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Fresher Sounds - The best new music - 18/03/19


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Snow fell over select parts of the UK this weekend after February’s freak “heatwave” and school pupils are taking Fridays off to demand climate change action. Deadlines loom on the horizon, the Ides of March has been and gone, and political scores remain very much unsettled.

There’s not been an awful lot in the news this week to cheer about, but as ever music was released and we’ve put together a selection of the best singles to see you through these crucial coursework submissions.

Image courtesy of Vera Hotsauce via Mystic Sons PR 

CLMD feat. Madcon – Anything

CLMD is the Norway-based pop production project of Martin Danielle and his new single ‘Anything’ enlists the help of the massive Scandinavian rap duo, Madcon who bring an engaging triplet flow to the track. Its bold club-ready aesthetic also has its subtler elements such as the low-key guitar but overall the song exudes an energy exemplified by Madcon’s sharply enunciated plosives.


Club Kuru – By the Windowpane

In stark contrast, Club Kuru’s ‘By the Windowpane’ carries a lightly psychedelic rock vibe that owes as much to contemporary acts such as Tame Impala or Temples as it does to Pink Floyd. Guitar-driven throughout, the track’s lyrics follow an endearingly simple pattern of location followed by the action of the beloved be it “by the windowpane”, “by the superstore” or “on the Sunnyside”. At four minutes in, we’re then treated to a ripping solo reminiscent of ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’.


Drahla – Stimulus for Living

Drahla is a new art-rock outfit from Yorkshire whose angular and unpredictable music is instantly engaging with its evocative lyrics and atonal guitar work. Their sound may be defined as post-punk in the broadest sense, but you’re unlikely to have heard anything quite like it before. A particular quirk is the deeper almost sub bass tone and the emphasis on percussive rather than melodic guitar. The female vocals are enigmatically soft-spoken but cut through in the series of seemingly disparate images that leaves the listener to connect the dots.


Gurr – Fake News

The Berlin duo is back with their third single from the EP She Says. Gurr is gaining significant traction and has toured with the band, Shame on various dates in the UK. On this track, the group explores the topical phenomena of poorly-sourced clickbait and addiction to instant information. There’s a feeling of deep melancholy on all of these new tracks that signals a shift in tone from 2016’s debut album In My Head; the duo seems to be taking 90s Brit-pop anthems and refracting them through the lens of German Angst.


Holly Herndon – Eternal

A Tennessee native, Holy Herndon did an exchange year in Germany and became enamoured with the electronic sounds of Berlin. Her beats almost feel as if they’ve been created by an AI and she describes her laptop as “the most intimate instrument”. ‘Eternal’ is chopped up by orchestra hits and is an unsettling dive into a world that’s equal parts tribal transcendence and futuristic cyber-collage. Although glitchy and machine-like, there’s an organic core at the heart of the track which invites repeated listens.


Negative Gemini – Different Color Hair

Imagine an alien was asked to reconstruct 80s pop music using only the materials they could find in a scrapheap and you might get something close to the aesthetic of Negative Gemini who gives vaporwave a dirty edge. ‘Different Color Hair’ is a track best enjoyed late at night, in a dark room, crying as Lindsey French wails out into the darkness over disintegrating synth lines and distorted organs.


The Ninth Wave – Used to Be Yours

The Ninth Wave is a trio based in Glasgow whose Spotify biography reads simply “in our infancy”. Their sound is somewhat reminiscent of a spacier The Temper Trap and ‘Used to Be Yours’ explores themes of intangibility in the lyrics with lines like, “you can’t lay your hands upon what used to be”. At the core of the track is a male-female vocal duet, which is surrounded by a washed-out, vaguely 80s vibe.


Only Sun - VICE

Only Sun brings a unique sound that blends Biffy Clyro’s angularity with the tropical dance-pop of groups such as Friendly Fires to their new track ‘VICE’. There is a real party spirit to this group who have earned 6music airplay and released 12 singles for every month of the year in 2018.


RuthAnne – Love Again

Irish singer-songwriter, RuthAnne’s ‘Love Again’ is a track that exudes class from every pore. It starts gently with soulful, smoky guitar and lazy handclaps interspersed with snippets of a gospel choir. The percussion on the song is quite unique in the trebly thump-thump of a dampened kick drum and the musical palette expands in the second half to include a lovely, teasing trumpet solo backed up by a vintage organ tone. This is not to mention the gorgeous vocals whose core message is, according to RuthAnne, “Go where the love is”.


Vera Hotsauce – Hey Boy

This track is a true pop-rap banger. Its two minutes are deliciously succinct and are as exuberant as the artist’s quite ridiculous name suggests. The partying spirit is probably one best to be avoided at this critical time, but imagine her lyric “I’m the first in line and the last to leave” applies to the library and you’ll be fine.

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