It’s finally the weekend and if you’re not heading out for a cheeky pint, it’s about time you get your ears around the latest new tracks to be released out in the world.
Heading up this week’s Tracks is The 1975, who have once again offered up a bombastic cut from their forthcoming third album; and this one’s even more ridiculously catchy than the last one. Elsewhere in this week’s round-up, we’ve got another new ‘un from noiseniks FIDLAR, the third track from Christine and the Queens’ slick second album ‘Chris’, and the first taste of Cloud Nothings’ newest full-length. There’s also verdicts on Rina Sawayama, Drenge, alt-J feat. Little Sims and mewithoutYou, phew!
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 - TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME
The 1975 are nothing if not unpredictable. On ‘Give Yourself A Try’, the first preview of new album ‘A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships’, Matty Healy bluntly laid out his recent struggles with addiction, and recounted the suicide of a young fan. On its follow-up ‘Love It If We Made It’, he viciously proclaimed “modernity has failed us!” while also incorporating Donald Trump tweets into impassioned verses about the dark cloud we currently exist under. Third track ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’, meanwhile, finds him singing about…well, absolute bobbins to be honest.
From the moment the track twists into life with an amiable tropical beat and Drake-like flourishes - not to mention the forceful autotune that threatens to drown Matty’s vocals (he’s presented three starkly different tones across the three tracks so far) - it’s clear that this is something we’ve never heard from The 1975 before, and it takes a while to digest.
Well, it looks to be that way until the catchiest chorus we’ve heard this year worms its way in, set over stabs of chart-ready piano, and lodges itself in your brain indefinitely. Sure, the lyrics are deliberately vacuous - Matty racks his brain to try and remember if he called a certain girl once, twice or thrice, realising that he’s been, well, doubling up, before turning it back on his partner (“you text that boy sometimes,” he quips) - but in amongst the heaviness that defined ‘Love It If We Made It and will surely define ‘A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships’ at large, The 1975 understand the power of letting all that go for three-and-a-half minutes via a pop song - and on the face of it, a very silly pop song - that makes you feel on top of the fucking world. (Will Richards)
FIDLAR - Are You High?
FIDLAR’s Zac Carper has long been willing to put his personal shortcomings front centre in the band’s output, right through to previous newie, ‘Alcohol’. Follow-up ‘Are You High?’ is, on the surface, a Weezer-esque punk-pop shout along of the best kind, the footage they’ve opted to pair alongside from their recent live outings matching its bouncy tempo perfectly. It’s because of this it’s also able to be a gut-punch, Zac querying of his pals “I think they liked me better when I was using.”
It looks like FIDLAR’s upcoming third full-length is going to be just as heart-on-sleeve fun as its predecessors. (Emma Swann)
Christine and the Queens - 5 Dollars
After the release of ‘Girlfriend’ and ‘Doesn’t matter’, the latest cut to be taken from Christine and the Queens’ forthcoming new album shows off quite the different side to Chris.
Where ‘Girlfriend’ came packed with funky beats and ‘Doesn’t matter’ bore a certain percussive swagger, ‘5 Dollars’ is a somewhat more unassuming affair. Feeling reflective and intimate, while still raising a cheeky eyebrow, it’s a playful track which deals in more gentle melodies and soaring choruses, once again showing off Héloïse Letissier’s talent for creating brilliantly unique pop songs with a twist. (Sarah Jamieson)
Cloud Nothings - The Echo Of The World
“I wrote this because I felt there weren’t too many rock bands doing what we are right now,” Cloud Nothings main man Dylan Baldi says of new album ‘Last Building Burning’. “A lot of other bands sound great but it’s missing a heaviness I like.”
Coming only 18 months after the varied, often restrained ‘Life Without Sound’, the new album’s first preview, ‘The Echo Of The World’, is - as Dylan’s comments would predict - an unhinged, barely contained thrash. Harking back to the band’s lightning-fast fourth album ‘Here And Nowhere Else’, ‘The Echo Of The World’ gets somewhat muddied by its fast pace and often-overwhelming noise, melody or nuance lost beneath the noise, but as an exhilarating shot in the arm, it does its job. (Will Richards)
Rina Sawayama - ‘Cherry’
The second song since the release of her debut mini-album ‘RINA’ last year, on ‘Cherry’ Rina Sawayama proves why she’s fast becoming one of the most talked about up-and-coming voices in pop.
‘Cherry’ makes a bold statement, celebrating the singer’s pansexuality and pushing back against the heteronormative message of all the songs she listened to growing up. Recounting a electric encounter with another woman on the tube (“you looked my way, with your girl gaze”), sonically, it’s a banger too - catchy as hell and full of joyful twinkling synths - and offers a much needed celebration of love and sexuality in all its forms. (Rachel Finn)
Drenge - Outside
Nobody creates a murky mood like the Loveless lads. ‘Outside’ - another from that upcoming EP of theirs - continues along their grunge-splattered path, very much where ‘Undertow’ left off. “It’s so much better on the outside,” yells Eoin, with enough ferocity to suggest their stint away has both fuelled his anger - and been somewhat of a respite. It’s good to have them back - and on such fighting form as this, let’s hope that full-length isn’t too far off. (Emma Swann)
mewithoutYou - Julia (or, ‘Holy to the LORD’ on the Bells of Horses)
mewithoutYou could never be accused of being dull. Across their fifteen year tenure as a band, the Philadelphia bunch have given us gritty post-hardcore (‘A To B Life’), rustic, impassioned folk rock of the ilk of Neutral Milk Hotel (‘It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All A Dream! It’s Alright!’) and back to the sharp, incisive post-hardcore of 2015’s ‘Pale Horses’ via the brilliant, genre-bending likes of ‘Ten Stories’ and ‘Brother Sister’, the band have never settled into any kind of predictable rhythm. Neither have their song titles been anything but ridiculous.
Satisfyingly, then, the band have returned with yet another chance in pace, on a new song called ‘Julia (or, ‘Holy to the LORD’ on the Bells of Horses)’. The new track - let’s call it ‘Julia’ to save us all the trouble - is a relatively straight-forward rock song, as far as mewithoutYou go. Guitars cascade their way through the track, sharp melodies poking their head above the distortion-swamped surface. Aaron Weiss then lays vocals on top, as abstract and difficult to define as ever. There’s little on ‘Julia’ to indicate where the band are heading next, but with an album coming in October, the one thing that’s for certain is that mewithoutYou will never become more predictable, or any less fascinating. (Will Richards)
alt-J - 3WW ft Little Simz
alt-J’s music has often left space for experimentation, and the addition of new textures or voices. It made perfect sense, then, when they announced the release of ‘REDUXER’, a remix album of last year’s ‘RELAXER’ LP featuring new versions with some of hip-hop and rap’s most cutting-edge names. First up was Pusha T, who added a dangerous, supremely confident verse to ‘In Cold Blood’ alongside production from Twin Shadow. Danny Brown then added his suitably hyper-active bars to ‘Deadcrush’.
Upon hearing of the release of ‘REDUXER’, it was always ‘RELAXER’’s opener ‘3WW’ that stood out as the track with the most potential to be sculpted into something new and fantastic. The original, we said in our review upon its release, “feels like it’s set a hundred years back around a campfire in rural Britain. The three voices deployed in the track [Joe Newman, Gus Unger-Hamilton and Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell] paint completely different worlds, each blending into the others like smoke.”
The new version allows Little Simz to add her voice to the delicious melting pot, and she does so immediately. ‘3WW’ is a wonderfully atmospheric cut as it is, but when Simz raps deliberately, slowly and forcefully over its intro - tackling overindulgence, life, death and whatever else she feels like taking aim at - it enters a whole new world. It’s yet to be seen whether ‘REDUXER’ will succeed as a whole, but we have a proper gem right here. (Will Richards)
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