Tracks of the Week #228

Tracks of the Week #228

Bloody hell is it Monday already?!? Feels like only yesterday it was…..Sunday. The good news is that we’ve got some absolute slam dunkers in our Tracks of the Week. A few of us are sleeping off epic Great Escape hangovers but we couldn’t all go so the rest of us have been like pigs in the mud searching for truffles. And we’ve found some tasty morsels for you!! Stick your snout in!!

Margo Cilker – Lowland Trail

Why we love it: “Douze Points!” OK, it doesn’t originate from within the requisite European Broadcasting Union and most certainly doesn’t fit the cheesy pop, skyscraper vocals, and power balladry of many a previous entrant, but if ‘Lowland Trail’ had been in this year’s Eurovision contest it would surely have scored very highly.

‘Lowland Trail’ is a highly contagious blast of classic country and tuning in at less than 150 seconds there is never any risk of it overstaying its welcome. It comes to us from the American folk/country singer Margo Cilker and is the first song to be taken from Valley Of Heart’s Delight, the eagerly anticipated follow-up to her acclaimed 2021 debut Pohorylle which Uncut magazine described as “one of the most auspicious debuts of recent times.”

Whilst she understandably makes no mention of Eurovision 2023, Margo Cilker does say this of ‘Lowland Trail’“I wrote this song living in a place where a rise in elevation paid off spectacularly.  And I would climb. Yet, I began to crave just placing one foot in front of the other; a more meditative wandering. Less risk, less reward.” (Simon Godley)

Bored Marsh – The Grind

Why we love it: because Bored Marsh have picked up the mantle where Editors dropped it a decade ago. Singer Joe Need has more than a passing resemblance to Tom Smith in his baritone delivery, but, having had a discussion with him, despite having lived in the same village as Chris Urbanowicz (original Editors guitarist) the band were never really on his radar.

There must be something in the water in that area of the Midlands then because this is everything that was great about that period in the mid 00’s. Urgent, gothic post-punk with pop melodies and sensibilities makes for an epic debut single. (Jim Auton)

New Dad – In My Head

Why we love it: because it’s another slice of loveliness from our Irish friends. Less shoegaze and more jangle dream pop very reminiscent of The Sundays. This track tackles the side of depression where people don’t understand what you are going through and why you aren’t getting out of bed or leaving the house.

There’s a wonderful counter melody and in the chorus, the understated distorted guitar is in direct opposite to the hook laden chorus driven guitars in the forefront but they complement rather than clash.

The band are currently recording their debut LP at the legendary Rockfields in Monmouth. (Jim Auton)

Stylusboy – Fourteen Days

Why we love it: Steve Jones is a singer-songwriter from Coventry and the man who is Stylusboy.  He has just released ‘Fourteen Days’ via Tortoise Recordings, the first single to be taken from his forthcoming EP Back in the Day.

The song is inspired by a gentleman called John who is 102 years old, blind, and unable to walk anymore who Steve Jones met during a songwriting project with Good Neighbours, a charity based in his home city who provide support to lonely and isolated people over the age of 50.  

‘Fourteen Days’ recounts John’s story of how he was shot down behind enemy lines during World War 2 and how he survived for 14 days on wild fruit and vegetables before finally getting himself back to safety.

Written by Steve Jones and Rebecca Jones, ‘Fourteen Days’ captures the essence of John’s indomitable spirit and determination which clearly continues to this very day some 80 years after this wartime experience. With beautifully understated harmonies from fellow singer-songwriter Alva Leigh, Stylusboy accompanies himself on a gently strummed acoustic guitar – with the addition of delicate synths and bass which he also plays – as he tells this powerful tale of human survival with such immense understanding and respect. (Simon Godley)

Sand Box – Free

Why we love it: “Do you like it here?” Kylie Hazzard is the one asking the big questions, whilst Cameron Black is the other whose saxophone parps out a most emphatic and affirmative reply. Together Hazzard and Black are Sand Box. And this is the opening line from the Los Angeles-based indie-duo’s latest offering, ‘Free’.  

As the new single gathers momentum and starts to slowly spin from its axis, Black’s saxophone finds itself liberated in a swell of joyful sound that rises into an euphoric finale. Why not give it a listen? Deep down, you know it makes sense. (Simon Godley)

Mr Bewlay – Samurai Dancer

Cardiff-based Mr Bewlay this weekend released the video for ‘Samurai Dancer‘, the final single taken from his Black Reason EP. The song starts off harmlessly enough, with quirky swirling keys and I do hope Mr B is not distressed about this, but decidedly Britpop grooves. It’s not long though until a voodoo devil is let loose, one appreciating a quality earworm and the value of a dancefloor filla.

The video is a fully puppeted adventure and high jinks curated by Mr Bewlay and Aidan Biddiscombe. The narrative follows Samurai Hiro as he falls for lust, love and shaking indie rhythms and both pulls and gets pulled, in one helluva fun night out. (Cath Holland)

Private Agenda – Blueprints

Why we love it:Blueprints’ is the refreshing second single from Private Agenda‘s new project Presence, that finds the duo embracing spontaneity in the studio and stuck with ‘first takes’, as a means of capturing the spirit and energy of the moment the music was made. Blueprints is enlivening and dynamic, riven with soulful vocals, and wobbly synths, this 80s influenced dappled track has a insidious groove, that houses an inventive charm that oscilates somewhere between Blue Nile and Empire of the Sun. It’s an intoxicating moment. They say it’s “Like a late-night conversation among friends where world peace is solved (but you didn’t write it down…), or when you take a left turn to find your favourite new spot in the city without marking it on a map for your next visit. Blueprints lives for the moment, but this time, we remembered to hit record.”

We discovered that by surrendering to our gut reactions, we found ourselves navigating through uncharted territories, where our music could flourish” muses Martin of Private Agenda. “Embracing the essence of raw ideas and spontaneous creations, we sought to immortalise the energy of those unrefined moments, imperfect yet irreplaceable“. (Bill Cummings)

Nicki Wells – Holy Smoke

Why we love it: Nicki Wells delivers a moment of starling and haunting clarity on ‘Holy Smoke’, intimate and enveloping it’s the aural equivalent of sitting in a deserted forest meditating and letting go. Growing gently from sensitive pianos and orchestral strings, Wells’s intimate and touching vocals are memorable and carry with them the trauma of loss, the mark people leave on our lives even after they’re gone and the knowledge that life must carry on. Lifted from her upcoming album Ellipsis, its a tantalising example of her songwriting and makes us eager to hear the whole album. Stunning.

Regarding the new single, Nicki Wells shares that: “Holy Smoke is about the process of grieving after loss. It explores the idea that with death can come a kind of grace. That there can be beauty in the relinquishment of gently letting go.” (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.