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Tracks of the Week #270

So this morning I’ve eaten the rest of the hot cross buns, half an easter egg and about three hundred cups of tea. What have you done today to make you feel proud? On the other hand here are our Easter Monday Bank Holiday TOTW, butter packed with currents of aural goodness and chocolatey richness. Now let out a puddingy burp. Feel better? Good.

Kneecap – Fine Art

Why we love it: Irish rap trio Kneecap are having an astonishing year.  Not many bands can boast taking the Sundance Film Festival by storm.  Their self-titled, Rich Peppiatt directed, semi-biopic film starring Michael Fassbender was the festival’s first Irish language film and subsequent winner of ‘The Audience Award: NEXT’ presented by Adobe.  Now they have released ‘Fine Art’, the title track of their debut album set for release on 14 June via Heavenly Recordings.  The trio comprises Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap, and DJ Próvaí, and Mo expands on the background to the track:
“The mural ended up on the BBC with Steven Nolan who’s like the Piers Morgan of the North of Ireland.  They had a massive debate about the painting, and he says, ‘The band Kneecap claim the mural is just a piece of fine art’.  So we sampled it into a dance tune and dropped it in where it kicks.  That’s where the title comes from – when we were getting stick about the mural that’s the term we used.  Because that’s the best description isn’t it?  If you don’t get it, you don’t get it.  It’s still fine art.”
Fine Art’ is a sharp, tight, fast and furious, hip-hop blast, sung and spoken in both Irish and English.  The vocal delivery is urgent and impassioned, but listen closely and this a hint of humour too.  The band share that the song was inspired by “the mental reaction of the media to our mural unveiling a police jeep on fire”.  Thus the track is interspersed by clips of Steven Nolan saying ‘Fine Art’ and indeed the track finishes with a read news report but with the sounds of a pub with a fiddle playing, background chatter and clinking glasses perhaps recognising that there are more important issues to be reporting on.  Following their US TV debut, on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show where they performed previous single ‘Sick In The Head’, they helped lead the boycott of Irish bands at the Austin TX SXSW music festival, by announcing that they would be cancelling all live appearances in a statement that was shared across social media. (Julia Mason)

Native Sun – Too Late

Why we love it: New York City alt-rockers Native Sun have released their new single ‘Too Late’ via cult New York City  label Grand Jury (Hovvdy, Samia, Twin Peaks, Jordana).  Native Sun tackle themes of grief, disillusionment with our time, and document the lives of the outcasts and misfits in their music.  ‘Too Late’ is full of swagger and attitude, with the snarling punk-influenced vocal delivery of Danny Gomez leading the way.  Indeed the raw guitars, teetering on the edge, combined with the thrashing drums create a deliciously impactful track, one that immediately makes the listener hit the repeat button after a first play.  

Frontman Gomez further expands on the track:“”It’s too late and I don’t care!”  A rallying cry for the downtrodden who choose to persevere in spite of an uncertain future.  Dedicated to the streets of the city, its narrators and their untold stories.  Optimism is resistance.”

Too Late’ is a track for the moshpit, no question.  Good old full on frenzied fun which will put a smile on your face and more than a wiggle in your walk. (Julia Mason)

Girl and Girl – Mother

Why we love it: On 24 May Australian band Girl and Girl will release their debut album, Call A Doctor, via Virgin Australia (AU/NZ) and Sub Pop (ROW).  They now share new single ‘Mother’ a joyous jangly upbeat track which canters along taking the listener along with them.  Frontperson Kai James layers his vocal full of emotion and passion.  He shares the following: 
“I wrote ‘Mother’ about my beautiful mum and how our relationship has matured and evolved from my late teens to my mid-twenties. Shifting from this all-knowing being into something a bit more human. There’s beauty in that shift, relief at the fact that no one’s perfect, but then fear and doubt, too, as you step out and slowly learn to trust and back yourself.”

The four-piece garage rock outfit is comprised of James (singer, guitarist) and his Aunty Liss (drums), along with longtime friends Jayden Williams (guitar) and Fraser Bell (bass), and its no surprise to learn that Rolling Stone included the band in their Day 2 SXSW round-up saying: 
“every member of Girl and Girl is too young to have experienced the garage rock revivalism of Y2K firsthand, save Aunty Liss, the drummer who supports her nervy nephews in this band of Australian post-punk traditionalists.  Fronted by the wiry Kai James — handsome and jittery, never reclusive — the group treated sacred post-punk texts as if they were a common language when they played the 13th Floor, giving their barbed hooks and sideways riffs real kick.  They’re carrying a torch without succumbing to nostalgia or formalism, all because they’re intoxicated by the noise they make.” 

Mother’ only confirms this and it is going to be intriguing to hear what Girl and Girl have created on debut album Call A Doctor. (Julia Mason)

Been Stellar – All In One

Why we love it: Been Stellar recently announced their debut album Scream from New York, NY set for release on 14 June via their new label home Dirty Hit.  They have now shared a new single from the album ‘All In One’.  It’s astonishing when a band create a sound that is instantly recognisable.  Here though Been Stellar achieve this while at the same time producing something different from their previous output.  Here the drumming of Laila Wayans takes a front seat.  The beat is ever present throughout.  The combined soaring soundscape has an added edge here compared to previous songs, perhaps due to the themes.  ‘All In One’ acknowledges the impact of the mundane working life and resulting frustrations and uncertainty in ones place in the world. 

Been Stellar say of the new single:
“In many ways this song and its lyrics are at the album’s heart. I think it’s the culmination of a point we’ve been trying to make for years. The lyrics grapple with processing the mundane daily tasks we all carry out, and how they connect to understanding our lives in a larger sense. So much of life in a condensed city like New York is spent in a very small box- we wanted the video to portray the madness that comes from that experience. The themes of solipsism and existential uncertainty we brought up on our EP feel tied up with this song. The music feels like a creative conclusion for us as well— like the kind of song we’ve been working towards for years. We finished it in the final weeks leading up to recording and couldn’t be more proud of how it came out.”

In a year that is turning out to be packed with quality album releases, the New York based five-piece will be right up there.  On the evidence of ‘All in One’ it’s a thrilling proposition. (Julia Mason)

Marina Allen – Red Cloud

Why we love it: because after every single listen ‘Red Cloud’ continues to glow with a slow-burn cosmic intensity. The song is the lead single from Marina Allen’s third studio album, Eight Pointed Star, which will be out June 7th on Fire Records. And on this evidence alone the upcoming record promises to be the Los Angeles-based musician’s best yet.

With Allen’s voice gliding effortlessly over a delightfully nuanced modern-folk melody, ‘Red Cloud’ reflects upon the lives of her mother’s family in the Nebraskan prairies, the song’s accompanying video – directed by Eliel Ford on 35mm film in Northern California – magnifies the vast expanse of that setting and the burning love that fires these childhood memories. (Simon Godley)

UCHE YARA – Sasha (wake up!)

Why we love it:Austrian-born, Berlin-based artist UCHE YARA continues to push musical boundaries with her new single ‘SASHA (wake up!)’ alongside b-side ‘Lazy Sundayz’. Tribal beats, chanted refrains and riven with a unmissable energy that’s redolent of the likes of M.I.A., ‘SASHA (wake up!)’ vividly depicts UCHE YARA’s expansive musical confidence and knack for crafting genre hopping pop music. Speaking about the track, UCHE YARA says, “I did the original vocal recording on my 19th birthday, full of excitement and self confidence. The original idea arose from just playing around with a detuned, broken Saz in a studio in Berlin. I was jamming on a drum loop by Alex The Flipper and we initially wanted to make a Trap Beat for another artist from that material. But at some point I just resonated so much with the feeling, that I wrote the song structure, the guitar and bass line and hook within 30mins. When I’m listening to the recording I’m embraced by a mixture of passion, wanderlust and a special kind of empowerment.” (Bill Cummings)

Mary In The Junkyard – Marble Arch

Why we love it: because we can’t get enough of their slacker, loose but incredibly accomplished songs. The third single following ‘Tuesday’ and ‘Ghost’, they also announced the May date for their debut EP This Old House (no it’s not a Shakin’ Stevens covers album) to be released.

This continues the stretch of singles that take you through a suite of sub sections to each song, layers of interweaving cyclical brilliance. Finger picked guitar, Clari’s almost whispered vocals, “I miss the cold of the city light” you can see the breath come off those words like steam as she sat in central London reading the lyrics out loud as she wrote them. The song builds and drops and builds and drops and builds till the crescendo of each chorus “Will your mother wash your mouth out, with the soap that she made for you”.

Singer, guitarist and lyricist Clari Freeman-Taylor says “I wrote the words to marble arch in the back of the book ‘wise children’ under the actual marble arch, its about the intense relationship between sisters, and leaving home and not wanting to come back.” (Jim Auton)

Teddy Hunter – Daylight

Why we love it: Immersive and evocative Teddy Hunter’s new single ‘Daylight’, shimmers with evocative textures and dense synth sweeps, its like entering a mist filled room full of mystery and ethereal melodies. Somewhere between the layered electronica and James Blake and the vocal harmonies of Enya, its a wonderfully sensitive piece of aural adventure. Teddy Hunter is a Cardiff based audio visual artist and electronic musician working in alternative music and immersive audio. Her practice takes root in sonic arts, exploring the environment through sound and installation where the gentle immersive ambience are combined with song writing and traditional instrumentation.

Her ambient electronic songwriting is characterised by dreamy loops, gradual builds and synthesised melodies. Her performances slowly unfurl fragmented strata of sounds collectively entwining with the ethereal humanity of layered vocals. Experimenting with field recordings, spatial sound and visuals to create soundscapes and ambient electronic immersive experiences, her work takes a focus around ecology and the interactions between humans and their surroundings. (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.