As it’s the first day of the legendary Glastonbury Festival, we can all be forgiven if we take our eyes away from this week’s new music releases to focus on the action in Somerset. However, there are some stunning new releases that we feel you should definitely give a listen to. After all, if you take your eye off the ball for a week, who knows what you could miss out on. Here are our Tracks of the Week with in depth reviews.
Track of the Week: Nick Mulvey – “Myala”
One of the UK’s most loved singer-songwriters releases another track this week in Myala. A haunting introduction takes sombre vocals and supernatural synths that flicker uncontrollably whilst ritualistic chants of “Myala” signify that this is a new direction for the London based singer-songwriter. His rich flavour is forever charming but it’s the musical complexity and unpredictability that sets himself apart from the crowd. The lengthy track highlights Mulvey’s unique approach to songwriting and as Myala progresses, it moves continuously further away from the expected as an almost dance styled beat combines with communal tribal vocals. Wave after wave of electronic synths act almost as a constant alarm over the end of the track and the African styled drums provide an even richer flavour to the already expansive track which is by far Mulvey’s best work to date.
The Van T’s – “Fresh Meat”
Comprised of twin sisters Chloe and Hannah Van Thompson, Glasgow four-piece The Van T’s look set to become one of the UK’s most in demand bands. Latest track Fresh Meat sees fiercely seductive vocals from Chloe Van Thompson mixing with a gutsy chorus that comes forward to meet you like a wall of noise, a wall made up of thundering and ever changing drum patterns, distorted guitars and demanding vocals. The mix of aggressive harmonisation plus screeching guitar feedback is similar to flavours of Wolf Alice and Black Honey and altogether their ferocious rock sound comes to make an absolute treasure of a track.
THANKS – “I Can Get”
Previously a part of Alphabeat, Danish duo THANKS are back after six months away with a stunning new track. I Can Get matches Daft Punk’s style of production with an addictive horn section working alongside distorted funk based vocals that carry a rich and soulful texture. The track carries an element of unpredictability as there’s no notion of what might happen next whilst the chorus is a beautifully balanced mix of dance, funk and pop. Perhaps the summer’s most addictive track, the dance breakdown towards the end is a decision to completely let loose, taking addictive doo wop vocals and glimpses of horns to a wonderfully original climax.
RAT BOY – “LAIDBACK”
Laidback in name and laidback in nature Jordan Cardy aka RAT BOY returns this week with a matured and mellow new track LAIDBACK. Whilst his early material was brilliant Jamie T-styled indie rock, LAIDBACK demonstrates that there’s an even bigger musical spectrum for Cardy to develop upon. Featuring a contribution from Blur’s Graham Coxon, a perfect guitar groove enables Cardy to layer honey touched vocals over the top. Perhaps the best all around track from Rat Boy to date, LAIDBACK shows that the indie connoisseur has some tricks under his sleeve.
Fall Out Boy – “Champion”
One of rock’s most unpredictable bands return again this week with the second track from their upcoming seventh album Mania. Champion sees the four piece move back towards their rock roots after Young & Menace’s bizarre EDM experiment. Lyrics “I got rage every day, on the inside / The only thing I do is sit around and kill time” hint at singer Pete Wentz’s struggle to cope with his bipolar disorder. Wentz’s vocals are almost rapped whilst the stadium chorus has a rise and drop effect. Ferocious guitars match the deep drums to create a pump up track and together Champion is a well polished end product that would appeal to the broad spectrum of music fans.
Kodaline – “Brother”
Ireland’s own indie pop band return this week with a new track Brother. Known for their emotive and moving productions, both musically and visually in their music videos, the band once again opt for something completely raw. There are developments musically within the band as electronic drums come to the forefront. Little flickers of piano are noticeable whilst the track sees Kodaline moving to a more complex style of production, opting for more instruments and alternating between electric and acoustic instruments which is a refreshing development to see. The deep natured vocals of the chorus line is something that stands out whilst soaring vocals, synths and piano lead the climax. Steve Garrigan’s passionate vocals tell the heartbreaking story of two brothers, one alive and one dead, and we know for sure that with this level of passion, the video will be something to see only with a pack of tissues.
Artists for Grenfell – “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”
Following the tragic disaster of the Grenfell Tower fire, this week sees the release of an all star charity cover of Simon and Garfunkle’s classic hit Bridge Over Troubled Water. Organised by music mogul Simon Cowell, the track begins with an introductory verse from Grime king Stormzy whose heartfelt lyrics underline the importance of this disaster. Featuring a huge list of artists including Roger Daltrey, Brian May, Kelly Jones, Nile Rogers, Paloma Faith, Robbie Williams plus many more, the emotional tribute to the Grenfell victims and families is a modern pop and R&B remix of the classic track from the 1960’s. Climaxing with a spectacular collection of voices, the charity single soars perfectly to the very end and we have to applause the effort made by organisers and artists to release this single.
Other Noticeable Tracks
RAC Feat. St. Lucia – “The Beautiful Game”: Highly spirited pop track that builds from its minimalistic introduction into an upbeat anthem. Both male and female vocals soothe together with their sunshine pop tone and the harmonies work perfectly. A wavering synth pattern in the break down adds an element of difference but altogether The Beautiful Game is a fun summer track which fades into a weird acoustic folk melody at the end.
RIVRS – “Playing With Fire”: Whilst first sounding like a standard dance track, Playing With Fire carries one of the biggest choruses of the summer. A brilliant drop in the chorus matches a perfect blend of synths similar to Major Lazer whilst there’s even space for a small guitar solo towards the end of the song.
Circa Waves – “Somebody Else”: A completely random surprise from Liverpool’s rising indie heroes, this week sees them dropping a guitar based cover of the originally downbeat track from The 1975. The band manage to find a perfect balance in the instrumentation and finishing with a cataclysmic whirlwind of drums and guitar, it’s a rather brilliant spectacle.
WILD – “All My Life”: Highly spirited indie folk track similar to the likes of Of Monsters and Men and Eliza & The Bear. An uplifting vocal chorus contrasts the simple acoustic plucking in the verses, enabling huge space for the drums to come into the track as the chorus build up. A mellow, feel good vibe carries warmth from start to end and the track signals the potential of a band to watch out for.
Richard Walters – “Don’t Wanna Fight”: Atmospheric and dark piano cover of the 2015 Alabama Shakes hit from Oxford multi-instrumentalist Richard Walters. Background clicks beat like the heartbeat of the cover whilst haunting vocals add a refreshing element to the track.
Grace VanderWaal – “Moonlight”: Relaxed yet raw alternative pop track from the 13 year old former America’s Got Talent winner. Highlighting the effects of of depression on a someone’s personality, lyrics “Now she lost her way / And she forgets to smile / Never gets a break / From this life in denial” showcase the songwriting ability of the young teenager. A thumping bass drum adds a simple groove to the track but together it’s a great piece of campfire acoustic.