It’s Monday, it’s Wacaday. One for the old farts there. Timmy Mallet? Anyone? I’ll get me coat. Anyway, it’s also Tracks of the Week day!!! Here’s a load more sumptuous nuggets of gold to sink your teeth into. Go, go, go!!!
Langkamer – Soul Bucket
Why We Love It: because Langkamer‘s brand of wonky folk-pop is incredibly infectious. They know their way around a pop hook and this track also has the bonus of very relatable lyrics about the disposable lifestyle society is entrenched in and the mundane day to day routine that we all have to endure.
They describe it thusly “Soul Bucket is an ode to ageing. To realize that the time is rolling away from you and you can’t catch up no matter how fast you run. We’re distracted by our petty problems and when we look back we realise it’s been months, years.” (Jim Auton)
Clara Mann – Thread
Why we love it: Bristolian singer-songwriter Clara Mann isn’t hanging around. The 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Bristol has just signed to the sevenfoursevensix record label; is about to go out on an EU/UK tour supporting Grizzly Bear’s Daniel Rossen, and has now shared a brand new single. The record in question is ‘Thread’ and it’s a bit special.
Speaking about the song, Clara Mann says: “I wrote this the night I got home after spending three months living with my boyfriend in a one-room cabin on Dartmoor. The cabin was at the edge of a farm owned by a wonderful woman called Maggie, who was in her 90s – over the three months, she became incredibly important to me. She had immense spirit, an absolutely wicked sense of humour, and was an incredibly powerful presence on the farm. We’d spend hours with her in the kitchen in the evenings, cooking for her and laughing – I loved her so much. That night, when I got home, I got a call saying Maggie had gone into hospital, and that she might be dying. I didn’t know what to do, all I could do was try and hold onto her in my heart. I suddenly wrote Thread and recorded it on my phone. It’s dedicated to her, but it’s about the whole of that autumn, and the grief and magic of that strange time. Maggie survived that night, and lived another year, before leaving us about a month ago. Traces of her light remain, and she touched me and many others deeply- I hope we meet again someday.”
‘Thread’ is a powerfully poignant tale of love, loss, survival and the indefatigable human spirit woven into the fabric of an emotionally arresting melody. (Simon Godley)
Celestial North – When The Gods Dance
Why We Love It: because there is something brilliantly Celtic and tribal whilst perfectly contemporary that even perhaps borrows from some 90’s dream pop. Celestial North seems to be channelling her Scottish roots through her home Lake District, although the Highlands of Scotland and the Cumbrian waters are easily mistaken and interchangeable for stunning landscapes and evocative sights.
Described by them as “Like a tug of war between euphoria and devastation– as above, so below. It’s ethereal maximalism gone Viking.” This is the first in a string of singles for Bandcamp Fridays in the coming months leading up to her debut album later this year. (Jim Auton)
Personal Trainer – Rug Busters
Why We Love It: Amsterdam’s 7-piece Personal Trainer have released their new single ‘Rug Busters’ which follows previous single ‘Key of Ego’. It continues their joyous style of inclusive post-pop. Partly spoken, partly sung ‘Rug Busters’ is a comfort blanket of deliciousness. The soundscape gets increasingly funky and infectious as it progresses and the energy we know and love from Personal Trainer is ever-present. This is simply music with a massive smile on its face and it’s a pure delight.
Personal Trainer are the brainchild of Willem Smit, the band’s frontman and a multi-instrumentalist and they began as an attempt to bottle the fervent energy of Amsterdam’s indie scene and to allow for something entirely unpredictable on stage and in the studio – an ever-shifting line-up of friends and peers playing together with only one rule: there are no rules.
Willem says of ‘Rug Busters’: “I wanted to make a song to dance to for everybody – no one excluded. The idea was to make a song that brings people closer to each other, no matter who they are, who they are with, what they believe or what they’ve done. “Dance”, “Dance Dance Dance” and “Song 2 Dance 2” were three of the working titles before I settled on “Rug Busters” – “busting a move” meets “cutting a rug” or something.”
The video gives a sense of just how much fun their live shows are. Highly recommended. (Julia Mason)
The Waeve – Something Pretty
Why We Love It: because it is both funny and clever with a knowing wink to artists as diverse as Jilted John and Chemical Brothers. If you hadn’t noticed the snarl of Graham Coxon coupled with Rose Elinor Dougall, once of The Pipettes, then The Waeve is the amalgamation of these two disparate voices forged together in lockdown which “gave rise to an unexpected sonic universe”.
There is a jagged post-punk circa 1979 that bears a resemblance to The Buggles “Video Killed the Radio Star” but also the feel of some early 90’s alternative dance like The Prodigy. Intriguing. (Jim Auton)
Saloon Dion – Pressure
Why We Love It: Bristol newcomers Saloon Dion have released their new single ‘Pressure’ via indie label Nice Swan Records (Sports Team, Pip Blom, FUR, English Teacher).
No mucking about with this track. Straight in with those guitar riffs and raucous post-punk energy. There is no pause for breath, the quintet just charges through ‘Pressure’. It perfectly expresses frustration at the world around us and the state of the nation. Encapsulating a desire for change in their lyrics this is an explosive track and I can imagine this is a band that live would blow the roof off.
The band expanded on the track: “‘Pressure’ is a direct response to Britain’s current economic climate. Lyrics which were at first deeply personal began to take on a wider meaning as the British public became subject to numerous political scandals, and an ever-worsening financial crisis. The idea of being forced to leave somewhere you love and depend on the help of others in the face of immeasurable odds also developed its own terrible resonance at the time of recording”. (Julia Mason)
Lizzie Reid – How Do I Show My Love
Why We Love It: because, do you really need us to give you a reason? What isn’t to love about the exquisite voice of Lizzie Reid? Whilst being so heartbreakingly brittle and fragile there is also a power and strength that tears into your soul like a blade of pain. This is a universal theme of being unable to articulate how you feel to someone you love, be it unrequited or even to your nearest and dearest because communicating can be the hardest part of any trauma or personal issues.
She says “This is another break-up song but over time it has taken on new meaning from its original intention. Over the past few years, life has been pretty harsh for a lot of people and when I sing this song it makes me feel how hard it has been to stay connected and express my feelings for certain people I care about. I find it hard at the best of times to communicate properly in a way that I would like but that can feel impossible when times are hard and people are forced to be apart.”
Lizzie’s voice has the most perfect weathered, lived-in tone, a classic soulful feel with a crack in it that is both heartbreaking and comforting at the same time. Truly exceptional. (Jim Auton)
Shady Nasty – CHEST HEIGHT
Why We Love It: Sydney based alt-punk trio Shady Nasty have released their new single ‘CHEST HEIGHT’. Signed to Royal Mountain Records, they have produced a track full of sombre melodies with a backdrop of electronic and hip-hop driven impulses. Lyrically they have taken growing pains and woven them in with social commentary for the narrative. The setting is the online dating scene and this is amplified by the digitised vocals. Online the algorithms take control and the metrics of looks and the ‘chat game’ are the key criteria.
‘CHEST HEIGHT’ mulls over the lack of being able to do “do anything right” and the pace of the track perfectly reflects the rumination and self-criticism that often accompanies unsuccessful dating. The self-pitying resolution of “if you were two inches taller maybe you’d do better at the club” states the importance that can be placed on appearances to answer our prayers, which is very rarely the case.
In their words, Shady Nasty shares: “CHEST HEIGHT is about our collective experiences of dating app logic. It explores the temptation to see dating as a game with fixed rules, one which can ultimately lock you and your perception of others into cheap and isolating yet extremely powerful categories.” (Julia Mason)
Alice Boman – Red Eyes
Why we love it: An expansive journey deep into the heart of classic rock music, ‘Red Eyes’ first immersed itself into our consciousness in 2014 courtesy of its appearance on The War On Drugs third studio album Lost In The Dream.
As Alice Boman explains around that same time “I did a live session on Swedish National Radio recorded in my mother’s apartment on the piano I grew up with and later recorded my first EP Skisser on. When they asked me to do a cover of a track I loved, I chose ‘Red Eye’s. It’s such a brilliant song. This was my very first radio performance and I was so nervous but so happy about the response. We never gave the cover a proper release but when The War On Drugs played in Stockholm recently and Adam (Granduciel) mentioned my version of the song it hit us that maybe it deserves to be released.”
Here the Swedish songwriter removes the relentless rhythm of ‘Red Eyes’ from the open highway but in doing so loses none of the song’s atmospheric depth and wounded emotion. (Simon Godley)