It’s finally the end of the week, and we have a brand spanking new edition of Tracks - our weekly round-up of the biggest and best new tracks around.
There’s total banger ‘Salted Caramel Ice Cream’ from Metronomy’s forthcoming new’un, returning heroes Sheer Mag who have a new album coming in August, and Biffy Clyro’s contribution to the Frightened Rabbit covers album announced this week and much more.
For what we have to say on this week’s biggest and most exciting tracks, scroll on! And if you’re itching to check out even more, subscribe to our Essential New Tracks playlist.
Sheer Mag - Blood From A Stone
Philadelphia punk-rockers Sheer Mag have just announced second album ‘A Distant Call’, and on lead track ‘Blood From A Stone’ they stand by the ‘70s power-pop sound that made debut record ‘Need to Feel Your Love’ such a blast. Their latest hooky guitar anthem finds singer Tina Halliday detailing “hard luck living” in a personal account inspired by the triple blow of going through a breakup, being laid off and losing a loved one. Not one to mope around about it, she takes those losses and channels them into something upbeat and inspiring here: a lose-your-shit rock stomper you can sing along to. (James Bentley)
Metronomy - Salted Caramel Ice Cream
We’re not one to take sides but, if we were ranking ice cream flavours, salted caramel ice cream would definitely be God Tier. Especially if it’s got salted caramel bits in it too for a nice bit of salty crunch. Joe Mount, the man behind Metronomy, clearly agrees as he’s chosen to announce new album ‘Metronomy Forever’ with the goofy, joyous ‘Salted Caramel Ice Cream’.
OK, it does sound a lot like Lipps Inc’s ‘Funkytown’ but isn’t that glee exactly what we need to pep up this dreary summer? With that special Devonshire charm that Metronomy instil into everything they touch, ‘Salted Caramel Ice Cream’ glides along with a breezy bop as carefree as can be. Suddenly, conditions are perfect; the sun’s shining bright but your ice cream is never melting. (Chris Taylor)
Biffy Clyro - The Modern Leper
Originally covered as part of Frightened Rabbit’s tenth anniversary celebration of ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’, there’s a new sense of weight that accompanies Biffy Clyro’s take on the beautiful ‘The Modern Leper’. Released just over a year since the passing of Scott Hutchison, it’s a predictably lump-in-throat listen, Simon Neil’s Scottish accent inevitably mirroring those of Scott’s original vocals. But this is unmistakably Biffy, with guitar stabs punctuating the soaring melody, giving the previously-fragile offering a more fortified skeleton to dwell within. It’s still haunting, have no doubt, but its new lease of life feels a fitting dedication to such a glorious track. (Sarah Jamieson)
The S.L.P. - Nobody Else
The second track from Serge Pizzorno’s solo endeavour The S.L.P., ‘Nobody Else’ sees him yet another new direction, touching upon jazz before bursting into a bright house track that packs a punch. It’s certainly more of a slow burner than predecessor ‘Favourite’, but Serge is going above and beyond at proving his versatility knows no bounds. A mature piano house melody bounces around on this track behind his vocals, confidently building into a summer-ready, cocktail party anthem. Not quite the indie mosh pit that Kasabian fans are used to, but definitely a welcome change. (Samantha Daly)
The Hold Steady - Denver Haircut
The Hold Steady have returned and, by the sounds of things, it’s business as usual. On ‘Denver Haircut’, we find Craig Finn and co. offering up a tale about a guy who ends up penniless in a random hotel room after a chance encounter. And despite its subject matter, it’s the most immediate single they’ve released in the past decade, proving that Finn hasn’t lost any of his charm, despite releasing a trilogy of solo albums since 2014’s ‘Teeth Dreams’. As Craig sings “It doesn’t have to be pure / It doesn’t have to be perfect / Just sort of has to be worth it”, this definitely feels worth it. (Nick Roseblade)
Floating Points - LesAlpx
Not long after dominating it with the likes of ‘Vacuum Boogie’, Sam Shepherd left the dancefloor behind as his music started to become looser, airier and more introspective. The incredible ‘Elaenia’ was more about mood than making you move, but ‘LesAlpx’ seems like a return to the muscular grooves that originally made up the Floating Points sound.
There are still elements of the darkly beautiful here, particularly in the deep bass that sits under the bouncing drum groove. But after a fake ending halfway through, things seem to start melting. The Vangelis-esque synth that glow like the reflection of neon on a wet street takes things from the stratosphere way out into space. A glorious return if ever there was one. (Chris Taylor)