As we hurtle through 2022 and crash into summer, here’s the latest set of new music to get you going.
This month has been difficult at points for time to listen to music, but I’ve still managed to include no less than seventeen songs this month (with another five held over to next month, simply because I ran out of time!). There’s been a lot of interesting new electronic music released this month in particular, too.
That said, coming up on Thursday is the latest of my livestreams, returning to extreme metal with /Stormblast/156 – the first /Stormblast in nearly a year.
A quick explanation for new readers (hi there!): my Tuesday Ten series has been running since March 2007, and each month features at least ten new songs you should hear – and in between those monthly posts, I feature songs on a variety of subjects, with some of the songs featured coming from suggestion threads on Facebook.
Feel free to get involved with these – the more the merrier, and the breadth of suggestions that I get continues to astound me. Otherwise, as usual, if you’ve got something you want me to hear, something I should be writing about, or even a gig I should be attending, e-mail me or drop me a line on Facebook (details below).
/Track of the Month
/Nothing You Do Matters
Just Look At That Sky was my #2 album of 2020 (/Countdown/2020/Album to read more), a thrilling collection of songs that seemed to fit with the times perfectly. Their first new music since that album was released last week, part of a short EP due in the autumn, and their esoteric, abrasive take on post-punk/noise-rock continues to amaze. This song has perhaps less nervous energy than other songs of theirs, partly because as the title suggests, it appears to come from observing others rather than themselves, as they watch a world trying to return to some semblance of “normal” and being uncertain of what to do. That said, Ganser’s taut sound is now very much their calling card, and demands closer listening.
Also of note is the excellent video, which even had a premiere on Rolling Stone due to the groundbreaking use of tech for shooting a music video.
/I Speak Machine
Apparently quite the support act for Gary Numan recently, I Speak Machine seems to have appeared out of nowhere recently. An intriguing LA/Sheffield tie-up, as far as I can tell (with assistance on a couple of tracks from Kendra Frost, once of /amodelofcontrol.com favourites Blindness), there’s a grimy industrial feel to the production, but not always the sound. Pick of the album for me, though, is the industrial power of Ruined Me, where Tara Busch puts on a display of vocal force to match the thunderous stomp of the beats, which is far better than to simply mark a couple of obvious influences. Like a number of other newer artists, I Speak Machine are still finding new ways to make industrial music sound fresh and new.
Shannon Hemmett’s LEATHERS project has made quite the impact since the first tracks debuted a while back, and as far as I’m aware, this track is the first from the upcoming debut album (with the first live shows to follow, too). There is very much a metaphorical and literal escapist feel to this song, a featherlight, neon-lit synthpop track that has all the right imagery and all the right sounds. Really intrigued to hear what else the album will deliver.
Daniel McCullough’s Silver Walks project has already released one great single this year, but this new one, the second from upcoming album Various Positions, is even better. Tumbling drums and a sense of energy are tempered by mournful piano and gentle synths, with the unexpected presence of Marc Heal providing his trademark powerful vocal, but very much in the more measured feel of his solo work, rather than the bark of Cubanate. Along with an impressive set of remixers, this comes highly recommended.
/We All Bleed Red
German duo Amnistia have bubbled under for some years, their trademark heavy electro-industrial sound dubbed “bodywave” setting them apart somewhat. The first new material from their upcoming new album continues that style, with the pick of them so far being the sweeping synths and military pulse of Caged, with a clean, crisp production and great use of samples. I like this band a lot, and I’m now really quite excited for the new album upon release at the end of next month.
/No One Asked You
/This Is My Battle Cry
We’ve not heard a lot from Ayria in recent years, but at last, the new album is imminent, and Jennifer Parkin has returned swinging, going on her fabulous new single. No One Asked You is part conversation with her own mind, and partly at other men, and with a punchy, bouncing electronic backing, Parkin keeps delivering jab after jab on her best, and catchiest, track in years.
The heavy, heavy slow doom of London’s Grave Lines has been on regular rotation on my /Stormblast livestreams over the past couple of years, and you can expect to hear this new track, the first from their third album due in July, on /Stormblast/156 this Thursday. The sound is perhaps cleaner and less dense than before, but certainly no less heavy, and this track moves seamlessly between riff-heavy sections and groove, while Jake Harding on vocals doesn’t half remind me of Nick Holmes here (not that this is a bad thing).
/NEVER + ENOUGH (INFERNO)
Brant Showers has dug deep with his new SØLVE release, it seems, dealing with whatever life throws at him in the outlet of his music. Those looking for just more of his main project, ∆AIMON, may not be fully sated, but that’s not really the point – this is a distinctly different project where Brant has, perhaps, the freedom to experiment with other styles. This song seems to straddle the two. A thunderous rhythm pattern dominates the track, with a martial feel to it, that allows Brant a dramatic base to launch his vocals from. His work, regardless of project, remains absolutely fascinating.
/Eurovision Song Protest
/Eurovision Song Protest
Clearly, not everyone had time for Eurovision this year, as it at least inspired Swedish EBM-Oi! Punks Container 90 to release some new material. If you’re familiar with their previous work, not a lot has changed: still fast-paced, stripped-back EBM with barked vocals and big anthemic moments that will be fantastic in a sweaty crowd at a gig. Lyrically, it’s clear they hate the many elements of Eurovision, although I’d love someone like C90 to represent Sweden one day – it would be fucking hilarious to see the audience’s faces…
/Wings of Mariposa
Will Haven have been a metal band that have been out on the fringes for most of their career, partly because their hardcore-metal-sheer-fucking-noise-fusion never really fitted in. I don’t expect that to change (although if you ever get the opportunity to experience the blast furnace feel of their live shows, such as in London in a couple of weeks time, jump to it), especially as their comeback single Wings of Mariposa ticks all the boxes of what I love about Will Haven. The riffs are the size of buildings, Grady Avenell sounds like he is exorcising every demon in his body, and the closing breakdown might well bring the roof in. Fuck and yeah.
/Macca The Mutt (ft. Nick Cave)
/The Real Work
Thanks to my friend Kenneth for pointing this one my way – an Australian avant-garde duo who play drums and saxophone and make quite the racket. This track builds and builds to synapse-shattering force, leaving the listener in disbelief that it is just two of them making this unholy, fantastic racket. Credit to them for taking Noise Rock to an unexpected place, that’s for sure – and then Nick Cave barges in to howl a vocal about one of the bands’ dog…called Macca. After more – understandably – reflective work from Cave in recent years, it’s great to hear him letting loose again.
/Speak of Sin
/Baptise Bless & Bleed
Raymond Watts has been unbelievably prolific since 2015, when he resurrected <PIG> after a few years of silence. I count three full-length albums, one covers album, four remix albums, four collaborative EPs and at least six more singles/EPs, not to mention a few tours as well. This latest EP brings a few more new tracks and then extended versions, and the groovy Speak of Sin feels like it nods as much to Thrill Kill Kult as it does KMFDM, built around an electronic pulse and his trademark choral-effect choruses, with the guitars very much decoration rather than the foundations. Watts’ well of inspiration is clearly not empty yet.
I must confess I don’t know a great deal about UK post-punk artist Kill Shelter, but I’m fascinated by the idea of a concept album around the idea of asylum and interpretations thereof, and the first single – an excellent collaboration with Agent Side Grinder now has me hooked. The brooding, dark post-punk charge is given additional power by ASG adding their trademark gravitas to thoughtful lyrics. The rest of the album has a fascinating list of contributors (among others, Stefan Netschio (Beborn Beton) and William Faith leap out), it’s out in July.
The ever-marvellous Belgians Metroland are back after a bit of a break (and work on side-projects), and while every album sequence of theirs has a theme, what the new one is yet is unclear. Why? Well, the first release to come this time around is simply called “4“, and there are no samples to help us work out what the hell is going on (aside from robotic voices counting down). That’s fine, though, as the first part of 4 to break cover is a lovely, cascading piece of electronic techno-pop that as ever, leans heavily into warm analogue synth sounds and retro-futurism.
Canadian noise-rock band tunic have been featured here before, and I’ve become a solid fan of their sharp-edged, furious sound. Their new standalone single Rituals continues their excellent recent work, as they rail against the everyday grind of life in the uncertain, unkind world that is 2022 and musically, bare their teeth with a dry, punishing sound. They also play live in London at 229 later in June (I’m not 100% I can make that yet, but we shall see!).
/She Still Leads Me On
Suede are now Britpop’s great survivors. The band that the “movement” was named for, really, back in 1992/93, and while they too had time away, they’ve continued to record new music when the other big names from Britpop have all now become history. Their last three albums, those since they reunited, have all seen Suede exploring their own concepts, rather than playing to the crowd, but a few years on since the last album, they appear to be back firing on all cylinders. She Still Leads Me On is a stark, frill-free track that gains momentum quickly and charges headlong into a cracking chorus that I’m fairly sure will become a fan favourite in short order. The band have suggested this new album is Suede going “back to basics”, and if this is the basics, I’m here for it.
/Every Day Is A New Disaster
A remarkable, unexpected return just this past week comes from Syndika Zero, whom we last heard from in 2009 (!) with the ferocious, full-on Blindness. Whatever they’ve been up to in the meantime, nothing appears to have dampened their musical rage. Their musical approach is still of savage, upfront industrial music that turns up the distortion and shatters things to leave jagged edges all over the place. Need sees that approach tearing apart what might have otherwise been a mid-paced, forgettable track. Instead, glitches and breaks in the sound, not to mention a relentless fuzz in the mix make it into a harsh, unforgiving track that has a surprising melodic heart. It’s great to have them back.