Happy Friday, readers! The British heatwave continues in earnest, and we’ve got a hell of a bunch of new tracks for you to sip that delicious first Friday pint to this week.
This week’s round-up is led by The 1975, who are - predictably - as bombastic as ever on ‘Love It If We Made It’, the second preview of new album ‘A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships’.
They’re joined by new ones from Spring King, Waxahatchee, Brockhampton, Chance The Rapper and more. What a week!
For our verdicts on all of this week’s biggest and most exciting tracks, all you need to do is scroll down. And if you’re itching to check out everything else out this week, step this way for DIY’s Listening Hub, and our Essential Playlist.
The 1975 - Love It If We Made It
Introduced to the world with yet more giant billboards and anonymously-posted lyric sheets, the latest track from The 1975 was never going to be shy and retiring. In fact, at first glance, it could’ve been gaudy; an attempt to reenact the song’s opening line (“Saying controversial things / Just for the hell of it”). In reality, ‘Love It If We Made It’ feels vital.
Its introductory swell of sparkling synths is much like business as usual for the band, but it’s within the biting lyrics of its verses that things really become seductive. A Black Mirror-esque stream of consciousness, the track’s lyrics once again channel the bleak new world messaging of the band’s current ‘Music For Cars’ “era”. Unlike the personal nature of ‘Give Yourself A Try’, its follow-up faces outwards and takes square aim at pop culture, politics and society all in one fell swoop.
A collection of - according to Matty Healy - “direct quotes from people, or headlines I’ve read,” out of context and buried in amongst the hazy electronics, his words feel razor sharp, his pilfering transformed into cleverly pinpointed quips on the state of modernity.
It’s not all darkness here though: when the chorus kicks in, the relief feels glorious. Its repeated refrain of “I’d love it if we made it” becomes the silver lining to our world’s black cloud, the first bright dawn after a storm. It’s less a catchy throwaway line and more a statement of affairs, a truth that’s probably crossed all of our minds at some point recent, in light of recent world events. Modernity may have failed us, but if this new offering says anything, it’s that The 1975 won’t let it get away that easy. (Sarah Jamieson)
Brockhampton - 1998 Truman
The second track the band have released as part of their new Things We Lost In The Fire radio show on Beats 1, ‘1998 Truman’ sees Brockhampton at their most intense and collaborative.
A menacing, spiky beat set over a sample of an exceedingly angry voice bemoaning the control ‘The Man’ has over all our lives, Merlyn Wood then crashes the track into life with one of his most impassioned verses to date. “Gimme no drugs, lend me some love tonight / When I’m in this club, lonely as fuck,” he yaps before Joba takes over: “My bad, I guess / I just pursued this shit while you settled down to have some kids”.
The boyband at their most hyper-active, constantly interlinking, making their impression inside 15-second verses and then leaving as quickly as they arrived, it’s a presentation of each member’s idiosyncrasies and a showcase of collaboration at its very best. (Will Richards)
Spring King - The Hum
When they first emerged several years ago now, it didn’t take long for Spring King to become renowned for their full-throttle live shows. Backed by a punishing percussive backbone as provided by Tarek Musa, they’re known as a force to be reckoned with; on their forthcoming second album, they seem to be pushing even further.
With each slice of ‘A Better Life’ that’s revealed the band seem to become leaner and more muscular. On latest offering ‘The Hum’, gang vocals and driving guitars propel things forward at breakneck speed, oozing with a confidence that can only be grown into. A supercharged call-to-arms, this sounds like Spring King’s anthem-in-waiting. (Sarah Jamieson)
Waxahatchee - Chapel Of Pines
It’s often been a set opener of Waxahatchee’s live set for a while now, but ‘Chapel of Pines’ is finally getting a proper release as part of Katie Crutchfield’s new EP ‘Great Thunder’ this September. ‘Chapel of Pines’ is a stripped-back and acoustic cut, marking a return of sorts to Katie’s folk and country roots, and comes complete with a romantic video featuring Kevin Morby, marking a new direction for the singer-songwriter. (Rachel Finn)
Chance The Rapper - I Might Need Security
On first release ‘I Might Need Security’, Chance gets a few things off his chest in an overtly political track. He announces he’s bought news website Chicagoist “to run you racist bitches out of business”, calls for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to resign for being soft on “murderer” cops and tells the world to “fuck your microagressions” over a Jamie Foxx “fuck you” sample.
As he raps in the song’s opening line (“I ain’t no activist / I’m the protagonist), Chance takes centre stage on the new tracks, giving us hope that the follow up to his 2016 album ‘Coloring Book’ could be on the way very soon. (Rachel Finn)
Westerman - Easy Money
Blue Flowers signing Westerman has really kicked on a gear this year. Brilliant, delicate single ‘Confirmation’ has been followed by ‘Easy Money’, a track that values simplicity, and is gorgeous enough at its core that it shines without any embellishment.
“Why should I worry? / Worry makes you ill,” he sings over the patter of a soft strum of electric guitar, and ‘Easy Money’ is a brilliantly carefree step forward that puts songwriting before any kind of production sheen, and reveals Westerman to be the real deal. (Will Richards)
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