Five Things We Liked This Week – 28/04/23

Further Listening:

5. Rosie Miles Is Throwing Her Money Around

Emerging from the thriving music scene in Leeds, Rosie Miles announced herself to the world back in March with her debut single, Pieces of Sky. Despite her relative newness, Rosie has already won over plenty, selling out the Brudenell Social Club in her home city, and gaining a fan in new music aficionado, Tom Robinson, who invited her along to a night of his Up Close & Personal tour. Currently building towards the release of her debut EP, this week Rosie shared the latest track to be lifted from it, Coins In The Fountain.

Coins In The Fountain was written during the UK’s long winter lockdown, and explores, “the fickle and often painful nature of hope”. Recalling the songs gestation Rosie recalls how the track came to her, “nearly fully written” after a conversation with her housemate at a time, “when lockdown felt never-ending and the things we had lost were so tangible”. Musically, the track seems to be woven from a series of strands, Rosie’s swooping vocals accompanied by layers of electric guitar, strings and swelling harmonies that sound more West Coast America than West Yorkshire. Rosie has spoken of the track as, “my self-lullaby…as we all plodded on”, well thankfully for us Rosie was willing to share, and the result is a thrilling statement of an artist who feels like she’s just getting started.

Coins In The Fountain is out now. For more information on Rosie Miles visit

4. Jess Williamson Takes A Spirit Chaser

It was less than a month back that Jess Williamson last appeared on these pages, as she announced Time Ain’t Accidental, the follow-up to her critically lauded 2020 offering, Sorceress. An album that finds Jess getting back to the simple joy of making music with her friends, Time Ain’t Accidental was initially demoed at home, “amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic”, the iPhone drum machine still remains in place, before Jess took the record to Brad Cook’s studio in North Carolina. Feeling vocally liberated and channelling the spirit of traditional country music, Jess made a record that’s fittingly about longing for something real. Ahead of the album’s release next month via Mexican Summer, this week Jess shared the second track from the record, Chasing Spirits.

Chasing Spirits is a strong contender for the year’s most striking opening lines, “are my love songs lies now that the love is gone?” It serves as an introduction to a song that asks throughout what happens when you pour your heart into something, and then it ends. Does it invalidate those feelings you once shared, and do you chase those feelings into the spirits in the sky, or sink into the ones you find in a liquor store? In many ways, Jess seems to be picking up where Plans, her duet project with Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield, left off. This is many ways a classic country song, with cynicism-free emotional out-pouring, bar-room pianos and luxuriant waves of slide-guitar, it is in the lineage of Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams and The Chicks. What really stands out is just how natural this shift seems for Jess, her vocal tone lending itself perfectly to standing tall and proud among the waves of musical emotion. The next stage of a songwriter who with each album never seems content to stand still, this might just be Jess Williamson’s most exciting phase yet.

Time Ain’t Accidental is out June 9th via Mexican Summer. For more information on Jess Williamson visit

3. Firestations! Take Cover!

North-London purveyors of driving dream-pop, Firestations released their debut album five years ago, before getting all experimental on us with the 2021 multi-media EP trilogy Automatic Tendencies, which included everything from remixes to a brass chip fork. This week the band announced they’d be heading back to the album format, with news of their second record, Thick Terrain, set for release in the heart of the summer via their regular home, Lost Map Records. Celebrating that excellent news, the band also shared a brand-new single, Undercover.

A song of, “depression and self-discovery”, Undercover finds vocalist Michael Cranny looking for happiness and normality in a world that can sometimes feel like it is lacking in both, “is it over? Where is the joy? Still undercover?” Musically, the track feels contrastingly effervescent, the lyrics might be questioning where have all the good times gone, yet Firestation’s music has never sounded more self-confident, adding a Camera Obscura-like pop-swagger to their usual blend of the dreamy and the driving. This all bodes very well for their new album, a record whose title combines a love of dense milkshakes, a sense of feeling grounded and “cultural research” watching Love Island, and yes you might need to ask them for a full explanation of that, but rest assured it’s going to be excellent!

Thick Terrain is out July 14th via Lost Map. For more information on Firestations visit

2. Suzie True Just Want You To Call Sometimes

It has been the best part of three years since the Los Angeles-based trio Suzie True shared their exciting debut album, Saddest Girl at The Party. Originally formed by Lexi McCoy, best known until that point as the drummer with the excellently raw duo Bearcats, the band really came together with the addition of drummer Sarah Pineapple and guitarist G Leonardo. After hinting at something with last year’s single, Backburner, this week the band shared news of a new album, Sentimental Scum, set for release via Get Better Records next month, previewed via their latest single, Keep In Touch.

With the promise that their new music takes inspiration from everything from Babes In Toyland and The Muffs through to “anime theme music”, Suzie True are setting the bar quite high for belting DIY pop-punk, and thankfully on Keep In Touch they’re very much living up to those expectations. A bombastic three minute pop song, Keep In Touch is a perfect melding of bright and sludgy, Lexi’s Colleen Green-like snarling melodies adorned with loose drum clatter and guitars that shift with a kick of a distortion pedal from twinkling melodies to fuzzed-out intensity. Lyrically the track lives up to its title, exploring ideas of distance and commitment, with Lexi’s trademark straight-talking lyricism, “maybe it’s just a stupid dream I know you’d never change your life to be with me”. Promising songs of, “sobriety, addiction, mental health, exploring queer identity, growing up, heartbreak, and LOOOoOoOoOvee”, Suzie True’s second album promises plenty of ups and downs, but if this is the sound of Sentimental Scum, then sign me up!

Sentimental Scum is out June 30th via Get Better Records. For more information on Suzie True visit

1. Former Champ’s Luck Is Starting To Turn

A super-group, a family band, however you want to describe Former Champ, they’re from Glasgow and they’re really quite exciting. I picked the band out as one of my ones-to-watch for 2023, courtesy of their excellent 2022 single, Grenade. Now I didn’t expect a nine-month gap before I heard from them, but this week the band, who contain members of Savage Mansion, Martha Ffion and Catholic Action, returned with their much-anticipated follow-up single, Beginner’s Luck.

With plenty of other projects on their plates, I’d quite happily forgive Former Champ if they were just busy, however as guitarist Angus Johnson explains that wasn’t quite the case, “we could do this in our sleep if we wanted to. But we don’t want that. There’s been a lot of patience, a lot of very good ideas discarded along the way. We go at it, we scrap, we kiss and make up. But there’s something going on here”. Recorded straight to tape at Glasgow’s Green Door Studio, Beginner’s Luck certainly feels like a focused blast, all early-noughties guitar swagger and crisp vocal swagger, like the middle ground of The Strokes and Be Your Own Pet that I never knew I was looking for. Sure we’re only in the second round, but this is one Former Champ who isn’t willing to drift off into a quiet retirement just yet.

Beginner’s Luck is out now via Columba Club. For more information on Former Champ visit

Header photo is Former Champ by Paul McGinness

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