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 the first new Sunflower Bean this year, a touching teaming up of slowthai, James Blake and Mount Kimbie, the first taste of a covers album from Marika Hackman, new HEALTH 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.
Sunflower Bean - Moment in the Sun
Last seen with 2019’s incendiary take on classic ‘70s NYC ‘King of the Dudes’, Sunflower Bean’s first outing this year might have less of an edge - it’s more shimmering Technicolor bop than leather jacket-clad thrash - but it’s no less of a stunner. ‘Moment in the Sun’ is as bright, bouncy and luminous as its title suggests. “A moment is fine / but I wanna feel them all,” pleads frontwoman Julia Cumming. A welcome slice of escapism. (Emma Swann)
slowthai ft James Blake, Mount Kimbie - feel away
After returning back in May with new tracks ‘ENEMY’, ‘MAGIC’ and ‘BB (BODYBAG)’, slowthai is back with brand new sizzler ‘Feel Away’. Dedicated to his late brother, Michael John, slowthai explains that his latest is “about the doubts we have whether it be within friendships, your partner or with our family”. Recorded in LA earlier this year, the delicate track is lead by slowthai’s mesmerising flow, and also features vocal inputs from James Blake and Mount Kimbie. Hopefully the latest taste of the follow-up to ‘Nothing Great About Britain’, it’s yet another stunner from Northampton’s greatest.
Marika Hackman - Realiti
On paper, there’s not a lot of crossover between folkster-turned-saucy-guitar-wielder Marika Hackman and eccentric-glitch-pop-star-turned-robo-mother Grimes, but unexpected pairings often make for the most successful covers - as evidenced here. Where Grimes’ original ‘Realiti’ cloistered its lyrics among layers of production and vocal effects, Marika’s slows things down and strips them back, allowing the words to take centre stage. “When we were young, we used to live so close to it/ And we were scared and we were beautiful,” intones the singer mournfully. We await the announcement of baby X Æ A-Xii Hackman to follow… (Lisa Wright)
The Nude Party - What’s The Deal?
Even when Catskills kids The Nude Party are having a breakdown, they still sound like they’re soundtracking the kind of liquor-filled rendezvous your mother warned you about. Take their latest, for example. A musing on “watching a loved one’s mind slowly depart from her brain”, ‘What’s The Deal?’ might thematically dig down deep into the wilderness, but musically it sounds like The Velvet Underground heading out to a country ranch and cracking open a coupla cold cans. Even the word “die” gets extrapolated out into merely a syllable to sing along to: “die die die die die die die”. In times of strife then, send Nudes. (Lisa Wright)
Porridge Radio - 7 Seconds
The group’s first new material since Mercury-shortlisted debut ‘Every Bad’, ‘7 Seconds’ does a nifty job of pairing Dana Margolin’s bleak lyrics and expressive, oft-pained vocal with sugary backing vocals and instrumentation that falls just the right side of cute (glockenspiel fans rejoice). (Bella Martin)
Omega Sapien - Ah! Ego
When he’s not spearheading alternative K-pop collective Balming Tiger, frontman Omega Sapien has been cooking up his own debut album ‘GARLIC’. Sharing the latest glimpse into the record, newest banger ‘Ah! Ego’ is a chaotic colourful number, sounding part like a Black Eyed Peas song, part like Brockhampton, with even a bit of 100 gecs leaning madness thrown in. Further evidence of how this album is set to be an experimental slice of hip-hop inspired goodness, we have no idea what ‘GARLIC’ will hold, but we can’t fucking wait to hear more.
Black Honey - Run For Cover
When Black Honey returned to the stage for one of DIY’s super sexy socially-distanced 100th issue shows last week, they closed out the set with a track that marked the Brighton band’s most propulsive, no-fucks-given offering to date. Today, that track lands in the form of ‘Run For Cover’ and, from its sleazy opening guitar riff (which recalls a whiskey-ed up version of Girls Aloud’s iconic ‘Sound of the Underground’ intro) to its full throttle crescendo via the Queens of the Stone Age-y pre-chorus rattle, it’s an absolute monster. More like this, please. (Lisa Wright)
Flohio - Unveiled
The first track from the South Londoner’s forthcoming mixtape is as beautiful as it is brutal, the repeated mantra of “more hype / more rage,” seeing the latter’s energy appear to intensify in Flohio’s vocal. It’s exciting - and intense - stuff. (Bella Martin)
HEALTH - Cyberpunk 188.8.131.52
While it’s the impeding team-up with glitchy pop maestros 100 gecs that’s got most all of a tither on announcement of their new collaborative album, LA noiseniks HEALTH have gone solo on one of the record’s number. ‘Cyberpunk 184.108.40.206’ hits at the more ambient end of their output, its industrial beats and soft synths proving hypnotic - and with its ennui-laced lyrics and dystopian (read: 2020) visuals, almost make like a millennial Pet Shop Boys. (Emma Swann)