Tracks of the Week #195

Tracks of the Week #195

Pay no attention to the first song title below, it’s definitely not sweater weather, we couldn’t be having sweatier weather. Ring out your pants, stick a fan down your top, mop your brow, here’s Tracks of the Week. Phew!!

Bells Larsen – Sweater Weather

Why We Love It: It is now only a matter of a few weeks before the Montreal-based singer-songwriter Bells Larsen’s debut album, Good Grief, will be upon us. Due out on the 9th of September via Next Door Records, Good Grief was already eagerly awaited. Given we are right in the midst of yet another heatwave in this country, the rather incongruously entitled, but still absolutely superb ‘Sweater Weather’ adds to that heightened sense of anticipation. It follows in the formidable footsteps of previous singles ‘People Who Mean So Much To Me (Feat. Leith Ross)’ and ‘Double Aquarius’.

‘Sweater Weather’ is inspired by Bells Larsen’s fellow Canadian musician Andy Shauf’s style of songwriting. “I love that he embodies different narrators from song to song, weaving in and out of different voices,” says Larsen. “When I wrote ‘Sweater Weather’, I wanted to tell a story where my voice takes a backseat rather than being the one that drives the song’s primary narrative. It’s about watching someone grieve and being in awe of their ability to keep going, despite being in a lot of pain.”

For all that loss remains central to the song’s lyrical imagery, it arrives immersed in a deceptively charming, magical melody which cleverly elevates the listener above and beyond such suffering. (Simon Godley)

Lambchop – So There

Why We Love It: So There’, the second single from Lambchop’s next album, The Bible – due September 30 on City Slang (Merge Records in North America) – has landed.

Talking about the track Kurt Wagner – the man who is Lambchop – says: “‘So There,’ in my head, addresses the idea of showing up, being there for your friends and for things that we believe to be right and true. But also wondering if that alone will ever be enough. I was reflecting on this during the time I was immersed in the scorching Minneapolis summer of 2021. Stuck in traffic staring at a Grateful Dead bumper sticker, parked daily under a highway billboard sign with ‘Cloudy Forever’ sprayed on its pole. Flies in the vehicle, an underlying sense of dread on the streets, waiting for the sun to burn away the morning’s haze.”

‘So There’ comes to us accompanied by a brilliant computer-generated video directed by Isaac Gale and inspired by the 1990 American science-fiction film Total Recall, specifically the X-ray scene in which Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character is among a group of passengers who are being screened.

So, now we know what it must be like to go beneath that perennial trucker’s cap and burrow deep inside Kurt Wagner’s head, to experience at close quarters the grey matter that continues to create these mini masterpieces with such apparent ease. Here the combined effect of sound and vision is akin to being charmed by a cobra. (Simon Godley)

Big Joanie – In My Arms

Why We Love It: because it has an incredibly cool 60’s groove, the guitar hooks sound like Hank Marvin of The Shadows and then you have Billie Holiday with The Ronettes behind. So brilliantly put together that it sounds contemporary despite taking the best bits from that period and sound.

Frontwoman Stephanie Phillips said of the track “At this point I was getting tired of living in London and dreaming about another life. It’s about knowing you should go another way in life but you end up dreaming about the road you’ve already travelled down even though you know it won’t take you where you need to go.”

In My Arms’ is the second single to come from their second LP Back Home out on 4 November on Daydream Library Series record label. (Jim Auton)

Personal Trainer – The Lazer

Why We Love It: Amsterdam’s Personal Trainer are a joy.  Whether live or on record they are simply a joy.  New single ‘The Lazer’ continues to prove this.  I dare you to listen to this track and not smile or bob about.  Plus anyone who can make a hugely entertaining video of a man on a chair has to be worth a listen.  Personal Trainer are the brainchild of Willem Smit, the band’s front man and a multi-instrumentalist. It 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.  This has been achieved.  There is only one rule: there are no rules.

‘The Lazer’ makes us think about life and it’s meaning.  What makes us happy?  Should we just sleepwalk through conforming to the expectations of society?

“You’re working on your walking, you’re working on your talking
You’re working on your social skills, you’re working on your backhand,
You’re working on your songs, you’re working on your maths
Working on becoming who your daddy used to be”.

The music has a spring it’s step and is paired to a DIY video.  This is self-recorded at Willem and his girlfriend’s house, with Willem in front of a wall full of memories of the band to date.  It’s simple, straight-forward and demonstrates the charisma of Willem and his music.

Willem says of their new single: “’The Lazer’ was one of the first songs we ever wrote together a band. To me ‘The Lazer’ always felt like my big Personal Trainer anthem. We used to have this shifting line-up situation where I didn’t want to rehearse much, so I wanted to make songs that were very easy to play. “Can you play an A chord and a D chord? Do you want to be in my band?” was the vibe. And that’s ‘The Lazer.’” 

It’s easily the oldest song on the record, most trainers hate it – that’s probably because we play it nearly every show, and we played it for an hour straight during our 24-hour show last year – but it always stuck with me. It feels like a logical decision to put it on our first long record.”

The good news is that their debut album Big Love Blanket is set for release on 4th November. The joy continues…… (Julia Mason)

Turquoise – Le Bruit

With ‘Le Bruit’, the Belgian act Turquoise have produced a sleek, missile underpinned by post punk rhythms of early Interpol that frog march you down the hall, and lace it with a blinking carousel of bright synth lines that shine in your face and lace it with dreamy yet strident French pop melodies that have elements of the hookiness of Christine and the Queens and the menace of Propaganda. Resistance is futile.

Turquoise are a young band from Brussels, Belgium. They have grown up with nostalgia for an era they did not know: the ‘80s. The persistent visions of The Durutti Column and Cocteau Twins have instilled memories among Turquoise’s members, of a blue-tinted VHS nostalgia —  a little faded but still romantic, which leads to the name of the group.

The act comprises Sarah Boom (lead vocal, guitar, synths), Maxime Wathieu (back vocal, bass), Maxime Lombaerts (guitar), and Nicolas Van Peteghem (synths). (Bill Cummings)

Kaleah Lee – Heavy Handed

Kaleah Lee, is a rising singer-songwriter from Vancouver, BC Canada. Haunting and meditative, Lee’s hushed vocals and spindly guitars are intimately delivered, enveloping and reflective on ‘Heavy Handed’. The song is an ode to writing as a means of reflection, a very fitting debut for a songwriter who’s already earned nods from fellow lyricists Maggie Rogers, Taylor Swift, and Gracie Abrams. Superlative and affecting, this sparse backdrop and almost unbearably fragile delivery are hypnotic and revealing of trauma and growth, this is a song that can devastate. (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.