Another week, another selection box of new music to wrap your ravenous senses around. If it’s super-new-haven’t-even-released-an-album-yet types you’re after then it’s worth giving our sister feature, the Neu Bulletin a read, you may yet discover a new favourite.
Follow our essential playlist - helpfully titled Essential New Tracks - below, and read on for our pick of this week’s pops.
Stormzy - Angel In The Marble
Number One albums, global brand ambassador gigs and a headline spot at Glastonbury are just some of the fruits of Stormzy's labour this far, and 'Angel In The Marble' sets out to show how it wasn't all just down to luck. "I saw the angel in the marble so i carved it out / Now look at me / Chiselled like da Vinci reappeared in '93" he boasts, almost conversationally. The soul-infused samples and the star-studded video shot at Stormzy's swanky 30th birthday bash in London make this a lofty and lavish proclamation of someone comfortable in the knowledge that he is one of the UK's greatest modern exports. (Jack Terry)
Sheer Mag - All Lined Up
Anyone previously won over by Sheer Mag’s ability to take cues so seamlessly from ‘70s classic rock that the Philadelphians often seemed more like time travellers than revivalists will not be disappointed by ‘All Lined Up’. Tina Halliday’s trademark roar remains, and while there’s a hint of something funkier lurking beneath the song’s breezy strut, it’s very much from the same rulebook as before - think The Clash’s ‘Train In Vain’ for example, or even Talking Heads' use of rhythm. Both pleasing and intriguing. (Bella Martin)
The Hives - Trapdoor Solution / The Bomb
As suggested by their titles, The Hives’ newest pair are explosive and fuelled by immediacy. ‘Trapdoor Solution’, which only just creeps over the one-minute mark is short but definitely not sweet - think pounding drums, shouted vocals, and a riff that fiercely climbs and falls. ‘The Bomb’ isn’t far behind it in terms of intensity and mirrors its wired energy, in a well-welcomed dose of chaos. (Amber Lashley)
Nia Archives - Bad Gyalz
Nia Archives' latest is an ode to her fellow female ravers, its infectious beats celebrating the freedom felt by women filling dancefloors at her shows. In a shift away from the more emotive releases we’ve heard from her of late, ‘Bad Gyal’ is nothing but joyful, chaotic fun as trippy sound effects and glitchy vocals perfectly compliment the relentless jungle bassline. In a male dominated space, Nia is giving the girlies a moment and absolutely everyone is here for it. (Katy Hills)
Meet Me @The Altar - Take Me Away
Meet Me @ The Altar have always leant heavily on their image as the pop punk girl band made by and for Gen Z, which is why it feels incredibly on brand for them to be covering a song made iconic by the 2003 Disney classic ‘Freaky Friday’. Originally a Lash song from 2001, the track’s snarling guitars and sing-along chorus feel tailor-made for the band, and – as the guitar solo screeches into an impassioned final chorus – their determination to do this beloved song justice is audible. (Caitlin Chatterton)
Wilco - Evicted
With news of Wilco's next album - 'Cousin', produced by Cate Le Bon comes 'Evicted'. Lyrically, it delivers a brand of reflection that is infectiously charming, frontman Jeff Tweedy singing, “I’d laugh until I’d die if it wasn’t my life, if it wasn’t me in the mirror”. Carried by buoyant guitars, it's a warm and wistful introduction to the veterans' next chapter. (Amber Lashley)
FIZZ - As Good As It Gets
Supergroup FIZZ – Orla Gartland, dodie, Greta Isaac and Martin Luke Brown – roared into action back in May with their theatrical, maximalist pop, but on ‘As Good As It Gets’ they’ve crashed firmly back to earth. Clarinet solos and general whimsy are replaced with thrashing drums and clambouring vocals as the band (minus Martin, who’s substituted on the mic for Tummyache’s Soren Bryce) rail against the condescending, infuriating treatment they’ve grown used to. It’s the most human offering from FIZZ yet, and quite possibly their best. (Caitlin Chatterton)