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Tracks of the Week #272

They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday’s just as bad/Wednesday’s worse, and Thursday’s also sad/Yes the eagle flies on Friday, and Saturday I go out to play. 

Or you go out to play on Thursday and because you’re in your forties, come Monday you’re still less stormy and more ready for a nap by 11 o’clock. 

Some here will ease your troubled mind, some won’t, take from it what you will. There’ll be more in a week. Well hopefully. Might as well enjoy ourselves whilst we can. I’ll get the pints in. 

Laura Fell – Run

Why we love it: because Laura Fell has the voice to sooth and quell the anxieties and fears of your day (and hangovers) and ‘Run‘ is perhaps the best thing she has ever done. This is the second single to come from a new EP that we’ll see later this year, after a three year hiatus. 

The strings of all kinds, picked arpeggios from Laura’s acoustic, plucked and then swelling, sweeping violins weaving in and out, paning across the mix, and then big stand up double bass with almost harmonied cello combining for an incredibly evocative brew. They’re all given their moment in the spotlight, taking over in gaps in the sung verse, before the chorus becomes a full band experience “take full advantage of my kindness….then I’ll take full advantage of the timing, and run”. Achingly beautiful. (Jim Auton)

Hollow Ship – Music In Motion

Why we love it: because the sound that Hollow Ship create is built for speed and ‘Music In Motion’ is most certainly propulsive. Taken from the Gothenburg psychedelic rock outfit’s upcoming four-track EP, Animated Music – the follow-up to their acclaimed 2020 debut LP Future Remains ‘Music In Motion’ just leaps out of the grooves, all lithe and lean and confirming with us that any news we might be hearing that prog is dead has clearly been exaggerated.

Taking early 70’s prog rock as its very broad template, ‘Music In Motion’ then shapes this model into something altogether more modern through the versatility and movement of its fluid guitars and driving rhythm. It defies you not to dance.

Thomas E. Frank, Hollow Ship’s guitarist and singer, says, “We chose to record the track live using a Tascam 388 tape machine. The same machine we used for recording ‘Future Remains’. After that I made overdubs and played around with the arrangements utilising the live tracks as a canvas for the final sonic painting.” He adds, “’Music In Motion’ is all about movement, using the rhythm as the funky foundation to get people on their feet.” (Simon Godley)

Noah Bouchard – Sometimes

Why we love it: Noah Bouchard recently released his excellent debut album Love Of My Live rife with downtempo tales and vulnerability, it’s a fascinating journey toward self-acceptance. 

This Welsh artists’ recent single ‘Sometimes’, follows  2023 single ‘Swan Song’. With a plaintive piano, a shuffling scuffed up beat and wistful down tempo vocals that speaks right into your ear. Atmospheric and bittersweet, it still has a hook and a catchy sway, allied to a diacritic charm that makes you eager to explore the corners of his new album. Contemplating loneliness and isolation and yearning for the moment when he could embrace others again, it possess a touchingly quality that really endears you not just to his songwriting, but Bouchard as a artist. 

Noah shares on ‘Sometimes’“I wrote this song to encapsulate the feeling of loneliness, isolation and longing for human connection at a time when it felt like real life was far away. With the music video, we wanted to create a character stuck in the monotonous grind of life while struggling to fit in with the world around him. I’ve always loved Pixar films so making a music video in that kind of style has been a really fun process!” (Bill Cummings)

Christian Music – Feed The Monkey

Why we love it: Feed the Monkey’ is the new single from Christian Music, and I have to admit I nearly missed this in my inbox due to the band name!  What a mistake that would’ve been.  It’s the second track to be taken from the group’s forthcoming European Tribunal EP, out in June, following ‘Marimba-Tragic Death Cult’.  

Feed The Monkey’ is raw and uncomprising.  Yet the beat is heavy and laboured perhaps reflecting the theme of the track.  The instrumentation dominates, this is not fast and furious punk but more like shredding rock n’ roll, but with a dark and intense twist.  When the vocals of  Josh Baker do kick in they are pained and full of angst.  Do listen to the very end, would love to know what instrument that was!

Singer and leader Baker explains the inspiration behind the track:
“Some of the houses you could enter on Highway 17 had a great atmosphere.  Something about the way the houses were out in the middle of nowhere, slightly dilapidated and probably only had a couple people living in them really made you feel what the citizens of this new world felt.
One of the houses (the one with the burning corpses outside) gave me really ominous vibes.
The way there is barely anything in the house in the way of food, the fact that there is nothing in the way of entertainment for those living there. It really felt bleak and hopeless, and set the tone for the game spectacularly.”

Christian Music is work of 21-year-old Baker, and this Stoke-on-Trent band blend punk energy, hardcore spirit, razor sharp grooves, a laser focus and a deeply, thoughtful artistic approach.  I love it and will be checking out their EP.  Here’s hoping for more gigs soon, see you down the front. (Julia Mason) 

Mared – Lately 

Why we love it: Mared aka Mared Williams releases new ‘single ‘Lately’ is lifted from a forthcoming EP Better Late Than Never

If ‘Lately’ is anything to go by it will be a spell binding release. Mared shows off her soulful, and delicate and compassionate tone that sketches out this gorgeous piece of song writing that peers into the future and holds onto hope, illuminated by Mared’s vocals that are woven by elements of classical folk and tinged with the embers of 80s soul and framed in wispy guitar motifs and sweeping production.

A subtle and sumptuously drawn composition ‘Lately’ was conceived as a intimate homage to the ‘Laurel Canyon’ sound of the early seventies.

Splitting her time between rural Wales and London, Mared’s music results in an intriguing blend of folk infused soul-pop. Deeply connected to her roots in Welsh folk but always seeking to combine with a new pace in the city. Mared’s debut bilingual album, Y Drefn was awarded Welsh Album of The Year in 2021. Since then, Mared released her EP Something Worth Losing,  in 2022, co-written with producer Nate Williams in Beaumaris.

Mared is releasing an EP called Better Late Than Never on the 10th of May 2024, and is in the process of recording a full band live album, consisting of both released and unreleased songs, supported by BBC Horizons Launchpad. Her name is already on summer festival line-ups, such as Focus Wales in Wrexham and the North American Festival of Wales in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. (Bill Cummings)

Rona Mac – And Then They Found Her

Why we love it: Rona Mac released her new single ‘And Then They Found Her’ last week lifted from her new album in October, written for a very dear friend, Emily, who is gone but not forgotten.  Trust me, stop whatever you are doing down for a moment and drink in this touching tribute. 

With a vocal that glows with empathy and an exquisite haunting tone, with Mac’s tumbling couplets vividly drawing a tragic picture of a life that ended far too soon. The delicate guitar cycle and shuffling drums that undulates beneath and  these crumpled up, emotive words, brings to mind the best work of Elliot Smith or Marika Hackman. She says it’s a “confession of the world that failed to ‘fix’ her and the very fact that she was perceived as broken”

Meditating upon and swimming through the trauma of loss, the guilt of not speaking up and the sadness of her passing, and punctuated with a promise to herself to “let her go”.  Rona says Emily was “let her down after a life of mental health torment, and disrespected her death, and with all the silent mouths not knowing how to talk about it, including my own.”

It’s heart-breaking yet exquisitely daubed with a melody that is bittersweet and raw yet universal offering a hand of hope for those struggling now. It’s another marvellous composition from Rona Mac, a songwriter who continues to scale new peaks.  (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.