Straight Arrows remind us that simplicity is power in rock'n'roll
Straight Arrows – ‘Out & Down’
For over a decade now, I’ve told anyone who’ll listen that Straight Arrows are the best band in the country. Just when I was starting to think the competition they face is too stiff to keep up that reputation, they come out and release something as succinct and brilliant as ‘Out & Down’.
There’s absolutely nothing new about what they do. It’s topflight garage rock – this particular track is perhaps a little less trashy and noisy than much of their previous output – that doesn’t try and been profound or ground breaking. A catchy chorus, a weird solo, and it’s all wrapped up in three minutes. What more could you want?
A Perfect Circle – ‘TalkTalk’
The next little sample of what alt-metal titans A Perfect Circle have cooked up on Eat The Elephant, their first record in a decade and a half. It’s not as heavy as their pummelling first single, but it’s still a grand sounding piece, with anthemic piano flourishes, massive drums and monumental guitar blasts. The album will be out Friday 20 April.
Gwenno – ‘Tir Ha Mor’
Welsh singer Gwenno returns with another unbelievably cool slice of synthpop that, if we had to compare, sits fairly close to the sleek brilliance of Stereolab. It’s leftfield pop that just manages to elevate any situation in which you hear it. Her new record Le Kov is out early next month.
GUM – ‘The Underdog’
Intergalactic psych-soul from Jay Watson’s GUM that sits somewhere between Tame Impala (truly) and Mr. Bungle. ‘The Underdog’ is the title track of the new GUM record, which will be out Friday 6 April.
Lo Moon – ‘Real Love’
Los Angeles trio Lo Moon have given us some real beautiful music over the past year or so, but ‘Real Love’ feels like it could be a real breakout song for them. It’s got a bit of that big, 80s synthpop power ballad feel to it (I probably should note here that Dave Stewart’s son is in the group…) but it doesn’t sound like they’re being ironic. It’s just great songwriting, top class production and one hell of a damn chorus. The band’s debut album is out Friday 23 February.
Missy Higgins – ‘Futon Couch’
Missy Higgins will release her new album Solastalgia in May, but before that she’ll be playing stadiums in support of Ed Sheeran. While ‘Futon Couch’ definitely sounds like Missy Higgins, it kinda does feel like the kinda track that would go down with the Sheeran audience, perhaps even more so than her older material. Could one of Australia’s most celebrated artist’s biggest days be ahead of her? Time will tell.
Marly Lüske – ‘Organ And Nylon’
An intriguing little slice of leftfield acoustic indie-pop that shows us that Marly Lüske has a very unique perspective when it comes to songwriting. And it works. It’s simple, charming, a little bit weird and a little bit pretty. The kinda song you could very easily get addicted to.
Middle Kids – ‘Mistake’
The ascent of Middle Kids won’t stop anytime soon if they’re gonna keep smashing out songs as solid as ‘Mistake’. Hannah Joy’s voice is stronger than ever, the chorus hook is irresistible and the way the band sets switches the vibe from darkness to triumph so effortlessly is probably best left without analysis. Their debut album Lost Friends will be out in May and we reckon the world will take notice.
Rimon – ‘Grace’
Rimon is originally from the volatile African country of Eritrea but moved to the Netherlands as a toddler. The 20-year-old artist has just released her first single, Grace, and it’s far more accomplished than any debut single has the right to be. Think mid/late 90s trip hop but beefed up with some modern touches and a voice that’s kinda familiar but also completely unique. Soulful, carefree and just oozing with grace.
Tom Niche – ‘Water Baby’ [ft. Loyle Carner]
Young London producer Tom Misch teams up with young London rapper Loyle Carner for a super slick jam that proves both artists are writing material that belies their relative youth. This is classic, smooth hip hop that will assure you that the genre is in good hands.