Fresher Sounds - The best new music - 20/08/19
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Life is funny, dear readers. One day you're getting your A-Level results, drinking cheap bottles of Echo Falls in the fields surrounding your childhood home, wondering whether you can sneak another cigarette without your mum noticing the smell. The next, you're 12 hours into a 72-hour workathon, eyes peaky with caffeine buzz and surrounded by books by authors whose names you can't pronounce.
Thankfully, wherever you are, whatever state you're in, Fresher Sounds is here to soundtrack it.
Fresher Sounds // Cover by Meddies
Badgirl$ - Stella
Manchester newbies Badgirl$ are equal parts fun and badass. Pulling on the pop-rock stylings of the early 2000s, they release new single 'Stella' that's rowdy and rocky, while still feeling current in 2019. It's not a track you'd play to your mother, but more at the start of a debaucherous night with someone you're really trying to impress. Go on, get sexy.The Growlers - Foghorn Town
Waking up to an email telling me there's a new song release by a band called The Growlers was both intriguing and somewhat disturbing. But once I hit play, all of that silliness was forgotten. 'Foghorn Town' is a lazy summer afternoon burner with upbeat Beatles-esque trills and juicy surf-rock guitars. The LA-based band are fresh off the back of a Greenman performance, where I can only imagine their hazy 70s sound fit the atmosphere like a perfectly sized glove.
billy blond - Free Love
It sounds like billy blond is holding something back in new single 'Free Love'. Despite wearing his heart and his scars visibly on his sleeve, his sweet and earnest vocals are clasped around something even deeper. It feels 100-singers strong in its gospel delivery but completely vulnerable in sparse, airy production. A delicious new offering from a vocal talent far beyond his years.
Snoh Aalegra - Find Someone Like You
Swedish/Iranian singer-songwriter Snoh Aalegra is the soulful, R&B gift that keeps on giving. 'Find Someone Like You' is nestled between pre-released singles 'I Want You Around' and 'Situationship' from her new record - Ugh, those feels again. The forces of love, self-acceptance and heartbreak close around her throughout the album, but 'Find Someone Like You' slithers through the gaps with suave percussion and slick vocals. Silky smooth.
Menke - Apathy
The Swedes know the formula for an anthemic, fully-realised sound and Menke is no different. Her new single 'Apathy' is captivating in its vast soundscapes and the collaboration of live and synthesised instrumentation, and thankfully, her vocals are not lost among the noise. She's recently switched from singing in Swedish to English, but that intoxicating Nordic twang still influences her tone, conjuring images of fragility, vulnerability and soothing darkness.
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Llovers - Honestly
Layers of disco-infused indie-pop are the trademark of one of Teesside's finest emerging acts. Llovers continue their ascent to music heaven with a glistening new single 'Honestly', taken from their forthcoming debut EP Things That I Don't Understand. A lovely back and forth between scuzzy indie percussive and a sweet hooky chorus is a recipe for an ear-worm that steals your heart at first listen.
Tkay Maidza - Awake feat. JPEGMAFIA
Tkay Maidza flexes hard. She's already Australia's unrivalled queen of hip-hop, and I think she just became mine too. End-of-the-world-nuclear-eclipse synth drones cut through a blistering trap beat on her new single 'Awake' with JPEGMAFIA. It feels frantic, dripping in paranoia, like a wiry soundtrack to a comedy horror movie set in East London. Keep your eye on this girl - she's making moves in the shadows.
Annabel Allum - Alter to Alter
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust... alter to alter? Annabel Allum's fiercely indie-rock anthem feels like a religion of its own right; riotous drums and clashes of guitar are the siren call behind Allum's protest lyrics. This is a protest against falling in line, biting your tongue and not standing up for yourself. It's for all of us who are jumbled and a little bit scared. It's a bit of certainty in a terrifyingly uncertain world.
Sui Zhen - Matsudo City Life
Where Grimes and Holly Herndon intersect, Melbourne's Sui Zhen lives. Zooming in on the delicate balance between human life, technology and music, she's an inquisitive and experimental artist pushing the boundaries of synth-pop, with a nod to sci-fi and pop culture, to Bladerunner and Kraftwerk. 'Matsudo City Life' belongs in the Japanese remake of Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive.