Mutes – ‘Vanishing‘
Birmingham shoegazers Mutes have unveiled the first song from their debut long player and ‘Vanishing’ is possibly their most immediate song yet. It sounds like Cloud Nothings grappling with Johnny Foreigner and has a post-punk sound that immediately prickles the ears. There’s even a completely gloriously clashing breakdown to signal the ending.
Fast Romantics – ‘Why We Fight‘
Obviously it’s a frightening world to live in right now and Fast Romantics, a six-piece from Toronto, are here to help us fight the good fight: ‘I know we’re all out of money, letting the billionaires win. This is why we fight’;’There is a marching band in me, it plays a national anthem for an island in the sea’. Mixing the heart-on-your-sleeve anthemic sound of The Airborne Toxic Event with Springsteen’s political nous and a chamber-pop sound of fellow Canadians Arcade Fire, it’s a huge sound and call to arms for everyone to roll up their sleeves and try and make the world a better place.
Husky Loops – ‘Fighting Myself‘
The latest additions to Alcopop’s always brilliant roster, Husky Loops sounds quite unlike anything else on this brilliant label. There’s perhaps a bit of ‘This is Hardcore’-era Pulp in the anxiety-ridden sound as the band hypnotically question why ‘You’re still fighting yourself’. There’s also something quite industrial in the sound as the song clatters along to a riff and noize-filled climax.
Magana – ‘Pages‘
One of the stars of Audio Antihero Records’ roster, Magana has released ‘Pages’, a special free/pay what you want tour single that recalls the otherworldliness of Regina Spektor but combines it with storytelling in the vein of Elliott Smith: ‘They’re just pages of a story that no one will hear anymore’; ‘They twist the facts, they tell it wrong’. It ends in a crescendo of effects-laden guitar shreds that have a touch of St Vincent. It’s a song that finds a very talented songwriter broadening her horizons, and definitely whets anticipation for what comes next.
Analog Candle – ‘Trier‘
An avant-garde New York project led by Callum Plews, Analog Candle’s ‘Trier’ is a slow-burner of a song that opens by being wrapped up in understated electronica and dreamy soundscapes a la Beach House. As soon as the piano comes in at the halfway point, there’s a dramatic shift in tone and it becomes something more in line with Grandaddy or Broken Social Scene’s earlier work. Inspired by authors including Haruki Murakami as well as C90 bands, it’s a break-up song that actually has a huge element of comfort to it.