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Step On: the week’s best new music tracks [May 14th]

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The Moons

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

Billy Lockett ‘Don’t Mean A Thing [acoustic]’
His recent ‘Reflections’ EP was a generally intimate affair, sonically. But now he’s stripped the collection right back to voice and keys for a forthcoming sister EP, much like how his upcoming “gigs are back” tour will present the songs [including a Northampton date at The Black Prince on May 30th]. This ‘acoustic’ version is not a million miles away from the studio version; the most interesting thing being the different vocal emphasis, which here elevates the killer melody even more. Billy at his best is surely just him, his piano, and his deep well of emotional honesty. For fans of NN landmarks, check out the video shot inside the beautiful St. Matthew’s Church.

Jay Faded ‘Enemies’
Man, this is calling out for some loud PA action! The NN bassline star is riding high on a creative wave with his lockdown output, and this is no different. “I could be deadly”: mate, you are already are.

Sharmaine ‘Lose Me’
I didn’t expect her back so soon, but this is single number four of 2021 – and it’s only May. The Northampton teenage sensation strips it back again here, plaintive piano serenading her [or is that vice-versa] as she sticks up for herself against a failing lover. She proves herself human on this one, as the melody trips over itself at times, but it is still head and shoulders above where her natural creative path should be at now. And her angelic voice is gonna break a few minds once she breaks out, which can’t be far off now.

The Moons ‘Marching On’
The third single from the sumptuous four Moons album Pocket Melodies is ‘The Lone Wolf’. As magnificent as that song is I thought I’d highlight one of the ‘b-sides’ to it. This one is written by guitarist Chris Watson, and if we can make a Beatles comparison [yes please! – Andy] this is him being Harrison to Crofty’s more Macca a-side. A more subtle, thinner voice, a memorable guitar solo, and references to escaping the 9 to 5 all combine in glorious Technicolor. Top job sir!

Manners ‘No Games’
There’s been some debate this week over which NN rapper, aside from Izzie Gibbs, it would have been nice to see on the Happyland bill. FFSYTHO surely would have made sense, but Manners also is stepping up his game and profile to have been in with a shot. ‘No Games’ matches some crisp Eski beats to his dancehall-styled vocal rhythm, and is an absolute certified banger. Great video from QB Room to catch too.

Louie Jacobs x Cheyenne Died ‘Time’
Where the Northants teenager hooks up with a Texan rapper and makes something truly serene and lovely inside three minutes of emo rap. This has loads of American flavour, has broad appeal, and you could see it taking off in this post-Eilish world. Teenage angst never sounded better, frankly.

Large Plants ‘The Carrier’
Wolf People have easily been one of the most interesting of the psych bands since the revival – and they were around before the revival, anyway. Bedfordshire frontman Jack Sharp has been doing some solo releases recently, and now he’s gotten this other project off the ground too. Featuring much-respected Northants guitarist Joe Wooley amongst the live line-up coming later in 2021 [cough* come play Northampton *cough], this is a beautiful softly-rocking psych-folk minor key number that doesn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater of previous endeavours. Keep on Carrying, Jack; we will share the load.

Luc Aus ‘What’s The Deal’
This has the moody atmospherics turned up to 11. The rhythm is very low-rider; your head will bop. There’s many cute subtle production moments happening, which will catch your ear on repeat listens. Which is recommended.

ChillsNTA ‘Stay Up’
“We gonna live life til the Lord takes us” is the affirmative refrain on this, another winner from the ambitious Wellingborough rapper. “Where I’m from bro you gotta climb stairs”. And with this he’s running flat out up them, to the top.

thinking silly ‘Your Attention’
Hot off the back of his album [read our interview here], this is an intimate sharing of emotions, a welcome into a mind that’s searching for acute answers that relationships painfully throw up.

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