What they say?
“Stray is a death-obsessed album,” says Reid. “Most of the songs are about different characters’ futile attempts at living meaningful lives under the weight of imminent annihilation. I wanted “Serafina” to feel different. I wanted the song to radiate a sort of wild-eyed hope. A youthful disregard for death itself. Serafina and Sadie live exactly how they want to live, exploring their love for one another before a backdrop of flames. The knowledge of their own mortality takes nothing from their enthusiasm for life. If anything, they see it as a challenge they might one day overcome together. When they say, “We’ll never die” I want it to feel like they might actually have a shot.”
FFO: The Birthday Party, The Gun Club
Why we love it? Howling and scampering in a fever dream down back alleys. This urgent, visceral hit is a lacerating tryst that clings on for dear life as you free fall down to the abyss. Awesome.
What? Only One
What they say? The new band from Alanna and Owen of Joanna Gruesome) with a new two-track single coming out as the first release on their own label, Prefect Records, which they’ve set up along with Mark from UK indie stalwarts The Field Mice – expect lots more from Ex-Void and Prefect in the coming months.
Why we love it? Flipping on the switch for a C-86 a super charged tunefulness, the double barrel boy/girl harmonies lace this jangle pop cracker with a fristrustration and obsession a melodic duality and intensity. Fantastically catchy.
FFO: Sonic Youth, Teenage Fanclub, The Pixies
Who? Giant Swan
What?55 Year Old Daughter
What they say? An uncompromising statement of intent, ‘55 Year Old Daughter’ sets the tone: The album lurches into life with perhaps the closest the band have come so far to an out-and-out banger, which is simultaneously deconstructed avant-noise and devastating DJ weapon.
Why we love it? Abrasive, inventive and crunchy. The frenetic collision of drum machine beats and a cut up vocal sample give the impression of violence, confusion. Building into a fantastic track that skitters across the plains marked experimental and race. Bracing and magnificent.
FFO: Aphex Twin, The Prodigy
What they say?
They’ve teamed up with Daniel Schlett (mastermind behind the Diiv / War On Drugs ‘mid fi’ sound) to create an epic and dreamy shoe-gaze cut. After an ace Glastonbury set and rolling support in 2017, they decided to step back from it all to work on the album they’ve always dreamed of.
FFO: A Place to Bury Strangers, Tears for Fears, Real Estate
Why we love it? Shimmering and glimmering on a gorgeous riff. Threaded with heavy melancholic covered vocals that prize open closed hearts. It conjures up the widescreen emotion of 80s pop songs, exploding into an awesome ripple of choruses, throbbing baselines and towering guitars. Fantastic.
Who? Sassy 008
What? ‘Maybe In The Summer’
What they say?
“‘Maybe in the Summer’ is a song about realising you’re being taken advantage of by someone you thought had good intentions. The fast BPM and the intense movement in the song is a symbol of wanting to move on quickly, while also trying to understand how and what you feel towards this person and yourself as a result of this confusing behaviour. Basically the sound of a confused mind and an eager will to shake this destructive pattern off”.
Why we love it? A bricolage of minimal beats and twisted layered samples and Sassy’s fractured rejection narrative craft a disturbing almost nightmarish atmosphere as the temperature rises, its rising tension is about waking up to being used. Revenge never sounded so sinister.
FFO: Billie Eilish, Grimes
Who? Otis Mensah
What? ‘Grand Finale Funeral Show’
What they say? Valuing art as a fundamental form of activism, Otis is opening up an important dialogue between himself and the ruling establishment, positioning emotional vulnerability at its core. Last year Otis was appointed as the first hip-hop Poet Laureate of Sheffield by former Lord Mayor and current MEP Magid Magid – advocating for rap as an effective vehicle for emotional communication.
FFO: Akala, Kendrick Lamar
Why we love it? With a pleasing down tempo old school soul and dextrous, politically fierce delivery. Otis melds a dizzying collection of thoughts on society’s ills , inequality, every day living and disconnection. Wise.
What? Odd Repair
Where? Cologne, Germany
What they say? “Odd Repair” is our first single after our debut EP “Money (2017)”, a catchy yet complex song if you listen closely. Odd Repair was written, recorded and mixed by ourselves. We wanted to combine electronic and analogue sounds to create a unique pop-experience with an experimental style.
FFO: Radiohead, Breton, Foals
Why we love it? Inventive and experimental yet threaded with a kind of infectious melodic lines and vocal holler. Like a ghost in a mechanical machine, its infectious shuffle beat nudges along with electronic textures and minimal guitars, the insidious melodies are like an army. Impressive.
Who? Squirrel Flower
What? ‘Red Shoulder’
What they say? “‘Red Shoulder’ is a song about destabilisation and dissociation,” explains Williams. “Something soft and tender becomes warped and sinister, turning into sensory overload and confusion. How can something so lovely turn painful and claustrophobic? The song ends with a heavy and visceral guitar solo, attempting to reground what went awry.”
Why we love it? Simmering and throbbing with a pregnant emotion, embodying the a moment you disconnect from the world around you, it swells and sways on a bed of fuzz guitars sea sawing between intimacy and crushing, clawing out for certainty in an attempt to make sense of a moment of pain. Affecting and delicate.
FFO: Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten