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 track from The Strokes’ newly-announced album ‘The New Abnormal’, Billie Eilish’s Bond theme, a new one from Hello 2020 performers Drug Store Romeos and 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.
The Strokes - At The Door
A series of lo-fi, slightly discordant synth chords might make for a slightly worrisome way to announce an album (especially one that follows 2013’s polarising ‘Comedown Machine’), but fast-forward precisely 61 seconds into ‘At The Door’ and you’ll find the kind of pure, sparkling melody that suggests The Strokes might not be playing quite as contrary this time around as it may first seem. It’s a weird song, no doubt; one that ties three totally different atmospheres (the third, a kind of pulsing club beat) into one strange but beguiling whole. And what it signifies for forthcoming LP ‘The New Abnormal’ is hard to tell. But – crucially - it sounds like the New Yorkers are having fun again. (Lisa Wright)
Billie Eilish - No Time To Die
Queen of understated pop bops; moshing circle pit-starter; whomping bass fan – across her world-conquering debut, Billie Eilish proved herself jack of all trades and master of them too. Now, joining the esteemed ranks of the Bond soundtrack-ers, she’s added another string to her bow and, quelle surprise, it’s spot on. There’s a sumptuous, melancholy quality to Billie and brother Finneas’ production that’s perfectly suited to the seductive danger of cinema’s most famous spy, but ‘No Time To Die”s greatest trick is its restraint: one caveat to a classic Bond crescendo hits home all the harder for the tension and space around it. Take note, pop competitors. (Lisa Wright)
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Cars in Space
Understood to be about a pre-breakup pathos instead of Elon Musk, ‘Cars In Space’ has everything Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever has become so beloved for. Incorporating reverb-drenched guitar riffs, honeyed, layered vocals and a sun-kissed melancholy, the Aussies’ latest is about as RBCF as you can get. It might be winter in the Western hemisphere, but RBCF’s infectious summer vibes help you remember the summer you’d thought you’d forgotten about. (Cady Siregar)
Harkin - Nothing The Night Can’t Change
Singer-songwriter and Sky Larkin guitarist Katie Harkin draws upon her work with Wild Beasts, Sleater-Kinney, and Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett for this teaser track from her self-titled debut solo album as the mononymous Harkin. The love song features a melody akin to those found on the joint album from the latter two artists and a guitar line that recalls the former two, while lyrically taking inspiration from her native northern England at night. (Greg Hyde)
Drug Store Romeos - Frame of Reference
Lush dream pop is the order of the day on Drug Store Romeos’ second single, a stunning bitesize treat that adds to the promise of ‘Now You’re Moving’ which introduced the young trio late last year. Much like said debut, ‘Frame Of Reference’ brims with kitschy synths and astral guitar distortion; Sarah Downie’s tender vocal is the cherry on top of a delicious shoegaze cupcake. There’s a video too, in which the band show off an impressive, carefully choreographed set of dance moves. Kind of. (Alex Cabré)