Fresher Sounds - The best new music - 27/05/19
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In the week that the country appeared to be more interested in debating whether milkshake was a threat to democracy than who would represent them in their soon-to-be-liquidised membership of the European Union, the Venga Boys enjoyed a resurgence across the continent.
Image credit: Badgirl$ by Jimmy RIP
A video allegedly taken on the party island showed members of Sebastian Kurz’s coalition partners, the far-right FPÖ, discussing the guarantee of public contracts to the niece of a Russian oligarch in return for a large share purchase in an Austrian tabloid. Since then the German satirist Jan Böhmermann, who is said to have known of the footage before it went to the press, used the song ‘Going to Ibiza’ by the Dutch group for his segment on the scandal, causing it to shoot to number one in the charts.
Although there’s probably nothing to top that party anthem colossus, we do have a selection of the very best new releases to steer you clear of votes of no confidence this week.
Badgirl$ - Click
Badgirl$ is a leftfield rap trio from Manchester. Their new single ‘Click’ features lethargic, languorous vocals and a lo-fi instrumental that leaves each distinct voice eerily exposed. With plenty of disorienting effects, the group creates a mellow yet tense track that drives forward despite its downtrodden vibe. Awash with autotune, the song is a minimalist reworking of contemporary pop balladry with a sinister undertone.
Girl Friday – Decoration/Currency
Girl Friday’s ‘Decoration/Currency’ carries an endearing rough-and-ready surf rock vibe with tragic lyrics about dreams of the urban high life being torn apart. The LA quartet considers themselves non-didactic feminists and the song depicts the brutality of male entitlement – a man who views his “name as currency” and “love as decoration”.
Hayden Thorpe – Earthly Needs
Hayden Thorpe is for fans of Perfume Genius. Sawtooth pulses endow this track with stately urgency as Thorpe applies a bold vibrato to his breathy, tenor voice. It’s also full of lyrical gems such as – “Until the abyss/blows me a kiss”. Singing of regret and hopeless thrall to desire, Thorpe protests, “I cannot unlove you”.
Horse Jumper of Love - Airport
Horse Jumper of Love is a three-piece from Boston due to release their second album. So Divine, on 28 June. ‘Airport’ is a track almost five years in the making and years of dissatisfaction has led to a fantastic end product in which you can hear the volatility of the recording distinctly from the live feedback to the squeaking of acoustic guitar strings. This song will appeal to Pile fans and is complete with a Nirvana-esque anti-solo and celestially crunchy tones.
Jade Imagine – Big Old House
‘Big Old House’ is a krautrock-inspired jam from Melbourne four-piece, Jade Imagine. The band are Milk! Records label-mates with Courtney Barnett, and possess a similarly understated lyrical wit. At a little over four minutes with a largely unchanging bassline, it becomes almost trance-inducing. Jade Imagine are due to release a debut album later this year and have toured with Angel Olsen and The Pretenders, amongst others.
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Just Mustard – October
Just Mustard is a band from Dundalk, continuing an Irish tradition My Bloody Valentine laid the foundations for on Loveless. ‘October’ opens with a gong-like sound and bells, creating an ominous and regal atmosphere. The track has elements that wouldn’t feel out of place on a track by The xx, but many of the elements such as the dry, clanging drums and the extreme guitar distortion and manipulations are all Just Mustard’s own. Sweet, lamenting female vocals are juxtaposed with atonal screeching and a brazen lack of melody. Listen to this rocking back and forth in a darkened room.
Kyle Craft – Broken Mirror Pose
Kyle Craft explores a fractured sense of self on this shimmering track with lavish classic rock instrumentation. In powerful harmonised vocals reminiscent lately of Band of Skulls he sings of “posing in a broken mirror/ Trying not to feel so much” but concludes in the last refrain over saxophone drones that “no one feels enough”.
Mannequin Pussy – Who You Are
Mannequin Pussy is based in Philadelphia and has a massive rock sound that’s unapologetically full-bodied. The latest single, ‘Who You Are’, is also thematically about embracing individuality with the lyrics, “You don’t have to change/ You can stay the same”. Composed in a linear fashion, the track speeds up to a blistering pace halfway through as it transitions from self-loathing to self-affirmation.
Oso Oso – dig (II)
Jade Lilitri’s New York-based emo-influenced punk project has released the first material since last year’s reissue of the debut Bandcamp yunahon mixtape, which came out originally in 2017. ‘dig (II)’ demonstrates the group’s knack for melody once again that echoes Weezer’s classic era or early Biffy Clyro. It’s a pensive brand of pop-punk that rewards repeated listens.
Velvet Negroni – CONFETTI
Velvet Negroni is based in Minneapolis and has worked with previous collaborators of Young Thug, The Weeknd and Solange. ‘CONFETTI’ is a jazzy, cerebral work with panning saxophone and a meditative atmosphere. Thematically it recalls experiences with substances (“ice cold cocaine”) as Negroni levitates over a lush instrumental bed of vibraphone and percussive crashing waves.