Tracks of the Week #169 2

Tracks of the Week #169

Welcome to your latest serving of new music from our writers, follow our playlist here with more new music added every week.

Jaws The Shark – Still Young

Why we love it: Ahead of his debut EP Another Day in Paradise set for release on 11 February, Jaws the Shark shares new single ‘Still Young’ via Nice Swan Records (home of Sprints, English Teacher, Sports Team, Pip Blom).  It’s a blast of scuzzy guitars and deep basslines with thumping drumbeats from the opening note.  The vocals state to remember that mistakes should be accepted and not to dwell on regret.  We’re still young and there is time to change, or perhaps seek resolution.These are universal themes which are part of being human and touch us all, but we don’t need to let over-thinking drag us down.

Expanding on this Jaws The Shark stated: “’Still Young’ is basically a track about self-analysis. It’s pretty much saying not to be too critical of ourselves overall and not to dwell on the past, but to remain positive that where there is a past, there is also a future, and that’s exciting. That we’ll never be too old to make positive changes. The self-analysis aspect can be heard when I detail some of the things that I like “Nevermind (the album by Nirvana) and a glass of water, a cool breeze in the heart of summer”. This is saying, this is me, here I am, these are the things I like and I’m ok with that. But also that I’m still young enough to be able to change parts that I’m not too happy with about myself.”

Jaws the Shark is Olly Bailey (Guitar, vocals, bass) and ‘Still Young’ was written and performed by Olly and Elliot Rawson (Drums).  Together they have produced a thumping track which crackles.  The touches of guitar reverb add to the importance of remembering we are ‘Still Young’, at any age. (Julia Mason)

Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? – In Tangerine

Why we love it: I know, I know, you should not listen to new music just because of the band name but in all honesty how could I resist!  Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? have released ‘In Tangerine’ via VILD Records.  This is the first release by the Finnish Garage rock trio in 4 years following two cult albums Teenage Sweetheart (2015) and Jazbelle 1984-1988 (2018).  It’s a scuzzy garage rock track which asks us to remember to chill in the midst of the chaotic nature of life.

As the band explains: “In Tangerine raves in all of its punk-rock playfulness, but at the heart is a yearning for the place where one can just be, and there is no hurry anywhere. There’s also some 90’s nostalgia, I guess. Remember to watch Seinfeld and take it easy, fellows.”

The single is accompanied by a partially playful, partially unsettling gothic-tinged video:
“It paints the picture of loneliness, mourning and longing for the past in the sense of Maya Deren and Peter Greenaway. It is a film within a film. Where is Susse? Who is she? What channel is she watching? We shall escape to Tangerine.”

Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? are Ekku Lintunen (keyboards/synths, backing vocals), Susse Stemma-Sihvola (bass), lead vocals and Janne-Petteri Pitkälä (drums).  As well as being influenced by a mix of 60s girl-groups, punk, glam, grunge and New York City/Manchester indie they are further moulded by the aesthetic and sonics of the underground cassette culture punk bands that their small town of Kouvola rely upon.  It’s a potent mix which produces the electrifying sound of Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? (Julia Mason)

Jake Whiskin – Satanic Panic Love Song

Why we love it: Who is better placed to comment upon ‘Satanic Panic Love Song’Jake Whiskin’s new single and what is the Leeds’ songwriter’s first musical offering of the New Year, than the man himself: “This started as a classic escapism, boy/girl love song which felt a bit over the top with the drama of the song, so instead I made it kind of tongue in cheek with the Black Magic/Satanic Panic/Black Metal Tee references – to give myself a bit of a laugh mainly. I grew up loving emo, metal and rock so this is a homage to my teenage self in his Cradle of Filth T-shirt and pink Vans I guess.”

And if you were to think that Jake Whiskin’s description of the song was unduly frivolous and perhaps somewhat self-effacing then one listen to it should put you right on both counts. It is a serious piece of music by a serious songwriter. ‘Satanic Panic Love Song’ builds from a gentle beginning into something altogether more powerful as Whiskin’s heartworn tale gathers momentum and emotional traction. Shot in the outskirts of his home city, the song’s accompanying video visually reflects its feelings of isolation.

‘Satanic Panic Love Song’ was released on January 25th via Dance To The Radio. (Simon Godley)

The Hanging Stars – Radio On

Why we love it: The Hanging Stars are back with a new record label and a new album. Recently signed to Loose Records, the London five-piece will release their fourth album Hollow Heart on the 25th of March. And if ‘Radio On’, the first single to be taken from it, is anything to go by then the new album promises to be something rather special.

With ‘Radio On’ The Hanging Stars continue to pursue their vision of cosmic country folk music. Once again they manage to hold that delicate balance between heartbreak and uplifting, marrying a beautiful weeping melody to a transcendental spirit. Perhaps it was travelling to the North East of Scotland, breathing in that rarefied air and recording the new album at Edwyn Collins‘ Clashnarrow Studios that helped in the creative process, though the band’s singer and guitarist Richard Olsen has a much more straightforward explanation.

“I wrote a lot of songs over these last strange years but ‘Radio On’ just kind of turned up at the door one day. We exchanged pleasantries, had a cup of tea and then it simply sat down and made itself at home. One of those songs that just writes itself.” 

Whatever the reason, it is just a great song. (Simon Godley)

Clwb Fuzz – Sertraline

Why we love it: Cardiff outfit Clwb Fuzz return with new single ‘Sertraline’, a magnificent spiral into a trippy SSRI induced nightmare. With caustic guitar fuzz, ominious queasy synths and a sea sawing percussion, this is the scorched backdrop to Emily Kocan’s narrative that inhabits her vivid and sometimes far too real dreams, which occurred as a side-effect of taking anti-depressants (“did I really burn my bedroom down/did I really watch my sister drown?”).

The song is mostly self explanatory,” explains Emily. “I wrote the lyrics when I was 18 or 19 and trying out different SSRIs [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors]. All but one gave me adverse reactions, numbed me out or gave me extremely vivid and often disturbing dreams.”

“Sometimes upon waking up in a dream state I wouldn’t know if what I dreamt was real or not. I think a lot of people experience this, and hearing similar stories from my friends who were also on SSRIs inspired me to write about it.

Kocan’s paranoid introspection conjures up early P J Harvey colliding with the tumbling strung out psych of Spiritualized. Slightly unsettling and yet sounding glorious: its bloody awesome! (Bill Cummings)

Charles Howl – Dreamer, in a Bad Way

Why we love it: Enjoying this song for the first time at a show in Manchester in the dying days of 2019, I took the title to be Tree Boy’. Given Charles Howl‘s – musician and filmmaker Danny Nellis, now living in Berlin – previous lyrical imaginings, a tribute to an outcast who lives in the woods seemed logical.

Two years and a pandemic between then and now, it’s become clear as ‘Dreamer in a Bad Way’ (‘dream  boy, dream on’), which on reflection makes substantially more sense. This, the first single in the longest time from Howl takes even more of a quietly confident stand than his wonderful second album from 2017, My Idol Family. With a minimalist and mid-paced electronic bed, eerie synths rising late on giving an other worldly vibe – it’s like Joe Meek sneaked in when no one was looking, mischief on his mind – the song manages to be both tender and biting. The story of a square peg in a round hole, the eccentric never quite fitting in and who quite rightly celebrates little triumphs while he can. ‘Tree Boy’ actually fits with this theme, as it happens. But ‘Dreamer, in a Bad Way’ is better.

The single is part of a ‘collection of songs’ – whatever that means, I guess we’ll find out soon enough – to be released this year.

Charles Howl plays Paperdress Vintage in Hackney, London on 5 Feb, to cap off Independent Venue Week. (Cath Holland)

SOFT LAD – 2 Know U Betta

Why we love it: Sophie Galpin (SOFT LAD) plays multiple instruments for SELF ESTEEM and SOAK. She also supported SELF ESTEEM on her winter UK tour last year as SOFT LAD. In total, she’s spent 14 years in the industry playing for the likes of Tom Grennan, Charli XCX, The Breeders, and Jessie Ware. SOFT LAD sees her strike out on her own for the first time.

With a rolling, hip swaying rhythm and crysaline vocal hook, ‘2 Know U Betta’ is about a girl who ghosted Sophie, and it’s just one of many experiences of queer love that are explored – in a starkly honest conversational tone – on her forthcoming EP ‘MAXIMUM FEELS’ (Apr 01). It’s a catchy pop ear worm that intersects the heart on the sleeve pop of Years and Years or the attitude of early All Saints.

Galpin said: “I had a spark with someone and wanted to get to know them more, in a casual way – I was like, ‘I’m not looking for anything serious and there’s literally no pressure here but we could be having a really nice, fun time if you ever texted me back!’ (Bill Cummings)

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.