Cats of Transnistria – ‘Tunnel’
Helsinki act Cats of Transnistria’s ‘Tunnel’, which features on their new album ‘Opium’ merge David Lynch/Angelo Badalamenti-esque eerieness with a powerful wall of feedback and drippings of distorted guitar and unnerving harmonies. The opening of the song is quite dreamy but this evolves into Godspeed-inspired post-rock with added string arrangements that will not go the way you expect. It’s an inspiring listen.
The Orielles – ‘Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist)’
Now signed to Heavenly, the debut long-player from The Orielles is one of the most eagerly awaited of 2018 and ‘Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist)’ will just make you even more excited. Driven by a disco-inspired drumbeat, it finds the Halifax trio really letting their inhibitions loose as they combine fresh pop hooks with intelligent prog-inspired leanings. The lyrics were inspired by the band seeing an abandoned suitcase on a train platform and wondering what was inside – they suggested everything from Schrödinger’s cat to Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach.
Jade Bird – ‘Lottery’
Already a Pitchfork favourite, Jade Bird’s ‘Lottery’ is a 2-and-a-half-minute slice of country-pop with a timeless feel. Influenced by the likes of Patti Smith and Margo Price, we also hear elements of classic soul in the vein of Mavis Staples as Jade sings about love, age differences and jealousy: ‘You used to tell me that love is a lottery but you got your numbers and you’re betting on me.’
Sons – ‘Rise’
‘We will rise’ is the call from this angry and noisy grunge-inspired anthem from Till Deaf Do Us Party signings Sons. It finds the band discussing how the current youth generation are being ignored, and how if this continues, there WILL be an uprising: ‘They’re disengaged with the regime. The kids, they aren’t alright.’ With huge riffs and passionate screams, it’s a song designed to encourage those most affected by the lack of respect shown to them by the government to take their social media protests into the real world.
The Glass Eyes – ‘I Dunno’
Harking back to early R.E.M. and with a melodic punk edge, Chicago’s The Glass Eyes ponder what good things and bad things actually are and then offer a shrug-of-the-shoulders response over a warming chorus and Pavement-esque licks of guitar. After receiving a phone call from a loved one saying they’re unhappy, they ponder what actually went wrong and then find solace in somewhere they probably shouldn’t: ‘Now I’m wasted walking around town, trying to figure it out, whatever happened’.