Five Things We Liked This Week – 07/04/23

Further Listening:

5. Mediocre Are Always Better When They’re Together

One of my top picks for 2022, the duo of Piper Torrison and Keely Martin, aka Mediocre went on to release precisely nothing that year, making me look rather silly! Thankfully the Boston-based Los Angelenos’ year of silence came to a screeching halt back in February with their rather excellent return, To Know You’re Screwed. As it turns out that was also the title track of their new EP, which is out today via Dangerbird Records. Celebrating the release, this week the band also shared their latest single, Together Together.

Cheerily described by the band as, “a swan song for the end of the world”, Together Together is actually surprisingly fun. Reminiscent of the knowing simplicity of bands like Bratmobile or Wet Leg, the track is largely propelled by a processed drum beat and the pair’s tongue-in-cheek vocal delivery as they muse on connection, and contemplate wanting to cop off with hot people as the world burns. Initially, it’s good old-fashioned lust, “Hey you with the really cool hair, do you wanna be cool together? Cuz I am cute and you are cute, so let’s be cute together”, but the existential doubt creeps in quickly, even if the carnal desires don’t fade, “how ‘bout this crazy weather? We only got so much time until the waters rise, so let’s spend some time together”. Fun and considerably more clever than they’d ever let on, Mediocre have once again shown that their self-deprecating name isn’t accurate at all.

To Know You’re Screwed is out now via Dangerbird Records. For more information on Mediocre visit

4. Who You Gonna Call? Anna St. Louis

Based out of Los Angeles, Anna St. Louis first caught my ear back in 2017 when she shared the fittingly titled EP, First Songs. After returning quickly with 2018’s debut long player, If Only There Was a River, Anna has followed that up with five years of radio silence, or as she puts it, “a slow harvest; a fertile time but one that required a newfound patience”. Thankfully that all changes this week, with both a brand new single, Phone, as well as news of a second album, In The Air, set to land this June via Woodsist / Mare.

Phone is a song of knowing contradiction, both, “a song about a heart yearning for connection with a distant love“, and, “reaching beyond the constant distractions of the modern world to come back to that most special thing, the present moment“. While In The Air was marked by a different approach, it’s one that has also resulted in a change of sound, and here it seems to be one that really suits Anna’s songwriting. There’s a new textural quality to the record, Anna accompanied by a cast of friends and collaborators, the song has a beautiful organic quality, swelling like a lung full of clean country air, before exhaling with a sigh of contentment, with a flourish of Hammond and the gorgeously unhurried bass. The whole thing is just a beautiful listen, that wonderful kind of complex that sounds almost effortless, it’s just a great timeless pop song and one that suggests Anna St. Louis’ new record will be well worth the wait.

In The Air is out June 9th via Woodsist / Mare. For more information on Anna St. Louis visit

3. Martha Ffion Is Onto A Wringer

Coming to the attention of many back in 2018 with the release of her excellent debut album, Sunday Best, Martha Ffion, aka Claire Martha Ffion McKay, has gone on to establish herself as one of the country’s finest songwriters. The world last heard from Claire back in 2020, with her second album, Nights to Forget. Since then she’s formed the excellent Former Champ and released a cassette of live recordings, all the while keeping us waiting for new music. Thankfully we must wait no longer, as this week she shared her brand-new single, and the title track of her upcoming album, The Wringer.

Taking inspiration from Carole King’s You’ve Got A Friend, The Wringer is an exercise in elegant simplicity, Martha is initially accompanied by just choppy piano chords, before the rest of the band enter with a splash, all crashing snare and languid electric guitars. From there the track ebbs and flows, the band knowing when to accentuate Martha’s always wonderful vocal and when to let it breathe as she brings to mind the likes of Dana Gavanski or early Cate Le Bon. Like much of the record it introduces, The Wringer was written on the piano and inspired by trying to reflect on, “what really matters: the people we love, how we love them and how they love us“. Here Martha wrote for a friend who was having a tough time, “I wanted to write something comforting for them…embracing real emotions and not worrying about coming off as cheesy”. A beautifully simple tale of friendship, as Martha sings, “when it feels like the world is out to get you, I’ll be on your side”, it’s a reminder there’s a place for the poetic and a place for just saying it exactly how it is, a straight-shooting slam dunk of a return for a songwriter as fabulous as they come.

The Wringer is out June 30th via Lost Map. For more information on Martha Ffion visit

2. Ainsley Farrell Is Ready To Explode

A Sydney-based Californian, Ainsley Farrell first came to my attention with her beautiful 2018 single, Walls. Since then there’s been something of a slow drip of singles, all whetting the appetite for her upcoming second album, Dirt, which will finally see the light of day this June. The latest taster came this week in the shape of the record’s second track, Fireworks (and no, for better or worse, it’s not a pluralised Katy Perry cover).

While here in Britain we tend to think of November 5th as the day for all things exploding and colourful, Ainsley’s offering is perhaps unsurprisingly centred around the fourth of July, and a specific day she spent in Rhode Island. Ainsley, “working through some sadness and anxiety”, dragged herself out into the world to socialise, only to lose her friends in a cloud of thick smoke, “I could only hear the sound of the fireworks going off in the night sky and imagined what it would feel like to burn that bright”. Musically, the track is Ainsley at her most immediate, fusing the emotive heft of Angel Olsen or Julia Jacklin, with chunky guitar chords and a distinctly Southern-states twang that Neighbor Lady would be proud of, as Ainsley sings, “I want to be with you, I want to burn bright too”. It sounds like mission accomplished to me, Ainsley Farrell has always burned bright and if Dirt is all this good, she might just be ready to explode.

Dirt is out in June. For more information on Ainsley Farrell visit

1. Prima Hera Takes A Dip In The Great Lake State

A solo star in the making from Sheffield, Prima Hera is the latest musical project of Stef Williamson. A former member of Twin Kidd, Prima Hera marks the end of a five-year musical hiatus for Stef after she became newly, “inspired by the experience of becoming a mother”. Back at the end of January, Stef shared the first Prima Hera single, Sidecar, gaining acclaim from the likes of Leftfuturewave and BBC Introducing. This week Stef showed she was no flash in the pan, with the excellent follow-up, Michigan.

A classic combination of heartache and the open road, Stef has described Michigan as, “Roy Orbison’s ‘I Drove All Night’ but if the other person wasn’t that bothered either way“, her attempt to, “capture a sense of deep longing followed by a resignation to the fact that, for all the effort you put into a relationship, the feeling isn’t matched by the one you love“. The song is built around a gentle meandering keyboard, which sits atop a swell of Beach House-like organs, and layers of Stef’s gently soaring vocals, “meet me in the Midwest, you checked out in Michigan, even when I’d driven all night”. The whole song is writ large with unrequited affection, loaded with longing and wavering stoicism, “I’m a fool for you, I’m out of state but I’m pulling through”. Sure an American road song is an odd choice for a songwriter in South Yorkshire, but Prima Hera might just have written the best song about Michigan since Sufjan Stevens wrote an album load of them two decades ago.

Michigan is out now. For more information on Prima Hera visit

Header photo is Prima Hera by Emma Ledwith

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