5. Quoth The Raven…BOOM!
Rewind to early 2016, and the very keen minded might remember us raving about the potential of Welsh-German-Mexican trio, Exploded View. This week the band have announced details of their upcoming second album, Obey, as well as sharing their searing new single, Raven Raven.
Listening to Raven Raven, you can instantly hear a band who’ve subtly changed their sound, the frenetic energy of their early live-recordings is replaced by something a little more melodic, a little more grounded, yet thankfully as exciting as ever. Discussing the track, the band have suggested it is about embracing the feeling that people are watching your every move, of staring, “back into the face of observation. Never give in to external control. You can break this.” A message as mysterious as the bewitching, bass-heavy sound of their new single; Exploded View are a band operating with a new-found freedom and sounding all the better for it.
Obey is out September 28th via Sacred Bones. Click HERE for more information on Exploded View.
4. Basement Revolver Come Knocking
They only landed on these shores for the first time last month, with a triumphant runs of shows at The Great Escape, yet Basement Revolver have already made an impact on many over here. The Canadian trio are set to release their hotly anticipated debut album in August, and have this week shared the latest sample of it, Knocking.
Knocking is a deeply personal song for chief songwriter Chrisy Hurn, as she puts it, “I often still can’t sing it without crying.” The track details her writing a letter to her family that explored her past, things she wasn’t proud of and, in her own words, “made me feel like I wasn’t the “good christian woman” that they had hoped I would one day become.” It deals with the anger that inspired the letter, and also the acceptance, love and forgiveness that she found afterwards. Musically, it’s possibly the most mature the band have ever sounded, there’s a country-twang to the guitars alongside their usual, melody-led approach to expansive soundscapes. You could cite reference points from Big Thief to Angel Olsen and be in the right area of the musical world, ultimately though Basement Revolver shine entirely on their own terms.
Heavy Eyes is out August 24th via Fear Of Missing Out. Click HERE for more information on Basement Revolver
3. Feeling As Fresh As A Daytime
As part of a crop of new bands reminding us that pop-punk isn’t all fifty-year-olds singing about being in high school and skateboarding, London-quartet Fresh burst onto the scene with their self-titled debut album last summer. Since then the band have been touring ferociously with the likes of The Beths and Jesus & His Judgmental Fathers. This week they’ve shared their first new material since their debut album, in the shape of new single, Daytime.
Produced by Happy Accidents’ Rich Mandell, Daytime shows a subtle progress from the band; the infectious energy remains inescapable, and there’s a greater nuance to the lyricism, a slight sheen to the production, a sophistication alongside the beautifully simple thrills. Discussing the track, songwriter Kathryn Woods has suggested it’s in some ways about accepting your lot in life, “there’s this myth of constant happiness or the idea that you always have to be thriving and successful, when actually, a lot of the time, you just have to get through whatever’s going on.” It’s a song about accepting your anger, your anxiety, your situation and accepting sometimes, “we could spend time dragging up the past, but I don’t see the point.” The track also features a strong contender for the year’s most cutting message to an ex, “I miss your dog, but I don’t miss you.” An exciting evolution from a band who sound every bit as fresh as their name suggests.
Fresh’s upcoming 7″ is out August 31st via Specialist Subject (UK) & Discos Finu (Spain). Click HERE for more information on Fresh.
2. herbal tea Pick Themselves Up From The Kitchen Floor
herbal tea is the bedroom recording project of 22-year-old Bristol native, Helena Walker. Previously known as a member of the music duo Sleep Radio, Helena has recently discovered greater confidence as a songwriter and set about sharing solo material. This week Helena has shared the second single under the herbal tea moniker, Kitchen Floor (4am).
While self-deprecatingly suggesting, “I’m still not sure if I know exactly what I’m doing”, on the herbal tea website, Helena has crafted something that while unquestionably lo-fi, actually sounds rather wonderful; rattling electric guitars provide much of the rhythm, as sweet slide guitars, pianos, violins and cellos add beautiful textures. It all fades to the background as Helena’s vocal enters, a layer of fuzzy reverb doing nothing to detract from the crystal clear melodies and perfect inflexions, that Sharon Van Etten and Japanese Breakfast are cited influences should surprise no-one. Helena has suggested the track is about, “losing touch of reality and trying to get through to yourself, even when all odds are against you.” From a humble home studio in a student house in Bristol, herbal tea might just be making some of the year’s most enticing new music.
Kitchen Floor (4am) is out now. Click HERE for more information on herbal tea.
1. Nobody’s Watching Your Steady Holiday
Steady Holiday, aka Los Angeles-native Dre Babinski, garnered plenty of acclaim and attention with her excellent 2016 debut, Under The Influence. After a two-year recording break spent, “touring and becoming increasingly terrified at the state of the world around us”, Dre is set to return in August with Nobody’s Watching, her first album for new home, Barusk Records.
This week Steady Holiday has shared the first taste of the new album, in the shape of the record’s title track, Nobody’s Watching. The track taps into the album’s key theme, “the ugly and troubling edges of human nature”, while other artists tackle the modern political climate, Dre seems to take a step back, as she explains, “evil is nothing new.” These messages might sound dark and troubling, yet they’re delivered with a warmth, even a positivity that only serves to hammer home the message. Dre paints pictures of crooks unravelling the world around us as they, “take one off the top when no ones paying attention”, and realise they’ve “made it to the top and don’t know when to stop, when nobody’s watching.” Like a pickpocket whispering sweet nothings in your ear as they make off with your wallet, Steady Holiday present the world’s horrors within the shimmering perfection of a pop song.
Nobody’s Watching is out August 24th via Barsuk Records. Click HERE for more information on Steady Holiday.
Header photo is Steady Holiday by Isaac Ravishankara – http://www.isaacravishankara.com