Every couple of weeks I write about my favourite new musical discoveries. They may not always be ‘new’, but they’ll always be new to me, and hopefully to you. There’s a little bit about why I love each track, and links to artist/label websites or Bandcamps wherever possible.
Those which are on Spotify, I’ll add to the playlist below, but as always, try not to rely on Spotify for supporting bands. If you love any of these bands as much as I do, support them by buying their music, merch or seeing them live, if you are able to do so.
This fortnight’s choices:
Kermes – Questioning
There’s no song I’ve listened to more these last few weeks than this perfect piece of melodramatic DIY indie-punk, to steal Kermes‘ self-description. One of those songs with melody so instant, so classic seeming, that it’s hard to believe it hasn’t always existed. This song should be all over the radio, the TV, and anywhere else that plays music.
I discovered courtesy of the Move Under Your Own Power fanzine, which comes with a superb compilation of female/queer DIY bands who also feature in the zine. If I have to choose only one song though, it’s this one….
Deerful – Just Like We Never Said Goodbye
…although of course, I can choose as many songs as I like, so I’m also going to recommend this wonderfully catchy synthpop from Deerful which features on the same compilation.
The Tuts – Tut, Tut, Tut
Raucous pop-punk, that combines the most gorgeous melodies with sharp, direct lyrics about sexism in the music industry. This dates back a few years, but was introduced to me by an excellent playlist from Girl Gang Leeds.
Drahla – Twelve Divisions of the Day
Always great to discover a new band from my home city of Leeds, and this intense, rhythmic post-punk is one of the best things to come out of the city this year. Thanks to the ever excellent For The Rabbits for the recommendation on this one.
Freedom Baby – When We Go
If Kermes is my favourite track of the fortnight, this track from Freedom Baby is certainly the most joyous (and undoubtedly the most joyous song about death I’ve ever heard). Epic indie-pop driven by ever-building brass crescendos, discovered on a playlist from The Grey Estates.
The Nightingales & Vic Godard – Commercial Suicide Man
The Nightingales are a post-punk band who’ve been around almost 40 years, and Vic Godard has been putting out records as part of Subway Sect for even longer. I’ve never listen much to either band, but perhaps I should have been paying more attention, if this collaboration is anything to go by. Post-punk/garage-rock with a real sense of fun, all tribal rhythms, Nuggets-style organ sounds and chanted choruses
Jean Grae & Quelle Chris – My Contribution to This Scam
Two of the finest current underground rappers combine for a collaborative album, Everything’s Fine, of which this track is one of several highlights. Both are excellent MCs, but it’s Grae’s verses that really make it something special.
The Frixion – If You Ever Wonder
I went to see some excellent synthpop bands earlier in the year on the Ohm from Ohm tour, but had to leave before final band The Frixion to get my last bus (the glamour of rock and roll life). I am only now starting to realise what I missed out on. Synthpop doesn’t get much better than this.
Daniel Blumberg – Madder
Whilst it may not (well definitely isn’t) as catchy as other songs on this playlist, this is a truly beautiful piece of music from Daniel Blumberg (Yuck, Hebronix and more). It combines classical, experimental and even indie-rock influences over its’ 12 minutes, and every listen reveals new delights.
Stuart A Staples – Step Into The Grey
I have become a bit of a Tindersticks fan in recent years, after studiously ignoring them for many, many years. This track, from the recent Arrhythmia EP just proves that Stuart A Staples solo material is just as good as his work in the band.