Festival fields on lazy afternoons can be the perfect place to discover new music, but staying alert for up and coming acts is never really anyone’s priority during the rest of summer. So without further ado, prepare to feast your eyes and ears on 10 of the most exciting new tracks you may have missed over the last few months.
|L-R: Girli, Lucia Fontaine, Oscar, Blaenavon, Clean Cut Kid|
Fish - Wished
I first crossed paths with this London four-piece in January, courtesy of DIY’s Hello 2016 gigs at the Old Blue Last. They’ve stayed fairly quiet release wise throughout the course of the year, save for the odd uploaded-then-deleted tracks on their Soundcloud page (plus a slot supporting Wolf Alice at The Kentish Town Forum, mind). But this moody number looks to be their strongest release to date, and a sign of great things to come.
Blaenavon - I Will Be The World
These Transgressive signees hit up stages at Reading & Leeds, Latitude and tons more recently to promote their new EP and the fantastic single Let’s Pray, but this is the track I prefer; what starts out as soothing and melancholy quickly turns into a bombardment of frenzied guitars, frontman Ben Gregory’s powerful vocals icing the cake that is this band's incredible repertoire. They’ve just embarked on a long tour supporting The Hunna and The Sherlocks (I’m saying nothing) but you can also see them headline London’s Scala on October 14th if that's what you're into.
WHITE - Step Up
Bowie, Talking Heads, Spandau Ballet and more are all channelled by this bunch of Glaswegian glam-punks. The group are staggering the release of their upcoming Cuts That Don’t Bleed EP by releasing a track each month, with Step Up crashing into the world at the end of June. Part Britpop, part rejected Kasabian number, it begins as an indistinguishable barrage of noise but with every listen afterwards, the depth and intricacy of the track becomes more and more clear. The rest of their songs are just as raw and tight, so make sure to have a flick through their Soundcloud.
Drones Club - Soul Of A Spaceman
In a new music scene that often feels stagnant, crammed with mediocre guitar bands, Drones Club are something new. They describe themselves as “an electronic organisation made up of a rotating cast of anonymous drones”, which translates musically into thunderous, industrial bangers with nods to dancehall and acid-house influences. This track is one of their more chart friendly releases, but their new Rasa EP which came out this month showcases a darker, more political oriented side to the curious group. They play Kamio in Camden next Friday for Phil Taggart's Slacker night - tickets on sale here.
The Lemon Twigs - These Words
It seemed anyone who’s anyone was talking about this American bunch, masterminded by teen brothers Michael and Brian D’Addario, when they played their first shows on British soil in August. Drawing from a wide and bizarre range of influences, the band recently signed to 4AD [Future Islands, Grimes] and have a debut album titled Do Hollywood slated for release next month. These Words is really the first thing anyone this side of the pond has heard from them – an array of psychedelic wonder, like a souped up Vampire Weekend perhaps. It’s difficult to predict what to expect from The Lemon Twigs, but I've no doubt that wherever they go, it will be spectacular.
Clean Cut Kid - We Used To Be In Love (Formation Remix)
Time for a tasty double whammy as Liverpool pop darlings Clean Cut Kid get the remix treatment from equally hot up and comers Formation, both staple features at a host of festivals throughout the summer. The original version of the track is irresistibly joyous, but the underlying vulnerability of the lyrics in particular really comes through in this version. Sequenced twinkles and deep groans sit side by side in a fantastic mashup of styles from two bands you can bet on hearing more from come 2017. For now, read our interview with Clean Cut Kid ahead of their headline tour next month.
Bad Sounds - Avalanche (ft. ThisIsDA)
Let’s throw another remix in there, fuck it. On this rework of their track Avalanche, Bath outfit Bad Sounds enlist the services of rapper ThisIsDA for a tasty pastiche of genres. Blips and fizzes spiral around slick rhymes with the odd ‘get into it!’ thrown in for extra fun. The group just put out a new track called Wages which has already been crowned Annie Mac’s Hottest Record, so be sure to give that a listen as well as the equally brilliant original version of Avalanche. See them live in London and Bristol this November – all the details on Facebook.
Lucia Fontaine - Lose My Mind
On Lose My Mind, the first real taste of this singer-songwriter’s fiery sound, Lucia Fontaine may as well flip romance on its head, drench it in gasoline and set it alight in an angsty deluge of passion and effects pedals. Also hailing from Glasgow, her grungey tunes echo and swirl like fog, with hazy vocals blending glossily into velvet like instrumentals. In July, she performed at T in the Park courtesy of BBC Introducing, and is set to support Black Honey and The Big Moon at their Glasgow gigs this October.
Babeheaven - Moving On
These West Londoners haven’t released much, but what material they do have in the world is very special indeed. A blend of soulful trip-hop came with their second single Moving On, which landed in August, after successful stops at Latitude among other festivals. They’re heading out for a short tour next month, hitting up Birmingham, Brighton and London’s Bush Hall on the 11th. Go! It’ll be lovely.
Oscar - Breaking My Phone (ft. Girli)
Damn son, what a beauty to end on. Sickest collaboration of the year award goes to this effort from indie whizz-kid Oscar and our favourite anti-pop star, Girli. As if the woozy number weren’t good enough already, a shot of neon pink attitude gives the millennial anthem a freaky pick-me-up I doubt anyone knew it needed. Fingers crossed it’ll get some live outings when these two bright sparks hit the road together from next week. Or hey, they already did it for VEVO, to give you an idea of how it might sound.
And there you have it – ten tracks you really ought to have heard over the summer from acts with bright futures ahead of them. Peace out.
Words: Alex Cabré
Words: Alex Cabré