Five Things We Liked This Week – 20/10/2017

Further Listening…

5. Drahla Show Some Spirit

Things are looking very promising for Leeds-based trio Drahla. The band are set to release their debut EP next month, as well as heading out on tour with the ferociously brilliant Metz. Ahead of that release, this week has seen the band share the video to new single, Silk Spirit.

Silk Spirit is a fine summary of what Drahla do best, namely blurring the boundaries between Yeah Yeah Yeahs like art-rock and the wiry post-punk of, err, Wire. Recalling fellow angular janglers like Sauna Youth or Menace Beach, the track builds around nonchalant vocals, propulsive drum beats, jarring guitar lines and the steady hum of front-woman Luciel Brown’s prominent bass-lines. With the upcoming release of Third Article, the band’s debut EP produced by the increasingly legendary MJ, expect to be hearing an awful lot more about Drahla.

Third Article is out November 24th via Blank Ad. Click HERE for more information on Drahla

4. Weeping Is Wonderful With Whispertown

This isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned the talents of Los Angeles songwriter Morgan Nagler, aka Whispertown, and we don’t imagine it’ll be the last. Morgan, who has a celebrity fan in Gillian Welch and has been described by Jenny Lewis as her “favourite songwriter”, recently released her excellent album, I’m A Man, and has this week shared the video to one of the records stand-out moments, Can’t Stop Crying.

Discussing the track, Morgan has suggested it’s about, “a deepening desire for truth in the air”, a search that can often be, “tragic and depressing”, but even then, the tears it brings can be a wonderful thing. The accompanying video finds Morgan trying to, “blend all the emotions into wonderful truth”, which ultimately results in a surprisingly light and enjoyable, almost silent-film like melodrama. Musically the track is a gentle, shuffling acoustic number, one that makes her upcoming tour supporting M.Ward make a lot of sense. Morgan has made her name as a songwriter for the likes of Haim, Rilo Kiley and Kim Deal, but as Whispertown she’s stepping out of the shadows and demanding the spotlight she so richly deserves.

I’m A Man is out now via Graveface Records. Click HERE for more information on Whispertown.

3. The Bloomin’ Marvelous Return Of Onsind

It’s quite fitting that in the week that an IPPR report suggests there’s an increasing gap between the wealth of millennials and the generation that came before them that Onsind should return with their single Immature, which is about, well, the increasing gap between the wealth of millennials and the generation that came before them. The track, the band’s first new material since 2013, is the first to be taken from their upcoming album, We Wilt, We Bloom.

It’s been a decade since the Durham political-punks formed, a decade that has certainly given them plenty of political upheaval to rage against. Immature focuses on the struggles of a generation often unfairly portrayed as, “so self-obsessed, so lazy, so work-shy and all the rest”. As Nathan from the band explains, the track is, “about the frustrations of inter-generational betrayal; of growing up and surviving in an increasingly selfish, individualistic world; of watching affordable housing, workers rights, job security and a functioning welfare state crumble”. With the arresting line, “the one thing that unites my friends is that we all just want to fucking die”, lyrically, it’s as powerful, and inspiring as we’ve come to expect from band. This is a music site though, and in that sense too, it shows great progress, the acoustic guitars of previous outings replaced by a deeper sound, full of bombastic electric guitar riffing, clattering drums and impassioned vocal howls. Although we’re not saying We Wilt, We Bloom will be the album of the year, if there’s a more inspiring or important one released we’ll eat a baby-boomers hat (we probably can’t afford our own).

We Wilt, We Bloom is out November 17th via Specialist Subject Records. Click HERE for more information on Onsind.

2. Slowcoaches’ Complex New Single

All too often, the system is adhering to an archaic, misogynistic interpretation of ‘punk’ that makes guys think they’re invincible, that they have an authority over women’s bodies”. So say’s Slowcoaches vocalist and bassist, Heather Perkins, discussing her band’s stunning new single, Complex. The track, a response to high-profile sexual assault allegations against artists at the time the track was written, is Slowcoaches’ first new materials since last year’s Nothing Gives.

Beginning life as a muted, gloomy, Fugazi-like bass intro, before roaring into life as a riotous blur of anger and attitude as Heather’s vocal snarls with a healthy dose of contempt for the glorification of rock-gods everywhere. A cutting, and justifiably angry stab at the problems of toxic masculinity in the music industry, what really makes Complex a thumb in the eye to the often male dominated punk scene, is that it sounds better than any male-fronted punk band currently operating on the planet. Sorry lads, Slowcoaches are taking over, and they’re not planning on waiting any longer.

Complex is out now via Leisure & District. Click HERE for more information on Slowcoaches.

1. Anna Burch Is Just 2 Cool For You

There’s something delightfully old fashioned about the story of how Anna Burch came to sign for the ever-reliable Polyvinyl Records. The Detroit songwriter was spotted by fellow Michigan native, and Polyvinyl artist, Fred Thomas, who sent it straight to his label boss with a simple note, “This is not a drill. You need to hear this.” Listening to Anna’s new single, 2 Cool 2 Care,  Fred wasn’t wrong.

2 Cool 2 Care is the first track to be lifted from Anna’s as yet untitled debut record out next year, an album she recorded with Angel Olsen producer Collin Dupuis. The track is a simple, but arresting piece of lo-fi atmospherics, Anna’s warm, laid back vocals, accompanied by a Frankie Cosmos-like guitar line and the simplest of ticking drum beats, an example of the whole far outweighing it’s parts. Lyrically, it seems to tackle the self-destructive tendency to over-analyse and pressurise relationships, as Anna sings, “you scare me when you’re indifferent, I like you best when you’re a mess”. Sure, we’re suckers for a hazy slice of sun-drenched melancholy, but Anna Burch might just be doing it better than any act we’ve heard this year.

Anna Burch’s debut album will be out next year via Polyviynl Records. Click HERE for more information on Anna Burch.

Header photo by Katie Neumann

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