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Tracks Of The Week #192

Oh, what a contrast to last Monday. Today it’s sub 20C and grey clouds hang over us like a horrible big mobile over a baby’s cot. Never mind, these choice tunes will cheer you up. Get involved!

Ghost Car – Sex

Why We Love It: Ghost Car recently slated their debut album Truly Trash for release on October 28th. The first awesome cut lifted from its ‘Sex’ is powered by the London quartet’s big chugging riffs, frenetic rhythm and a vocal that sneers and spits at a chance encounter of lust that turns out to be hollow, intersecting the power punk of the Runaways and welding it to the new wave harmonies of early B-52s and 60s girl groups, the crushing blend of smashed Hammond keys and big ominous riffing, and a hollered vocal is a thing of majestic table turning power. Viva the revolution. They say it’s “about having an interaction with someone and thinking more of it than it actually was. Especially with social media, being able to see that person all the time, thinking you have a connection when really you just snogged them at a party once. It made us so happy to be a band formed by women from different parts of the world but with the same feelings and frustrations!”

“The album provides Ghost Car with a platform to rage against political injustices, as their unified battle cries attack patriarchal inequality, homophobia, racism and toxic relationships. ‘Truly Trash’ is a call to reclaim autonomy and to revolt against the powers that uphold an archaic nationalist system.” (Bill Cummings)

Andrew Combs – Anna Please

Why We Love It: ‘Anna Please‘ is the third single to be released from the Nashville country-soul singer-songwriter, Andrew Combs’ new album Sundays, which will be out on the 19th of August via Loose Records. The single is accompanied by a deeply atmospheric video directed by Austin Leih and starring Claire Canada and Kristin Combs.

Explaining the background to the new single and video Andrew Combs says “This tune is written from a dying woman’s point of view. It is an ode to her caretaker, who seems to have more compassion for her than the rest of her kin do. It was inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s film Cries and Whispers, and the video by Austin Leih is an homage to the Swedish filmmaker.” 

The influence of Bergman’s 1972 Swedish period drama upon ‘Anna Please’ and its attendant video is apparent, sharing with the film many of its central characteristics of devotion, despair, and an often claustrophobic darkness. Such is his skill as a songwriter, though, within such apparently overwhelming hopelessness, Andrew Combs does manage to introduce an acute sense of hope into the fabric of the song. (Simon Godley)

Robyn Hitchcock – The Shuffle Man

Why We Love It: Robyn Hitchcock has just announced the long-awaited release of Shufflemania!, arriving via Tiny Ghost Records on the 21st of October this year. The album will be his first full-length collection of songs in more than five years. And to whet our considerable appetite for this record, the former leader of the Soft Boys and the man whose career now spans six decades has shared with us its first single, the delightfully delirious ‘Shuffle Man’.

Speaking about the single in his typically irreverent way, Robyn Hitchcock says ‘The Shuffle Man is the imp of change, the agent of fortune. He throws the cards up in the air and leaves you to deal with where they fall. He is the exhilaration of chaos – with fast hands and a stovepipe hat.”

Over a rapid, highly contagious beat, the song’s eponymous hero playfully advocates a brand new design for life in which nothing is quite what it seems. It is certainly a good feeling to be once more enjoying Robyn Hitchcock’s most singular talents. (Simon Godley)

Band Spectra & The Anchoress – Human Reciprocator

Why We Love It: Visceral, vicious and sardonic ‘Human Reciprocator’ is a new collaboration between Band Spectra (aka disabled musician Robert Manning) and The Anchoress (aka Catherine Anne Davies). Davie’s voice reflecting the overwhelming tumult of the “toxic news cycle” with a government who sickeningly lie and party while inequality yawns and the use of food banks grow. Skittering into life on a bed of filthy mechanical beats and scurrying analogue synths, it’s inspired by David Bowie‘s Low album and is possessed of the urgency of Cabaret Voltaire. Fantastic!

Catherine says: “Human Reciprocator was heavily inspired by an overdose on the toxic news cycle, ruminating on privilege and abuse of power in politics, deception, hypocrisy and the slow slide into a Britain steeped in poverty and a cost of living crisis while a political elite bluster and lie their way through a decade in power. Growing up with periods of my childhood relying on free school meals I am increasingly horrified at the proliferation of reliance on food banks while those in power become ever more detached from the realities of the working classes. Human Reciprocator is a reflection on the current state of affairs.“ (Bill Cummings)

Minas – Fight One

Why we love it: Raw, brooding and intense, ‘Fight One’ is the new single from Cardiff artist Minas who was one of our ones to watch earlier this year. A man on a mission on this track, like waiting up with brutal realisation staring you square in the face: despair, frustration and relapsing addiction. Shifting from atmospheric to visceral beats and bars bouncing off the walls, it’s another fascinating instalment of Minas’s artistry that blurs the lines between electronica, post-punk and hip hop. Reality hits hard, Minas hits harder.

James Minas said, “Even though I was on the right path, I had relapses. This was a conversation I was having with myself, not to fix it, but just to start noticing what was happening more. I guess this track serves as the first real moment of fear I had, fear of where the hell I was going, where I would end up if I carried on. I didn’t like myself at all, I felt my life was a bit of a joke and I wasn’t of much use to anyone. It’s the first song on the album where I’m being completely straight up with myself. I used to walk around my area where I was then living in Cardiff like I was on a mission of self-destruction, including walking down Clifton Street on whatever concoction of substances I was on as if looking for a problem. I started realising this wasn’t cool and really wasn’t who I wanted to be.” (Bill Cummings)

Johanna Warren – I’ll be Orange

Why We Love It: “Thirst for power, hunger for fame/ Always was a junkie for pain,” sings Johanna Warren on new track ‘I’ll Be Orange’. This exploration of masochistic ambition and artistic martyrdom shifts effortlessly from shuffling strum into an epic chorus line, that captures all the contradictions of the male ego and turns it into a universal moment of self-discovery: hoisted shoulder high on a wave of 60s harmonies, textures and Warren’s elastic vocal, sitting somewhere between Sharon Van Etten anthem and Love inspired groove. It’s a superlative piece of songcraft.

For her newest album ‘Bed of Nails’, Johanna Warren packed up her bags and moved her life out of L.A to a small mid-Wales town surrounded by sheep, cows and a forager’s paradise of wild edible plants. The record sees her shapeshifting between psych-folk soundscapes and searing grunge which could easily sit in either a smoke-filled 40’s club or a backstreet dive bar as she discusses masochism and martyrdom in pop culture and the unhealthy need for fame. (Bill Cummings)

Bleach Lab – Take It Slow

Why We Love It: because everything about Bleach Lab and in particular Jenna’s soothing voice screams cool summer evenings and chilled nights outside.

The reverb jangly guitar and echoey drums coupled with the naturally beautiful vocals evoke 80’s L.A Summer films. Beach shots, feet in warm ocean, longing and whistful starring across the sea, obligitory.

This feels more in keeping with their amazing debut EP A Calm Sense of Surrounding that created an epic sense of atmosphere with great hooks and vocal lines and ‘Take It Slow’ has a similar approach.

The band say “‘Take It Slow’ is about finding your way and not wanting to rush through life without taking time to appreciate the view. ‘Trying to fit the space of a shape that you don’t know’, refers to not getting stuck as someone that you don’t recognise by losing sight of yourself. It is very much about being and living in the moment, being present and trying to let go of anxieties of everyday life whilst trying to view things more positively.” (Jim Auton)

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.