Hello. Come one, come all, come together, it’s Tracks of the Week again. This week we have the new single from a beat combo from Liverpool who really look like they have a bright future ahead of them. See what you think. Give them a whirl alongside the other great slices of aural elixir on offer below. Goodbye.
The Beatles – Now and Then
Why we love it: Because The Beatles – the band who have arguably had the single greatest influence on the course of popular music – are back! Well, sort of. Last Thursday, the Fab Four, who were last in a recording studio together in August 1969 – while recording the final over-dubs of ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’ for their Abbey Road album – and who broke up the following year, released what is being described as their final new song together, ‘Now and Then’.
‘Now and Then’ has been reworked from an original tape of one of John Lennon’s late 1970’s demos; Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr recorded new parts for it; and the late George Harrison features by way of the guitar he had played on the original 1995 sessions for this song but which had to be shelved due to the then limitations of technology (Lennon’s vocal could not be easily isolated from the demo). Now thanks to some assistance from AI – a divisive topic in the music industry with McCartney at great pains here to say, “nothing has been artificially or synthetically created. It’s all real and we all play on it” – ‘Now and Then’ has finally seen the light of day.
Now don’t approach this expecting another ‘I Am The Walrus’ or ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and George Harrison did actually describe the initial demo as being “fucking rubbish”, but I tell you it ain’t half bad. It’s a wistful, poignant piano-led ballad and if this has to be The Beatles’ final swan song then it is a fitting farewell. (Simon Godley)
Adult DVD – Yacht Money
Why we love it: Leeds dance-rock collective Adult DVD return with new self-produced single, ‘Yacht Money’. All bobbing and pulsating beats, the track is a tongue-in-cheek ode to living the high life. And to be honest Adult DVD are exactly what we need in our lives right now. Unpredictable synth lines interspersed with guitar riffs and a pounding bouncing rhythm which builds into dance club euphoria. Lyrically the humour is there by the bucketload, such fun, so infectious and all wrapped in the music which is guaranteed to get the head bobbing and the toes tapping.
“Now that I’m older, not brighter just taller
All I’ve really learnt is that you should call in sick at work.
Now that I’m older with my creaking shoulder
I’ll show you all I know, take five minutes and then you can go.”
Frontman Harry Hanson explains more on their inspiration behind ‘Yacht Money’: “The track is about how we all want a communal yacht when we get older (40’s). Maybe we are pre-empting a midlife crisis but a goal we are working towards nonetheless. Luckily, if it is a bad idea (we do all get seasick), there is a plan to rent a gaff with the yacht money.”
The six-piece will be celebrating the release of ‘Yacht Money’ with a headline gig at hometown institution Leeds Brudenell Social Club on 28 November, plus a number of shows in the autumn. Catch them while you can, before they sail away on their new yacht. (Julia Mason)
Spielmann – A Better Man
Why we love it: Because it seems fairly apposite that the cover of the new single from the Leeds-based multi-instrumentalist songwriter, composer, and producer Spielmann features an image of a block of high-rise flats. His voice on ‘A Better Man’ certainly reaches for the sky, a glorious towering exultation of joy.
As the man himself explains, “‘A Better Man’ AKA ‘The Kind Of Guy You’d Tell Your Friends About’ is thematically borne out of sitting in a lot of rooms with a lot of tedious men, not saying I’m not one of them. Probs my favourite lyrics I’ve written so far, It’s a new set closer that always boots off nicely to end the live show, some good foot on monitor action.”
Having caught Spielmann in live action earlier this year I can attest to the accuracy of his statement. He is fast emerging as a Billy Mackenzie for the modern day, though possibly without also being a breeder of champion whippets. (Simon Godley)
Sourface – Lizard King
Why we love it: Anglo-Parisian quartet Sourface have released their new single ‘Lizard King’. It takes inspiration from The Doors ‘The Celebration of the Lizard’ and is a wonderfully surreal cocktail of twists and turns. It opens with guitars and drums which combine to create an industrial whirling soundscape. There is a pause for breath: “all the hosepipes look like snakes” is just a line that has to be said! The vocal is impassioned throughout, quiet and soft in parts and yet loud and wild and raucous where the song demands it.
The track introduces Toni Bossi AKA ‘Lizard King’. The band’s evil-mastermind manager has built a machine to harness the power of the sun (explored on previous single ‘Solaire‘), using it to control the surrounding population – as the band themselves explain:
“‘The Lizard King’ is a god gone mad. Toni Bossi has realised the infinitely unhinged potential of the sun’s energy and is ready to use it for his mad exploits. ‘Lizard King’ celebrates Bossi’s ego through a satire of corporate greed and arrogance. It’s a warning of the consequences of letting greed fester into power.”
The four-piece are split between Paris and London, regularly performing in both cities, sing in both respective languages, and are infected by the spirit of both distinctive cultures. What a thrilling impact that is having on their music. (Julia Mason)
Steve Mason – Moss Side Fish Fry feat. One Da
Why we love it: Because Steve Mason is always good value whether it be in concert or, as he is here, on record. ‘Moss Side Fish Fry’ is a collaborative reworking of the track ‘Brixton Fish Fry’ which appeared on his most recent album, Brothers & Sisters. ‘Moss Side Fish Fry’ sees Mason join considerable forces with the rising Manchester star, One Da in a radical reinvention of the original song.
Talking about the new track, Steve Mason says, “This is special. I have completely re-worked Brixton Fish Fry and was lucky enough to get Manchester’s OneDa to contribute some epic and deep verses to the finished version, now called Moss Side Fish Fry. Currently blowing up all over the place OneDa is a special talent and I’m privileged to have her on this new version.”
It certainly is a bit special. One DA’s words lyrics act as a cattle prod to the original track, igniting a pugilistic flow of words as she wanders round the streets of her home city in a video shot for the song by Charlie Barclay Harris.
Following a short tour in December, Steve Mason will play a series of further dates in the UK in early 2024 as part of the annual Independent Venue Week. (Simon Godley)
Rainyday Rainbow – Baby in the Basement
Why we love it: Boistrious fellows Rainyday Rainbow – Egg Spectrum, Tom Emlyn, Evan Collett, and Osian Boland – release an EP on 1 January; a New Year present to the twisted masses, if you like.
‘Baby in the Basement’ is the first song shared from it. Writing a commentary of such on a come-down from a three day long migraine is a risky approach, but this writer shirks away from no worthy challenge thrown down in her path. Baby in the Basement sees the outfit take a psychedelic trip in a time machine, The Cramps and filthy glam playing on the wireless perverted by contorted jazz, and grinding R&B; the old fashioned kind. And punk with extra mischiefs on its mind. Is it an evil baby in that basement? An angel child? A Victorian spirit? Walter White in diapers, following a life’s passion from early doors? Who knows. It’s gonna be fun finding out, that’s for sure.
Rainyday Rainbow promise to take us on a journey. Strap in, folks. It’s gonna be one helluva ride. (Cath Holland)
Teeth Machine – Shiny
Why we love it: because Teeth Machine are back after quite a considerable wait following the fantastic ‘Penny‘ from the end of 2022.
Always ones for the slow burning epic turn, ‘Shiny’ is no exception clocking in at 5.41, it’s a little bit Shoegaze, a little bit Math Rock, a little bit bloody great. They’re very unlike quite a few bands around at the moment, the closest possibly being Just Mustard but they are purveyors of My Bloody Valentine ear bleeding intensity. Teeth Machine are more subtle and nuanced than that. There’s a melancholy and an infinite sadness as well as hope and optimism.
They say “What I can recall is that I’d been thinking a lot about the possibilities associated with forgiveness at that time, the way in which reality is regenerated when we make the small, silent decisions to choose to see the best in each other, especially during times of difficulty, or pain. What shines through and becomes insuppressible when you love, or choose to love someone or something; maybe it’s yourself, or someone else, or a situation. And the way that this is a choice, often. And how that feels physically in the body; how it’s kind of like relief, and the surprise of that, like there’s light passing through you somehow; like you become a window for new possibilities.” (Jim Auton)