5. Listen To Nervous Twitch Or You’ll Never Forgive Yourself
A trio based out of Leeds, Nervous Twitch have been winning over the UK’s DIY community with their blend of surf-rock, synth-pop and yelp-along indie for a few years now, culminating in their 2021 self-titled offering, released via Reckless Yes. Eighteen months on the band have this week announced the October release of their fifth album, Some People Never Change, as well as sharing the first single from it, Forgive Yourself.
Entering on a swampy rumble of bass, Forgive Yourself is something of a mantra towards self-acceptance, a reminder that we all make mistakes. The song is noticeably less raucous than some of Nervous Twitch’s previous material, vocalist Erin Rumble accompanied by buzzing, glacial guitars and the steady tick of the rhythm section as she sings, “been beating myself up for weeks, time to make a change and get back up on my feet, but first I’ve got to forgive, I’ve got to forgive myself”. This feels like a new dawn for the band, a Nervous Twitch 2.0 if you like, with everything you loved about the original and a host of new treats waiting to be discovered with time.
4. Margaret Glaspy Is Making All The Right Choices
After impressing many with her 2016 debut, Emotions And Math, Brooklyn-based songwriter Margaret Glaspy has been on something of a steady incline. Her 2020 record, Devotion, drew widespread acclaim, while earlier this year she released the excellent stand-alone single, Love Is Real. This week Margaret shared her new single, My Body My Choice, a song written two years ago, which has taken on new resonance in the fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs Wade.
Described by Margaret as, “a song of protest”, My Body My Choice is a straight-talking song of autonomy and anger, as she explains, “it is absolutely necessary for any person who can give birth to consent to their own pregnancy. It feels absurd that we are still fighting this fight, but here we are. It’s your body, so it should be your choice”. Musically, the track is classic Margaret Glaspy, all bluesy guitars, and emotive vocals, as she relays a series of tales of women being told what to do, from Margaret piercing her ears and wearing her hair in pigtails through to Laura, a newly pregnant nineteen-year-old, “not ready for a son or a daughter”. With a portion of the proceeds going to The Brigid Alliance, Margaret Glaspy is channeling her anger into real change, the world might feel like it’s going backwards but this is a reminder we don’t have to accept that without making ourselves heard.
3. No Age Lend A Helping Hand
Those of you of a certain vintage might be lucky enough to remember how excited the world seemed to be by No Age, for a second back in 2008 around the release of the brilliant Nouns they felt like the inevitable next big things. Looking back now, it’s kind of strange to think that was the case, for all their charms, they were always far too weird for that, the vocals buried low in the haze of noisy experimentation, it wasn’t even likely to pop up on an advert of Match Of The Day, let alone cause mass sing-songs in the terraces. Sixteenish years into their career and No Age are still being No Age; making weird records in Randy Randall’s garage, launching a new album, People Helping People, by releasing a single, Andy Helping Andy, that’s a sub three-minute instrumental, and yes, being as utterly intriguing as ever.
The start of the track feels like you’re slowly panning in on the band, a wavering synth that seems to drift into focus, accompanied by a wonky processed beat, and then a more urgent fuzzy electronic pulse, like some brilliant middle ground of Merriweather Post Pavilion-era Animal Collective and Mogwai. Randy’s guitars are distorted and toyed with until they’re barely recognisable, while Dean Spunt’s percussive instincts are cut and pasted, manipulated into a barely identifiable rhythm, bristling with life and yet sounding a world away from anything identifiably human. So here we are, No Age being No Age, experimenting, innovating and making you dream of the sort of planet where this is pop music, where this band do get the acclaim they so richly deserve, and wondering just how wonderful that world might be.
2. Alvvays Read The Label On Products From The Pharmacist
Believe it or not, it has been a full five years since Alvvays’ last album, 2017’s Antisocialites. Sure there have been some mitigating circumstances to deal with in that time, but still that’s a much longer gap than the band ever planned it to be. The five years have been, let’s say eventful, a thief stole their demos, a flood nearly ruined all their gear, they lost a rhythm section, and couldn’t replace them due to border closures. Thankfully despite all the struggles, the band have finally made it, with their new album Blue Rev, recorded with producer Shawn Everett, due out in October. This week the band shared the first single from the record, Pharmacist.
The opening track on Blue Rev, Pharmacist arrives sounding like classic Alvvays dream-pop, yet quickly shows its teeth, the lead guitar seems to snarl its way out of the speakers, all fuzzy, aggression, quite unlike the nonchalant swagger of their debut, or even the more morose adult themes of Antisocialites. Lyrically, the track has a certain cryptic sense of an ending, vocalist Molly Rankin running into an ex-flames sister at the pharmacy and finding her mind lurching back to what was with the sense of being forgotten, “I hear it happens all the time, it’s alright, I know I never crossed your mind”. It may have been a long time coming, yet Blue Rev already feels worth the wait, five years of evolution and they might just sound better than ever.
1. Adults Give It Their All
The latest signing to the always fabulous Fika Recordings, Adults have been on my radar since back in 2018 when they released The Weekend Was Always Almost Over and performed at our monthly gig night supporting Hadda Be (at the time known as Foundlings). The London based-quartet have gone from strength to strength since then, with a burgeoning reputation as one of the best bands on the UK’s DIY scene. With their debut album on the way later this year, this week Adults shared their excellent new single, All We Got // All We Need.
For a band who describe themselves as, “desperately clinging to the ghosts of 2009”, it’s perhaps no surprise that Adults music has a whiff of youthful nostalgia, full of existential crisis, pining for simpler times and just the faint hint of hope that things can still get better from here. All We’ve Got // All We Need certainly fits the blueprint, a song about, “having a breakdown on the megabus to Bristol”, that’s also a love letter to mutual aid, building networks and community resistance. It’s a song that says yes, it can feel like we’re under a constant barrage from the powers-that-be, but we’ve got the tools to make it better, “let’s pick up all the pieces that they left us, atomised by work and rent and sleep, tell each other when we’re hurt or stressed or broken, protect all of our communities”. They set that message to a cacophony of clattering drums and belt-it-out choruses Los Campesinos! or Martha would be proud of evidence that Adults seem to have stumbled into something rather marvellous. Adults aren’t going to change the world on their own, but they know that together we can achieve something special, “we’re all we’ve got, we’re all we need”.
Header Photo is Adults by Amy McCarthy.