Will it ever be our turn again? The Lionesses did us proud but the gut punch of defeat at the last hurdle returns. Hello old friend. Twas ever thus. Till the next time. Cheer yourselves up with some Humour, visit the Chip Shop Boy and Let’s Do Drugs. Not literally. That’s never the answer. Unless you’ve been prescribed it and in that case do the course and then see your doctor if the symptoms persist. If you can see your doctor. I can’t. Fuck the Tories. Listen to these TOTW. Have a good week.
Humour – Wrangel
Why we love it: Glasgow’s Humour have released new single ‘Wrangel’ which follows ‘The Halfwit’ and sees the five piece continue to evolve their sound. These releases were the first to be recorded in the studio, with Idlewild guitarist and producer Rod Jones at his Post Electric Studios. The result is a more expansive sound. ‘Wrangel’ perfectly encapsulates the lyrical theme embedded in polar exploration. The guitar riffs manage to create a chilly vibe plus there are sections where their raw edge and off kilter tones add a sense of foreboding. The songs narrative is set on the isolated Wrangel Island, and the unusual vocal delivery of frontman Andreas Christodoulidis adds to the tension.
He shared the following on ‘Wrangel’:
“‘Wrangel’ is inspired by different stories of polar exploration. I was reading the biography of Captain Robert Scott who led an expedition of five men to be the first to reach the South Pole, all of whom died on the return journey in an unrelenting blizzard. The music had come together already, and the plodding, steady rhythm of the verses made me think of trudging through snow. I had recently watched an episode of Our Planet which showed footage of Wrangel Island in the arctic circle, an uninhabited place where polar bears are now arriving in their thousands to hunt because of the lack of sea ice. I thought that there could be something peaceful about being in a place like that, and wanted the character in the song to be imagining living his life out on Wrangel as he makes his way across the ice without much hope of survival.
An Indigenous Alaskan woman called Ada Blackjack actually did this after being sent to Wrangel as part of a doomed expedition of which she was the sole survivor, living alone on the island for nearly two years while teaching herself to hunt and to fend off the polar bears which she had a mortal fear of. A really incredible person. These stories of both survival and accepting fate at the end of the world were the inspiration for the song.” (Julia Mason)
Hotwax – Drop
Why we love it: because it’s a big old headbutt of a punk song that is more ‘Rip It Out’ than ‘A Thousand Times’. The fact that there is light and shade to what Hotwax produce makes them all the better. This kicks like a mule from start to finish and will slay all in its path live.
This is a brand new single after their debut EP A Thousand Times came out earlier this year. It has a monster riff at it’s heart, and after the announcement they are supporting Royal Blood on their mammoth tour, this has those low end heavy tones that made the early Royal Blood singles so essential at the time.
The video depicts the band as arriving to earth in a space ship, not quite alien not quite human, in a children’s TV from the late 80’s, early 90’s aesthetic.
They have said about it: “We needed a song that was really immediate, fast and in-your-face for our second [as-yet-unreleased] EP, so it worked out really well because we were like, “Oh, Drop!” We never really thought about recording it before, it was just a really fun thing to do live. It’s an old song that now feels more refreshed.“(Jim Auton)
Nobro – Let’s Do Drugs
Why we love it: I have a feeling Canada’s NOBRO don’t do “quiet”, which is totally fine by me. The four-piece have released new single ‘Let’s Do Drugs’, and it’s a banger. The four-pieces new track is a roller-coaster of a tune, thundering along fuelled by electric guitar riffs full of fire. This is Rock ‘n’ Roll and it’s a wild ride. The intention of the track is not as you may initially think with this title.
Listen closer and the nuance is there, as the band further explains:“’Let’s Do Drugs’ is a dumb rock song about getting older. It’s about wanting to have one more wild night, while having no business doing so and failing miserably. Musically it’s a middle ground between maybe ‘Fight for your right to party’ and ‘dirty deeds’, but only the dumbest bits of those songs, but distilled into something even more ridiculous. It’s like shotgunning a beer then immediately puking on yourself.”
Apparently Montreal based NOBRO made it clear from the get go that they aren’t interested in playing by whatever stupid rules have been set around them. Kathryn McCaughey (vocals/bass) shares:
“As a musician or artist or even a woman, you have to throw off the weight of societal pressures and expectations, especially as you get older. You have to take risks and chances.”
NOBRO is a place for cultivating power and happiness in a hard, mean world. Rejoice I say, how utterly fabulous. (Julia Mason)
Paws – Disenchanted
Why we love it: Scottish alternative rock band PAWS have released their new single ‘Disenchanted’ the first to be taken from their forthcoming self-titled album which is set for release on 27 October via Ernest Jenning Record Co. and the band’s own Wish Fulfillment Press. It’s a welcome return for the songwriting partnership of Phillip Jon Taylor and Joshua Swinney, who stepped back from the limelight as the world began to shut down.
“What and who are we as human beings?” Phillip sings, with guitar and drums used to such an effect as to create a feeling of disenchantment, perhaps of confusion within the white noise of modern life. There is almost a sense of catharsis here, using the creative process to try to make some sort of sense of the chaotic world we live in.
Philip expands further on the background behind the track:
“That was the first song we wrote and recorded for the album. Josh was visiting and we spent all weekend chilling and catching up. Then a few hours before he had to head south again, we just decided to have a quick jam. I played bass and because I have my wee studio set up to record, we just naturally structured a song and tracked it really quickly. It was really liberating.” (Julia Mason)
Yowl – The Machine
Why you love it: South London’s YOWL share new single ‘The Machine’ taken from their debut album Milksick which is set to be released on 14 September via Clue Records/EMI North. Somehow this track manages to be both jittery and dance floor friendly. There is anxiety fuelled buzzing but also a bassline which gives the track its danceability. Synths beats dance throughout the track and the vocal layers jump around in their pace and style. There is so much going on here, and that is the point I suspect. Modern life is like this and sometimes we just need to make sure we balance the manic with the calm.
Vocalist Gabriel Byrde says of ‘The Machine’: “When I write songs it’s often done on a laptop and then taken to the band, where my efforts are reformed into something more musical. ‘The Machine’ features this jumpy, hectic bass part that demonstrates how little I know about actually playing the bass, so it’s a testament to Beck’s ability that the part remains pretty much as it was keyed into Ableton. The whole sound of the track exists in this weird, faux-programmed state that mirrors its agitated themes of stress and burnout.” (Julia Mason)
Aderyn – Chip Shop Boy
Why we love it: Aderyn’s recent single is another garage pop banger ripe with cheeky, irreverant quick witted asides and well the rambunctious joy of Aderyn crushing on a boy who works in a chip shop shop during Covid lockdown. The chippy was the only place open at the time, and Aderyn’s imagination ran wild with visions of their blissful future together. ”
Shiny, hook laden guitars, and bounding drums, with a hints of US power pop and some musical pizazz, it’s an absolutely cheeky, riot with a kick ass chorus and further reaffirms Aderyn as an artist you won’t be able to ignore!
Aderyn also played all the drums on the track, which was recorded in West Wales with producer Gethin Pearson (Orla Gartland, Charli XCX, Adwaith). Aderyn will play Gwen Gwen Festival this summer. Chip Shop Boy is the second single from Aderyn’s debut EP Sea Glass, out 15 September. (Bill Cummings)
Laura Grove – Sky at Night
Why we love it: No, nothing to do with Patrick Moore’s TV show of the same name. It’s an illuminating track from Laura Groves wonderful new album Radio Red via Bella Union. A beguiling ripe with wonder and trying to unpick the mystery of life between the lines. With illuminating keys and a gorgeous dreamy pop soundscrapes, Groves delivers a captivating vocal on this earworm ripe with wonder and longing for connection, that holds onto the comfort and escapism of lights at night. When she reaches that high note, it’s a thing of exquisite grandeur.
Radio Red, the first full length album Laura Groves has released under her own name, was written, produced and recorded by Groves in her studio, watched over by two radio transmitting towers. “I’ve always been very sensitive and open to what’s happening around me, and also struggle with the sheer amount of noise sometimes. There was a radio tower on the hill opposite the house where I grew up – I would look out at the network of streetlights winding up towards it and it all had a sort of mystery to me. It was a kind of escapism and a comfort, with an undertone of melancholy that was hard to put into words. I think that glow, that strange feeling, is what I’m always searching for and exploring through making music and artwork.” (Bill Cummings)