The Districts – ‘Nighttime Girls’
In this “song about the allure of escapism and a character’s general preoccupation with shallowness and neon light”, The Districts are in alluring form. It opens with a burst of rousing drums before the Grizzly Bear-style guitar hooks and distorted vocals join the fray. A song that will appeal to fans of Wilco and Big Thief, it’s one you’ll be itching to play again as soon as the last note hits.
Wye Oak – ‘It Was Not Natural’
Wye Oak’s new song finds Jenn Wasner pondering all of life’s difficulties and revealing how tired this makes her. She also touches upon the things we do to keep up our positive mental health: ‘I have to work or I do not recognise myself’. With its startling combination of gorgeous piano, goosebump-inducing drums and an added undercurrent of electronica, there’s an intensity in the build-up that belies the intimacy of her lyrics: ‘It’s as as expected, with time it hasn’t gotten easier’.
Rosborough – ‘Another Lesson’
There’s a rolling narrative in Rosborough’s lyrics for ‘Another Lesson’ about how life is not shy in teaching you lessons, no matter what state you’re in. Signed to Ignition Records, the Irish musician has already toured with the likes of Mew and Neon Waltz and has a round of major festival appearances (Kendal Calling, Y Not and Festival No. 6, to name but a few) lined up. This song has a grand, cinematic feel and a huge vocal performance as he pleads: ‘I need another lesson, can you show me. I need another lesson. Can you teach me?’
Sleepovers – ‘Group Therapy’
Sleepovers are a London-based five-piece and ‘Group Therapy’ is a song that matches Ride-style shoegaze guitars with ‘There’s No Other Way’-era Blur melodies and slacker pop vocals. This song’s opening will prick your ears straight away and then it continues to ramp up the tempo during the first verse before the band repeat the words ‘Now I know why’ over and over again. Sign us up for the next session.
Barely Civil – ‘You with a Cape, Me with a Baseball Bat’
First, what a great title! Wisconsin emo punks Barely Civil’s ‘You with a Cape, Me with a Baseball Bat’ is full of zest as singer Connor Erickson ponders past mistakes and strives to be a better person, no matter how hard it will be: “I’m trying to fix myself. I’m starting to feel brand new. I think I like myself. Fuck, I’d never say that to you”. Signed to Take This to Heart Records, the song will feature on the album ‘We Can Live Here Forever’ (out 2 March).