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Step On: the week’s best new music tracks [Jun 5]

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

SLANG ‘Sunshine’
Dan Dare mixes up his music like you make fruit smoothies. This is Jamie T karaoke singing a Paul Simon song circa Graceland with a phat clubland chassis keeping the whole thing ticking along. Sounds horrible, but it will undoubtedly make you grin from ear to ear throughout these grim times. More infectious it could not be; it’s a bit of a shame its over so quickly in 140 seconds. The man’s a talent in every field of music, as his recent collaborations prove. Jump in his ride, and “enjoy the sunshine”.

Will & The People ‘Loveblind’
W&TP bring the festival vibes to your home this year. ‘Head In The Sand’ is a five-track EP from the Brighton lads recorded entirely during lockdown. ‘Loveblind’ is the stand-out number, a careworn piano-led harmonising paean to being head over heels. The whole EP is frankly a charm, opening with their version of Pixies ‘Where Is My Mind?’ and finishing with a stripped-back version of last year’s sonic equivalent of a communal hug, ‘Gigantic’.

32 Tens ‘Happy’
Named after a Nokia phone model, Warrington ska-tinged rockers have done an absolute banger here. Singer Max’well Vickers sings in a tone that makes it hard to tell if he’s a boy and a girl, which is very hard and totally admirable. ‘Happy’ is a bouncing joy, with some lovely dramatic slowie bits to make the pogoing sections seem even better. It’s a modern take on the old ska-punk/nu metal world that’s become unfashionable in most sections of the media. So it’s a “yes!” to entertaining those with soul, but “no!” to millions in the bank.

Benin City ‘Hold Them Close’
Mature electronic pop is this London trio’s modus operandi. A kosmische beat and synth line, reverberating vocal interplay between male and female protagonists, and an uplifting message of hope to those nearest and dearest. “The world is a mess and we are all we have left”, say the band. A lot of acts try this sound and come across as bland as packet soup. Not these lot though – there’s pure energy here that can’t be denied.

Garden ‘Where Has My Youth Gone’
Back again for the fourth time this year, though that plan to release one new song every month in 2020 looks kiboshed by current circumstances. This one has distant guitars and a forlorn vocal, then builds up in a Snow Patrol/mid-80s U2 manner to celestial, widescreen pop-rock. And they do it so well, tapping into an emotional flow that tugs at somewhere between heart and stomach. With songs like this you really can only swoon.

KOYO ‘Out Of Control’
Leeds groove rockers drop third preview single from sophomore album You Said It, out June 26th. It’s heavy dream-pop with Pumpkins-esque grungey guitars and a spooky vocal. They do the noodle-doodle thing that’s perfect for head-nodding along to at gigs [what’s a gig, you say?]. Some people would call this psych or prog, and that’s fine as there’s lots going on and it definitely takes the mind somewhere else. It’s a cracker, regardless.

Zefar ‘Blue’
His name is Mike and he is a sharp dresser. This NNer delivers spacey flow over trippy beats. He sounds pretty heartbroken on this one; “all my walls are blue…drinking my pain away”. His soulful voice is individual, even captivating. It’s early days, but there’s plenty to be excited about with this fresh one.

Joe Corkram ‘Back Then’
Northampton singer-songwriter who does a fine line in direct heartfelt balladry comes up trumps again. For every 100 Spotify streams on ‘Back Then’ in the first month Joe will donate £10 to MND Association, so go get listening.

Lunaxis ‘Bitter Is Better’
The “folk-rock” group expand on their sound here. The washy synth sounds are brought to the fore on their second single of 2020. Whether its a reinvention or simply an experiment isn’t important, as the song battles an underwhelming production – and crucially wins. Singer Carly Loasby keeps the song riding high with another impassioned chorus delivery. A band that’s great for a sing-a-long in a field can afford to bide its time right now. More of this proggy-pop would be welcome, that’s for sure.

Joe Go Beat ‘Dirty Old Rag’
The parent album Alea Iacta Est was released earlier this week [see our review here], and this lead single has all the hallmark of the man behind GoGo Loco and The Mobbs. Namely: gritty R&B and thought-provoking lyrics delivered with brevity. The song is a none-too-subtle attack on the British tabloid media culture, and it’s a hoot as always. “Dirty old rag/Solely to blame/For every evil/For all our pain”. Take that Murdoch!

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