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Tracks of the Week #232

Crikey blimey guv, someone’s turned the dial up on the countries thermostat. It’s warmer than a welcome at a Millwall pub when a West Ham fan walks in.

Stick the fan up your jumper, or if your WiFi allows, go outside in the garden under a big umbrella, feet in a paddling pool, glass of Pimms, and stick these fine, fine tunes on. Now that’s how to kick off Monday.

GR/EF – Mea Culpa
Why we love it: This five piece metal band from North Wales originally set out with an intention to be an instrumental endeavour and indeed that would have 100% worked, but the driving insistent guitars with filthy heavy riffs are lifted to another level by vocalist Zak/Zach/Zac, and lyrics of both high drama – and honesty.

Mea Culpa‘ does not fuck about, it’s a song of open vulnerable confession; but as with all classic metal there is a humour in that full-on drama.  GR/EF played Focus Wales last month and I for one am noisily gutted to miss them. A relatively new band, they hit the ground stomping hard, reaching the semi-finals to play Bloodstock festival during early summer. They take that experience and energy with them to Manchester on 1 July for the Satans Hollow  battle of the bands contest. (Cath Holland)


Why we love it: because we did not expect this. Defiant as it was, Angharad’s debut single ‘Because I am a Woman’ twirled us around a dancefloor under a spinning disco ball as we kicked up our heels. Follow-up ‘Postpartum’ shoves us instead into a dark arthouse, dissonant and disturbing, and locks the doors as  we’re exposed to uncomfortable truths around the most lifechanging event of the female experience. In the song a woman’s biology and body and mind after birth are shared in stark, bloody detail. Postpartum smashes the pink n fluffy romaticised myths around motherhood and exposes them instead, red and raw and dripping in hot painful detail.

“This is about all the things that they don’t tell you about child birth and early motherhood. It’s a list about the uglier side of childbirth, and its effects on a woman’s body, physically and mentally, and in particular the acute loss of identity we feel when we bring life into the world,’ says Angharad. There’s a dark humour here, because the truth is, we wouldn’t have it any other way. But if only I had this song to listen to before becoming a mother for the first time, I think I would have been a bit more prepared about what was to come! If you didn’t know about cluster feeding, the hair loss, Mothers Thumb and that first ‘accident’, then let this song educate you. It’s not all cute and fluffy, and it’s time we open up about this.’ (Cath Holland)

Y Dail – Clancy

Why we love it: It’s been a pleasure to get to know a little of Y Dail’s (‘The Leaves’) world through a drip feed of singles over the past two years. 19 year old Huw Griffiths from Pontypridd, South Wales has his roots firmly in highly melodic ear worm pop but adds crunchy guitars, and playful keyboards layering a quirky charm. And blow me if that isn’t the ghost of Jerry Lee Lewis wrapping up ‘Clancy’  absolutely storming the ivories.

The song comes from Y Dail’s debut album due later in 2023, and is informed by a love of old Welsh-language pop singles and his parents’ record collection. The last single ‘Whizz Kids’ was supported by Marc Riley on BBC Radio 6 Music and was chosen for Domino Records’ Sound System playlist. (Cath Holland)

The Family Battenburg – Runny Hunny

Why we love it: because it’s heavy and psychedelic and a bit dirty. This feels like it’s what would happen if Temples and second album era Kasabian took all the bests respectively and made some epic rock’n’roll. There’s a bit of what Opus Kink have been taking in there too. Marvelous.

They describe it thusly: “Runny Hunny truly is just about having a whinge. Universities do a fantastic job of convincing you that you’ll walk into your dream jobweeks after graduation. ‘LIGHT THE BEACONS, CALL ABBEY ROAD, A 20-SOMETHING POST GRAD HAS JUST COMPLETED A MUSIC PRODUCTION DEGREE’! Being back at your parents house and catching the train to the job centre on a Wednesday morning is quite sobering after you’ve had your photos in your funny hat.” (Jim Auton)

Teenage Dads – Speed Racer

Why we love it: Australia’s Teenage Dads have released science fiction inspired new single ‘Speed Racer’ on Chugg Music. The four-piece from Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula have produced a breezy summery track. ‘Speed Racer’ is upbeat indie pop with fun percussion and a bobbing funky bassline.  The track has a romantic vibe but with the lightest of touch and a sense of fun.  Seriously we need these feel good vibes right now.  Perfect for this glorious weather.

The band expand on the inspiration behind the track: “In reference to the 1967 anime and 2008 film “Speedracer” is the person who sends your heart racing at a 1000 miles per hour without a second thought”. (Julia Mason)

Aderyn – I Wish I Had A Dog

Why we love it: because it’s a brilliant pop song. Not sure you need much more than that. The lyrics seem less about her actually wanting a dog, but about a swipe at the way social media is used and abused and how there are those who have an obsession with how they appear on platforms like Tik Tok as they become one homogeneous meme that is constantly repeated on a loop. With a pug. Welcome to the 20’s indeed 

She explains: “I wrote this song about the surreal times we are living in. The lyric ‘all the girls are selling pictures of their feet’ really sums up the absurdity of my generation. It’s probably more common for a girl in her twenties to have an OnlyFans than own a house. As an artist, I want to talk about that.” (Jim Auton)

Fiddlehead – Sullenboy

Why we love it: Fiddlehead have announced their third album Death Is Nothing To Us, and to mark this they have shared new single ‘Sullenboy’.  It’s a thunderous track which shakes the very foundations.  Opening with an electric guitar riff it’s when those earth shattering drums come in that the track really takes off.  The passionate vocal of Pat Flynn is full of emotion.  This is soaring and anthemic, full of power and a brutal honesty. The band has their roots in the hardcore scene but its their own blend of this influence which makes them stand out for their peers.  ‘Sullenboy‘ states “I feel the fear, I feel the pain”, universal themes that we can all lose ourselves in.  On the forthcoming album Death Is Nothing To Us, Pat Flynn delves deeper than ever into the nuances of loss and sadness, but his deeply vulnerable approach is exhilarating and often even joyous in its humanity:

“I don’t want people to romanticise grief and depression, myself included.  But I wanted to write about the way loss can perpetuate this feeling of sadness in your life.  I didn’t intend to make some kind of thematic trilogy but there is this connection to the first two records, and this album sort of rounds out some of the stages of grief that weren’t addressed previously–especially this feeling of stickiness that a depressive attitude can have.”

The album is set for release on 18 August via Run For Cover Records and the band has also announced a UK show at London’s The Garage for 23rd February 2024. (Julia Mason)

Vacations – Midwest

Why we love it: Australian indie-pop band Vacations release their new single ‘Midwest’ via Nettwerk.  It’s accompanied by the announcement of a full US co-headline tour with fellow Australian band Last Dinosaurs.

Produced by the band’s lead vocalist Campbell Burns and producer John Velasquez, ‘Midwest’ sees Vacations further blend their gorgeous indie pop with a dollop of nostalgia and produce music with the feel good factor.  Dripping with synth-adorned verses as Campbell ruminates on life on tour “I rehearsed our memories in the rear view”, the track further opens up into its indie-pop chorus.

Speaking on the track’s lyrical inspiration, Campbell said: “I’d never directly written a break-up song till ‘Midwest’, contrary to how people interpret my lyrics, it never felt right to me. My lyrics are usually ambiguous and non-gendered. This wasn’t a choice, it just happened to be a writing style that resonated with me. I enjoy having songs that are universally relatable and open to interpretation, this is pop music after all. Lately though, I’ve been writing about my memories and unravelling them in exact detail. Almost like therapy, except you’re all there in the room with me. Last year, I found myself in different situationships that were almost identical from each other. You’re trying to find a balance but ultimately it feels one-sided and falls apart without you even realising, because you’re still clinging onto the idea of it and trying to process what even happened. For me, every time I came home from tour, it’d be all over. It felt as if I was stuck in this cycle to the point where it became comical. My romantic life was a joke, and the duality between me at home vs. me on tour was further apart than ever.

The accompanying video for ‘Midwest’ was directed by LA-based Nicole Lipp with creative direction from Vacations’ bassist Jake Johnson.  It’s so simple and yet so expressive with the telephone box set in the middle of nowhere. Speaking more on the creation of the video for ‘Midwest’, Jake Johnson said:

“I’ve always felt like dance is one of the best ways to express the inner emotional state and framing that around a phone box, this outdated and difficult form of distance communication, was really fun. The return to long periods of touring has been a really bitter-sweet experience of being apart from loved ones, and trying desperately to make things work despite the distance. That feeling of being in love or a crush is one of the most wonderful, powerful, and terribly confusing emotions we can experience and we wanted to try and touch on that tempest visually.” (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.