Tracks Of The Week #201

Tracks Of The Week #201

Back to normal, it’s your good old fashioned Tracks of the Week. But that’s not to say some of these aren’t Tracks of the Year contenders because they just might be. Bask in their glory.

Roo Panes – Letter to the Boy

Why We Love It: “The song as a whole is a reflection on things you would say to the “boy” you. Explaining a few of the hurdles and then finishing with the question “now you know – will you go?” The scene is set on an idealistic ivory shore that actually came as an image to me one night. It was a dark stormy sky with a child holding a candle hopefully, sheltering the flame against the wind, and I wrote into that. It reminded me of some of the beaches in north Scotland – so it kind of kickstarted a trip we took up to the Scottish isles for writing the album.”

These are the words of the Dorset-based folk artist, Roo Panes, talking about his brand new track ‘Letter to the Boy’. The follow-up to his recent single ‘Arcadia’ is a perfectly formed vignette of some beautifully sheltered beach, possibly a large crescent of white sands, from where Panes reflects upon a life lived and lessons learned with a perfect balance of concern and contentment conveyed in the purity of his voice. (Simon Godley)

Humour – Pure Misery

Why We Love It: There are times when knowing the background to a track adds to the enjoyment of it. Glasgow band Humour release their new song ‘Pure Misery’ and its inspiration comes from the viewpoint of fronting a band. Andreas Christodoulidis delivers a vocal which is unhinged, choppy and, quite frankly, impossible to sing along to! Musically ‘Pure Misery’ is in the vein of post-punk with foreboding guitars and a drum beat throughout which adds to the drama of the track. Overall it’s both manic and intriguing. The almost screeching “I gotta tell you something” is followed by a garbled incomprehensible wittering. Is it self-importance by the narrator or simply an inability to convey their message?

The band’s frontman Andreas describes how the song came together: “’Pure Misery’ is about finding or putting yourself in a position where you are expected to have something important to say, and realising that you don’t really. I wrote the song about being a singer in a band, and standing up to address lots of people in a very serious way as though I must have something meaningful to relate; something the audience needs to hear. It feels a little ridiculous doing that sometimes, especially when the songs are most often just about stories or feelings. So the narrator of the song is supposed to be trying to convince the audience that he has something very profound to tell them, and he’s kind of stalling until he can come up with something.” (Julia Mason)

Elanor Moss – Sorry Song

Why We Love It: It has already been a very busy year for the Yorkshire songwriter, Elanor Moss. Back in February she released her debut EP, Citrus. That same month she was out on tour supporting Benjamin Francis Leftwich. Come May and June she was opening for first, Christian Lee Butson, and then Memorial. Festival slots followed, including a sublime performance at Green Man. And now she has shared with us ‘Sorry Song’, her first new music since Citrus.

Recorded in Brooklyn with frequent collaborator Oli Deakin (Lowpines, CMAT), Elanor Moss explains the background to the new single: “I wrote ‘Sorry Song’ for someone who I really wanted to thank. I wanted to thank them for looking out for me when I needed someone to. The apology is for the fact that at the time I couldn’t really do the same for them. It marked a turning point for me in my songwriting; although it’s an introspective song, it’s directed outwards. I was in a place where I could examine through songwriting how I affect other people and not just how they affect me. I guess it’s me taking responsibility, in a way.”

‘Sorry Song’ creeps upon us with a beautifully understated stealth, the delicate gossamer texture of Elanor’s Moss voice and her continuing emotional transparency inviting us into her world, once more unlocking the potency of her unquestionable talent. (Simon Godley)

Divorce – Checking Out

Why We Love It: I have to say it’s not often I review a track which is best described as a murder ballad in the vein of country but Nottingham band Divorce have produced just that in their new single ‘Checking Out’, released via Hand In Hive (TV Priest, Wyldest, Blackaby). It’s their third single following ‘Services’ and ‘Pretty’ and demonstrates the versatility and playfulness of duo Tiger Cohen-Towell and Felix Mackenzie-Barrow. Their combined vocal is used to dramatic effect, particularly Tiger’s who injects passion and wavers at exactly the right moments. The plinking plonking piano at the fadeout perfectly evokes a saloon bar! The earworm quality of this track is right up there: “I should learn to love myself without a reason or a doubt”

Discussing the origins of their track, Cohen-Towell explained: “The track was written when a group of musician’s friends and I did a song-writing exercise, the challenge being to write five songs in five days. I think it was maybe the 4th day of the process and I wanted to write something that was as far away from myself as possible, I was tired of my own personal narratives. I’ve always loved dramatic country and western ballads and a major inspiration for the track was country-singer Marty Robbins, who writes the most intense ‘gunfighter ballads’, which are bordering on slap-stick in their incessant violence and all-American heroism. I wanted to flip that on its head by having a female narrator who feels justified in her heinous act because those gunfighter ballads make you root for the underdog anti-hero, even if they are behaving completely irrationally—that’s a running theme in country music I think. ‘Checking Out’ is satirical and humorous, whilst getting into the head of a person who has been pushed too far and had enough of mistreatment in a relationship (although I don’t condone murder!)” (Julia Mason)

Anna B Savage – The Ghost

Why We Love It: because I could listen to Anna sing the ingredients off of a cereal box and it would be incredible. This brand new single has all the hallmarks of a concept album, a theatrical soundtrack to a real life documentary. There are elements of spoken word that are recorded so they sound like they have come from a movie and it makes it all the more haunting and heart wrenching.

Produced by Mike Lindsay of Tunng and also LUMP with Laura Marling, this is less the orchestral sweeping opus from A Common Turn as my akin to what you expect from Lindsay, studio trickery and electronic flourishes.

Anna describes the song thusly “Exhausted from years of being haunted by an ex-partner, this song is a plea to let go, or be let go of. Exploring the particular cruelty of the human brain, that love can be felt so deeply, hurt so essentially and so much, and still feel so present many years later.” (Jim Auton)

Bleach Lab – If You Only Feel It Once

Why We Love It: because it is the closest Bleach Lab have gotten to moving on from their brilliant debut EP, this is as epic and grandiose as the likes of ‘Flood‘, with a huge chorus after an a typical Bleach Lab verse, huge waves of delayed guitar and synths, with perhaps some low end strings underlining the intensity. Jenna Kyle has found a new range to her vocals in the chorus, a mid range, recalling Bonnie Tyler. The whole thing manages to smack you straight in the gut with that strange alchemy that music can do. Truly beautiful.

Jenn’s says “The lyrics cover a lot of themes of finding a home, feeling safe, finding your way in life and feeling like you’re running out of or wasting your time on the wrong things or people. It’s an inner dialogue with yourself, and in my opinion ‘it’ is subjective and could mean a number of things depending on the listener. However, to me, ‘it’ is referring to ‘home’ i.e. if you only feel home once. It is quite a low mood track and there are quite obvious themes of depressive thoughts and some quite dark lyrics, however it’s self reflective and is meant to be somewhat encouraging.” (Jim Auton)

Swansea Sound – Indies Of The World (Teen Anthems mix)
Why we love it: Grassroots record labels are the lifeblood of independent music, and Swansea’s  R*E*P*E*A*T Records more than fulfil this precious role, releasing this by Swansea Sound, comprising of indie pop stalwarts Huw Williams (The Pooh Sticks, and co-founder of the Welsh Music Foundation), Amelia Fletcher (Pooh Sticks, Talulah Gosh, Heavenly), Rob Pursey (Heavenly) and Ian Button (Wreckless Eric’s live collaborator, ex-Death In Vegas). 

Brought together during lockdown, the outfit – the label describe them as an indie supergroup, and we’ll happily go along with that – release a John William Davies remix of ‘Indies of the World’. It’s a rallying cry for unity and authenticity at a time when so much is virtual, and we do love us some handclaps in an indie pop song. Importantly, there was a Swansea Sound gig in the city itself to go with the release – incredibly, Huw William’s live debut there. The song is out digitally but in true indie fashion, on a flexi-disc – ‘Do You Think I’m Flexi‘- along with Simon Love’s spiky stomper ‘Universal Love’. (Cath Holland)

Sister Wives – Ticking Time Bomb

Why we Love it: Sister Wives recently announced their debut album will be released on 28th October via Libertino Records. Their latest single “Ticking Time Bomb” – packs a punch, a fantastic feminist protest song, ripe with swaggering filthy glam riffs underpinned by thrillingly propulsive percussion, and a fearsome communal vocal that takes turns in bashing apart from the the societal pressure to bear a child; the ticks mirroring the biological clock.

Simultaneously a protest song and a party song that celebrates freedom and choice. “We wanted to expose the absurdity of having our bodies and choices so heavily monitored and managed by society, and laugh in the face of it,” the band explain. “We know our worth isn’t changed by child bearing, we are not disposable or “geriatric” after age 35, and we refuse to partake in the shaming of ourselves or others for our/their choices. And we deserve autonomy over our bodies, always!” (Bill Cummings)

Chorus Girl – In the Business of Dreams

Why we love it: Chorus Girl revealed a new track ‘In the Business of Dreams’ from their upcoming third album Colapso Calypso out on Reckless Yes on the 14th of October. Laced with a jaunty surfy lick and kick stepping beat, initially this could be mistaken for a happy little number yet Silvi levels it off with a wistful bittersweet vocal that’s wonderfully drawn musing on the dichotomies and potential compromises of working in the creativity industries where art isn’t always valued. This is punctuated by spiraling riffs that slide down the fretboard. Oscillating somewhere between the spikiness the Slits, the insidious gaze pop of early Lush and a sprinkle of C86 charm. This is a hooky earworm bristling with hidden depths.

She says: “In the Business of Dreams’ is a musing on what it’s like to enter the “business of dreams”, i.e. the creative industries, for a musician or an actor, an artist or a writer, and how dangerous it is to “turn that self loathing into gold”, i.e to use your very real vulnerability to create something that may end up becoming a commodity within an indifferent industry. This song was inspired by the film Mulholland Drive, itself inspired by one of my all-time favourite films Sunset Boulevard.” (Bill Cummings)

Kierst – Phone Call

Why We Love It: Kierst recently announced a new EP titled Thud which will be released November 10th on Sad Club Records. If the excellent first single ‘Phone Call’ is anything to go by its sure to captivate. Simmering with a brooding atmosphere crafted with a nagging guitar strum, elegant strings and a clipped rhythm ‘Phone Call’ is beguiling capturing a feeling of self-discovery. Kierst asserts that “you don’t need anyone else’” she sings dolefully, offering that you don’t need a romantic relationship to be happy, before musing on the idea of reinvention. Oscillating somewhere between early Phoebe Bridgers and elements of gaze pop, this is a fine introduction to an emerging artist. On the track she offers “I think it’s important to know how to sit with yourself, and not depend so much on romantic fulfilment. You can only be as good to someone else as you can be to yourself, and the song’s about knowing when to respect that“.

Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, Kierst is now based in Brooklyn, where she has of late made a name playing shows with Been Stellar, while recent single How to Be. Kierst wrote the first song for the EP while living in a dorm in New York before relocating back home for the 2020 lockdown. Uninspired and buried under the weight of finding herself back in her teenage bedroom, she began to revisit her high-school record collection. (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.