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Essential Listening: This week's best new music


March is almost over, bright evenings are here to stay, beer gardens are almost open and the early thoughts of summer are beaming brightly on the horizon. Still, we have a little while longer locked inside our homes as the pandemic rumbles on and we must continue to search for anything to fill the void.

One thing, however, that has the ability to snap us out of the mundane homogenous nature of everyday lockdown life is the sound of new music. The only constant throughout the year is the stream of blissful new sounds that have offered a fine way to stay sane and get those dopamine receptors active.

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. Some of the new releases to have come out in 2021 alludes to a special year for music, even if the world doesn’t quite have the same bright immediate future in store. In turbulent times, music can be a release and that feeling of discovering a new artist, one who 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. Over the past week, there have been a plethora of artists both new and old who have teased music as they gear up to release new projects, with new tracks from the likes of Royal Blood and Jungle.

Elsewhere, there’s been fresh tracks from exciting rising artists like Easy Life. Let’s get stuck into this week’s freshest new tracks then, shall we?

This week’s best new music:

Warpaint – ‘Paralysed’

Warpaint have shared their transfixing take on the Gang of Four song ‘Paralysed’, which appears on an upcoming tribute album to Andy Gill. The track originally featured on the post-punk pioneers’ 1981 album, Solid Gold, and Warpaint step into unfamiliar territory with their menacing effort that leans into the spirit of Gang Of Four by producing a cover that fuses their two sounds.

There’s an eerieness in the vocals, which creates a sense of dread that sucks you in and bewitches your mind. There’s a chasm between the vocals, but that same grit is adopted by Warpaint, who show that the soul which Gang Of Four created earnestly lives on.

Jungle – ‘Keep Moving’

Jungle have announced their return with their infectious groovy new single, ‘Keep Moving’. The comeback single is the first time that the London duo have brought a choir into their sonic universe, and that gospel sound slots with ease, which helps make establish ‘Keep Moving’ as a euphoric return.

It’s been three years since they shared their sophomore effort, For Ever, which jumped out with even more positive neu-soul energy that littered their acclaimed 2014 eponymous debut. Jungle make music that forces you to raise a smile and are one of the archetypal festival bands. Their return evokes memories of sun-soaked days, which after twelve months in some kind of lockdown seem tantalisingly close once again, with ‘Keep Moving’ offering a titillating reminder of the good times that lie ahead.

Easy Life – ‘A Message To Myself’

Easy Life have finally confirmed their debut album and, to mark the long-awaited announcement, fans have been gifted the opening track, ‘A Message To Myself’.

‘A Message To Myself’ is playful, optimistic, and has a serious message at the heart of it, arriving as the opening track to the highly anticipated Life’s A Beach. It’s easy to understand why it’s the album opener; singer Murray Matravers delicately balances his strong relationship with melody along with the occasional few bars that he squeezes into the joyful effort for good measure, which is punctuated with a profound message at the heart of it.

Speaking about the track, Matravers says it as “a reminder to keep doing you. It’s a celebration of individualism at all costs. Be yourself, nobody can do you better.”

Rosie Tucker – ‘Habanero’

Rosie Tucker, one of the best songwriters in the United States, has just announced a new album, Sucker Supreme, and dropped the LP’s first single, ‘Habanero’.

Working again with frequent collaborator Wolfy, Tucker’s indelible mix of indie rock and hyper-literate lyricism keep their hot streak going. It’s rare for an artist to have no duds in their discography, especially when their musical style has gone through as much evolution as Tucker’s has, but Tucker continues to defy any kind of dip in quality.

Sucker Supreme will be Tucker’s first album since 2019’s fantastic Never Not Never Not Never Not, and it will also be their first release on Epitaph Records, the legendary California based label known for its nearly four-decade-long association with the L.A. punk scene.

Wax Works – ‘Will You Remember Me’

Leeds-based indie-funk newcomer Wax Works has just dropped a new single, ‘will you remember me?’. Any good disco disciple knows the ingredients for a dance floor jam: chicken scratch guitar, itchy hi-hat shuffles, bouncy bass runs, a little vocoder to really get the chorus popping. Wax Works finds room for all of that in their new track, letting the verses breathe with a spacey minimalist groove before hustling into an ear worm-filled chorus.

The single is a certified jam, and it is almost guaranteed to get stuck in your head for the rest of the day. A little bit of melancholy creeps into the lyrics: “I’ve been struggling on and on, kinda get the feeling that you led me on.”

Larry Pink The Human – ‘ELEVEN11_GTR_SONG’

Larry Pink The Human have started 2021 as they mean to go on with their pounding first single of the year, ‘ELEVEN11_GTR_SONG’.

The new group is the outfit Laurie Vincent from Slaves and producer Jolyon Thomas have taken for their heart-wrenching project, one which sees Vincent show off a different side to himself to the angsty version we see in his other band.

The project was in the works for over a year before the first single last summer. Focusing on Larry Pink The Human has offered Vincent a crutch after and a vehicle to channel his emotions and explore his battle with grief after tragically losing his partner after a long illness last year.

‘ELEVEN11_GTR_SONG’ continues to explore this emotion of love and loss, but in a celebratory fashion rather than in a downtrodden way. The feeling is achieved thanks to the juxtaposition between the agonising words that fall out of Vincent’s mouth during the barnstorming track, and the piercingly upbeat music that soundtrack his impassioned musings.

Royal Blood – ‘Limbo’

Royal Blood have become adventurous on their euphoric new single, ‘Limbo’, which continues to show that the duo has returned a hungrier and more audacious act compared to the one who gave us the 2017 effort How Did We Get So Dark.

There’s an intoxicating charm to the track, reminiscent of Villains period Queens Of The Stone Age, but taking it a step further than the LA rockers did back in 2017. ‘Limbo’ sees Royal Blood explore a swirling kaleidoscope of neon colours, a chance to express themselves like never before.

Their first two records both topped the charts and were searing successes that showed that Royal Blood are a mean force and made them one of Britain’s biggest bands. However, they weren’t the most expansive or daring records in the world, ‘Limbo’ shows that even though they are only a duo, they’ve had the potential inside of them to do more.