5. The Makthaverskan From Onkel
Based out of Sweden’s second city, Gothenburg, Makthaverskan are four school friends with a shared love of the shimmering post-punk sounds of the 1980’s. The band’s break-out single, No Mercy, saw them garner a world-wide fan base, cemented on 2017’s third album, creatively titled, III. The band returned recently with a new 7″, the flip-side of which, Onkel, they shared this week.
Onkel starts with a rumble of bass and a flourish of rapid-fire drum hits, before exploding into life as the jangling lead-guitar and soaring sound of vocalist Maja Milner enter. Maja’s voice is the star throughout, treading the middle ground between ethereal wonder and punk-swagger, fans of Flowers or The Cocteau Twins will find an awful lot to admire here. The bruising post-punk sound is matched in the downbeat lyricism, “bottles on the floor I can’t take no more, had to much to drink and no one is here with me”, Maja sings, before towards the end atop a cacophony of guitars, the words are lost and the voice become a bruised emotional howl. A welcome return, Makthaverskan have quite possibly never sounded better.
Demands is out now via Run For Covers Records. Click HERE for more information on Makthaverskan.
4. Deep State Take The Path Of Least Resistance
Hailing from the musical hotspot that is Athens, Georgia, Deep State have been making music for the best part of four years with a modicum of success, and today look to take a big step forward with the release of their third album, The Path To Fast Oblivion. Ahead of that release the quartet have shared their excellent new single, Son.
Inspired by an, “inherent desire to instill wisdom into someone younger”, Son is a musing on whether the older generation should look to guide the youth of today, or let them make their own path. Musically, the track is the sort of restrained-riot that Deep State do so well; like a beautifully constructed wind-up toy, they seem to burst into life both furiously fast and perfectly controlled. Bringing to mind the likes of Wolf Parade or Clap Your Hand Say Yeah, this is rambunctious rock’n’roll with enough brains to keep it interesting, and it doesn’t get much better than that.
The Path To Fast Oblivion is out today via Friendship Fever. Click HERE for more information on Deep State
3. Lamb Lady Lamb
We haven’t heard from Brooklyn-based songwriter Lady Lamb, Aly Spaltro to her parents, since 2017’s Tender Warriors Club. That was an intimate affair, stripped back and almost discreet. This week Aly has shared the title track from her upcoming album, Even In The Tremor, and it already seems to be an intriguing deviation from her previous musical path.
Discussing making the new record, Aly has suggested it’s the first time she’s sung explicitly about herself, something evident in the anxious title track and its message of social anxiety and overthinking; letting the memories of the past, and the fear of the future, over-run the joy of living in the moment. If it’s a different lyrical approach, the evolution of Lady Lamb is even more obvious in the music, nodding to TV On The Radio or Kraków Loves Adana, Even In The Tremor is a fascinatingly intense piece of production; one moment soft and melodic, the next a wall of clattering electronic pulses and passionate half-yelled vocals. Aly speaks of the liberation that came with making this album, of fighting for self-acceptance and emotional honesty; on this evidence it’s a fight that Lady Lamb is winning with style.
Even In The Tremor is out April 5th via Ba Da Bing Records. Click HERE for more information on Lady Lamb
2. Brush Up On Sacred Paws
Formed back in 2014 following the demise of their previous band Golden Grrrls, Sacred Paws are a band who are steadily making impressive waves. Their 2017 debut album, Strike A Match, saw the duo bag the prestigious Scottish Album Of The Year prize, tour across Europe and receive near universal critical acclaim. They made the probably sensible decision not to rush a follow-up out into the world, and thankfully the wait seems to be drawing towards a close with the release this week of a brand new track, Brush Your Hair.
In many ways, Brush Your Hair picks up where the band left-off, the intricate guitar work, perfect vocal harmonies and infectious rhythms remain; equal part punkish energy, artsy experimentation and perhaps most crucially, a lot of fun. It’s near impossible not to have a good time listening to Sacred Paws, we find our feet involuntarily twitching with the snare drum, our knees shimmying in time to the rapid-fire guitar work. With the promise of more news to come soon, Sacred Paws could just be the sound of 2019.
Brush Your Hair is out now via Rock Action Records. Click HERE for more information on Sacred Paws.
1. Martha Keep Kicking
After sharing the excellent, Heart Is Healing back in the middle of the musical dead-space that is December, we kind of knew those loveable Durham-scamps Martha were up to something exciting. This week the quartet have confirmed the April release of their third album, Love Keeps Kicking, as well as sharing the title track from it. The record will be their first on their new musical home, Big Scary Monsters.
Accompanied by a sci-fi alien invation pastiche video, a metaphor for the War Of The Roses or athlete foot depending on how you look at it, Love Keeps Kicking, is a tale of the universality of heartache, as Martha put it, “what better metaphor is there for the inevitability of a broken heart than the swift kick of a giant disembodied foot?” Musically, it continues the subtle evolution showcased on Heart Is Healing, the anthemic-punk they do so well, given a poppy, almost country twist courtesy of prominent bassy-pulse and occasionally fabulously bombastic guitar-soloing. Sure, heartbreak could be lurking round any corner, yet with Martha’s break-up album to guide you through, at least it’ll sound great, now come on everyone lets go mosh to Huey Lewis & The News.
Love Keeps Kicking is out April 5th via Big Scary Monsters. Click HERE for more information on Martha.