a a risk-taker with one foot on Planet Earth - but it’s just a hint of where this five-piece are heading. Like with the severe turn ‘To My Brother’, this is a bolshy, focus-shifting song possessing one simple message: Things can get better, blue skies are ahead and there’s zero point in getting bogged down in reality.

“Is this love?” asks Austin Williams. “Have I said why I love the sunrise? It’s cause it’s only gonna get lighter.” Speaking to DIY at the turn of the year, the frontman said we might be on the brink of a “summer of love”. Sounds farcical, but if anyone’s going to force the change, it’s these guys. Hippie gear at the ready. (Jamie Milton)

Tame Impala - Disciples

‘Disciples’ is the third preview proper to arrive ahead of Tame Impala’s hotly awaited third record, and despite clocking in at just 1 minute 48, Kevin Parker’s sold the whole thing within the first few seconds. Alan Sugar would be proud.

Sounding like a cross between the theme-tune to the best psychedelic sitcom in the world, and the sort of song you’d want to play as the soundtrack to your life, ‘Disciples‘ is also, at its heart, a sad song. Parker’s singing to someone who’s never had a dose of home-truth in their life, and he wishes that they’d stop swanning around like a self-important so-and-so. “Now it’s like the world owes you, walking around like everybody should know you, I want to be like we used to,” he sings. Presumably the mystery addressee of the song has a fair few other admiring ‘Disciples’, too. People may change - often for the worse - but Tame Impala remain consistently next-level. (El Hunt)

JAWS - Bad Company

With their sun-drenched tendencies cast aside for three minutes, JAWS’ new single is a monster of a return, and a big right hook to anyone that’s pigeonholed this band in the past. It’s a massive smack in the face from minute one, steaming into view with a crunching riff that wears its grunge influence proudly on its sleeve. JAWS have always demonstrated a killer ear for melody too, though, and amid the scuzz and the haze, that melodic sensibility rolls with the punches and gives as good as it gets.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that JAWS had this stashed in their locker – you need only look at their t-shirt collection to know they’re fans of something heavier – but to return with a casual, off-the-cuff statement is nothing short of ballsy. JAWS are playing with untapped versatility here – a versatility that, before their debut has even left the room, makes the prospect of a sophomore record all the more enticing. It’s a new dimension that might not be up everyone’s street, but with the way that JAWS pull it off, it’s difficult to not sit back and think, ‘fair play lads. Fair fucking play’. (Liam McNeilly)

LA Priest - Party Zute / Learning To Love

Hearing an LA Priest song evolve is a like seeing a Charmander become a Charizard in the space of a few minutes. Yes, that version of Pokémon you’re playing is probably bugged, but Sam Dust’s the real deal.

‘Party Zute / Learning to Love’ is the surest sign yet that the sense of invention defining previous day-job Late of the Pier has only become more severe. Dust starts from scratch. Stop-start samples flicker past, jazz notes entering midway through. Cut to a couple of minutes in, and this previously modest, tame animal has morphed into a full-on juggernaut. The windows are blown, the system’s in overdrive, and Dust’s suddenly mastering a dagger-sharp dance track. By the time it closes, LA Priest has seemingly spanned across continents to reach his goal. At this breakneck rate, nothing’s going to stand in his way. (Jamie Milton)

Julio Bashmore - Holding On (ft. Sam Drew)

The tell-tale signs were lingering in the background for months. Modestly proportioned flares crept into the most daring windows of Oxford Street, before stepping out across the country, quietly replaced with slightly more decadently sized flares each week. T-shirt necklines grew lower, tighter, and more v-shaped, too, and the songs on the airwaves developed a slight bassy strut. Now the sun’s up, and the chips are down. Disco is back, everyone.

Bristol producer Julio Bashmore has always channelled disco, too, though up until now he’s always been purposefully hip about it. Since breakout track ‘Au Seve,’ though, his beats have gradually become less tight and housey and far more let-loose and flamboyant. His synth washes have slowly moved away from dusty warehouse haze, and towards cocktail-umbrella wielding beach parties, too. All that disco-flavoured evolution culminates here. Featuring Roc Nation signee Sam Drew - who has written for the likes of Rihanna, and Mary J. Blige in the past - ‘Holding On’ is Julio Bashmore’s most immediate release yet. With it he’s fully unearthed the playful potential that was always hiding in his music before. (El Hunt)

Tags: Everything Everything, Refused, Listen, Features

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