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 Busted-channelling new one from The 1975, giving us absolutely no idea what the rest of ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’ will sound like, Soccer Mommy previewing album ‘Color Theory’ with ‘circle the drain’, the first number from the newly-relocated King Krule, plus Thundercat, Porridge Radio and much more.
For what we have to say on this fortnight’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.
The 1975 - Me & You Together Song
Channelling some early ’00s Busted vibes, ‘Me & You Together Song’ is an upbeat pop banger that could seamlessly fit onto the pop-punk trio’s self-titled 2002 album. Basically, if Busted tried to write their best ‘It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)’, it would sound a lil’ bit like this.
“It’s kind of me as a teenager; it’s about idealism in relationships and trying to capture what I thought about Amy Watson or Chelsea Pollard,” Matty told us for our November 2019 cover interview. “And there are funny lines in it. When I write about relationships, I find it quite hard to be soppy so my sincerity comes from gags. ‘I had a dream where we had kids / You would cook, I’d do the nappies / We went to Winter Wonderland / It was shit but we were happy’. Which is my way of saying I actually love you quite a lot.”
An anthemic love bop tracing Matty’s efforts to profess his feelings, the rose-tinted glasses behind which the story is told are reflected perfectly in the jingly tune that Matty called a ‘Drive Like I Do’ style song, and it’s destined to invoke a sense of nostalgia for those old enough to remember the ‘What I Go To School For’ glory days. (Elly Watson)
Soccer Mommy - Circle The Drain
Sophie Allison no longer makes bedroom folk-pop. Having grown up an avid fan of ’90s and late ’00s female pop-rock idols like Avril Lavigne, Liz Phair, Ashley Simpson and Hayley Williams, she incorporates their stylings with a cinematic, nostalgic and fresh sheen ahead of new album ‘color theory’. There’s an air of dreamy romanticism on this track, Sophie expressing her anxieties as she struggles to cope with the world around her while still trying to be present for her lover, her family, and her friends. She delivers the chorus - “Hey, I’ve been falling apart these days” - with a breathy, raw air, drawing a Cranberries-esque type of charm. It’s honest and unflinching, evoking a sense of familiarity and wistfulness that shares nerve networks with the deepest kind of pain. (Cady Siregar)
King Krule - (Don’t Let The Dragon) Draag On
On initial inspection the first offering from upcoming album ‘Man Alive!’ is a sobering listen. It finds King Krule in the midst of a battle with his demons, isolated in a grey room with the shadow of depression looming. Its a familiar scene for many, with the track’s opaque synths and sparse vocal drawl immediately evocative of lost days. Through it all though there’s a second flame burning, a desire for change. You get the sense that our protagonist will try again tomorrow, rising from their duvet like a phoenix from the ashes. Having said that the video features Archy burning at the stake, so take that as you will. (Jack Johnstone Orr)
Porridge Radio - Sweet
Brighton outfit Porridge Radio have lifted the lid on album ‘Every Bad’ with a hearty serving of cathartic goodness. ‘Sweet’ is a headlong dive into a purgative ocean, featuring the sort of internal reflection only possible after the passing of time. “I used to be ashamed - until i learnt i loved the game,“ croons Dana Margolin, delivering her words with the urgent glee of new discovery. This spirit of growth combines with dynamic instrumentation to create an atmosphere that ebbs and flows like the Hove waves themselves. Forgive the porridge pun, but this one hits just right. (Jack Johnstone Orr)
Thundercat - Black Qualls (ft. Steve Lacy and Steve Arrington)
‘Black Qualls’ bounces in with purpose from the kickoff, and immediately reminds us just how slick, groovy and downright fun Thundercat’s cosmic jazz-pop-R&B is - even when approaching heavier topics like the exploration of young black identity, as presented here. It helps to have the aid of the legendary Steve Arrington as well as the prodigious skills of Steve Lacy, who Thundercat calls “the physical incarnate of the Ohio Players in one person”. What’s even more fascinating (or infuriating) is that the tracklist for upcoming album ‘It Is What It Is’ lists Childish Gambino as another feature on ‘Black Qualls’ – but we’ll have to wait until 3rd April to hear that version. (Also, is the Qualls of the title DJ Qualls? Indeterminate.) (Rob Hakimian)
The Chats - The Clap
‘The Clap’ deals with the problem of having contracted venereal disease from a one-night stand and has Aussie punks The Chats sounding like Sleaford Mods mixing it up with Billy Childish. The accompanying video depicts the narrator having to undergo some haphazard, amateurish, and gory genital surgery to resolve his problem. Hopefully, the other 13 songs on the band’s upcoming debut, ‘High Risk Behaviour’, will be equally hilarious. (Greg Hyde)
Rina Sawayama - Comme Des Garçons
If recent hard-hitter ‘STFU!’ - a metal-influenced slammer that Grimes would trade a few Tesla shares for - seemed to suggest that Rina Sawayama was headed in a new, harsher direction, then on ‘Comme Des Garcons (Like The Boys)’, it’s a slightly underwhelming return to the more established sleek pop purveyor of old on offer. There are pleasing, bubbling beats, and its repeated refrain (“I’m so confident – like the boys”) is less than subtle, but that’s sort of the point. But, though the singer’s latest is perfectly serviceable, when its predecessor felt like an absolute game-changer, ‘CDG’ is just… fine? (Lisa Wright)