Mini Mansions [ft Alex Turner] / Vertigo
The side project of QOSTA bassist Michael Shuman has been resurrected after taking a hiatus of sorts after their debut EP was released in 2009. Mini Mansions are back and following the release of their single Death Is A Girl last year, Vertigo has arrived to well and truly establish this as a band that stands alone from QOTSA. Featuring Alex Turner, the sleazy song, although fairly simplistic, is full of tricky rhythms and lyrics that fly round and round your brain for days after your first listen. It's a fantastic song and I look forward to seeing what the rest of the year brings them.
Wolf Alice / I Saw You (In A Corridor)
The b-side to the latest single Giant Peach comes in the form of a darling acoustic track. It takes Wolf Alice right back to the rawest form, Ellie Rowsell with a guitar singing a love song. Her voice sounds undoubtably strong, but still so soft and stunning over the gentle strumming of the acoustic guitar. For a b-side, it's brilliant and you can tell that Wolf Alice are on course to produce hit after hit after hit, and it's about bloody time they get the recognition they deserve.
Warpaint / I'll Start Believing
The harmonious dream-pop group with a passion for fiery anthems are back with new material and they certainly haven't lost their talent for writing. I'll Start Believing is in-keeping the haunting guitar music we are used to from Warpaint but slaps it over an almost electro-feeling beat and this makes for the perfect anti-pop song.
Tame Impala / Let It Happen
Gone are the wispy psychy days of Tame Impala's first two albums, the crunching synths have taken over. Layered on top are FX laden guitar riffs and pop rhythms which sound almost hypnotic when paired with a strong bass-line and equally dominating drum beat. [Kevin] Parker's voice is the icing on the cake as he sings lyrics that at first listen don't sound as stunningly meaningful as they actually are. If this is the direction that Tame Impala's new album is going in then we are all in for a treat.
Courtney Barnett / Depreston
The second single off CB's phenomenal debut album is a crushingly down to earth anthem wrapped up in an endearing acoustic melody. It talks of moving house to a depressingly average area and how everything seems and looks the same, a topic which is painfully close to home for a lot of people. CB is one of my favourite young lyricists around today and this song only backs up why.
Muse / Psycho
Royal Blood arrived last year suddenly, and it was easy to lump a ton of influences on them. But the new Muse single, the first from their album Drones, makes it so much easier to see who it is that Royal Blood are ripping off. Nods to Full Metal Jacket and a threatening confrontational riff remind us that Muse are the number 1 commercial rock band in the UK - it's not revolutionary, but Psycho is a solid effort that puts Muse right back on the musical map.
Drenge / Favourite Son
The second single off Undertow finds Drenge at their darkest and angriest since the release of their first album. It's the definite highlight of the second album as they sprint through a manic 2 minutes of aggression and angst wrapped up in a heavy bass-line and fast drums. The extra member means that Eoin can show off on the guitar and love it or hate it, it certainly does add a totally new dimension to the band, one that is definitely not negative.
Hookworms / Retreat
Retreat is nothing short of genius. Possibly the greatest song Hookworms have ever released and easily the strongest song from The Hum. It closes the album with 6 minutes of messy guitar riffs, MJ's lyrics almost un-make-out-able due to the amount of effects on his vocals, all lumped in with a dance-worthy beat. It's an organ-driven, post-CBGB's gnostic psych odyssey. Probably one of my favourite songs released this year and truly, truly fantastic.
FKA Twigs / Glass and Patron
As well as being one of the single-most innovative young artists ever, Twigs also directs all of her own music videos, putting her amongst the most talented in every aspect of musical production. Glass and Patron sounds like a pop song that was blown apart and reconstructed in a dystopian future. Her vocals are dreamy and ethereal layered of disjointed rhythms and synths that add a very uncomfortably hypnotic feel to the whole track. But don't be fooled, it's an incredible song.
Palma Violets / English Tongue
Just making it into the March edition of this, the next single from PV's second LP shows a different side to their influences, with English Tongue drawing on old school folk bands combined with that recognisable Palmas sound. It's upbeat, happy and the sort of song you'll find crowds of people screaming along to in the summertime. Yet another affirmation that Danger In The Club will live up to the phenomenon of their debut album.