Another month, another bumper crop of new music to celebrate.
Not really much else to say about it this time around – it’s been a busy few weeks, but with the ability to get in some time to listen to as much new music as possible.
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
/Teeth of the Sea
/Vortex of Release
/Vortex of Release EP
Originating as part of their work with the Science Museum to soundtrack Apollo’s Moon Shot a few years back, this new track is a standalone single to whet our appetite for the new album due later in the year. If you’re familiar with Teeth of the Sea, you’ll know what to expect, to an extent. To the uninitiated, brace yourselves. Stomping rhythms, guitars that roar like distant monsters, spiralling synths, and that signature trumpet heralding the band’s rearrival through the sonic maelstrom. It’s awesome to have them back.
/the fable of subjugation
I was quite the fan of 2021 album Vital, but the first few listens to their latest release suggest that it is a significant step forward. Apparently an album inspired and informed by “the folly of hope, the consequences of trauma, often centers on the subjugation of femininity in all its pluralities”, Robin Wattie’s searing vocal performance suggests a life that has faced all of these, and is accompanied musically in a way that knows how to hold back, at points the moments of silence are just as ferocious as the monstrous explosions that you know are coming. The astonishing centrepiece the fable of subjugation is little more than Wattie’s voice and a guitar for the first four minutes, before the drums arrive like the threat of a gathering storm on the horizon, Wattie screams themself hoarse, and the band as a whole provide repetitive rhythmic force like a more concentrated, furious Swans.
Like many experimental, heavy bands, they are very much not for everyone – but curious listeners will find themselves amazed by what lies within here.
/Burn The World
I must admit that I perhaps felt a bit lost with Korine on previous releases: despite a host of friends whose opinions on music I usually trust, something about their sound simply just didn’t click. I don’t know what’s changed, but Tear is brilliant: every song crackles with energy, and I can’t get a number of the songs out of my head. Burn the World begins, it appears, as another featherlight synthpop track, before unexpectedly charging into a stonking chorus that leaves sparks in the wake. Wow.
/The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte
/The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte
Sparks continue their remarkable late-career purple patch in 2023, with yet another marvellous piece of observational, off-kilter pop. This song is strangely modern, off-kilter electronics, as if they’ve been paying close attention to what has been going on with mainstream pop music in the past couple of decades, while Russell Mael spins a tale of curiosity, wondering what is going on with an apparently upset person in a coffee shop. The video, too, is something else – the Mael brothers in the background (Ron Mael is a delight as ever), while Cate Blanchett busts some moves in a strident yellow suit.
/Perish the Thought (version)
Way back in 2006, I picked up one of a number of compilations curated by Sean Payne and his Glitch Mode label – and probably the pick of them was H0rd3z Ov Thee El33t!, that was full of a cracking tracks, and perhaps more remarkably a number of those bands still exist. One such artist is genCAB, whose demo track Perish The Thought was a downtempo, thoughtful industrial track that stood out amid a fair bit of rampaging machine rock. That turned out to be the very first release by genCAB, and while it did appear in full form on the subsequent debut album, it has recently been completely re-recorded with new technology and, perhaps, more confidence. The upshot is that the deep emotional core of the track remains, as do the key elements that made it so good in the first place, but it perhaps does sound better than ever here.
/Born Into The Twisting Rope
Something of a throwback, this – a Swedish five-piece who love their crust-punk as much as melodic death metal, and the result is a scorching two-minutes of anthemic riffage and barked vocals. Exactly the kind of grimy, ripping song I want to hear from the middle of a moshpit in a sweaty underground venue, frankly. We need to make this happen in London.
/Lead Into Gold
/The Eternal Present
/The Eternal Present
Paul Barker’s solo project Lead Into Gold initially had a short life, with a handful of EPs and one album between 1988 and 1991, and after he resurrected the project to play at Cold Waves, he’s resumed the release of occasional new work. The Eternal Present is the latest release, following The Sun Behind The Sun some five years ago, and the title track is quite the attention grabber. Anchored by Barker’s trademark basslines, it has restless drum patterns and swirling synths, and reminds that Barker’s singing voice should be heard more often. Quite the return.
Not the only speculative promo I’ve received this past month and am featuring in this post (a reminder that – within reason – I try and listen to most promos that I receive). A multi-national group – with members based in Australia, Belgium and Kent (UK) – they’ve clearly used the internet to their advantage, and the result is an intriguing, contemplative sound. My first thought is that they remind me somewhat of the early material of I LIKE TRAINS, but also there is a dreamy, late-night feel to this slow-paced song. Listening to the words, too, reminds that it is not a happy, uplifting song – it’s a song of vague threat and the darkness of life.
/Under Your Shine
/Last Stop to Nowhere
Another promo that dropped into my inbox this past month was this, from a Greek artist who nowadays plays gothic rock, but apparently has a Black Metal past. There are definitely nods to the latter in parts of this album, but mostly, this is simply a very good Goth album. My favourite track so far is the gloomy restraint of Under Your Shine, where the tempo is slowed down, and the guitars and synths layered to create a quasi-shoegaze production, and a song imbued with sadness.
Apparently already on their fourth release – clearly I’d missed the previous work, this is Greg Vand (High-Functioning Flesh) collaborating with Josie Vand, and while there are nods to H-FF with the minimal synth and perhaps retro industrial rhythms going on here, Josie Vand’s melodic, sweet vocals completely transforms the atmosphere, into sultry, groovy dancefloor-bound songs. Opener Again is great in this regard, and like the rest of the album, passes by in a flash as no song is allowed to overstay any welcome whatsoever.
It has been a long time since I heard Joey Blush’s voice on one of his records – indeed his first, more melodic experiments in industrial and electronic music feels like a distant, different realm nowadays, as he has gone headlong into industrial/techno work. So the first track from his upcoming new album feels like a new era, particularly as this is relentless, rhythmic power that retains a human emotional core thanks to the vocals.
/Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs
/Land of Sleeper
It still amazes me that was is basically a filthy, doomy psych-metal band have become so popular – and regularly played on 6 Music. But then, perhaps they link back to the primordial origins of rock, and have a knack with a tune, too, that’s for sure. As shown by the careering groove of Ultimate Hammer, both of those elements are present and correct, and going on the rest of this excellent album, they are also sharper and more accessible than ever, even when the themes of the songs seem to be that bit darker.
If you’ve heard previous tunic material, Whispering will be exactly the hilariously ironic title that it sounds like. Opening with ominous bass tones that bring to mind a coiled spring, it unleashes a rippling three minutes of furious noise rock that is powered entirely, like their last album, by a rage that is probably best displayed in music. Maybe it’s living in Winnipeg that does it, who knows.
/The Prize EP
Since the announcement that she was leaving Ganser, I was curious to see what Nadia Garofalo was going to do next – indeed whether she would continue with musical endeavours. The answer came in the past couple of weeks, with Garofalo joining otherwise British act Heavy Feelings, and the result is a very different sound to what she was doing before. It is still guitar-based music, but there is something unsettling about this that I can’t quite put my finger on: the idea of “What’s the use in winning” that weaves through the song, maybe, where some big questions are being considered. Consider me intrigued.
/The Comet Line
/Don’t turn your back on the sea
This quite excellent London-based band caught my attention originally thanks to some songs with striking honesty about the human failure in modern life, and happily, at least for the listener, there appears to be quite the well of inspiration, as they begin to release singles for their upcoming, third, album. Lumina is another taut, heartfelt song that is already rewarding repeat listens.