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Tracks of the Week #281

Naima Bock – Kaley

Why we love it: because Naima Bock doesn’t do anything by halves. Following the success of her 2022 debut album Giant Palm, and a raft of brilliant live shows in the interim – be they headline, co-headline or as support – the London singer-songwriter and former Goat Girl member has just announced details of her second album. It is called Below a Massive Dark Land and it will be released on 27 September via Sub Pop/Memorials of Distinction.

And what is even more, she has released simultaneously two singles from the album. One is Further Away’ and the other is ‘Kaley’. To be honest, either could have made it onto this page today, but we have settled for ‘Kaley’. And quite right too. Horns blaze away, powering a glorious melody allowing Naima Bock the freedom to show off the potency of her vocal range. Make no mistake, it’s a cracker. (Simon Godley)

Fucked Up – Another Day

Why we love it: Toronto band Fucked Up have shared the title track from their forthcoming album ‘Another Day’, out August 9th on the band’s own imprint Fucked Up Records.  The video for the single provides a brief look at the history of human cannabis use and calls for an end to drug prohibition. As Fucked Up frontman Damian Abraham explains:“Evolving side by side for millennia, there is no other plant on earth that we have had a deeper and more fraught relationship with. It has provided us food, clothing, fuel, sails, rope, paper, building material, recreational entertainment and a medicine to treat countless ailments.

My relationship with cannabis began by turning to it as a medicine. While I had briefly experimented with smoking it in my early teen years, it wasn’t until the side effects from anti-anxiety medication became too much that I considered cannabis anything other than some hippie bullshit. It would wind up complete changing my life and opened eyes to my ignorance.

The last few decades have seen immense changes begin to take place. Years of activism would bring about “medical marijuana” programs. Medical cannabis would act as a thin end of the wedge for recreational legalization efforts. The new legal markets, in turn, have brought a wave of corporatization. While the lyrics of the song continue the story that started in “Lords of Kensington”, they’re also meant to be a metaphor for what’s happened to cannabis post legalization in Canada. A regulatory framework, with eyes on profits over justice and righting past wrongs, saw an industry handed over to prohibitionists and the people that enforced it over the victims of it. This song is about the death of that faze of cannabis and a hope for whatever rising in its place being better“.

The Toronto band have been together for 25 years and yet demonstrate they have so much still to say.  This track blends hardcore vocals with urgent instrumentation, particularly at the beginning.  However, there is a definite dance element to the sound here as the track travels.  There is optimism and positivity in the soundscape even bearing in mind the subject matter.  And further good news, the band set out on an extensive tour beginning in mid July in North America and finishing up in Newcastle in the UK on 29 October.  (Julia Mason)

Chrystabell & David Lynch – Sublime Eternal Love

Why we love it: because as collaborations go, this ranks right up there. Texan singer Chrystabell has again joined considerable forces with her fellow American, the filmmaker, visual artist and musician David Lynch. Together, they produced a couple of previous records and collaborated on Twin Peaks: The Return  – the long-awaited follow-up to the classic series – in which Chrystabell played the role of Agent Tammy Preston. Once more reunited they will release the upcoming album Cellophane Memories – out August 2nd via Sacred Bones Records – and have just shared the first single from that record, ‘Sublime Eternal Love.’

Accompanied by an esoteric video directed by David Lynch,  the sound of ‘Sublime Eternal Love’ is translucent, unsettling, and possessed by a suitably strange intimacy. It is the soundscape of two people working as one. (Simon Godley)

House of Protection – Being One

Why we love it: Aric Improta and Stephen Harrison’s newest project is House of Protection and they have released their third single ‘Being One’ onRed Bull Records.  It’s a different sound to the frantic and thrillingly raucous ‘Learn to Forget’, with its driving drum and bass rhythm.  This is anthemic dance music, perfect for the rave, but with the added layer of the most glorious vocals. The duo is already grabbing attention and live their music must be utterly exhilarating.

On the new single, Aric shares:
“‘Being One’ was totally different for us. I’ve always loved playing drum & bass, so Jordan and I immediately clicked on the rhythmic ideas. As a whole, I feel like Steve’s vocals were a huge step up from our previous demos and it gave us a new dynamic to work with moving forward. This song was definitely made to listen to on a long drive at night. We talked about that a lot when writing the lyrics and filming the music video.”

The official video directed by Kevin Garcia (Spiritbox, Bush, Tinashe), was shot over the last few months, and captures moments when the band found themselves in a unique location. From singing on a buoy in the middle of the ocean, to drumming on an amusement park carousel, it’s reminiscent of the fast-paced frenetic scenes from the classic 1981 film ‘Koyaanisqatsi’.  Two live dates are currently scheduled for House of Protection in Los Angeles on September 24 (1720) and London on October 15 (Underworld).  Fingers-crossed, there are more to come. (Julia Mason)

First Time Flyers – Jump

Why we love it: because contrary to their name First Time Flyers are already experienced aviators. In their nascent career the British country music band have already clocked up plenty of air miles. 18 months on from their debut single ‘Happier’, a sell-out tour,  numerous festival appearances and a slot supporting no less than Bruce Springsteen at BST Hyde Park, the quartet are on a roll. And new single ‘Jump’ continues the momentum.

‘Jump’ was written by the band at their North London studio last year. “It’s about fearlessly jumping into love heart first,” explains Poppy Farrell from the band, “knowing you’ll either fall in love, or fall alone but being prepared to risk it either way”.

There is certainly a fearlessness about ‘Jump’ as it leaps headlong out of the traps with infectious abandon. With a delightful nod towards early First Aid Kit and just a hint of Fleetwood Mac, it has got a delightfully loved-up spring in its step. (Simon Godley)

Problem Patterns – I Think You Should Leave

Why we love it: Belfast-based DIY feminist queerpunk quartet Problem Patterns have released their new single ‘I Think You Should Leave’.  The track was inspired by an interview the band conducted in which the journalist spoke disparagingly of Northern Ireland. “He treated it like a scary, horrible place to be from,” explain the band. “He asked us, ‘Why don’t you just leave?’”. The band continues:“We could do nothing but laugh because, really, think about how rude that is to say.  We love being a Belfast band and we want to embrace our rich history and educate people and give a message of hope.  We’re saying “everybody leaves and nothing changes, I’ll stay here and create the spaces”, because we want to stay here and be a part of a better future and not just abandon our home, as the journalist had kindly suggested.  It sort of dismissed all the work that’s been done to even get us here.”

The resulting track is a love letter of sorts to Belfast.  Problem Patterns, wanted to pay a small homage to the likes of Stiff Little Fingers and The Undertones and continue to produce music with a raucous edge.  The band wanted to express gratitude to those who paved the way for punk in Northern Ireland.  Each member of the quartet brought their individual backgrounds and perspectives to the song across multiple verses, penning their own lyrics for each section.  Problem Patterns operate as a collective, dismissing the idea of a front-person with each member taking turns to be on the mike upfront, and indeed switching instruments during their live sets. 

Alanah: “My verse is about moving to Belfast. My previous knowledge of here and Northern Ireland in general was very limited, but I’ve been constantly learning since. It’s the first place in my life where I felt like I was genuinely part of a community, somewhere I actually want to plant my roots. I’m very grateful to be able to do that here.  The last line alludes to words written by Lyra McKee: “We were the Good Friday agreement generation, destined to never witness the horrors of war but to reap the spoils of peace. The spoils just never seemed to reach us.” It’s about having the hope that they will, you just have to stick around to see it.”

Beth: “My verse references the many friends I’ve known who have left Belfast behind for greener pastures. Our politicians live in the past, depending on sectarianism and tribalism to keep communities segregated and themselves in a cushy job where they can dissolve our government for years and still receive their salaries“.

The four piece released their critically acclaimed debut album Blouse Club in 2023 via Alcopop! Records.  It was one of my albums of last year and they were tipped by Kathleen Hanna (Le Tigre, Bikini Kill) and Henry Rollins (Black Flag) as one of the most exciting new punk bands on the planet.  This track is the first new music since Blouse Clubs release.  The video is an utter joy, filmed around Belfast and with Problem Patterns expressing their love for this city. (Julia Mason)

National Playboys – No Feeling

Why we love it: Edinburgh’s National Playboys have released new track ‘No Feeling’.  The 5-piece demonstrate here they are unafraid to explore all facets of life in their music.  

The new track is inspired by the loss of love during the deterioration of a breakup. Inevitably it is a sad song, but there is a depth to the soundscape created by the emotive guitar riffs, which continue to build perhaps reflecting the pain which has to be endured before moving forward.  The lyrics are limited, and written from an introspective viewpoint.  Grief and loss can be overwhelming and it is the instrumentation that the listener can lose themselves in.  The band share that:“’No Feeling’ aims to act as a form of catharsis, not only for the group but also for those who listen to it.”

National Playboys combine post-punk and alternative rock elements on ‘No Feeling’.   It does not wallow in melancholy, but rather it’s a soaring emotional expression of a situation many will relate to.  The guitar riff towards the end packs a gut-wrenching punch, and yet the outro quickly but serenely ends on the final few notes, maybe expressing that the calm will return after the storm. (Julia Mason)

Horse Party – Admission

Why we love it:  Horse Party return after eight years with their brooding new track ‘Admission’ building from intimate vocals and a single guitar strum into an explosive clunking fist of melancholia and foreboding. Balancing the tension and the push and pull of percussion and instrument: eventually growing with bittersweet melodies into thundering drums, caustic washing machine cycle of fuzz guitars and crushing and confessional choruses. It reminds one of early P J Harvey or Sonic Youth, or a production by the late great Steve Albini, raw, visceral and epic re-entry to the world, welcome back Horse Party!

Horse Party formed in September 2012 when singing guitarists Ellie Langley and Seymour Quigley met drummer Shannon Hope at Seymour’s ‘Washing Machine’ clubnights in their hometown of Bury St Edmunds. Gaffa Tape Sandy bass hero Catherine Lindley-Neilson completed the band’s line-up in 2015.    

Alongside a string of singles and EPs, the band’s 2014 debut LP ‘Cover Your Eyes’ and 2016 follow-up ‘Horizons’ received critical acclaim. An always-busy touring schedule saw the band supporting the likes of Soft Play, Levellers, Dinosaur Pile-up, Basement Jaxx, The Nightingales, Jeffrey Lewis, The Duke Spirit, Shonen Knife, Ghostpoet, Dingus Khan and We Are The Physics, and bleeding onstage at Latitude (by invitation of BBC Introducing) and Beat-Herder festivals. 

Following four breakneck years of near-constant gigging and recording, Horse Party took a break in 2017.  Now they are back with a new single, ‘Admission’, which is OUT NOW on all streaming platforms via Suffolk-based Toonteen Industries. (Bill Cummings)

Mucky Pup – Entry Is Free

Why we love it: Mucky Pup return with a delicious shot of summery house pop with ‘Entry Is Free’.  Mucky Pup are the duo of producer and multi-instrumentalist Erik Miles (producer and engineer for the likes of Soft Play, Baby Dave (Isaac Holmann), Kate Nash, Lady Bird and Hotwax) and vocalist Heidi Haswell (guest vocalist on a number of records including for Soft Play & Baby Dave).

Bringing together summery pieces of instrumental funk, house and pop melodies and slotting them together into a multi coloured jigsaw puzzle. Echoing the likes of Moloko, Heidi’s elastic and addictive vocals decorate this vibrant bricolage of beats, lucid synths, and sun kissed horns and order a coctail lean back and find your own hideaway.

Speaking about the new single, the duo explain: 

“When making track we wanted to try and create something that felt like a dimensional experience to the listener. We wanted the audio to coincide with and mirror the premise for the song. We describe a mystical dream scape where its visitors are encapsulated by its wonder. 

From here we began playing with a variety of saxophone and synthesiser samples which we chopped and reversed trying to match the eerie vision we were painting within the songs context. With this concept in mind we created a track that is digestible and energetic, but with bubbling undertones woven throughout. ” (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.