Guitars! Drums! Synths! Vox! Bass! All these instruments and more represented in our favourite tracks of the week. Check it out:
Team Picture – (I Want Your) Life Hack
Buzzing post-punk tinged guitar pop from Leeds six-piece Team Picture. The tune is a ball of energy – described by the band as a “Talking Heads song from an alternate dimension” – with an ear-worm of a chorus and fuzzy, out-of-control guitars. Fun, dirty guitar-pop that’ll stick with you for weeks.
Courtney Barnett – Need a Little Time
A wistful, hypnotic new number from Courtney Barnett. Lyrically, her mind seems less cluttered than usual, with the tangents kept to a minimum, allowing the song’s worn down centre can speak. Every line hits with crushing relatability, whilst the musically the guitars ebb and flow, climaxing in a driving, messy solo.
Half Waif – Torches
‘Torches’ shows yet another side to Half Waif. The track’s skittering, stabbing production, full of experimental turns, swells with Half Waif’s vocals, growing more confident with every verse. Pop at its core, the track glistens with subtle touches, tiny samples and vocal inflections that push it into a zone Half Waif has not been before. Sublime.
The New Tusk – Tarmac
Some blistering punk from The New Tusk. ‘Tarmac’ is short and sweet – less than two minutes in length – but the song crams in enough emotion, angst and scuzzy guitars to more than make up for its short length.
Pip Hall – Fire
Addictively atmospheric pop from Pip Hall. Released via My Little Empire Records, the track’s shimmering synth foundation is matched with skipping guitar and Pip’s echoing vocals. Harmonious layers lift the chorus up to euphoric levels.
China Bowls – To Belong
Bristol’s China Bowl yet again wows with her stunning mix of soul and jazz. Released via Saffron Records, the track’s smoothed instrumental is matched only by the smoothness of China Bowl’s vocals. Calming and intricate, ‘To Belong’ is worth sticking on repeat.
Fenne Lily – On Hold
With her debut album #blessing us very soon, Bristol’s Fenne Lily has shared this charming video for her last single ‘On Hold’ – her directorial debut no less. The track’s beautiful, subtle guitars and Fenne’s longing vocals are the perfect accompaniment to her roller skating around London.
Zelah – Wide Awake
Darkly beautiful pop from Bristol three-piece Zelah. With sweeping landscapes sculpted by underlying synths, the band add in chiming layers of instrumentation, whilst the powerful vocal rides on top. It’s a confident, slick song from a band with only a handful of singles to their name so far. Keep an eye on Zelah, because based on ‘Wide Awake’, their brand of pop could take them far.
Be Softly – Graphite
A collaborative audio-visual project from Bristol’s Be Softly (the side project of Poisonous Birds) and American director, David Aragon. The song’s soft, but menacing mix of electronics and crashing drums are mirrored beautifully by the unnerving, horror film-like video. It’s heavy with a murky, electronic hum, but the drums stab through, driving the song forward, acting as its centrepiece. An all-encompassing listen.
Sigrid – Raw
I was among the many that journeyed through an icy blizzard on Saturday to see Danish pop-sensation Sigrid, and let me tell you, she is absolutely the real deal. With boundless energy and genuine humility, Sigrid is like your excitable mate who is now, through sheer talent/being really nice, has found themselves playing already to thousands of people. ‘Raw’, her new single shows a fragility that we’ve not seen before, whilst still sticking to the perfect pop template she has created.
Check back next week for some more Big Tunes™