Fairhazel – ‘7×7’
Inspired by the Tibetan Book of the Dead, ‘7×7’ finds Fairhazel singing about breaking free and discovering further humanity. The former Boston Berklee College of Music student takes influences from a diverse range of genres, experiences and locations and this is captured in the fantastical introduction to this song. The subtle electronics soon make way for a more choral Beach House sound as he talks about waiting for a girl he saw on Saturday night and echoes his desire to ‘free my mind’.
Runaway Brother – ‘Bully’
‘I have an inkling this isn’t what you need’ is the eye-opening first line on this melodic slice of emo from Cleveland, Ohio’s Runaway Brother. While the visceral lyrics (‘turn me inside out, schadenfreude, the one that pleases you, it makes me wet’) bring to mind the nothing’s-too-much approach of Avi Buffalo, the Built to Spill-esquw melodies and hooks will make you want to dance.
awakebutstillinbed – ‘Opener’
Hailing from San Jose, California, awakebutstillinbed’s ‘Opener’ is an emotive and delicate 5 and a half minutes, complete with emotive and confessional vocals: ‘I sob when I speak. They’re looking at me but I can’t tell what they see’. It has the same kind of conversational power as the much-missed Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) but adds in a guitar sound something akin to TWIABP jamming with the Breeders.
Monarch Mtn – ‘Terrorinside’
This song is included on Monarch Mtn’s ‘I Woke at the Station’, a new release from Fox Food Records. Focusing on a character who admits to breathing in gas and is completely unconcerned by the blood on its shirt, ‘Terrorinside’ starts off quite ambient before developing into a compelling combination of jazz-infused elements, Cold War Kids’ storytelling and Baths-style ambience, but it then becomes something far more disturbing – especiallywhen a jaunty saxophone pieces through…
Eels – ‘Today is the Day’
Eels have been one of the most extraordinarily exciting bands for a long time now and ‘Today is the Day’ finds E in a happy ‘Mr E’s Beautiful Blues’-esque mood. It opens with some jaunty Shins-esque pop hooks as E gives himself a pep talk about how today is the day to go out and change things: ‘I thought about it and I had it wrong right from the start’. There’s even a perfect slot for some handclaps, and just try to force off that smile as E admits: ‘I just want to sing my song about change’.