Hanging around, nothing to do but frown. Rainy days and Mondays always get me down. Especially in ruddy bloody July. It’s a grey patchwork sky out there with splishy sploshy pavements and roads. Stay indoors, look at the walls, listen to some brand new music mother hubbards. Tracks of the Week brought to you by Galoshes R Us. Peace.
Lime Garden – Nepotism (baby)
Why we love it: because it’s the ever changing face of Lime Garden and this time they’re 90’s grunge/alt rock. They’re raging (in their own way indomitable way) against the social media influencers and “whatever the fuck it is they do“. What attracts you to Lime Garden is that you never know what the next single is going to sound like, they can be synth pop or lo-fi indie but they are excelling here at laconic, almost slacker, dry, eye rolls at society with scuzzy, fuzzy guitar that is sludgy and droney and brilliant.
Chloe Howard explains that “‘Nepotism (baby)’ was written as a commentary on modern society, imagining my life as if I was someone born into fame. Writing the track gave me the feeling of being a teenager again, writing songs in my bedroom using three chords or less. The sound of this song pays homage to the beginnings of this band as four angsty teens who love guitars”.(Jim Auton)
Raveloe – Rustle in the leaves
Why we love it: Glasgow-based songwriter Kim Grant, aka Raveloe, is an old soul. You know when you’ve met an old soul; you begin to see and understand the world differently. ‘Rustle in the Leaves’ whispers to the unseen spirits that scurry through long grass and rise through mists, following us closely, setting hairs on edge with their momentary chill. Raveloe’s connection to that invisible world translates it here as rich poetry, woven with gently plucked guitar and lush strings. “The rustle never leaves” she sings reminding us our worries are always there, but we can choose who we want to be. For fans of Adrianne Lenker or Rachel Sermanni, this is Raveloe’s first single from her debut album, out later in the year.
Of the track, Grant says: “I started writing this one a few years ago; I was struggling with severe anxiety at the time and this song was in part inspired by a conversation with my therapist. The conversation was about how anxiety is a protective reaction to a potential threat, inherited from long ago when a rustle in a bush could be a predator and we had to be on high alert. By accepting my anxiety I was able to learn how to manage and move with it. This led me down on a whole journey of connecting deeper with myself. I learned to see my sensitivity as something not to be ashamed of and part of me.” (Trev Elkin)
Bas Jan – At The Counter
Why we love it: There is a distinctly ironic mid-80s flavour to this new single from Bas Jan, the first to be taken from forthcoming album Back to the Swamp, out on Fire Records this November. While ‘At The Counter’ initially bursts with optimism for the future, with burbling synths and whimsical violin, it’s grounded by a kept life of saturated consumerism and plastic bags. As with many of their previous songs, there’s more layers to discover with every listen. We like the subtle and not-so-subtle nods to Pet Shop Boys, particularly in the video directed by the band’s Rachel Horwood, as Bas Jan contemplate the big existential questions while petting rabbits and buying fish food. (Trev Elkin)
Caleb Nichols – Demon Twink
Why we love it: Because Caleb Nichols ain’t hanging around. He’s got exactly 126 seconds of time to kill and on ‘Demon Twink’ he doesn’t want to waste a single one of them. He has a new album to promote – Let’s Look Back and it will be out on 13th October via Kill Rock Stars – and this is exactly the right way to go about it. The song just leaps out of the traps and then belts along with plenty of power pop petrol in the tank to help it on its merry way. Superb.
By way of a wider explanation about ‘Demon Twink’, the man himself says: “While ‘Demon Twink’ sounds like a personal song about a toxic relationship, it’s really just a bit of a joke. I wrote it after reading the unfolding ‘Demon Twink’ drama on twitter back in 2021. I thought it would be interesting to imagine dating the infamous Demon Twink: the twink who crashed Britney Spears’ birthday party on a boat in the Hudson River and caused all sorts of mayhem. I mean, someone has to love this person, right? I imagined it would be difficult to be in a relationship with such a twink and that perhaps the result would simply be a lifetime of pain and abuse? Wouldn’t the Demon Twink want revenge if you decided to leave? A short thought experiment resulting in a fun little power-pop jam.” (Simon Godley)
Squirrel Flower – Full Time Job
Why we love it: Because it is good to have Ella Williams back in TOTW action. Last here in September 2021, the artist who is Squirrel Flower returns with news of a new album called Tomorrow’s Fire which is coming out October 13th on Polyvinyl/Full Time Hobby. And to get us in the mood for that record she is sharing not one, but two brand new singles from it. The other one is called ‘When A Plant Is Dying’, and this one goes by the name of ‘Full Time Job’.
For Ella Williams, “taking it easy is a full time job”, but the song itself gives complete lie to that assertion. With Williams herself at the Squirrel Flower production controls this time round, she has evolved into an even more gritty and determined creative beast. Here she unleashes the power within. Play it loud. (Simon Godley)
Debbie – No Way
Why we love it: Debbie’s prodigious talent and wisdom are in contrast to her young years. She recently returned with ‘No Way’; it’s a defiant and powerful message to an unfaithful ex-lover firmly stating that they will never find another love like hers. Delivering her message scattering her fantastic, multifaceted soulful vocals, across this gleaming track, Debbie shows vividly why she is a fast emerging artist. Last year she was gracing her vocals across 5 tracks on Stormzy’s critically-acclaimed #1 album, ‘This is What I Mean’ last year
Produced by British producer Jonny Coffer, Debbie states that “I remember I wore sunglasses for like the whole week. And I was just listening to Don’t Hurt Yourself by Beyoncé on loop, stomping around everywhere I went,” she laughs. “I walked into the session in a bit of a mood and I sang the chorus, but I was so angry I couldn’t come up with a verse so I just left it.” Almost a year later, Jonny sent her a video from the session and told her to try and finish the song, but she was still too hurt by the situation. “So I sent it to MNEK and he came up with the verses and bloody smashed it!” (Bill Cummings)
Modema – Running Back
Emily Zurowski, might have caught your eye if you’ve seen The Orielles live in the past couple of years – now she’s ready to unveil her debut solo single under the moniker Modema. ‘Running Back’ finds the Scottish songwriter perched between the worlds of club textures & experimental pop, her illuminating vocal adding vivid clarity to the workings of her inner monologue, this delicately woven tapestry of twinkling keys and shifting beats, it’s a perceptive and highly promising first offering that flowers deliciously and hauntingly. Working behind the counter at Manchester institution Piccadilly Records opened a gateway into the various realms of electronic music, a rich diet of hyperpop, ambient and electronica feeding into the project’s complex futuristic sound.
Self-produced alongside Joel Anthony Patchett (The Orielles, King Krule, Jane Weaver), Running Back is a patchwork made up of fragments of vocals atop somnambulist synth lines & scattered drum patterns. The basslines contain multitudes, fluctuating from gentle melodies to pulsating rhythms. The result is a track as at home in the headphones as on the dancefloor.
“I think this is a reflection of my scrambled inner monologue – it’s a patchwork of thoughts and feelings rather than a story.” Emily explains. “I guess generally it’s about a fragmented feeling of self and trying to maintain a connection with others and the world in general. The opening line ‘You’re in two’ refers to the mind being split in two – feeling like a multitude of things rather than a solid whole. And ‘running back’ is about returning to a feeling of finality and wholeness.” (Bill Cummings)