Tracks of the Week #241

Tracks of the Week #241

People don’t know what to wear outside. You’ve got some in big coats, rain macs, shorts and tshirt, gym gear, jeans and hoodies. Are we just going to give up on summer?!? We’ve still got a few weeks of festival season left so pack your plastic ponchos (take them home with you) and you wellies and get involved.

If you’re preparing for one or recovering from one the weekend just gone, stick these TOTW’s in your lugholes. Have it!!!

Lorelle Meets the Obsolete – Ave En Reversa

Why we love it: Because this, the third single to be taken from Lorelle Meets the Obsolete’s sixth album, Datura (released earlier this year), confirms what an excellent recording it is. Why take my word for it, no less an authority on the subject than Henry Rollins says: “Wow! I think that’s their best record. There’s not one of their records I don’t like, but this one is so happening!” 

And ‘Ave En Reversa’ is most certainly happening. Inspired by “strange dreams and personal thoughts” mixed with the poems of Peruvian syntactician Mario Montalbetti, the song is a heady phenomenon. It is a deliciously contagious slice of futuristic post-punk affirming Lorelle and the Obsolete’s ongoing sonic advance and providing us with a wonderful flavour of what we can expect to hear on their upcoming UK tour. (Simon Godley)

Hotel Lux – Vice

Why we love it:

Hotel Lux have released new single ‘Vice’, their first new music since their debut album Hands Across The Creek.  ‘Vice’ is a track which firmly slotted into the live set but didn’t have a place within Hands Across The Creek.   Reworked it seems to emphasize the band of brothers that Hotel Lux have become.  Everyone plays a part on this track, every instrument has a moment to shine.  The energy and lyrics are still there of course but the organ section and the communal vocals add another layer.

 On ‘Vice’ Hotel Lux say:“’Vice’ had been a staple on the Lux set list since very early doors. Sadly, it never had its time to shine in a studio and it we didn’t feel it quite sat with what we were trying to do with previous releases.  At the latter stages of the Hands Across the Creek sessions, we started bringing this rehashed version of the track back into the mix.  We added a new intro, Lewis changed his vocal attack slightly and we played with the pacing of the track a little bit.  Alas, it didn’t quite fit with our ambition of the album but we felt it a shame to allow the track to disappear into the abyss.”

Hotel Lux promise more news to come, which can only be a good thing. (Julia Mason)

Goat – Unemployment Office

Why we love it: Because Goat are not frightened of change. ‘Unemployment Office’, the first single to be shared from the Swedish psych outfit’s forthcoming album Medicine (out on the 13th of October on Rocket Recordings) tells us as much. With a new sound that has emerged from their recent work on the pagan folk soundtrack to Shane Meadows’ The Gallows Pole, here Goat are clearly embracing some of the lyrical themes of class distinction and desperation that are present in the Benjamin Myers’ novel on which the television series was based. The music is similarly evocative, embracing huge levels of energy along the way, leavened by waves of great fortitude and human warmth. (Simon Godley)

Gen and the Degenerates – Big Hit Single

Why we love it: Gen and the Degenerates new single was borne out of their record label asking the band to “write another track like the song that did well”.  Well they certainly got they comeuppance with ‘Big Hit Single’ released via Marshall Records.  This really made me laugh at the cheek of it.

“You want a hit song?  Shut up and take it.” With tongue placed very firmly in check, the band poke fun at the request and have produced a track full of humorous observational lyrics, driving basslines, thrashing drums and a vocal sounding amused and exasperated all rolled up into one outpouring of incredulity.  ‘Big Hit Single’ is recorded and produced by Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, Amyl and the Sniffers, Drenge, Gang of Four,) and vocalist Genevieve Glynn-Reeves shares the following:“If you want the highbrow answer, then ‘Big Hit Single’ is about the experience of creating art under late capitalism. If you want the lowbrow –and slightly more honest– answer, then ‘Big Hit Single’ is me trying to wind up our label.”

“They’d made quite a reasonable request…‘Please can you write more songs like the song that did well and stop experimenting with every genre under the sun in a completely chaotic and hedonistic manner?’  Unfortunately, I have issues with authority… My parents often regale me with the tale of my Year 4 parent’s evening, in which my teacher described me as ‘too wild, in the bohemian sense.’

“If Mrs Baker couldn’t get me to behave, then what chance did Marshall Records have?  Luckily, they have a good sense of humour over at Marshall.”
Marshall Record may be a little more cautious the next time they try to direct Gen and the Degenerates! (Julia Mason)

The Natvral- Summer of Hell

Why we love it: “These songs live somewhere between the climate crisis of 1816, the climate crisis of now, and the climate crisis of the heart,” says Kip Berman, the man who is The Natvral. He is speaking about his forthcoming new solo album The Summer of No Light, which is due out on 1st September via Dirty Bingo Records. And ‘Summer of Hell’ is the third single to be taken from that record.

Despite the apocalyptic foundations upon which the album is built and the latest single’s ominous title, ‘Summer of Hell’ still breathes positivity. Having caught The Natvral in concert last year and that show being one of my gigs of the year, this comes as no surprise. Kip Berman oozes optimism and this translates to the sound of ‘Summer of Hell’. It leaps out of the blocks and soon immerses itself in a lovely, propulsive groove. There is a serious message in there, for sure, but the music is still capable of raising a smile. (Simon Godley)

Folly Group – Strange Neighbour

Why we love it: London four-piece Folly Group have released new single ‘Strange Neighbour’, the first taster from a series of rewarding recording sessions that took place earlier this year.  It has the bands quirky off beat rhythmic vibes, but a calm midsection breaks the pace until it quickly picks up again rattling to the end. Sean Harper had the following to say about the themes behind the new single:

“’Strange Neighbour’ walks a couple of related lines at once.  Louis’s verses and choruses are an ode to community as it dematerialises.  Urban areas become un-neighbourly as spiraling rents force most people our age to move annually, and that’s if they’re lucky.  At the same time, when it was being written, we had a sense that some of the music our peers were making came from a sneering, holier-than-thou place, voyeuristically skewing strangers’ perspectives to misrepresent another point of view and make their own more righteous.  So, ‘Strange Neighbour’ is about recognising your own strangeness and that of your neighbours, because when two people from opposing walks of life meet, who’s normal?”

The beer-soaked video is directed by the creative minds at CLUMP Collective, who share the following on the unforgettable visuals:

“On hearing ‘Strange Neighbour’, we felt we wanted to make something fast paced and a bit silly – something that we felt Folly Group could have fun with. The concept was born after coming across James Rooney’s unnerving creations, then drawing influence from How To Get Ahead In Advertising and the films of Edgar Wright to flesh out the look and narrative. Everyone on the shoot was a joy to work with, and we were really keen to get Gabby Hillman in again (who we worked with on Do Nothing’s ‘Amoeba’) with some more fleshy prosthetics.  She did an incredible job on Louis, everyone on set reacting with a mix of repulsion and amusement – a tone we’d love to hit with this video.  We couldn’t be happier with it!” The good news is that Folly Group return to live stages this September, in support of New York’s Geese, who are signed to Partisan Records. (Julia Mason)

Echo Ladies – Coming Home

Why we love it: Malmo trio Echo Ladies are back with a formidable new single entitledComing Home’ , a crushing wall of noise, riven with squalling serrated edged riffing with scampering bass lines: barreling along on the back of powerful drums. Leavened with earworm melodies: it’s like entering a tunnel of noise whilst they are burrowing their way to the freedom of the light. Stunning.

“This song is heavily inspired by two of our favourite bands, A Place To Bury Strangers and The Jesus & Mary Chain,” the band said.

“Our aim was to make the song feel like a big wave of noise, feedback, and guitars that hits you in the face. We can’t remember how many layers of fuzzed and distorted guitars are on this track, but it’s a lot.”

It’s taken from the forthcoming album Lillies, due for release on September 8th and showcasing their intention to, ‘balance the emotions of sorrow and loneliness, with anger, frustration, and the determination to make a change for the better’.(Bill Cummings)

Virgins – Slowly, Long

Why we love it: Belfast based Virgins have released new gaze-pop single, ‘s l o w l y,  l o n g’.  It marks the first collaborative writing effort from the band and finds them embracing pop-centric melodic influences in conjunction with the multitude of fuzz and reverb pedals that smatter their pedalboards.  This may be shoegaze but it canters along at pace. Brendy McCanns bass acts as a melodic anchor to Michael Smyth and Dave Sloans’ layers of textured guitar with its reverb and soaring soundscape. James Foys’ thrashing drums and Rebecca Dows’ vocals complete Virgins, and on this track they are all seamless, moving together as one. Lyrically the track speaks of unchecked desire being set free.  Rebecca’s vocals sit ontop the instrumentation – and that key change is so reminiscent of Cocteau Twins.  It’s a stunning track and sees the Belfast band continue to develop their sound, not afraid to fuse different elements into their music. (Julia Mason)

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