New Boots editor Phil Moore takes you through the best new tracks of recent weeks.
Tragic ‘Dishonoured Gentlemen’
“They’re just tears/But I’m holding them back in fear/That someone’s gonna judge me”. Some raw honestly right there from teenage Cameron Godfrey, whose sharp punk trio [alongside drummer Lewis and new bassist Bryan] possess the playing nous that makes all their Nirvana/Idles/Slaves-style outbursts so familiarly excellent. How it sounds so fresh is a mystery; just run with it. Northampton won’t get to hold them at their walls by the end of the year, so enjoy being ahead of the curve for as long as you can.
Femi Tahiru ‘Signs’
Major talent siren!! Tahiru is from Northampton and now resides in Manchester. Soul-jazz with beats; it’s been a strong sound since trip-hop/DJ Shadow/Massive Attack popularised it, but here Femi gives the idea a fresh lick of paint. There’s a vulnerability here that’s undeniable, a unique voice speaking his heart, ruminating on his relationship woes. Sharp production lifts the game, he is radio-ready right now. This feels like the beginning of a special journey.
Azuki ‘NN Magic’
Some “NN madness” to lead off the young rapper’s first mixtape, The Saints And Me. 23 minutes worth of confident, light-touch, brooding grime beats that pays a debt to melodic R&B, The Saints is well worth your time. The town’s confidence is sky high right now – “we got the magic” is the truth.
This Northampton teenager has only just appeared on the New Boots radar, though has been releasing music since 2018. This is the title track from his new EP, where he deadpan raps over some Massive Attack-style beats and scratches, and there’s a lovely sax line in there too, giving it some extra spice. Retro yes; highly enjoyable too.
Torus ‘High Rope’
One of the few rock bands that continue to release during the pandemic, aided by home recording facilities of course. The MK/NN trio run with a strong Queens/Kyuss vibe with the guitars/vocals on this, and they sound MAJESTIC. My favourite of their singles yet. Can’t wait to see them back on stage back half of 2021.
Lucien Moon ‘Body Ain’t You’
An electric guitar picks a melody, then snapping beats rise to meet the soul-pop voice of our romantically-minded hero. He makes this stuff sound so effortless. Not sure why the radio hasn’t picked up on him yet, it’s absolute gold for the pop playlists. He is threatening to release a new song every two weeks for four months soon. Praise be.
Manny Malice, Daboy J, Chederano ‘P’s’
Now this is a collab and a half. Manny’s second single, J and Chederano’s fourth. All new singers and rappers with upfront flow, trading stories over strong guitar and bass rhythms. Catchy as hell, they make a cast-iron strong team. I gotta feeling they’re going to make 2021 a hell of a lot more interesting!
Nevmore ‘His Perspective/Her Perspective’
“Who the fuck you think you are, Alicia Keys or something?” This is a brilliant slice of sweary entertainment backed by a smooth hip-hop sound that recalls Kayne or Nas. The Wellingborough rapper chats up a lady with, shall we say, questionable results. And then you get to hear “her” reply. Very funny, very cleverly executed. More please.
Amii Dawes ‘In My Sleep’
“So tired of the apathy I’m feeling in my bones”. I think Amii speaks for all of us there since the covid-blues descended. The inherent loneliness of social distancing wears us all down, and makes our hearts smaller. At least Dawes can express is succinctly, and helps with the healing. Give thanks.
Rosie Ash ‘Sit & Smile’
From a Northants village but now in the Big Smoke, this is an atmospheric singer-songwriter fayre that sits right in the middle of the modern pop world. Layered vocals, speech samples dropped in, a strong central melody, haunting organ…it’s certainly a full bag, and it’s a stylish one at that.