Five Things We Liked This Week – 12/05/23

Further Listening:

5. Fort Not Are Skimming Off The Scum

The latest name in the lineage of great Swedish indie-pop, Fort Not are the Kungälv-based duo of Fredrik Söderström and Robert Carlsson. After the band, “emerged out of the fumes of gin and tonic during a west coast summer night”, the pair appeared on these pages back in 2020 around the release of their excellent debut album, The Club Is Open. This week the band announced details of their new record, Depressed For Success, “an album full of songs about love, sex and success”. Ahead of the album’s July release, the band also shared the first single from it, Scum.

Discussing the inspiration behind Scum, the band suggest it is, “an anthem against (all) Men. We can do so much better. Check yourself before your wreck someone. Put on your pants“. Musically, Scum finds the band at the crossroads of Pavement-like Slacker Rock, and the melodic pop of Tugboat Captain, as they rail against wastrels and abusers of the world, “I want to destroy you…and all men”. Self-deprecatingly taking down their own gender, Fort Not don’t excuse themselves either, a reminder that even those of us who might fall foul of thinking we’re doing enough could all do better, “s.c.u.m, I know I am, I know I am, I know I’m one of them”. With the promise of, “lo-fi ballads, perfectly served with the taste of your lover’s lips”, “pop songs for you to dance your ass off to” and “mid-tempo tunes, best enjoyed with a cold drink”, Fort Not’s musical pick-and-mix might just be the success its title somewhat tongue-in-cheekily suggests.

Depressed For Success is out July 7th via Meritorio Records. For more information on Fort Not visit

4. Don’t Sleep On Langkamer’s New Album

One of my favourite new British bands of recent years, Bristol’s Langkamer have been something of a fixture on this site since releasing their excellent 2021 debut, West Country. After last year’s mini-album, Red Thread Route, the band decamped to the North York Moors with producer Tim Rowing-Parker, and settled in a crumbling bungalow to take inspiration from the harsh beauty of their surroundings and to craft their second long-player, The Noon And Midnight Manual, “a new vision of British wonder and woe”. With the record set for release next week via Breakfast Records, and a string of UK tour dates kicking off today, this week the band shared the final track from the album, their new single Sleepers Two.

While it would become one of The Noon And Midnight Manual’s most exciting moments, Langkamer didn’t actually expect much from Sleepers Two, as guitarist Dan Anthony recalls, “we hadn’t actually finished writing it when we went in to record, and it seemed as if we’d never be able to balance the juxtaposition of folk-rock whimsy and spaghetti-western riffs”. Luckily due to sheer dogged determination, they found a way to get it done, and the result might just be their most intriguing offering yet. The track has more twists and turns than some bands entire albums, starting off like a Jeffrey Lewis finger-picked solo number, before giving way first to twangy country guitar licks and then before you know it blooming into a folk-rock clatter that The Wave Pictures would be proud of. They even find time for possibly the briefest sea shanty ever put to record right before the song draws to a close. If musically the track is Langkamer breaking new ground, lyrically too it feels like a departure for the band, while they’ve always hidden emotion behind a layer of wry sarcasm, here there’s a sincerity to their tale of Seasonal Affective Disorder and the Myth Of Sisyphus, the Greek who chained up death, escaped hell and then was damned to push a rock up a mountain, only to see it roll back down every time he reached the summit. In his 1942 essay on Sisyphus, Albert Camus argued he was a metaphor for the modern worker, a person who finds happiness only when they accept the truth of their toil, realise the absurdity of their fate and reach a state of contented acceptance, a place Langkamer don’t seem to have yet reached, “left to wonder all for what left to roll this fucking rock, up onto the mountain top, reach the summit, watch it drops, all for nothing, all for not”. A complex, intriguing and entirely unique prospect, bands like Langkamer don’t come along very often, so when they do cherish them, give them your ears and your time, there’s plenty here to discover and plenty to love.

The Noon And Midnight Manual is out May 18th via Breakfast Records. For more information on Langkamer visit

3. Special Friend Seal The Deal

The Paris-based duo of American drummer Erica Ashleson and French guitarist Guillaume Siracusa, Special Friend announced their new album, Wait Until The Flames Come Rushing In at the end of March, with the excellent single Bête. The record, which is the follow-up to their 2021 debut, Enemi Commun, will arrive at the end of June, and this week Special Friend shared the latest offering from it, Selkie.

The track was inspired by the Scottish folk-legend of Selkies, seals who swim ashore, shed their skin and temporarily become beautiful, and often rather provocative, humans. The track reflects on the crueller side of the legend, the humans who would destroy the selkie’s sealskin to trap them in their temporary form, as the band put it, the track is about, “celebrating and respecting the poetry of different beings, and accepting the fact that we should never try to master them”. Musically, the track finds Special Friend at their most wistful, recalling Yo La Tengo or Galaxie 500 as the steady pulse of Erica’s drums are adorned with distorted squalls of Guillaume’s guitars, and their two conjoined voices. They pull out a simple melody as magical as any legendary beast, as they critique humanity’s desire to destroy, “shame opposed to play with sticks and stones, strangers who revel in breaking bones”. Special Friend were always an intriguing prospect, yet on Wait Until The Flames Come Rushing In they seem more sure of themselves than ever before, a band who looked like they might do something special are now a band doing it!

Wait Until The Flames Come Rushing In is out June 30th via Skep Wax / Howlin’ Banana Records / Hidden Bay Records. For more information on Special Friend visit

2. Riggings Shows Off Their Range

Hailing from North Carolina, Riggings has appeared on these pages previously when they were releasing music under the name Al Riggs. Back in January, they shared the debut Riggings release, The Arnold EP, a collection of tracks written in 2022 as, “a statement of rebirth after the funeral pyre of Riggs’ Themselves”. This week Riggings returns with a stand-alone single, A Girl W/Range.

The track was written on a visit to New York, Riggings staying with their impromptu collaborators, Mya Byrne and Swan Real, who when Riggings was playing the song joined in with some impromptu backing vocals. The track was inspired by a discussion about trans voices and how to approach having a deeper voice as a woman. The title comes from a comment from Swan, “it’s not easy being a girl with range”, which stuck with Riggings as they wrote the lyrics. Musically, it might just be the most straight-talking Riggings moment yet, with just a hushed acoustic they find the emotion in feeling different, and learning to love the differences that make you the person that you are, “learn to trust the echo, scream louder at the tile, be a girl with range”. While A Girl W/Range stands alone as a track in its own right, Riggings has described it as, “an emotional/tonal preview”, of what’s to come on their next album, on this basis there are reasons to be very excited about where Riggings music is headed next.

A Girl W/ Range is out now via Horse Complex Records. For more information on Riggings visit

1. Water From Your Eyes Offer Fourteen Things To Like This Week

Based out of Brooklyn, because where else, Water From Your Eyes are the duo of Rachel Brown and Nate Amos and are currently one of the buzziest bands around, so thankfully they’re also rather good. Having just completed a US tour with Snail Mail, the band will support Interpol on their upcoming UK tour, before a headline tour, dates with Melodies Echo Chamber and performances at Pitchfork Festivals across three different countries. In between all that, the band will also find time to release their new album, Everyone’s Crushed, the follow-up to their breakthrough 2021 offering, Structure. Ahead of the record’s release at the end of this month, this week the band shared the latest track from it, 14.

The band describe 14 as, “a quasi-serial inkblot signifying submission to personal demons and the realization that change is both necessary and inevitable”. Fittingly the track’s lyrics are suitably hazy, heavy on repetition as Rachel initially questions, “when did it start to loop? I traced what I erased”, before cryptically asking us to make sense of what we see, “what is 14?” That sense of questioning and hesitance is also present in the music, as they initially greet the listener with an unnerving instrumental full of plucked strings and electronic buzz, sounding like the soundtrack to a particularly arty dystopian film. When Rachel arrives, it’s like a welcome wash of humanity, their voice cracking just enough to let you know it’s real, as they recall the likes of Lomelda’s Hannah Read or Living Hour’s Sam Sartey. What Water From Your Eyes do so well, is they confront the heaviness not with a defiant scream but with a mirror, they ask the darkness to look at itself, see all its flaws and its absurdist chaos. This is a band who are going to dance at your apocalypse, laugh at your ludicrous fatalism and carry on thriving in the face of the unease that threatens to engulf all creative endeavours, shed no tears, Water From Your Eyes make the world, however briefly, seem like a place that’s worth hanging onto.

Everyone’s Crushed is out May 26th via Matador. For more information on Water From Your Eyes visit

Header photo is Water From Your Eyes by Eleanor Petry.

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