Photo by Bea Dewhurst
New Boots editor Phil Moore takes you through the best new tracks this week.
Oscar Lang ‘Get Out’
The 19-year-old Londoner does playful pop in a similar vein to Alfie Templeman, or even Connan Mockasin. Shades of psychedelia, ’90s-style guitars, a crisp modern production sheen…the melting pot is full to the brim. Leftfield ideas aplenty, but with the Dirty Hit machine, radio-friendly team behind him. An album in 2021 will cement his place firmly in the centre of the scene.
This is a surprisingly fast follow-up to late 2019s underappreciated Hot Motion album. The Sean Lennon-produced single doesn’t shake things up too much sonically for the band from Kettering – but the sound is bit thicker overall, with a solid disco beat that drives the whole thing, plus those little synth accoutrements that reveal more of themselves on repeat plays. The violin breakdown that signals the ending is a thing of beauty, and shows how effectively they continue to marry pop and prog in their mini-symphonies.
Jay Faded ‘Skanka’
Utilising the same “You think that’s nasty, pal/”I’ll show you fucking nasty” sample as the old dubstep number from Taylor Kay a few years back, this dirty bassline banger is just more fire to the ammunition that Jay is an immense talent. The Northampton DJ will be the toast of clubland on the other side of this pandemic with ‘Skanka’ in his bag.
Catherine Ann Davies & Bernard Butler ‘Sabotage [Looks So Easy]’
Aka The Anchoress and the former Suede-guitarist-turned-hot-producer team up for an album of unsettling guitar-pop, In Memory Of My Feelings [out Sept 18]. This straight-talking winner has all the hallmarks of the bands they circulate around: overdriven/careening guitar, pounding piano rolls, a singalong chorus. A glorious if unexpected marriage, and hearing Butler back in guitar-slinging mode is pure joy.
Garden ‘Halfway House’
We will look back on 2020 and remember two things: covid-19 and hanging with Garden. Their SIXTH single this year [with more to come], this one is all about that hummable chorus. Delicate guitar atmospherics kick it off, with Cam Grace’s hushed voice deceivingly leading us up to that widescreen singalong, before returning again to more hushed verses – and doing it all again. This is a bit more low-key and glum that some of the other singles, but it still gets the emotions working flat-out.
Girls In Synthesis ‘They’re Not Listening’
At a level below IDLES/Sleaford Mods in terms of popularity is a band who tread similar ground, but with even more visceral hatred of the modern world than the aforementioned. Debut album Now Here’s An Echo From Your Future arrived last week and it a devastating post-punk blow to the cranium. This is rumble and squall you can believe in, and indeed need to.
Skirt ‘Last Blast Spaceman’
It’s been over two years since the Corby band last gave us some fresh sounds, so this five minutes of epic discordant indie-punk produced by the ever-brilliant Jay Russell is most welcome. Heavy vibes all round, it displays all the thickness and threat of their live shows. There’s some cool spaceman talk at the end, which just adds to the psychedelic edge overall. FFO: Oh Sees, BJM, shame.
Bandante ‘So This Is Now’
George Vjestica is most known as the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds guitarist since 2013, and he also has a collaborative project known as Bandante. This instrumental work is a big call-and-response thing between guitar, Hammond, drums, and brass. It recalls late-90s Primal Scream and Spiritualized in all their psych-rock pomp, and that is the sort of compliment anyone should be more than happy with.
Hounds Haul ‘Riviera’
MK alt-poppers have released their third single of the year, and boy does it come at you from all angles. It has all the syncopated guitars and ten-tonne synth-wash you would associate with the likes of Everything Everything and Sarpa Salpa. Infectious and energised, you’ll possibly need a lie down after playing. An exciting band for the future if they keep up with gems like ‘Riviera’.
Arp Latch ‘Ringbase’
Ambient house fans rejoice, this is the glitchy electronic project of Marcus Lever, former drummer in NN10’s sadly-missed Acolytes. Sometimes the simple ideas are the best, and this does a lot with the basic tools of echo synths and programmed drums. Perfect daydream music to be played at 4am.