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Freshers Sounds - The best new music - 04/02/2019


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The end of what has felt like one of the longest Januaries in existence is finally upon us.

To keep you warm and sheltered from the blistering cold and snow, we’ve hand-picked some of this week’s best new music. Transport yourself to summery days with dreamy indie-pop, fierce hooks, country twang and the thrill of a holiday romance.

Image: Augustine by Oskar Omne

Masked Intruder – Please Come Back To Me

Infiltrated with gutsy hooks, self-proclaimed punk-rock felons Masked Intruder offers up the nostalgic ‘Please Come Back To Me’. Clad in different coloured ski masks, the anonymity of Intruder Red, Intruder Blue, Intruder Green and Intruder Yellow injects a level of originality and creativity into both the band and its music. With their cartoonish get up, it's as if they are The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles of rock. Electric guitar riffs dominate the track, though there are moments of vocal brilliance.

Jackie Mendoza – De Lejos

The soundscapes of Mendoza’s tracks are steeped in colour. Switching between English and Spanish adds contrasting lyrical colour to her sound. Pulsating electronic synth pangs are met with subtle Latin acoustic influences, which culminate in a unique musical identity. ‘De Lejos’ is sung predominantly in Spanish, with lyrics depicting Mendoza’s relationship with her girlfriend. There is something deeply sensual and seductive about her use of the Spanish language and her soft voice, which heightens the romanticism of the track.  

Balthazar – Wrong Vibration

The heavy reverb drums and subtle swing rhythms that underpin ‘Wrong Vibration’ emanate nostalgia, almost harking back to Motown music. Paired with a low, grungey leading voice and soft backing vocals, Balthazar creates an unlikely combination of genres. The repetitiveness of the track never drags and moments of passion break free from the drifty vocal melody.

Augustine – Luzon

Augustine skilfully amalgamates subtle jazz tropes under the guise of indie pop. The track’s visual takes influence from the 1950s “dolce vita of sun-drenched Italy”. Emerging from a cyclical instrumental are moments of percussive twangs. This is paired with sun-soaked lyrics (“your love is a nicotine”) delivered in classic style.

Ulysses Wells – Back with the People

With unwavering, feisty hooks scorched with distortion, ‘Back with the People’ commands instant attention from the get-go. Ulysses Wells fuels the track with angsty pomp and energy, which, when combined with synth-soaked guitar distortion, results in a track that is heavily reminiscent of The Black Keys. Ulysses Wells is due to support Bastille on their upcoming UK/EU tour dates, bringing his combination of Dan Auerbach's bluesy swagger and Kevin Parker's synthy psychedelia to the arenas across Europe.  

The Faim – Fire

‘Fire’ is another sugary slice of delectable indie pop. The track is bolstered by its subtle beats and delicate electric guitar riffs, crescendoing into a fast-paced, head-bopping chorus. Lyrically, the track portrays a desire achieve a dream that consumes and desolates the relationships in its path: “I wish I could be the one who stayed/ But I’ll be chasing stars ‘til I’m gone”. Lead singer Josh Raven says the song explores “that burning passion to create, express ourselves, and grow as musicians that we can’t put out even if we tried”.  

Craig Finn – Blankets

‘Blankets’ is a song that yearns. Finn says that the track is a “song about someone who has never gotten over a past lover and goes searching for her”. Set against the compelling background of clipped guitar strums, Finn communicates a personality through the conversational tone. The track develops a country-like feel, especially with the incorporation of the harmonica. It's particularly reminiscent of the band, William The Conqueror.

Coco and the Butterfields – Animals

‘Animals’ is a sun-drenched, uplifting fusion of folk instrumentation and rock undertones; a love-child of Of Monsters And Men and Mumford And Sons. Underpinned by several moments of light and shade within the track, ‘Animals’ has a particularly climatic chorus, in which the singers succumb to the reality of their relationship, “Let’s be, let’s be, let’s be honest my love”. The combination of male and female harmonies complement the song's meaning.

Fake Laugh – Honesty

‘Honesty’ has summer road trip written all over it, with shimmery, dreamy chords and vocals that are somewhat reminiscent of Mac DeMarco. Fake Laugh, aka Kamran Khan, notes that the honesty that he is “sick of” is not really about honesty, rather the frustration at someone who has “#nofilter”. The ease of the chord progressions and wistful qualities of Khan’s voice embody the easy-listening qualities of a far-away summer’s day.

Patrick Martin – Cinema Love

On ‘Cinema Love’, Martin shamelessly invokes the magic of romance movies and love stories, which perhaps aren’t so unrealistic after all. With the ambiguity of the love-story depicted in the video, Martin wants viewers to question whether they believe in Hollywood romance. The catchy chorus of the track feels arena-ready, expressing all of the essential ingredients of a pop-banger.

Jaws – Do You Remember

‘Do You Remember’ is the second single that Jaws have teased us with, and is due to appear on their forthcoming album, The Ceiling. The track is simply what Jaws does best; hazy, grungy indie-rock, with notable influences of The Cure, particularly in the moments of heavy guitar and drum hits. The track ascends into a climatic scuzzy rock-goodness, suggesting that Jaws are taking their stereotypically drifty tracks to the next level.


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