Behold, this week’s Tracks of the Week! Have a read, have a listen, have a stream, have a dance, have a buy, have a nice day.
Momma – Rockstar
Why we love it: Momma, the Brooklyn-based band led by singers/guitarists Allegra Weingarten and Etta Friedman, shared their new single ‘Rockstar‘ last week. An awesomely infectious cut of retooled grunge-pop, redolent of mid-period Hole and the fuzz-laden sounds early Smashing Pumpkins, laden with Momma’s trademark insidious harmonies their rock fantasy has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek.
Its accompanying must-watch video – directed by LA-based duo Batshit! (filmmakers Ben Joyner & Henry Drayton) – it is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to Friedman and Weingarten’s rock music comedy favourites like Josie and the Pussycats, School of Rock and Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny.
“Etta and I wanted to write a song about making it big and becoming rock stars. We didn’t want to take anything too seriously, lyrically, or musically. We just wanted the song to sound big,” says Weingarten. “We thought it would be cool to have our own little rockumentary condensed in a three-minute music video. It’s also kind of like a manifestation – I think we shamelessly want all of these things to happen in our careers.”
‘Rockstar’ is the band’s latest single following November’s Medicine album, their first for new label home Lucky Number. (Bill Cummings)
October and The Eyes – Spiral
Why we love it: Following the release of her debut EP Dogs and Gods two years ago, the New Zealand-born, now London-based singer and songwriter October and the Eyes returns with a new single ‘Spiral’, which is out now on KRO Records.
Speaking about the new single, October said “‘Spiral’ is about a problematic friendship where you never quite know where you stand at any given time – a constant pendulum between being pulled in and then spat out again, going round and round in circles until you’re left dizzied and jaded by the whole thing. The song is pretty scathing and somewhat of a waving fist. I wanted the song to sound in constant flux, with reverberating percussion and vocals that feel like they could spiral out of control at any moment.”
Take a listen to ‘Spiral’ and you will quickly realise that October is certainly true to her word as she unleashes a taut, claustrophobic menace of sound as she ponders the problems that can arise when personalities collide. It is a bleak, powerful, disturbed headrush that spells imminent danger (Simon Godley)
Porridge Radio – Back to the Radio
Why we love it: Doing what they did best on their last LP, Every Bad, the cyclical, repetitive nature of Dana’s songwriting lends itself perfectly to her strained and emotive vocals that are so vulnerable and angry and affecting. Where ‘Sweet’ and ‘Lilac’ were astonishing in their chaotic nature and light and shade in an almost schizophrenic way, ‘Back to the Radio’ is more restrained but no less effective.
What they say: “Back To The Radio’ feels like a huge introductory hello or a big ceremonial goodbye,” comments Dana. “I wrote it at the end of 2019 when we were gearing up for the release of Every Bad and I felt like a lot of things were coming that I wasn’t sure I knew how to handle. The song grew out of a feeling of intense loneliness and being unprepared for what everybody was promising me was about to happen – and a strong desire to escape without knowing what I wanted to escape to. To me, there’s a huge feeling of catharsis in this song, of letting go and letting it sweep you away” (Jim Auton)
Bullet Girl – McViolence
Why we love it: Dublin punksters Bullet Girl have released new single ‘McViolence’ following on from previous track ‘The Hunt’. Here the band tackles the culture of violence and toxic masculinity in groups of young men, inspired by an unprovoked attack on two of the band members by a group of teenagers in their home town. The soundscape is suitably chaotic and dramatic, whilst also managing to create a threatening atmosphere. Those screeching guitars could echo the screams of victims, and they are followed by an eery calm and haunting riff before blasting forth again accompanied by pounding drums. The dual lead vocals on the chorus by Aaron Doyle and Dylan Keenan add to a sense of frustration.
The band further expand on ‘McViolence’: “We wanted to take aim at a culture of violence we experienced as teenagers growing up. The commercialisation and idolisation of violence over the last few years which has often encouraged some young men, in particular, to act on their aggression in a violent manner often towards innocent bystanders.”
Helmed by acclaimed producer Daniel Fox (Gilla Band) who has worked extensively with many of the current crop of Irish bands, together they have succeeded in achieving a track full of edgy tension. (Julia Mason)
Chelsea Jade – Good Taste
Why we love it: Chelsea Jade returns with ‘Good Taste’ a dynamic and graceful slice of R&B pop, with slinky keys and her confident beat teasing an elusive melody, it shows an artful knowingness. Jade’s new album Soft Spot ventures beyond the exploration of delusions of grandeur that formed the focus of the critically acclaimed Personal Best (2018)
Chelsea Jade spent 2020 and 2021 around other people’s projects. You can catch her as a dancer in Lorde’s ‘Mood Ring’ music video, or in the credits, as Deafheaven’s graphic designer for their 2020 vinyl release 10 Years Gone. She’s choreographed Aotearoa Music Award-winning videos for Georgia Lines (‘No One Knows’ and ‘I Got You’) as well as Los Angeles based Trace Le. Over the years, she’s written songs for artists like The Chainsmokers, Cxloe and more. While it’s not unusual to collaborate in music, it might be considered rare to work with a diverse roster of artists in so many different ways. (Bill Cummings)
Tinyumbrellas – Please don’t make this weird
Intimate, delicate and heart-rending, ‘Please don’t make this weird’ reflective strum shows off Tinyumbrella’s ability to sew heartfelt diary-like lyricism about the joy of platonic relationships with evocative melodies. It possesses enough of a down to earth side order of wit that marks it out from some of the more mawkish acoustic songs of recent years. Tinyumbrellas is the moniker of 19-year-old Leeds-based, Norfolk-born DT. Graceful and refreshing it sits somewhere between the muted soul pop of Arlo Parks and the knowing honesty of Lily Allen. (Bill Cummings)
DEADLETTER – Hero
Why we love it: DEADLETTER have released their new single ‘Hero’ via Nice Swan Records, the B-side of previous single ‘Pop Culture Connoisseur’. It’s a dramatic track lyrically, which describes the extremes individuals can go to in order to seek self-validation. Creating chaos in order to be seen to save the day, it’s a tale for our times when self-worth is internally questioned.
Lead singer Zac Lawrence further expands: “The fictional story of ‘Hero’ raises the question of how far a human would go to prove their worth in a world crammed with difficult expectations and ever-mounting pressure. It’s an extreme example, but we hope there’s a level of relatability.”
Zac’s vocal sits clearly over this track and DEADLETTER are now a six-piece with saxophonist Poppy Richler currently part of the band. The addition of a saxophone can be clearly heard on ‘Hero’, giving it an added dimension separating them from many of their post-punk contemporaries. DEADLETTER boast three guitars and it’s a building thrashing sound throughout the track, giving it the required soundscape full of tension and drama; at the end, ‘Hero’ tails off hauntingly. One further point to note, DEADLETTER have hit the road on a tour of the UK and this is a band to see live. It’s a raucous, wild and exuberant set. What more could you possibly want? (Julia Mason)
Scattered Ashes – This New Will
Why we love it: Dublin’s Scattered Ashes have released their fourth single ‘This New Will’. It was recorded at Darklands Studios, in Dublin with Dan Doherty (Fontaines D.C., Slyrydes), mastered by Pete Maher (Echo and The Bunnymen). It’s a powerful emotive track, full of haunting electric guitar and beating drums throughout which builds with crashing cymbals as the track progresses. ‘This New Will’ speaks of disintegration and rebirth, of hope in the toughest of times. The lyrics recognise the tricks we play, and talk of acceptance suggesting that we are not alone:
“But there’s a price to pay so much different than before/Now there’s a time and place for that my love/Don’t make it difficult/Don’t make it harder than it has to be/When we lie to each other so elegantly/Smile at each other too carefully.”
Lead singer Rob Dalton has an incredible vocal, distinct and immediate. The clarity and pitch add to the overall atmosphere of this soaring track. Scattered Ashes are now set to embark on a series of Irish & UK shows in support of the single, including dates in Dublin, Galway, London, Brighton and Leeds. (Julia Mason)
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.