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Tracks of the Week #188

To celebrate our new look site, its business as usual for Tracks of the Week, no bells and whistles here, the music speaks for itself. But it does look very nice, doesn’t it?!?

Jonathan Jeremiah – Lucky

Why We Love It: Jonathan Jeremiah has shared new single ‘Lucky’, taken from his upcoming album, Horsepower For The Streets. The London-based artist’s fifth album will be released on CD/LP/Ltd. LP (D2C only)/Digital on 9th September 2022 via [PIAS] Recordings. ‘Lucky’ follows on from the new record’s title track which was brought to us last month.

Much of the new album was written in the commune of Saint-Pierre-De-Côle, in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France, during breaks in Jonathan Jeremiah’s first tour of that country. The album was then recorded in a renovated monumental church in Amsterdam, with Amsterdam Sinfonietta, a 20-piece string orchestra.

Talking about the album in general, Jonathan Jeremiah says: “Perhaps knowing I’m a detached character in many ways, that doesn’t stop me from caring or wanting to show some love and attention to others. I guess I just think I could show such things through song.”

On ‘Lucky’ Jonathan Jeremiah creates a deceptively gentle and contagious sound, one that recalls some of the folk-infused soul music of celebrated American artists Bill Withers and Terry Callier. It ultimately radiates a warm glow all of its own making, though, and puts itself forward readily as a feel-good hit for the summer. (Simon Godley)

Naima Bock – Campervan

Why We Love It: Former member of Goat Girl – the band she jointly formed in 2016 – and since having signed to the esteemed Sub Pop Records, Naima Bock is about to release her debut solo album Giant Palm on the 1st of July. In anticipation of that new record, she has shared with us one of its stand-out tracks, ‘Campervan’.

Speaking about the song, Naima Bock says: “‘Campervan’ is another collaboration between myself and producer Joel Burton. This is a song about the falling apart of a relationship and the bleak impact that it seems to have on us as humans and the renewal that it can provide afterwards. We thought it would be fun to approach the song from a more tongue-in-cheek perspective; Joel’s arrangements draw on western cowboy nostalgia as well as orchestral influences such as ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’ by Joaquin Rodrigo and ‘Pure Imagination’ from the 1971 Willy Wonka film. The process of writing the song was a joyful and creative one, turning something depressing into something that doesn’t take itself too seriously whilst preserving the poignancy and melodrama of heartache.”

Cast against the backdrop of broken love, ‘Campervan’ drifts along a melodic trajectory with serene elegance, retaining such a dignified presence in its movement as it does so. Naima Bock’s voice just glides over the majestic arrangement. She may well be using the titular vehicle to take her to Glastonbury this weekend, the first of a number of UK music festivals at which she will be appearing this summer. (Simon Godley)

Dry Cleaning – Don’t Press Me

Why We Love It: because why wouldn’t you love the return of the irrepressible Dry Cleaning with their first cut from new second LP Stumpwork due in October, which is an if-it-ain’t-broke continuation of what made their debut album so irresistible. It’s a teaser in every sense of the word as this comes in at only one minute fifty seconds, which makes you wonder if they are just playing with us and we can expect something completely different from the LP, however, it doesn’t open the record, apparently, we will find it nestled at track 8. Florence Shaw’s anti-popstar deadpan observations continue unabashed, although she does branch out into almost mocking singing telling someone “don’t press me’.

Shaw says it’s about the “pleasure of gaming and the enjoyment of intense and short-lived guilt-free experiences. The words in the chorus came about because I was trying to write a song to sing to my own brain, ‘You are always fighting me / You are always stressing me out.’” (Jim Auton)

Ailbhe Reddy – A Mess

Why We Love It: Ailbhe Reddy’s new single, ‘A Mess’ follows April’s ‘Inhaling’.  What a way to attempt to escape from the trappings of bad habits.  She really is “trying her best” and it’s more than good enough with this indie-rock belter of a track, full of swagger and attitude even if the underlying theme is one of despair at not breaking free of certain behaviours.  However, tracks like ‘A Mess’ of course make us realise that it’s human nature and we are not alone in having such feelings.  That chorus which sounds like a crowd all singing together just adds to the sense of empathy.

Ailbhe says of the track:“‘A Mess’ is about not feeling good enough in a relationship and examining old patterns and habits. It’s about feeling fed up of going around in circles while focusing on a throwaway comment that ‘no wonder it was such a mess’.”

The single is accompanied by a colourful funny video made by renowned Irish production company CLTV who have been responsible for videos by the likes of Fontaines D.C., Pillow Queens, and Inhaler amongst others.

“The video was directed by Georgia Kelly of CLTV,” says Ailbhe. “I wanted to keep the playfulness of the music alive in the video and make sure it was tongue in cheek rather than very serious. Georgia came up with a few scenarios that were funny representations of feeling ‘not good enough’ and giving up.” (Julia Mason)

The Beths – Silence is Golden

Why We Love It: The Beths have announced their 3rd album Expert In A Dying Field out on 16 September on Carpark Records.  In support of this, they have released new single ‘Silence Is Golden’.   What a joyous 3 minutes of scuzzy guitars and upbeat vibes showcasing the versatility of Elizabeth Stokes.  The static reverb and riffs on the guitars and the propulsive drums throughout the whole track create a fizzing energy.  But to end on the crystal clear vocal of Stokes does emphasize perhaps the calmness of silence.  Tight, sharp, fast and to the point – but ‘Silence Is Golden’ is over way too soon. 

The 4-piece from New Zealand recorded most of the album at guitarist Jonathan Pearce’s studio in Auckland, New Zealand toward the end of 2021 until they were interrupted by a 4-month national lockdown.  They continued to collaborate remotely.  The following February, The Beths left the country for the first time in more than 2 years to tour across the US, and simultaneously finish mixing the album on the road.  The final step was a chaotic three-day studio mad-dash in Los Angeles to complete the album.   If ‘Silence Is Golden’ is anything to go by, there will be much anticipation for Expert In A Dying Field.

“The song is about stress and anxiety manifesting as an intolerance to noise,” says songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Stokes. “Where each new sound makes you more and more stressed.”

Seriously, who needs silence when the music is this good. (Julia Mason)

Khartoum – Some Days

Why Do We Love It: because it is a huge chunk of high-octane indie pop, a massive rock chorus that feels like Ellie Rowsell and the gang have been on the stereo, and groovy as hell verses that sound like they have Khruangbin‘s rhythm section giving them lessons. As Alex Turner once said, get on your dancing shoes, you sexy little swine.

Khartoum say “Creating music is like going to a library and taking out a few books, ripping out your favourite pages that day and sticking them together to form a story. I like the feeling that ‘some days’ evokes as a stand-alone statement. Some days can be great, some days can be bad, and for no particular reason, but always different. These tracks came together on those great days where we knew from the moment we woke up that something exciting was brewing.” (Jim Auton)

Hallan – Sich Übergeben

Why We Love It: Portsmouth post-punks Hallan have released new single ‘Sich Übergeben’ via Nice Swan Records. It was produced by Andy Savours – acclaimed for his work with Arctic Monkeys, PJ Harvey, My Bloody Valentine, Black Country, New Road and Sorry.

Opening with a synth sequence, the title of the track is immediately intriguing.  Sich Übergeben means ‘to vomit’ and continues Hallan’s ability to point out the mundane in everyday life and turn these observations into fast and frenzied songs.  Indeed they have impressed many including Tom Robinson who personally requested to have Hallan as his support.   Scratchy reverbing guitars and pounding drums accompany Conor Celements’ visceral vocal spitting on ‘Sich Übergeben’. The lyrics are as smart as they are thought-provoking:

“Midlife crisis youth is gone, left me piece by piece. Now my wife is gone, she’s with another man. But I’m so perfect so I guess I’ll never understand”

As the band further explains on the inspiration behind the track: “A father hiding behind a screen, a family watching the Queen’s jubilee and a wife leaving her unloving husband for a new life in Spain. We’ve seen all of these people and we know them too.

Sich Übergeben (translating to “to vomit”) deals with our British tendencies to spew forth from our gullets, unloading our ill-informed and rather unwanted opinions onto others, the interwebs and beyond.  From our living room thrones, we strategize and glamourise, acting upon misinformation through hypocritical means.  It’s not too long before spewing becomes physical, and suddenly a father figure spews from his plane upon the foreign sunnyland soil, covering the precious ground in British vomit, clutching a pint in one hand and his health card in the other.  His alien son looks on. ‘Who is this man and who is my father?’” (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.