New music round-up featuring Sauropod, MAKEMAKE, Frightened Rabbit, Grieving and Phoebe Bridgers

Sauropod Oslo Norway music new music

Sauropod – ‘Never on Time

Set to support label mates Sl0tface at their Camden Assembly show next month, Oslo trio Sauropod have unveiled their brand new single, ‘Never on Time’. A cool combination of Supergrass, Japandroids and Sex-Bob-omb from Scott Pilgrim, this is a spiky two-and-a-half-minute blast of garage rock with huge-sounding drums and a pummeling climax. The words ‘I’m never on time’ are repeated over and over again while Jonas Røyeng and Kamillia Waal Larsen also ponder how: ‘All I see surrounding me is people who try very hard to believe’.

MAKEMAKE – ‘I’m the Form in the Way

MAKEMAKE is the new solo project from Dutch Uncles and GoGo Penguin producer Brendan Williams and his debut single ‘I’m the Form in the Way’ takes inspiration from both those bands; clever synth-pop and modern jazz approach. It opens with Kraftwerk-style keys but with an added boost of carnival-style enthusiasm before the irressitible bass line joins the fray. While the verses hint at a darker place with lyrics about Brendan being here so the subject no longer has to suffer, there’s also some lightness – especially in the way ‘Get back’ is delivered in such a glorious falsetto.

Around the three-minute mark, there is a prog rock turn that reminded us of a less intense Physics House Band. Featuring Everything Everything’s Michael Spearman on drums, Dutch Uncles’ Robin Richards on bass and Amalie Briden joining Brendan on vocals, this is an awesome piece of avant-garde pop.

Frightened Rabbit – ‘Roadless

Frightened Rabbit’s recently released EP found is full of more introspective musings and features a heartbreaking cameo from Julien Baker. With the mainly acoustic ‘Roadless’, Scott Hutchison reflects on his life and where it has been going before pondering what comes next over some almost-marching drums: ‘I turned off the road because I was bored. Because I was empty and we all need filling up. I’d been running on petrol fumes; ‘I got lost just hanging around’; ‘I will go wherever I can, roadless I am’.

Grieving – ‘Brian Emo

Grieving’s new song, the brilliantly punned ‘Brian Emo’, has huge Brit-rock riffs from the very first second and sounds somewhat akin to Hundred Reasons and Beach Slang having a jam. Produced by Bob Cooper, there are also elements of the beloved and much-missed Sharks – especially in the melancholic vocal delivery: ‘I don’t have all of the things you need and I don’t need all of the things you have’; ‘I don’t have the answers to the expectations’. Only 2 minutes and 40 seconds long, ‘Brian Emo’ is a song that ends all too soon and leaves you wanting more.

Phoebe Bridgers – ‘Funeral

Having toured across the States with Conor Oberst and released material on Ryan Adams’ label, Phoebe Bridgers has a powerful voice and specialises in darkly tinged alt folk full of heart, soul and emotion. On ‘Funeral’ she lays her soul bare: ‘I’m singing at a funeral tomorrow for a kid a year older than me, I’ve been talking to his dad, it makes me sad. When I think too much about it I can’t breathe’. She then recalls a recurring dream she has about sinking while her friends wave at her. Strings come in halfway through as Phoebe talks about a friend she often leans on: ‘I have a friend I call when I’ve bored myself to tears. We talk until we think we might just kill ourselves but then we laugh until it disappears’. She then talks about feeling sorry for herself before remembering the boy’s death and realising things are not as bad for her. This beautiful song than finishes with a flourish of electric guitar.

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