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(Credit: Manuel Sardo)

Essential Listening: This week's best new music

The January blues have now passed and February is a new month that has started well on the new music front if nothing else. As we continue to find ourselves yet again locked inside our homes for the foreseeable future and searching for anything to fill the void, something that can snap us out of the mundane homogenous nature of everyday lockdown life. The only constant thing throughout this year is the stream of blissful brand new music that has been 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 continuing to offer up servings of delectable sounds. Some of the new music 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 one that is hard to replicate.

Whether its 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 then we’ve got you covered here. This week saw the return of The Coral, who shared the first taster from their forthcoming tenth studio album as well as the thumping return of Scandanavia’s finest, Iceage.

If it’s new artists, then we’ve got you covered here as well, with the likes of Joey Maxwell, Pixey and The Lazy Eyes who are all intriguing artists that have bright futures ahead of them, with the potential to become stars of tomorrow. Let’s get stuck into this week’s freshest new tracks then, shall we?

This week’s best new music:

The Coral – ‘Faceless Angel’

The Coral have delivered up a slice of black magic in the form of the brand new single, ‘Faceless Angel’. It’s almost 20-years since The Coral arrived as spotty wide-eyed teenagers from the Wirral and offered up their remarkable eponymous debut album in 2002. The band have been through thick and thin through this time, continuing despite the departure of Bill Ryder-Jones in 2008. Following the release of Butterfly House in 2010, they would then embark on a five-year hiatus, returning in emphatic style with Distance Inbetween in 2016.

‘Faceless Angel’ is the lead single from their forthcoming tenth studio album, Coral Island, which marks their first-ever double album and arrives in April. The album is set on the mystical Coral Island and arrives with a fully illustrated book written by keyboardist Nick Power. The new single has arrived alongside a video directed by Edwin Burdis. The filmmaker also created the video for Arctic Monkeys track ‘Four Out Of Five’ and, with the visuals for ‘Faceless Angel’, he provides a further glimpse as to what Coral Island is.

Check it out, below.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – ‘O.N.E.’

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard have offered up their brand new single, ‘O.N.E.’ No band on the planet is more prolific than the Aussie collective, a group who are never content with releasing one album every other year. The Stu Mackenzie fronted band are renowned for never taking too long out of the studio and ‘O.N.E.’ is their latest gift to the world.

Due to the unconventional nature that King Gizzard work, it’s sometimes a bit of a lottery about the quality of their material with the Aussies, but ‘O.N.E.’ is a mighty fine effort. It’s as weird and wonderful as we’ve all come to expect from the band over the last few years, that visceral mix of garage rock and psychedelia is one that the group have honed and showcase deftly on their new single.

Joey Maxwell – ‘Leaves Blow Over’

Joey Maxwell has shared his hazy brand new single, ‘Leaves Blow Over’. The promising singer-songwriter first emerged back at the tail-end of 2019 and dropped his debut EP, Natureland, at the beginning of 2020. Since then, the 23-year-old from South London has penned a deal with Polydor and looks set to have a year to remember in 2021, with ‘Leaves Blow Over’ getting off Maxwell’s year to a noteworthy start.

‘Leaves Blow Over’ still incorporates various styles under one roof like Maxwell has done to great success so far. His lyrics are raw and personal that is a stark contrast with the bright bedroom-pop sounds that accompany them. The track’s 90-second length stops it from ever overstaying its welcome and makes the listener immediately want to take flight on another listen.

Whilst making such a short single is one smart way of clocking your streams up on Spotify, ‘Leaves Blow Over’ manages to offer up a delicate snapshot inside Maxwell’s world inside that time and practises the art of simplicity to a fine degree.

Pixey – ‘Electric Dream’

Pixey has shared her brand new colourful single, ‘Electric Dream’. This track is the latest effort from the Liverpool-based artist, and Pixey looks like the newest musician to emerge with a bright future from a city in the country that continues to punch above its weight when producing music.

She signed to Chess Club Records in 2020, and ‘Electric Dream’ is the latest effort that she has released as she gears up to release her first EP, Free To Live In Colour, on March 24th. The single is a bright and vivid track that makes for an enthralling listen, thanks to a rapturous chorus that has a dance element running through it and above all is a feel-good track that makes for a blissful tonic. ‘Electric Dream’ feels fresh and builds to a euphoric destination that Pixey guides the listener throughout the track. Check out the official video below, and take flight on an electric daydream.

Iceage – ‘The Holding Hand’

Iceage have announced their return in emphatic style with the eerie new single, ‘The Holding Hand’. It’s been almost three years since the Scandinavian’s released their fourth studio album, Beyondless, and now they have made a welcomed return. ‘The Holding Hand’ hints towards a new chapter for Iceage, they now have a new label and have signed with Mexican Summer after leaving Matador.

They are a band who has a reputation for mixing it up, never intrinsically linking themselves with one genre or movement and, on ‘The Holding Hand’, showcase their darker sound. The five-minute extravaganza sees frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s stirring vocals leave the listener hanging on to his every last word and left captivated. Iceage let ‘The Holding Hand’ grow into this beast throughout the track that unfolds dramatically at the end thanks to Nils Gröndahl’s earth-shattering violin that gives it a dimension that you didn’t know it needed.

The Lazy Eyes – ‘Where’s My Brain?’

The Lazy Eyes have served up a psych fest with their new mind-bending new single, ‘Where’s My Brain?’. This track is the first single taken from the Australian band’s forthcoming second EP, aptly named EP2, and is one strong way to announce the release. The spine-tingling four-piece met when they were 16-years-old, and all were attending the same performing arts high school. This breeding ground allowed them to cut their teeth, and soon enough, they became one of the leading lights in the Sydney music scene with their jaw-dropping live shows.

From listening to ‘Where’s My Brain?’ it’s easy to understand how the band is well suited to the live scene. The numerous twists and turns the track takes all over the place make for an electrifying, unadulterated listening experience, and this can only enhance on stage. The track feels structureless, which often would be a negative, but The Lazy Eyes use this to their advantage and conduct a wild recipe that turns out delicious.

The Snuts – ‘Somebody Loves You’

The Snuts have shared their poignant new single, ‘Somebody Loves You’. The track itself is the band’s most heartfelt to date and is a touching left-turn that will raise a smile to your face unless you’ve got a heart made out of steel. ‘Somebody Loves You’ is a reminder to stop taking the small things in life for granted and enjoy each breath we take. It’s a song built on empathy; it isn’t the indie dancefloor filler that The Snuts have previously honed to a tee. It showcases their versatility once again which shines out of their forthcoming debut album, W.L, a project that is due to arrive on March 19th through Parlophone.

The visuals that accompany the track are equally powerful and showcase humanity’s positive side. The Snuts gave the whole budget provided by Parlophone for the video to the Scottish Refugee Council and asked a handful of people who have received support from the charity to film on their phones how the song makes them feel.

The pandemic has made everyone adjust their lives to some degree and sometimes focusing on the negative stuff and forgetting about the good things in life. ‘Somebody Loves You’ arrives as a timely reminder to appreciate these little things and to check in on those you love.

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