Who puts a gig on a Sunday?!? What a silly idea. Feeling a little tender this morning. No that’s not another Blur pun. If any of you also have a sore head today, maybe these choice choons will sooth your throbing cranium. It’s TOTW time!!
Emma Gatrill – Adonis Blue
Why we love it: Because listening to ‘Adonis Blue’ will quickly transport you to another, better place. ‘Adonis Blue’ is the brand new single from the Brighton-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emma Gatrill. A collaboration with Conor O’Brien from the Irish indie-folk band Villagers, the song heralds the arrival of Gatrill’s new album Come Swim– her third full-length release – which will land on 24th November 2023 via Willkommen Records.
Speaking about ‘Adonis Blue’ and working with Conor o’Brien, Emma Gatrill says: “‘Adonis Blue’ is a rare butterfly, the males have brilliant sky blue wings with a fine black line around the edge. I spent the summer on a quest wandering the South Downs in the hope of spotting this butterfly. The track is about searching for things that are hard to find but accepting that the quest itself can fulfil desires. It’s about the adventure and all that we find along the way. Conor is such an inspirational musician and it was an absolute honour to work with him on this song. The beat he crafted really weaved itself into the orchestration and his trumpet really makes the song for me!”
‘Adonis Blue’ carries with it a strong cosmic energy as it goes off in pursuit of spirit and adventure, leaving a glorious trail of inspiration and abstraction in its wake as it does so. (Simon Godley)
Naked Lungs – River (Down)
Why we love it: Irish four-piece noise-punk band Naked Lungs share their new single ‘River (Down)’. This follows the announcement of their debut album, Doomscroll which is set for release on 18 August. The new single follows ‘Pressure’ and ‘Relentless’ and is again recorded and mixed by Gilla Band’s Daniel Fox at Sonic Studios in Dublin.
‘River (Down)’ opens with a wall of noise before the vocal of Tom Brady shouts forth over the top. “I will not drown.” The track takes form as it progresses, calming ever so slightly but the atmosphere is still one of menace and doom, all reverb and static and thundering drums. But then a moment of calm two-thirds in, as if questioning one’s self, fuelled with pity and remorse. This reflective pause does not last long and the instrumentation goes full throttle to the end, all thrashing drums and heavy guitar riffs with vocals which voice such disquiet.
Expanding on the track the band shares:
“’River (Down)’ is us crafting this auditory assault of distortion and drums against a despondent scream into the proverbial nothingness as you spiral deeper and deeper down into a well of self-pity. There’s a definite angst the song that is offset against these abrupt moments of reprieve – building of massive tension only to grant no release, leaving the listener on edge for the whole runtime. This was one of the earliest songs we wrote on Doomscroll and it highlights some of the elements and styles we discovered and adopted during the formation of what would eventually become Naked Lungs.”
Naked Lungs head out on an extensive headline tour beginning 15 September in Leeds. I’ll see you down the front. (Julia Mason)
Art Feynman – Desperately Free
Why we love it: Because Art Feynman is most certainly back in the groove and this latest release – another wonderful taster from his forthcoming album, Be Good The Crazy Boys, which is out on November 10th on Western Vinyl – is a highly contagious slice of art-propelled funk.
Hitherto a solo act, Art Feynman – the moniker of visual artist and producer Luke Temple – has this time round collaborated with a seven-piece band and speaking about the new record he says, “Sonically, I was inspired by records that were recorded at the late Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas such as Grace Jones‘ ‘Private Life,’ Lizzy Mercier Descloux‘s ‘Mambo Nassau’, and Talking Heads‘ ‘Remain in Light’.” And he has certainly captured a lot of that killer tropically-infused pop and disco vibe on, ‘Desperately Free’. An absolute belter of a tune. (Simon Godley)
Dream Nail – Femme Boi
Why we love it: Queer political punk collective Dream Nails have released their new single ‘Femme Boi’, the second to be taken from their forthcoming album Doom Loop set for release on 13 October via Marshall Records. The band will be performing a series of intimate in-store shows this October ahead of their full UK and European headline tour. Dream Nails want their music to inspire change, action and hope. ‘Femme Boi’ continues this with it’s celebration of vulnerability, unity and trans freedom. It’s hooky chorus is immediately infectious, and the overall soundscape is one of dance floor friendly rock n roll. This is inclusivity at its very best, bringing all together.
Speaking on their latest punk anthem, frontman Ishmael Kirby (he/they) comments: “This song began as a catchy hook, a trans daydream about the power I could hold as a boy embracing femininity. Our guitarist Anya had to really coax the idea out of me, because I was fearful it wouldn’t make sense. I wanted to protect this precious truth I knew about myself but hadn’t vocalised.”
“This song defies society’s expectations of a feminine trans-boy. We invite you to find joy and connection in the track, regardless of where you stand on the gender spectrum. Let’s celebrate these opposing feelings!”
Dream Nails’ second album Doom Loop is produced by the infamous Ross Orton, who has worked with the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Amyl and The Sniffers, and The Fall, and promises to reflect a passionate fight for empathy in a divided world. Evidenced by the journey Dream Nails have taken so far, I have absolutely no doubt it will deliver. (Julia Mason)
Hotline TNT – Protocol
Why we love it: Blistering with sun-soaked guitar and crestfallen vocals, on new single ‘Protocol’ , New Yorkers Hotline TNT bring a new power-pop punch to their usual shoegaze-via-punk noise. Their first for Third Man Records, ‘Protocol’ delivers a raw, honest reflection on relationships, where sometimes taking the blame is the price of acceptance. Packing an irresistible mix of Teenage Fanclub‘s charm and Jesu‘s intensity, erstwhile fans of MBV, That Uncertain Feeling or Thousand Yard Stare will also find something to love here. Following a sold out show at The Lexington with label-mates Island Of Love last month, Hotline TNT return to the UK in November for a string of dates, including Pitchfork London! (Trev Elkin)
Why we love it: New Full Time Hobby signee, East London’s Canty, sets a high bar with their absolutely gripping debut single. A solitary bass line sketches the skeletal structures of sleeping high-rises, while gentle choral echoes swirl around Canty’s melancholic voice, casting fractured dreams and forgotten desires into the decaying urban night. A luscious blend of Hauntology and alt pop, ‘Follower’ is taken from their forthcoming AA-side 7” due later this summer.
Canty explains, “‘Follower’ came up as a sort of pagan love song to self-checkout cameras & facial recognition. It’s my stalker song to digital dependency & the uncanny Valley. The singer is both the voyeur & the one being watched in a cybernetic dystopia before being confronted by a real world situation as my mate Sophie says: ‘I didn’t say anything I didn’t do anything it was about 6 in the morning and i just kind of kept, kept my head down.” (Trev Elkin)
Shrill Carder – Last Orders For The North
Why we love it: Manchester hip-hop duo Shrill Carder have released their third single ‘Last Orders for the North’. It opens with almost Eastern style beats before launching into a tirade of anger and fury. The attack questions the powers that be from the monarchy to the media. The fast-paced delivery of the lyrics switch between the two vocalists.
Anger and frustration seem to grow as the track progresses, focusing more and more internally. The impact of the political systems and the behaviour of those in charge can only result in poorer conditions for society at large, both mentally and physically. There is a drama about this track, perfectly in keeping with the themes being expressed. There seems to be no time to breath, perhaps reflecting these turbulent times. The vocal dominates throughout with the instrumentation bubbling underneath. And that ending. Stark, and abrupt. (Julia Mason)