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The Far Out Playlist: This week's essential listening


Another week is done and dusted which can only mean one thing: It’s time for The Far Out Playlist. Here is another round of new music that you need to wrap around your ears and to soundtrack your weekend. We’ve got a stomping new tune from Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and a fresh anthem from Holly Humberstone ready to be devoured.

Whatever you have got planned this weekend, we’ve got you covered, unless you’re one of the lucky ones who are heading to a festival. There’s no shame in wanting to spin some old classics, but there are few feelings that match the joy of discovering new music. The seven handpicked songs below will sound perfect through a Bluetooth speaker whether you’re having a relaxing Sunday BBQ with friends or just want to bliss out at home.

The weekly round-up collects the best on offer every weekend and puts them into a handy snack-sized playlist. 2021 has been a year that we’ll want to forget for the most part, but it has been an exciting year for emerging artists.

Music has been a constant release for many of us through these turbulent times, and now we can finally watch these new acts we’ve fallen in love with over the last twelve months live. 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 music:

Zuzu – ‘My Old Life’

Zuzu has finally shared details of her debut album and accompanied the announcement with her new single, ‘My Old Life’.

The Liverpool singer-songwriter has looked close to home for her album title, Queensway Tunnel, which is the road that runs under the River Mersey, and also happens to be the location of her latest single. Zuzu has been a name that has been swirling around for a few years now, and on November 12th, her first full body of work will finally arrive. 

‘My Old Life’ sees us find the singer in a state of despair at the end of a relationship as she takes the listener on a late-night drive across Merseyside as a stream of consciousness flows out of her. On the anthemic chorus, she sings: “So I drove my car to the edge of the Mersey, I threw my phone saying you don’t deserve me, On yet another starless night, I kiss goodbye to my old life.”

Chubby & The Gang – ‘I Hate The Radio’

Chubby and The Gang have continued to tease their new album with their angsty new single, ‘I Hate The Radio’. 

The west London five-piece only released their debut album last year, and have put the pandemic to use by jumping straight into their sophomore album, The Mutt’s Nuts which arrives at the end of this month through Partisan. 

‘I Hate The Radio’ is packed with ear-splitting riffs and chaotic energy. Joyfully, it also boasts a melodic singalong chorus which delightfully contrasts with the rest of the effort. 

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – ‘That Life’

Unknown Mortal Orchestra have unleashed their luxurious new effort, ‘That Life’.

The soulful single is laden with gravitating hooks which frontman Ruban Neilson sensually delivers in his trademark way. It’s the group’s second single from their forthcoming new album following ‘Weekend Run’. Although the record is yet to be announced, this run of new material suggests that Unknown Mortal Orchestra won’t keep us waiting for too long in a state of anticipation.

Both releases have been cheerful, melodic gems that see Unknown Mortal Orchestra return to celebrating the colourful side of their sound once more after getting gloomy on their 2018 album, Sex & Food.

Holly Humberstone – ‘Please Don’t Leave Just Yet’

Rising indie-pop sensation Hollie Humberstone has linked up with The 1975’s Matty Healy for her new single, ‘Please Don’t Leave Just Yet’.

The song accompanies the announcement of her second EP, The Walls Are Way Too Thin, which arrives on November 5th. The moody new single catches Humberstone in a moment of despair. She heart-wrenchingly sings, “I heard her on the phone, when you said ‘I’m having a cigarette’, And I know I’m only young, but I’m not a fucking idiot, And even if it’s all just a waste of my breath, For five minutes, can we, please, just talk before you jet?”

The 1975 singer Matty Healy provides backup vocals on the track, which he wrote alongside Humberstone, and the production of ‘Please Don’t Leave Just Yet’ sounds identical to his band. The track isn’t reinventing the wheel, and the influence of Bon Iver is still rumbling on as everyone continues to replicate his textured sound.

IDER – ‘cbb to b sad’

Electronic indie group IDER have released their latest single, ‘cbb to b sad’. The latest taste of their upcoming second full-length release Shame, ‘cbb to b sad’ comes on the heels of tracks ‘BORED’, ‘obsessed’, and ‘Cross Yourself’, the other singles released by the duo of Lily Somerville and Megan Markwick.

“‘cbb to b sad’ celebrates the universal feeling of ‘the ick’,” the group explained in a press release. “It’s a confession to staying in a relationship that you know isn’t right for you because you don’t want to deal with the inevitable sadness that comes with ending it. We’ve both been there and have seen so many friends go through it too, so we thought there should be a song to honour this feeling!”

Lowertown – ‘The Gaping Mouth’

Atlanta indie duo Lowertown has released a new video for their single ‘The Gaping Mouth’, the latest taste of their upcoming EP of the same name.

The last time we checked in with Lowertown singer Olivia O., she released the wonderfully low-key ‘All I Want’ as a solo single. Now, she’s back at her day job with bandmate Avsha Weinberg for some more folky and acoustic story songs.

“It’s our most honest and interesting work to date,” Avsha Weinberg explains. “Most of our songs in the past have been sad songs, but this is our most mature work.”

The Vaccines – ‘Alone Star’

The Vaccines have shared their sumptuous new single, ‘Alone Star’, a month before releasing their fifth album, Back In Love City.

Their forthcoming album arrives on the shelf next month, ‘Alone Star’ is the third track that the indie mainstays have released from it, and it’s the most interesting yet. The chorus is enticing and delivered rivetingly from singer Justin Hayward-Young.

However, the star attraction of ‘Alone Star’ is the surprise brass arrangements that give the new single an unlikely Mexican edge and transports you to the lonely trappings of the infinite desert. The track inhabits an unlikely ‘60s surf rock chugging feel to it and feels like a progressive step forward for the group.