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Step On: the week’s best new music tracks [Feb 26th]

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Press To MECO

New Boots editor Phil Moore takes you through the best new tracks this week.

Billy Lockett ‘Talk’
The third single from next month’s ‘Reflections’ EP is this duet with Violet Skies. A tune that skirts around the thorny issue of communication, there’s some tear-jerker lines in there, like “It kills me ‘cos you’re not yourself anymore”. By the time of the climax, when the backing kicks in, you’ll fully be rooting for love to win out. Fab performances from both, their voices working beautifully together.

Debe ‘Drama’
The third single from the brand new ‘The Last Breath’ mixtape, the lyrics on this one are very inward-looking, accepting the emotional turmoil that comes with finding your place in the world. It’s a winner from a ten-track mixtape that also features ‘Tell Me’ and ’67 Mustang’; certified gold standard tracks that explains why the only direction for Mr Reilly is upwards. His machine-gun delivery is never off; his drama is ours to saviour.

Press To MECO ‘Another Day’
Croydon, Crawley, Corby. There’s some sort of alliterative psychogeographical malarkey going on here to bring yer man Jake Crawford into the math-rock fold. The lead single from third album Transmute [June 11], there was a lot riding on this song, considering how great Here’s To The Fatigue [2018] was. They of course deliver; and in spades.

Louie Jacobs ‘Accutane’
Nice trap sounds from Kettering from the young rapper, who has come a long way since his first mumbled acoustic outpourings of 2017. A proper star in the making, some swish visuals to accompany these upfront the sounds should expand his reputation.

Katie Malco ‘Cloudbusting’
A beautifully straight-forward rendition of the Kate Bush classic. Stripping the song of studio embellishments reveals the melodic lushness and drama in the lyrics [abstract lines based on Reich’s A Book Of Dreams]. Malco’s sad sigh voice orbits the same world as her namesake, and my life is infinitely better for having it land in my ears. Fingers crossed for some original Malco material before 2021 is out…

Empyre ‘Stone [acoustic]’
The final in the series of acoustic makeovers from their parent album, their debut 2019 album Self Aware. The standard is as high as all their other reworkings, bringing the Spanish guitar to bear on the riffs in a pleasingly early ’90s way. The nine acoustic versions are to be collated on album The Other Side [Apr 30]. As they return to the studio to work on album number two they remind us why they are one of Northants leading rock bands.

thinking silly ‘ready, set, start over’
Things are building for Thinking Silly; the sounds travelling around the world. A confessional, full-of-regret vocal dominates over the soft beats, enveloping the soul in warm thoughts. His album TSLJ last year with Louie Jacobs is worth a stream or three too. Big up the Hotel Rexford!

Afreine ‘Clare St’
Long time come. New Boots has been waiting patiently for Celeste Charles to take her divine voice that’s occasionally been heard on Northampton stages and get it down in the studio. Jay Brook has given her the space to showcase her soul-pop lungs, and boy does she stretch it beautifully over this reminiscing ballad. “I’ve lost the fear” is just the words we needed to hear. Big things coming from Afreine, and this is a surefast first step.

King Koi ‘Want To’
This 22 year-old from Dodford [west Northants, geography fans] has been on some adventures, but now pushing his energies into his EDM work. This is a ridiculously good tune: breathy female vocal, phat squelchy bass drops, some great crescendo moments. On the week that His Royal Borisness announces that clubs could be back in the summer this, you imagine, would go down a treat in a sweaty basement.

CTP ‘Joyride’
After-hours NN vibes don’t get more seductive than what CTP throws out. A real auteur, producing the music and even directing the accompanying video himself, hopefully in 2021 he’ll step forward a bit, and more people can enjoy the smooth and trippy sounds.

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