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Essential Listening: This week's best new music

June is over, football is coming home, and there’s joy everywhere in the air. There’s an infectious feel-good atmosphere around at the moment as we saunter into the middle of summer, and here are some fresh sounds to wrap your ears while you soak in the rays.

We all need something new to stick on the summer playlist while having a well-earned rest this weekend, then we’ve got you covered. There’s no shame in wanting to spin some old classics, but these new bangers are perfect additions that will sound perfect through a Bluetooth speaker whether you’re having a relaxing Sunday barbecue, or just want to bliss out at home.

There has been a stream of exhilarating new sounds throughout 2021 that has offered a fine way to stay sane and get those dopamine receptors active. As the months have gone on, there’s been more and more titillating releases, with these past seven days being no different.

Even though playing live for an audience is an impossible dream for musicians right now, that hasn’t stopped artists from continuing to offer up fresh and exciting music straight out of the bedroom studio. Some of the new releases to have come out in 2021 have made it an exciting year for emerging artists. Music has been a constant release for many of us through these turbulent times and kept us going. That feeling of discovering a new artist, one you connect with straight away, is hard to replicate.

Whether it is a song by an artist that you’ve never heard of before or an old favourite that somehow you have allowed to fall off your radar, we’ve got you covered here.

This week’s best new tracks:

The Lathums – ‘How Beautiful Life Can Be’

The Lathums have unveiled their brand new shimmering single, ‘How Beautiful Life Can Be’, and it’s their most uplifting effort yet. The track is the type of song that Moore would never have dared to write a couple of years ago, but he’s now in the happiest place he’s ever been, and this shows on their latest effort.

Speaking to Far Out about the new single, Moore said: “I think I am getting happier, to be honest. Not that I seek gratitude or anything, but just the fact that people want to listen to my music and care about my lyrics, me and the lads. It’s been life-changing but in ways that I didn’t think would change.”

This newfound optimism has given Moore a lust for life, one that shines through on the new single. He wrote ‘How Beautiful Life Can Be’ at the height of the pandemic as he managed to find a ray of light within an ocean of darkness. “It was midway through it,” Moore explains about how the song came about. “I was kind of coming to terms with how bad this could actually be, but there was still a little light at the end of the tunnel, and it was a bit of a limbo situation.”

Jade Bird – ‘Now Is The Time’

As she continues to tease her sophomore album, Jade Bird has shared the joyous new single, ‘Now Is The Time’. Bird’s highly anticipated second album, Different Kinds Of Light, is arriving on August 13th, and ‘Now Is The Time’ exudes that precious summer energy that promises to drip out of the singer-songwriter’s upcoming release. While her debut was dark and introspective, Bird has embraced the brighter side of life, which shines through on her delicious new single.

Commenting on the new single, Jade said: “‘Now is the Time’ is the only song to have me smiling and laughing listening to it back in RCA. We had the Beegee’s in mind and soul, triple tracking the vocals and putting a load of chorus on the guitar.

“I wrote it at the foot of our hotel bed in Mexico City, it’s a big motivational anthem for someone I want to put my arms around or lift them in the darkest time. Given that I wrote it mid pandemic, the sentiment to getting to the backend of this hell is heavily felt now, when I play it live and do a two step with my bass player!!!”

English Teacher – ‘Wallice’

If we needed something to take away the pain of being under the rule of cheats, morons and love rats, then English Teacher’s “apocalyptic monologue”, new single ‘Wallace’, is just the thing. It’s a diatribe of dire circumstances that not only acts as a reflection of the world around us but the impending doom that lay ahead. Happy weekend everybody.

Ok, so this song isn’t going to be on your party playlist anytime soon, but if all you wanted was a brief piece of escapism, then stick on some Al Green and pretend it’s the seventies somewhere else. English Teacher aren’t just from 2021, but they’re looking way into the future. The real joy is that they’ve produced such a prophetic song by using the past.

“‘Wallace’ is an apocalyptic monologue about what happens when people listen to Wallace Hartley, the band-leader of the Titanic, as a distraction to the sinking of the ship,” said the group of their new song, showing their artistic integrity with every new release.

Big Red Machine – ‘Latter Days’

Big Red Machine have teamed up with Anaïs Mitchell for their gorgeous new single, ‘Latter Days’. Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon’s side-project delicately moulds these two behemoths of indie culture together. After the success of their debut, the duo are back for second helpings, and their heartbreaking new single, ‘Latter Days’, sees the pair recruit Anaïs Mitchell, whose vocals juxtapose with Vernon’s in luscious style.

The track contains smatterings of the folk-tinged sounds that dominated Bon Iver’s early work, as well as the electronica of Vernon’s more recent efforts. Dessner adds his magic touch by sprinkling in a handful of National-esque dread and creates a suffocating atmosphere that makes ‘Latter Days’ a striking listen.

Black Dice – ‘White Sugar’

Brooklyn noise rock institution Black Dice have returned to announce their first album in nine years, Mod Prig Sic. The band have previewed the upcoming release with the new single ‘White Sugar’.

Black Dice, helmed by brothers Eric and Bjorn Copeland, established themselves in the 2000s freak folk/psychedelic noise/electronica scene of the East Coast of theUnited States. If you’re looking for a reference point for the uninitiated, their closest comparison and peers would probably be Animal Collective, the Baltimore-based band that also wields a similarly experimental and highly synthetic sound.

If the band has an established sound, a mix of distorted synth lines, rattling percussion, and humanity filtered through mechanical samples, they maintain it on ‘White Sugar’.

The Reytons – ‘Expectations of a Fool’

The Reytons, otherwise known as the pride of South Yorkshire, have released the brand new single ‘Expectations of a Fool’.

Another great scruffy indie rocker, ‘Expectations of a Fool’ is as dynamic and explosive as any of the band’s previous material, from its bass-driven verses to its in-your-face choruses chastising the subject for being a little too understanding: “What did you expect/You’re bending over backwards just to break your crooked neck.”

‘Expectations of a Fool’ retains the necessary punch and power for the band to get a little poppier. Anyone that rhymes “ghost” with “periscope” is fine by me, and The Reytons seems to be getting better and better even as they continue to sand down their rougher edges.

Baby Dave – ‘Too Shy For Tennis’

Slaves frontman Isaac Holman has reinvented himself as Baby Dave and shared his beautifully absurd debut single, ‘Too Shy For Tennis’. If you expected to hear something with the gut-punching ferocity of Slaves, then you’ve come to the wrong place.

‘Too Shy For Tennis’ sees Holman swap shouting for sprechgesang as he deals with the woes of trying to patch his life together and return to the world of dating after suffering a mental health breakdown, which turned everything upside down.

“I was living with my parents after a serious mental health breakdown,” Holman bravely explains in a statement. “I was very unwell, I’d lost my mind and I was suicidal. Once I started feeling a bit better, I began to write. Sitting in my childhood bedroom, on my bed, these tunes started coming out of me. Then lockdown happened and amongst the madness the writing continued.”

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