Warm Digits – ‘Better Friction’
An electronic duo signed to Memphis Industries (Dutch Uncles, Field Music, Warm Digits’ ‘Better Friction’ features vocals from Mia La Metta and opens with a burst of frenetic drums before all the other in-your-face sounds are thrown into the melting pot. She sings about ‘better friction’ while the synths get higher. A festival anthem in waiting, it’s a song you won’t be able to stop yourself from losing yourself to – just wait for the first burst of the chorus after the expertly played breakdown.
Hop Along – ‘How Simple’
‘Bark Your Head Off, Dog’ is one of the year’s best albums and Hop Along have now released a video for ‘How Simple’. The first time the band have appeared in a video (and they seem to be having so much fun), the song finds Frances Quinlan talking about how simple her heart can be and how this is quite frightening over a bed of art pop melodies, understated strings and clever quirks. Halfway through, everything goes a bit Dutch Uncles as the band sing ‘Don’t worry, we will both find out, just not together’ over a hugely danceable hook.
Quiet Slang – ‘Noisy Heaven’
We all love Beach Slang and now James Alex is showing a whole new side to the band with his Quiet Slang project. It finds the Philadelphia musician stripping out the wall of guitar noise and letting the songs breathe – giving more focus on his honest lyrics. This fan favourite finds James singing over beautiful piano and cello and there’s something quite special, especially the way he sings: ‘Most of the words get stuck in my mouth
But I mean all the ones that punch their way out’.
Snow Patrol – ‘Life on Earth’
The second single to be lifted from Snow Patrol’s upcoming seventh album ‘Wildness’ opens in introspective fashion as Gary Lightbody looks back over his life and some of its defining moments from the first snow from the first winter to his first dance (‘well, the first one that counted’). Harking back to their pre-‘Run’ days, there’s a hair-raising moment when the drums kick in and Gary sings ‘This is not the love you’ve had before, this is something else’. He then backs it up with the declaration: ‘It shouldn’t need to be so fucking hard. This is life on Earth, it’s just life on Earth’. The final, experimental minute should give you all the feelings.
LUMP – ‘Curse of the Contemporary’
The result of a collaboration between Laura Marling and Tunng member Mike Lindsay, LUMP are set to release their debut album via Dead Oceans at the beginning of June and ‘Curse of the Contemporary’ is the first single to be revealed from it. With an alluring bass line and goth-laden guitars opening the song, Laura soon starts singing warnings about how people seem to struggle to find enjoyment, even in the most beautiful of places: ‘If you should be bored in California, I’m sure I’m not the first to warn you’. The song then verges into a more experimental pop tone as the band sing about saluting the sun. Very different from both members’ day jobs, this song hints at great things to come on the LP.