Five Things We Liked This Week – 07/02/20 mo

Further Listening:

5. This Is The Real Tré Burt

Last week saw Tré Burt re-release his debut album, Caught It From The Rye, on John Prine’s Oh Boy Records; which was fantastic news, as we’d missed it entirely the first time around. Although not technically released this week, we did stumble across the video to Tré’s latest single, Real You, and we liked what we heard!

The track is in some ways a post break-up love song, a track about discovering, “the glory of the person that wasn’t visible through the haze of love”. The track charts the way lust can leave us mourning someone’s truth, getting in the way of a connection that could have been something special. Musically, the track seems to channel all Tré’s favourite bits of American songwriting history, coming across equal parts radical folkie and heart on sleeve soul singer. Some music can feel contrived, as if trying to fit into a particular style or sound, Tré Burt couldn’t be any further from that, his music feels honest, authentic and beautifully timeless as a result.

Caught It From The Rye is out now via Oh Boy Records. Click HERE for more information on Tré Burt.

4. What Out Einstein, Es Are Coming For Your Chemical Symbol

Es are a London-based quartet, who first emerged back in 2016 with their excellent debut EP, Object Relations. The band have spent the intervening years scattered across the UK, before coming together last year to record their debut album, Less Of Everything, with producer, and Sauna Youth member, Lindsay Corstorphine. The record will be released by Upset The Rhythm in April, and this week the band have shared the first single from it, Chemical.

The London quartets’, “glacial form of punk”, is built around an unusual melodic pairing of bass and keyboard, everything existing in a low range, as the swampy tones are pierced by precise, primal drum patterns. The whole thing forms a backdrop for Maria Cecilia Tedemalm’s controlled, arresting vocal delivery; here lamenting, “the downfall of living within a capitalist societal structure”, and the pressure it creates on us all to be relentlessly productive and constantly high achieving. “Scrutinise the hazy memory of a body, used to be mine, it used to be mine”, Maria sings before in the chorus requesting, “less of everything”, seemingly appealing for something simpler and less demanding. An intriguing first offering, Es just put down a marker for what might be one of the year’s most exciting debuts.

Less Of Everything is out April 3rd on Upset The Rhythm. Click HERE for more information on Es.

3. Sharon Van Etten Just Can’t Be Beaten

Surprise releases don’t get much more exciting than a brand new Sharon Van Etten single. After making us wait five years for the brilliant 2019 album, Remind Me Tomorrow, we certainly weren’t expecting anything new from Sharon just yet, thankfully she had other ideas. This week Sharon has given us a brand new track, Beaten Down, whether it’s a stand-alone single or the sign of something bigger, we don’t know yet, we do however know that is very good indeed!

Described by Sharon as being, “about love, patience and empathy”, the track seems to exist in a slightly different space to Remind Me Tomorrow. The move towards denser, more electronic textures remains, here though we’re welcomed by a more minimalistic approach, as muted percussion and brooding synth-bass, provide a bed for lightly distorted vocals. The track has a subtle build, as stabs of piano enter in tandem with multi-layered harmonies and bright electronic pulses. Lyrically it’s a track that rolls with the punches, “your big old heart gets beaten down, it ain’t beaten down, you’re not beaten now”. This is a track about getting knocked down and coming back stronger, about sticking to your guns and not letting the world knock you off course. New chapter, brief aside, whatever Beaten Down is, it’s a very welcome reminder that there’s nobody quite like Sharon Van Etten.

Beaten Down is out now via Jagjaguwar. Click HERE for more information on Sharon Van Etten.

2. Have You Already Forgiven Basia Bulat?

As a three-time Polaris Music Prize nominee (Canada’s version of the Mercury Prize), Montreal’s Basia Bulat was already well established in her home country even before her break-out 2016 album, Good Advice. That album took Basia to a much wider international audience, so perhaps unsurprisingly Basia has teamed up with the same producer, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, for her upcoming fourth album, Are You You In Love? The record, that was started in Joshua Tree before being completed some nine months later in Basia’s home city, is due next month, and this week Basia has shared the latest track from it, Already Forgiven.

Discussing the inspiration behind the track, Basia has suggested this was an attempt to deal with forgiveness and her struggles to understand the concept, “I had been trying for many years to accept and acknowledge pain and past suffering without letting it define me or hold me back, and while writing this song I feel like I finally found a space in my mind that lets those thoughts flow like water through my hands”. In many ways, Already Forgiven seems like a natural next step for Basia, channeling much of the appeal of her last record; yet there’s a subtle change of feel here. This is a moodier and more atmospheric piece with fluttering guitar lines played off against processed textural strings and the easy rhythm of the prominent double-bass. The vocal too has an airiness and almost insecurity, as if Basia is still grappling with her thoughts, working out the past and how it manifests in the here and now. If you weren’t already in love with Basia Bulat’s music, you might well be very soon.

Are You In Love? is out March 27th via Secret City Records. Click HERE for more information on Basia Bulat.

1. Malena Is Going Outside And May Be Some Time

“I’m leaving home, forget me”, so enters Malena Zavala without a quiver, it’s clear this is a demand not a suggestion. This striking introduction is what welcomes listeners to Malena’s latest single, Leaving Home, the latest taste of her upcoming second album, La Yarará. The follow up to 2018’s critically acclaimed debut, Aliso, the record looks set to build on Malena’s burgeoning reputation as a unique songwriting talent. Born in Argentina, to Italian parents and then raised in Hertfordshire, Malena’s world view is perhaps unsurprisingly not quite like anyone else’s. An amalgam of culture, DNA and a life where you’re always something of an outsider, Malena increasingly bears comparison only with herself.

While Malena’s last single, En La Noche, was sung in Spanish and rooted in the cumbia rhythms of South America, Leaving Home is somewhat more Anglo-centric. As Malena explains, “I don’t make a conscious choice to sing in a particular language…it’s about my parents and how I feel about home, so it feels like it should be in English”. That said, Leaving Home, is clearly not 100% Hertfordshire. Fluttering nylon-stringed guitars and complex rhythmic percussion are set against waves of synth and Malena’s crisp, flawless vocals, to create a track that’s as well travelled as its creator. Es Muy Bueno!

La Yarará is out April 17th via Yucatan Records. Click HERE for more information on Malena Zavala.

Header photo is Malena Zavala by Sofia Bogar.

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