NEW MUSIC: IDLES – A Hymn

IDLES have released ‘A Hymn’, a new single and accompanying video clip from their forthcoming new album Ultra Mono, set for release on 25 September 2020 on Partisan Records.

The music video features the band driving with their parents through their hometown streets to the shops, providing a grey window into suburban English life that matches the song’s heavyhearted churn.

Frontman Joe Talbot says of the song: “‘A Hymn’ is a hymn that rejoices in the sinister flesh-eating virus of the pedestrian. It sings the tune of normal’s teeth sinking into your neck as you sleep stood up with your eyes open. Amen.”

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I want to be loved Everybody does I find shame in the crack-like corpse un-cadaver reign I want to be loved Everybody does I find shame gripped tight like your withering fame We made it Shame.

Hot Zumba classes at the new church I lost ten pounds for the wedding I played happy til my teeth hurt Sofa surfer extraordinaire Lambert’s ash in my falling hair, yeh.

I want to be loved Everybody does I find shame cuts rips real nice as we change lanes We made it I want to be loved Everybody does We made it We made it

Shame.

Teletext has a place in my heart Ten percent discount, I’ll show you how Gregory’s birthday in a placid town, wow Janine held the flag with white knuckles I’m burning the Astra til the wheels buckle, yeh.

I want to be loved Everybody does

Shame Shame.

NEW MUSIC: Buddy Glass – Wasted Habit

Sydney songwriter Buddy Glass (Bruno from Peabody) is back with a brand new single and video, his first since he released his self-titled solo album in 2014. ‘Wasted Habit’ comes from his forthcoming new album Wow & Flutter, due out September 4th on Glass Half Empty Records.

‘Wasted Habit’ is a hard-strummed acoustic and densely fuzzed out electric shakedown. There’s desperation and anxiety in the frantic twitch and thrash of its sound, like clinging on for dear life as you hurtle towards the inevitable.

“I recorded the vast majority of the album on 4-track cassette in the back room of my house in Marrickville, in between dogs barking and babies crying – but this track was done on a digital 8-track machine I’ve had for over 20 years.”

Buddy Glass on ‘Wasted Habit’:

“It’s a song about knowing the outcome of a situation before it happens, but nothing you try to say or do stops you from taking the steps necessary to fulfill that outcome, even when that means a raw deal for everyone involved. It’s like being in a car crash but also witnessing it from the outside. It’s essentially about determinism over free will. The video clip features me flailing and dancing around in a cat mask in a David Lynch-style room. My friend said it was like Ian Curtis trying to dance like Peter Garrett. I hope that’s accurate.”

NEW MUSIC: Montecore – Ott Sauce

Straight out of the gates into a krautrock, psych sprint from Chicago group Montecore. The song comes from their One Night album that came out in May and they’ve already followed it up with a new album, House Fire Themes, which hits the same frantic, hyper-melodic hypnotic sweet-spot, Those kinds of songs that could (and should) go on endlessly as guitar solos fire off into the stratosphere, drums hit like a metronome and bass-lines tie it all together like Peter Hook on a bender.

ALBUM REVIEW: RVG – Feral

RVG

Feral

Our Golden Friend/Fire Records

RVG’s new album finds them presenting a fuller sound with even greater depth and clarity in the guitars and the spotlight still firmly on Romy Vager’s declamatory yelp and melancholic musings.

Quality Of Mercy already had the defining ingredients of the RVG sound – The Smiths-like insistency and nimbleness of the rhythm section, those sparkling, chiming and shimmering guitars and Vager’s voice a commanding strident force out in front. What Feral does do is highlight some sharper songwriting with more space and dynamics, in a wider, more sonically detailed sound courtesy of producer Victor Van Vugt. 

You can particularly hear the sound of The Go-Betweens and Echo & The Bunnymen amid the jangly post-punk and garage rock. It’s simple, melodic indie guitar pop but those guitars sound perfect in the way the notes tumble and cascade from the speakers, all frantically free-falling and forlorn. 

I Used To Love You is a heartbreaking ballad par excellence with its ache and swoon perfectly conveyed, while Photograph sends the listener out on a high. Tentative at first, it builds into a glorious rallying cry. On Feral, Vager’s dissection of how it feels to be sidelined and disenfranchised is treated poetically and ultimately there’s a sense of hope and resilience that rises from the near perfect musical backdrop.

Chris Familton

NEWS: IDLES announce new LP Ultra Mono

IDLES are back with a new album called Ultra Mono that will be released on September 25th, 2020.

Accompanying today’s announcement, the band have shared album highlight and thunderous call-to-action Grounds’ alongside a music video (dir. by Rob French). 

Recorded in Paris and produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire) and Adam ‘Atom’ Greenspan (Anna Calvi, Cut Copy), with Kenny Beats (FKA Twigs, DaBaby, Vince Staples) providing additional programming, Ultra Mono was sonically constructed to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record. Across all twelve brutally relevant tracks, the band double down on the vitriolic sneer and blunt social commentary of their past work, with themes of active presence, inclusivity, class, gender inequality, nationalism, community, and toxic masculinity remaining ever-present. Ultra Mono also features guest vocals from Jehnny Beth (Savages), and additional guest contributions from Warren Ellis (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds), David Yow, and Jamie Cullum.

Ultra Mono tracklisting:
1. War
2. Grounds
3. Mr. Motivator
4. Anxiety
5. Kill Them With Kindness
6. Model Village
7. Ne Touche Pas Moi (feat. Jehnny Beth)
8. Carcinogenic 
9. Reigns 
10. The Lover
11. A Hymn
12. Danke

Frontman Joe Talbot says of ‘Grounds’: “We wanted to write a song that embodied self-belief, and gave us self-belief – a counter-punch to all the doubt we build up from all the noise we so easily let in. We wanted to make the sound of our own hearts’ marching band, armed with a jack hammer and a smile. We wanted to make the sound of our engine starting. So we did. Thank you.”

NEW MUSIC: Telemachus – I Am Delicious And Cute. So I Will Go Buy Again

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There’s some incredible sound design and programming going on in this track from South London-raised, producer Telemachus. His new album Boring & Weird Historical Music came out on 22nd May via High Focus Records and this is just one example of the splendid way he pulls different genres together while still allowing a glorious vacuum of space to exist around and within his music.

As he himself puts it: ‘the album certainly rewards a thorough and engrossed listen, but equally the general atmosphere is pleasant enough to play for your auntie when she comes for tea.’

Telemachus came up via the UK hip hop scene but was equally attracted to the sounds of grime, jungle, jazz, soundtracks and trip hop. Here he filters and distils them all into one trance-inducing collection of songs that sound both tribal and born from dark urban streets. Sounds hang suspended or cosmically drip from the speakers in a mist of digital drizzle and organic contact points. Jazz guitar and bass riffs pop up like funk meerkats before being subsumed back into the slow swirling miasma.

NEW MUSIC: Koalra – Dear Daylight

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Hailing from Chicago Illinois, Koalra cut some fine indie rock shapes on this single ‘Dear Daylight’. There’s the rough and tumbling guitars – part jangle, part visceral screes – post-punk rhythms and a voice that hollers and sings with a beautiful melancholic angst. It all fits together just right on the single, one of many great tracks on their EP Surprise Lights.

Koalra call themselves a noise punk band and there’s undoubtedly that in the abandon and frantic pace of their songs, but they also dial into that sweet spot between energetic flailing and clever, twisting guitar shapes, in the lineage of Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr and No Age.

ALBUM REVIEW: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Sideways To New Italy

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Sideways To New Italy
Ivy League

Since the release of their debut album, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have traversed the globe, playing numerous headline shows and music festivals. Now those experiences and the associated dizzying dislocation have fed into their second record, a consistently superb collection of songs that matches the hit rate of their debut.

All three singer/guitarist songwriters again contribute songs, managing to stamp their own style and  personalities without bending or breaking the symbiotic jangly guitar rush and heady pop clamour that defines their sound. You get a sense of homesickness – both geographically and emotionally, a searching for place and context after the last few years of the band. 

Joe White’s She’s There and The Only One are love songs, the latter introducing a 80s indie pop sound reminiscent of Prefab Sprout while the former tumbles forth with irresistible guitar riffs. Fran Keaney’s Cars In Space is both urgent and intricate, like The Smiths at their most nimble. Sunglasses At Night imagines itself as a lost You Am I ballad, while the guitars of Not Tonight swoon and dive before the band hits one of their most divine pop choruses to date.

The heady rush of the band’s sound is still intact but there’s an additional sense of wistful reflection and a wider musical palette on Sideways To New Italy that takes their sound to even greater heights. 

Chris Familton