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Tracks of the Week #240

Just about squeezed this in on time after watching the penalty shootout. That was a bit tense. Anyway, the sun’s back out, go and sit in your back garden/balcony/front step/in the park, have your lunch and check out this bumper crop of bangers. Kapow. It’s Tracks of the Week.

Sparkling – Hey, Hey, Hey

Why we love it: SPARKLING have released their new single ‘Hey Hey Hey’, an electro-pop fuelled gem of a track and comes from their forthcoming album We Are Here to Make You Feel set for release on 27 October via Mioshi Moshi.  The trio from Cologne, Germany have provided a well needed injection of serotonin, with their own twist.  The clear upbeat lead vocal contrasts with a distorted response, adding an edge.  The dancing beats and euphoric mid-section all come together to produce a track which grows in impact as it progresses.  Speaking on the track, the band share: “This song should feel like a warm hug.  It’s about freeing yourself from loneliness and anxiety by spending time with someone.  Sometimes the only thing that helps to get out of your own destructive headspace is to go out, get company, and do something out of your comfort zone.”

SPARKLING have stated that their multi-linguality and experience of living and playing in different European countries is key to their identity. The album itself was recorded across several different terrains and locations – mostly in Germany, Belgium, France and England.  Intriguingly it avoided conventional spaces where possible, resulting in the trio concocting makeshift spaces in locations as varied as an old train station in a Belgian village, and an abandoned school in the middle of France.  Can’t wait to hear the results. (Julia Mason)

Bored Marsh – A Better Way (Don’t Start)

Why we love it : because Bored Marsh are adding a new chapter to the noir alt rock cannon that petered out in the 2000’s as the main protagonists went down the experimental electronic path and forgot to write any tunes. This is their second single ‘A Better Way (Don’t Start’) following on from single of the year contender ‘The Grind’.

This is intense, powerful and dark but with layers of depth and heart. Written about the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, lyricist and singer Joe Need poured the despair of watching something that had all the echoes of the beginning of the last world war and feeling helpless. However there is always hope that war mongering megalomaniacs can be trumped by the human spirit, hope and love. Aurally, this is huge sounding. Waves of guitar, infectious riff over atmospheric cyclical repetitive loops. The bass is ominous and foreboding whilst the drums hold a groove in the chorus that makes it hard to sit still.

They describe it as “A Better Way (Don’t Start)’ is focused around a one note drone that builds through a wall of noise, intense and haunting reverting vocals, and disco beats into an epic layered climax“. (Jim Auton)

Great Falls – Old Words Worn Thin

Why we love it: “The song is about a couple breaking up, splitting up their belongings and then setting up their separate lives, with all the new complications and regrets and worries that come along with it. We chose this as a counterweight to the first single, ‘Trap Feeding’ as it’s a slower, longer, more dynamic song so people really know what they’re getting with the record.” 

This is Great Falls, the American noise-rock/post-hardcore band from Seattle, Washington talking about ‘Old Words Worn Thin’, the second single to be taken from their upcoming album, Objects Without Pain (15th Sep, Neurot Recordings). 

‘Old Words Worn Thin’ is certainly slower as Great Falls explore the more sludge-like dimensions of their sound. It is undoubtedly longer. At a whopping 8 minutes 37 seconds long it stretches a full 16 seconds past Laurie Anderson’s ‘O Superman’ in terms of singles with an extended span. And it is wonderfully dynamic as Great Falls continue on their quest to yet further break down the borders that exist between metalcore subcultures. (Simon Godley)

SWELTR – Chewing Gum

Why we love it:

North Dublin’s two-piece grunge band SWELTR have released their third single ‘Chewing Gum’.  It follows ‘What’s It Gonna Be?’ and ‘All The Rest’ and boy oh boy does it demand to be heard.  Comprised of Tony Keyes on guitar and vocals, and Noel Dempsey on drums and backing vocals, SWELTR have produced another song full of raw and yet authentic grunge.  It immediately grabs the listener.  The vocals at the beginning made me smile as they continued a stifled laugh – which can’t be easy to achieve to be honest.  Then its full throttle into the body of the song which is powered by ferocious guitars and drums and the combined vocal which blend to add layers of impact. The chorus  “Everyone wants a go of my chewing gum” encapsulates the band’s ability to address relatable themes in an original way.

Keyes expands on the track:“‘CHEWING GUM’ is not just another song for us; it’s a reflection of the world around us.  The lyrics speak about people constantly probing for information they don’t need to know, and we chose ‘Chewing Gum’ as a metaphor to convey that sense of unnecessary persistence.” 

SWELTR credit collaborators who played essential roles in bringing the single to life. Music student Paula Moura recorded and mixed the song after hours in college, with assistance from Anca loana Scheul during the recording process. The band have also announced their debut gig on 9 September at ‘Sin É’ in Dublin, where they will be sharing the stage with Eat Your Own Head and Dazgak. (Julia Mason)

Holy Wave – The Darkest Timeline (Featuring Lorelle Meets The Obsolete)

Why we love it: Because collaboration is key! As Ryan Fuson of the Austin TX subversive subterranean pop outfit Holy Wave explains::

 “We had been working on this song since the pandemic and had recorded an original version with Kyle singing. Sometime during the pandemic, we asked Lorelle Meets the Obsolete to add some stuff, and you hear the version with all of us in it. It was our first time writing a song with someone outside the band singing, and it felt so fresh and exciting. It is not the last time you will hear of a collaboration between us.”

He is talking about ‘The Darkest Timeline’, the final track that was shared prior to the release last Friday of their new album, Five of Cups, where Holy Wave join considerable forces with the progressive Mexican garage-psych duo Lorelle Meets The Obsolete. The end product is a mesmerising swirl of cosmic energy. (Simon Godley)

Bacao Rhythm and Steel Band – How We Do

Why we love it: Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band have released new single ‘How We Do’, another ear-catching West Coast hip-hop cover, taking on The Game’s iconic club banger.  This was one of the standouts from The Game’s 2005 debut album The Documentary which was produced by Dr Dre and featured 50 Cent

Here Bacao swap the original’s low-rider flow for a Mardi Gras float.  It’s pure sunshine in a track.  The steel pans and horn lines replace Dre’s melody to stunning effect.  It’s a joyous reimagining, with the instrumentation replacing the vocals and creating something so different yet the essence of the original of course is still there.
The Hamburg crew’s cover of 50 Cent’s ‘PIMP’ first brough Bacao to the attention.  The band now add ‘How We Do’ to their ever-growing hip-hop flips which features Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’, Dr Dre’s ‘Xxplosive‘, Jay-Z’s ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder’ and Notorious BIG’s ‘Juicy‘.  Now excuse me while I go off for a listen……(Julia Mason)

Brontez Purnell – Stay Monkey

Why we love it: Because at a mere 85 seconds long there is never the remotest chance of ‘Stay Monkey’ overstaying its welcome, particularly when it is something this good. 

On Brontez Purnell’s forthcoming album Confirmed Bachelor (out 15 September on Upset The Rhythm) ‘Stay Monkey’ is paired with ‘No Cigarettes’ but here it is surgically removed from its studio sibling and has clearly not suffered any adverse consequences from this enforced separation.

Brontez Purnell says, “I remember I sang ‘Stay Monkey’ by Julie Ruin for my high school chorus class and this one girl who only listened to Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlan was like “OMG this song is so amazing” and I was like “oh shit is this a cross over pop hit ?!” (This was 1997). I’m 40 now so I covered it.  Also, I’m the (Rogue) King of Rock n Roll.”

Brontez Parnell has injected some industrial-strength accelerant and frenetic guitar to the framework of the original and judging by the number of balloons and birthday cake that are on display in the accompanying video, the Southern-raised, Oakland-based musician and writer and his good buddies are clearly enjoying themselves, as, it must be said, so are we. (Simon Godley)

Lucia and the Best Boys – Burning Castles

Why we love it: Glasgow’s Lucia & The Best Boys have shared new single, ‘Burning Castles’ the title-track from her forthcoming debut album Burning Castles set for release on 29 September via Communion.  One of the first songs written for the album, Lucia shares the following on the track: “I wrote Burning Castles about the onslaught of emotions that your body goes through when you receive bad news; that sudden and overwhelming weight that bears down on you when the news hits you.

I love making something sound soft and graceful when the meaning and the experience that I’m writing about is pretty much the opposite.  That sort of juxtaposition of the music and the lyrics is something that I’m prone to doing, but I think that it always manages to capture the way that I really feel in a way that makes sense to me.”

‘Burning Castles’ showcases the quality of the vocal beautifully with its power and emotion.  It’s quite rightly at the forefront of this track.  The pull of the vocals is thrilling and is accompanied by bobbing synths and guitars and drums which grow in their force as the track progresses.  ‘Burning Castles’ is anthemic in scale, reflecting the themes of the track.

Lucia’s Scottish roots remain a key part of her identity.  The album is named after a huge tumbledown castle behind her childhood home and the album’s artwork was shot on the banks of Loch Lomond​​, with Lucia wearing a leather kilt from Edinburgh-based designer Joey D. (Julia Mason)

Mona Yim and Memphis LK – Thinking of U

Why we love it: Berlin/London based musician, DJ and producer Mona Yim and London via Melbourne musician, DJ and producer Memphis LK have teamed up for a late summer earworm ‘Thinkin Of U‘ on NinjaTune imprint Technicolour, bubbling with skittering beats, atmospheric synths and playful entwined vocals, that play patter cake while a 90’s r&b influenced chorus weaves its way into your brain. Seductive, yearning and addictive, oscillating somewhere between early Grimes adn TLC, it’s an inventive tune to soundtrack the early hours dancing in a club with that someone on your mind.

Both artists have seen their star rise in seemingly separate but similar worlds within a few short years. It wasn’t long after partaking in The Roundhouse’s ‘Rising Sounds’ program (prev. participants include Little Simz, Letherette), where Mona Yim’s forward-thinking and genre-bending approach to producing gleaming electronic would find her remixing works from the likes of Glass AnimalsTotally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and DJ Seinfeld – with her reinterpretation of the latter’s ‘Tell Me One More Time’ proving to be the undisputed standout of ‘MIRRORS (REMIXED)’. Mona was invited to join Hot Chip at Warehouse Project and supported Ben Böhmer at O2 Academy Brixton and UFO in Velodrome last year. (Bill Cummings)

Dutch Criminal Records – Oat Milk

Why we love it: Brighton based Indie trio DUTCH CRIMINAL RECORD return with their new single ‘Oat Milk’, taken from their anticipated upcoming EP Apathy Mixtape. Produced by Rob Quickenden alongside Dutch Criminal Record themselves, ‘Oat Milk’ swirls with gazey waves of guitars and crunching drum rolls, lightened by almost C86 era bittersweet vocals reminding one of the sound of early 90s, it’s a swoony tune riven with excellent riffs that have echoes of early John Squire about them. It houses a theme that satirises the ridiculousness of the “woke” jibes thrown around by Tory politicians in the pathetic attempt to start a culture war over food stuffs.

Speaking on the track, Joe Delaney-Stone shares: “The lyrics of the song are actually based around something Suella Braverman said in the house of commons around October last year when I was writing the song. She blamed the just stop oil protests which were happening at the time on Labour and the SMP calling them the ‘Guardian reading, tofu eating wokerati’. Obviously, it’s a ridiculous thing to hear in British politics and something that wouldn’t sound out of place in a speech by Trump. With the lyrics I tried to satirise this idea that the societal decay we’re experiencing in the UK right now is due to dairy alternatives, vegan food and pronouns rather than decades of neoliberalism by imagining that Tory politicians are going round London wincing every time they see a Linda McCartney sausage, obviously they aren’t. In the studio I tried to work on the vocal delivery to sound as bored, weary and apathetic as possible. When we where tracking the vocal initially I was singing brought and enthusiastically as possible but it just didn’t sound right so I went for a more subdued and indifferent tone as I think that reflects how lots of us feel when we hear this kind of overused sloganism in politics which is an easy way for politicians to avoid addressing issues and rial up their voter base.” (Bill Cummings)

Generation Feral – newborn adult

Generation Feral is the stage name of Izzy Liddamore, a queer female solo artist originally from a dead-end town in Essex, now based in Cardiff, ushered in on a looping ukulele motif and backed by saxophones, this sprawling poetic monologue about growing up in her generation and all of its struggles and closed opportunities and tiny flashes of joy, it flowers with self discovery and playfulness reminding one of early Black Country New Road and Kae Tempest, “everyone writes about nature but they don’t go outside….in the middle of it all i found myself dreaming in colours of light/in the middle of it all I find myself healing I might just be alright” Liddamore emotes above a gyrating saxophones, and plunges back into a narrative.

She describes music as her outlet (as cliche as that sounds) for a lot of the negativity of 2023, and anxieties that come with it, and believes that sometimes chords and notes can describe the slew of emotions associated with the 21st century better than our own words can. Wonderfully unique, intensely personal and universal I am eager to hear more.

The name Generation Feral is an ironic take on how older generations often view Gen Z as ‘feral youths’ or ‘snowflakes’ for having emotions and talking about them, a topic her music often touches on. She grew up busking, and now plays piano and loop pedal for her ukulele – describing her sound as ‘emotionally stirring punkish piano ballads for tender scumbags’. (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.