Tag: step on

Step On: the week’s best new music tracks [May 29]

New Boots editor Phil Moore takes you through the best new music tracks this week. Billy Lockett ‘One World’Northampton lynchpin Lockett is your perfect isolation artist: much of his recordings…

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

Billy Lockett ‘One World’
Northampton lynchpin Lockett is your perfect isolation artist: much of his recordings feature just him and his trusty grand piano, so musical life hasn’t changed that drastically for him. But this is something of a left-turn – an instrumental ‘classical’ piece. Before you panic, its actually excellent: his dexterous fingers taking the listener on a moving journey into the recesses of the mind. Or, if you will, the soundtrack to exploring a deserted house filled with half-remembered memories. An album of this stuff is promised.

Squid ‘Broadcaster’
The London quintet are gearing up for their sure-to-be-a-game-changer debut album, and drop another mini beast to tease us some more. Dystopian jazz sci-fi feels from this one, a slow building pulse of proggy doom that doesn’t really go anywhere, except towards inner space. Not as immediate as some of the previous singles, but still gives the all-important goose pimples.

The Mysterines ‘I Win Every Time’
“Even Robert Johnson said I’d win every time”. And the Liverpool band led by singer/guitarist Lia Metcalfe do just that. Fierce, relentless, filthy; some adjectives to help underpin the sheer excitement that these elemental, stomping, primal songs produce. Their sold-out live shows have been causing some serious palpitations amongst those in attendance. Everything is looking blood-red rosy for them, in fact.

Roska ft. Elle Delaney ‘Give Me Some More’
Londoner Roska deals in funky house moves, and yet his ‘Internal Sunshine’ EP sees him working on a more mellow tip with a trio of female vocalists, including NN’s Delaney. This opening track bears witness to some nice electronic shuffling beats, and her distinctive vocals pine for the old times when we could go out and party til the small hours. It’s also a celebration of feminine energy, as is the whole spacious and progressive EP.

Jamie Lenman ‘The Road To Right’
The singer, guitarist, illustrator, and all-round cult hero has been keeping the quality high this past decade as a solo artist. Taken from forthcoming mini-album King Of Clubs, this second preview single is a shouty little monster, bringing the Pixies/Nirvana loud-quiet dynamic, but with plenty of layered vocals and general drama to have you basking in it quickly. His last single was called ‘The Future Is Dead‘. The man is a sage; listen in.

Maddox Jones ‘Headspace’
The Born Stranger artist is now releasing music under his own name. The title track from his forthcoming EP, he’s worked with Dave Crawford [Kinships] to create a warm, ambient-house winner that takes a spacey opening and builds to that singalong chorus. Perfect for 6am Ibiza sunrises, it tackles head-on the fragile mind state that requires human connection to fix. The same but different, this version of Jones is onto something special with ‘Headspace’, and long may it continue.

Riskee & The Ridicule ‘Blue Jacket’
“I don’t know from who/But I’ve got my country back”. A Brexit song from the Kent rap rockers, it’s spitting pithy truths to have the Daily Mail brigade huffing and puffing all the way to their drawing rooms. “You’re a joke/You ain’t woke/You’ve always been dead” is as about a good a put down as you’ll hear in 2020. Punk rock is safe as houses in their hands; go buy this and then wait for their next tour announcement – it just might change your life.

The Moons ‘How Can I Convince You To Love Me?’
Taken from the Home Demos & Rarities, Vol 1 album hastily compiled as a lockdown stopgap until their fourth album proper hits the streets in the second half of 2020. This one is fully formed; arranged with the full gamut of instruments, it has a vaguely Middle Eastern melodic pull, and a distinct sea shanty rhythm. It’s a quality, catchy number that really shouldn’t have been shelved, so it’s great to finally see it have its moment in the sun.

Thee MVPs ‘A Song For Councillor’
“We only get together when someone else has met their end”. Leeds garage-punks today release their second long-player, Science Fiction. This latest single about a passed relative is them at their most boisterous: fat guitar/bass riffs, muso shredding in the middle section, and memorable “bar ba-ba-ba-bar”s til the cows come home. It’s Thee Oh Sees meets Black Flag, and its fucking glorious, as is everything they do.

Amii Dawes ‘Uninspired’
“I just want to be admired/Is that too much to ask?” Definitely not, for this uber-melancholic slow-burner is a real heartbreaker that perfectly underlines Dawes talent. A voice dripping with hidden depths, these soul-searching five minutes, full of self-doubt, are wrapped in a simple but haunting arrangement. Based around plinky piano and foreboding Hammond, it might just push you to tears. The title is a misnomer; this is beguiling, sophisticated singer-songwriter fare.

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Step On: the week’s best new music tracks [May 15]

New Boots editor Phil Moore takes you through the best new music tracks this week. slowthai ‘ENEMY’“Have ups and downs like an elevator”. After a rather public down last February…

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

slowthai ‘ENEMY’
“Have ups and downs like an elevator”. After a rather public down last February there were plenty of people writing off the Northampton rapper. And to some degree he addresses that on this track, as the simple title pun on NME makes clear. After threatening to kill kids [ironically, calm down] he gives his real message – “I need the revenge, so I made a plan/To kill you with kindness”. It’s not exactly a response song, but there’s enough intrigue there, and it shows he really isn’t someone to take things lying down. As Darko and Sammo dish out the beats to that make you sit up and listen, it’s great to hear him again doing his thing his way, as only he knows how.

Paul Weller ‘Village’
Another preview song from upcoming album On Sunset [as in, Boulevard], Paul now moves into summery pop territory. If it gives you Style Council vibes, well, that might be because Mick Talbot is there on keys, as well as usual NN collaborators Andy Crofts and Ben Gordelier. A string-laden and Fender Rhodes-led ode to appreciating your blessed life as it is, it is self-consciously sickly sweet, and your appreciation will depend on how much of a sweet tooth you have. If we can’t have much of a proper summer in 2020 this goes some way to lifting us up anyhow.

BLOXX ‘Lie Out Loud’
The suburban London indie rockers are causing a real stir with their anthemic rousers, working with a sound reminiscent of noughties-era Manic Street Preachers, or even Republica. The title track from their forthcoming debut album [Aug 14], the trio – led by vocalist Fee Booth – are aiming straight for your heart on this confessional sing-a-long

Sleaford Mods ‘Second’
The single chosen to promote odd and sods album All That Glue [out today]. It was recorded in early 2017, just after the English Tapas sessions. It’s another winner from of aggro-pop from one of the UK’s most interesting acts. Vocalist Jason Williamson bemoans his runner-up status to the brands that he consumes. They’re a Marmite band, yes – but Marmite is lovely, isn’t it. “Full ranking!”

Sarpa Salpa ‘Forwards Backwards’
The seventh single from Northampton’s indie-pop masters, and this one has bought along the robotic funk. The first number to feature the contributions of keys player Meg Amirghiasvand [Future Love, OhBoy], its a smooth neon-lit smasher. Singer Marcus gives himself quite a workout in the chorus, and you can imagine the crowds getting right into this in a field sometime in 2021 [weep]. If they don’t take over the UK soon it will be nothing short of criminal.

Mint ‘Turbulence’
Grimsby. Always hated the place since I witnessed the Cobblers lose to them at Wembley in the play-off final back in the day. But finally I can forget all that as they have an ace garage-punk outfit making waves. Filthy drums, filthier bass, guitars that buzz more than pylons…it’s hard not to get turned on by this primal rock’n’roll noise. Singer Zak has an excellent slashed-throat delivery, and *stop reading this and go and listen below*.

Bugeye ‘When The Lights Go Out’
London disco-punks whack out the barrelhouse piano to aid this bouncy sci-fi glam sacrificial offering to the music gods. Inch by inch Bugeye are building a rich name for themselves with great live shows and killer singles, and luckily for us they should be hitting Northampton once lockdown is over. Kitsch power-pop fun beckons…

Neil’s Children ‘The First Conversation That We Ever Had’
This is a turn-up for the books. The London art-punks were one of the leading lights circa 2004 when decadent rock’n’roll had its moment in the sun again. And for good reason: music connoisseur John Linger was able to shift his talents continually. After adventures that took them more psychedelic and electronic, they went away; Linger is now in Girls In Synthesis. But this reunion is a touch; grasping at that maniacal energy of old that captured so many willing hearts back then. An album of this style would be a pleasant, full-circle outcome.

Evolution ‘Lover’
Northampton/Birmingham whizz-kid Josh Worley-Ebbs brings the club beats for an Ibizan summer that’s not happening in 2020. Your back garden will have to do. ‘Lover’ is a booming house track, with an in-your-face vocal delivery. He’s a unique talent, this one.

Broken Empire ‘Locked Out Of Heaven’
Daventry/Oxford hard rockers have been gaining a lot of critical praise in the right places over the past couple of years. This one is a curveball though, a Bruno Mars cover. It transforms the reggae-pop original into a crunching monster, keeping the strong melody and little else – adding the inevitable double kick beats and guttural screams to complete a smart metallic metamorphosis.

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Step On: the week’s best new music tracks [May 8]

New Boots editor Phil Moore takes you through the best new music tracks this week. Fontaines D.C. ‘A Hero’s Death’“Life ain’t always empty”. They’re back so quick we’ve had little…

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

Fontaines D.C. ‘A Hero’s Death’
“Life ain’t always empty”. They’re back so quick we’ve had little time to miss them, with the title track from the Dublin fivesome’s second album [due July 31]. Musically it’s a continuation of the themes of before. Vaguely threatening, scratchy, arty rock – with an intense guitars-battle-with-swoony-“bab-ba-ba”s crescendo come the denouement. Grian Chatten gives it some proper sermonising too. Elemental magic.

The Blinders ‘Lunatic [With A Loaded Gun]’
Another guitar band previewing their sophomore LP, the Manchester trio continue their socio-political cause with a righteous punk blast against modern-day tyrants. As an opening couplet goes, “There are children in cages/On Monday’s front pages” doesn’t take any prisoners. It’s considered rage rather than unhinged, as the album title – Fantasies Of A Stay At Home Psychopath – possibly reflects. The band are tighter than a gnat’s chuff, as always. Until they get to slay us all again from the stage this does the job very admirably.

Dylan Cartlidge ‘Yellow Brick Road’
Nods to Beastie Boys, Prince, Jamie T, Andre 3000? Yes it the North-East’s version of Ginger Snaps. Sunshine funk-pop with indie cred, the radio loves him and he’s surely got the world at his feet. The forthcoming debut album is going to be fly, you just know it.

Husky Loops ‘You Bore Me’
Clattering rhythms, bassline bombs, fuzz guitar, distorted vocals: the Italians-in-London have never sounded looser and heavier. Their debut album I Can’t Even Speak English from last year was a crisp alt-pop triumph, and whether this progression is representative of newer horizons is tough to know right now. I like it anyway. One of the more interesting bands around; moving guitar-pop away from base elements and using studio manipulation to demonstrate what’s possible.

Sonic Boom ‘Things Like This [A Little Deeper]’
Pete Kember returns to releasing music under his Sonic Boom moniker, which he dropped after Spacemen 3 in favour of Spectrum and Experimental Audio Research. The new album is All Things Being Equal [June 5], his first long-player in any description in over a decade. He’s been producing the likes of Panda Bear and MGMT in recent years, and the sound of this one is as bubbly and hypnotic as your mind’s eye would imagine. With live shows soon too [fingers crossed], it’s great to have him back.

The Scruff ‘Vultures’
The Bedford boys return to the front line. After a tricky year or so where it all went quiet, it’s very satisfying to hear them in such rude health. A scathing take on internet troll culture, it’s got a confident swagger in its step. Hell, it’s got “indie rock banger” stamped through it like some fine candy-stripped stick of rock. Some good time rock’n’roll is just what the doctor prescribed right now, so hats off to these guys for coming up with the goods.

Scarlet ‘Friends’
Singer Jessie Robinson is not one to sit on her laurels, and with a rejigged line-up her Liverpool band start 2020 with fresh impetus and this fuzz-rock plaything that’s practically oozing with perky alt-rock energy. Drums and bass are pretty much off the scale on this one, plus that lazer-guided melody means it leaps out at you like a Joe Exotic plaything. The video is worth checking out too, as they enlist their music mates [Hands Off Gretel! Salvation Jayne! etc] to mine along.

DARKSAVAGE ‘Feeling Blessed’
New Northampton rapper Jordan Potter. Not much info to be gleamed so far beyond the music. Nice production touches going on in the background. One to keep an eye on.

Stevie Jones and Mark Gill ‘Glow’
Taken from Eleventh Hour, a 2011 album by Northants singer-songwriter Stevie Jones and guitarist Mark Gill released originally for 24 hours only but now being made widely available on CD/DL. The seven track album was recorded live at Yellow Bean Studios in Leicester, and you get Stevie’s raw vocals and Mark’s acoustic guitar flourishes meeting to produce some minor-key fireworks. Perfect for fans of rootsy music by the likes of John Mayer, or Counting Crows.

The Comms ‘Transmission One’
Brand new garage-punk band from ShoeTown, this first release was recorded and mixed by Adam Gammage and mastered by Greg Coulson, so keeping it lots of NN talent in one place here. You get highly-stylised vocals by Liam Taylor, backed by some explosive and sharp guitar attack. Think Buzzcocks, think IDLES, think moshing on the front row and getting a stray boot to the head. Glorious beginnings are something to shout about.

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Step On: the week’s best new music tracks [Apr 17]

New Boots editor Phil Moore takes you through ten of the best new music tracks this week. Izzie Gibbs ‘Snakey’If UK grime has one rapper a hairs’ breath away from…

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

Izzie Gibbs ‘Snakey’
If UK grime has one rapper a hairs’ breath away from blowing up right now, it’s probably ShoeTown’s Izzie, who stands loud and proud on new single ‘Snakey’. He had a 2019 full of bangers, but not the press/live presence to truly capitalise on the tunes [understandable, considering his near-death experience of late 2018]. This feisty tirade against the conspirators surrounding him [“Why you so snakey?”] is wildly good, his assassins delivery perfectly matched to K1’s heavy beats. “I’m still in the hood/Everything’s good/I’m a survivor” is as good as a mantra as one can have right now in this crazy world. 2020 has to be the year the rest of the world sits up and takes notice.

Leadley ‘Nightmare’
If you don’t know: the 24 year-old London/Northampton alt-pop singer built her following as a teenager vlogger, and these days is a mature-sounding songwriter. Given the crisp beats, strong melodic talent, and visual attention to detail it’s no surprise to see a loyal fanbase lap up all her rolling content. This is probably her best song to date, a highly confessional ode to liberating oneself from past troubles that really hits the spot. If you want escapist pleasures right now…this is perfect playlist material!

The Lovely Eggs ‘Still Second Rate’
Holy backflips, new album I Am Moron has hit #1 on both the UK vinyl charts and the independent album charts! The Lancashire duo run a nice line in self-deprecating psych-punk, having snowballed in popularity album-by-album since their 2006 inception. This kickdrum-led kraut-dirge is them to a tee, a lyric mulling over insecurities whilst staring out the bus window. “I speak to my people” is their saving grace; indeed, rock’n’roll is safe in these hands. Turn it up to maximum volume for maximum effect.

Dutty Moonshine Big Band ‘Fianca’
Oxford’s 14-piece big band fuse 1930s jazz/samba sounds with modern bass culture. Their unique formula has made them firm festival favourites in the UK and beyond. New single ‘Fianca’, which precedes sophomore album City Of Sin [May 29th], is a heady mix of primal drums, Middle-Eastern snake charmer flutes, blasting horns, and a singer who mixes up her potent delivery in Spanish and English. It’s a beautiful pile-up to put your “no parties” lockdown life in serious jeopardy. If you fancy a rave in the NN vicinity the band are scheduled to play Northampton’s Roadmender on October 16th.

Katie Malco ‘Brooklyn’
A song about that time Malco went to see a friend that moved to start a new life in NYC, and realised how utterly she missed her. An [almost] proggy five minute slow-burner that bursts into life in the final third, ‘Brooklyn’ pulls at the heartstrings in that special way that she always, time after time, manages. A ‘taking basic rock elements and making a rocket ship’ sort of thing, it’s another preview song from the long-awaited debut album Failures [out June 5th].

Mio Flux ft. Nailbreaker ‘Adam Sandler’
Jacob and George, now here’s a dreamteam that came out of nowhere. The London/Northampton/Rushden Venn diagram in full effect here. Mio [aka one half of Krankhead] keeps it simple with some doomy beats, the bed on to which Nailbreaker can slay his demons. “I feel like Adam Sandler circa 2003” is a very specific, very funny expression of self loathing. You’d still run a mile for him. Beers all round for these two when covid’s over.

Weirdoe ‘Daydream’
Hot on the heels of ‘Try Again’, another Harlz collaboration, Aaron Weir is the 26 year-old man behind those furious lines about rising up and taking on a world that doesn’t give a damn about you. “Been blocked out by these grey clouds/But somehow I see sunshine” he spits over some sweet piano chimes and skitting beats. He doesn’t release a bad track, ever. Northampton’s best kept secret? You might be right. 

Tragic ‘Pig’
“Kingsley front on a Saturday night/A light bump turned into a fight”. We’ve waxed lyrical quite a lot about this trio of ShoeTown teenagers, and for good reason. This is hardcore with nods to Slaves/Idles but also the early ’90s pop variety. They are “the real deal”, as someone who saw the live show recently whispered in my ear. If you’re gonna lose your shit this is the soundtrack you’d choose. Manic energy expended about the shittyness of humanity? Load up here.

Rolling Thunder ‘Scenic Route’
The third track on their debut EP ‘The Nightshop’, from the band who have been no slouches since exploding onto the scene a little over a year ago. This number is more of an Editors/Interpol moody bludgeoner, a nice foil to their usual fast-paced indie jangle. There’s not a bad number amongst the six on the EP; ‘Paul Hollywood’ the sort of anthemic singalong that bands like The Sherlocks and Blossoms make their stock-in-trade. It closes with ‘Break In…’, the killer 2019 single which made everyone fall in love in the first place. Essential stuff.

Flowertoy ‘Forgotten Path’
Milton Keynes sludge duo [Harry Quinn, Alfie Glass] team up with guest vocalist Ben Reed to produce a near seven-minute sonic ordeal. If you’re into doom/stoner/post-rock sounds then this will give you the movement in your underwear you’re looking for. With it’s indecipherable lyrics and depths-of-hell fuzzed riff it’s too experimental to convert you to the dark side if you’re not already there. The playing and production is spot on, and this one certainly makes a change from your usual indie and metal fare!

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Step On: the week’s best new music tracks [Apr 24]

New Boots editor Phil Moore takes you weekly through ten of the best new music tracks. Alfie Templeman ‘Happiness In Liquid Form’From rural Bedfordshire comes the 17 year-old bedroom-pop sensation….

New Boots editor Phil Moore takes you weekly through ten of the best new music tracks.

Alfie Templeman ‘Happiness In Liquid Form’
From rural Bedfordshire comes the 17 year-old bedroom-pop sensation. He clearly lives in a technicolour bubble; at least that’s the impression this song gives you. And right now that sounds like the best place to be. This puts those “lo-fi indie” tags to bed, as this widescreen, play-on-daytime radio wonky guitar-funk workout is going to produce some serious body-popping across the nation. Your at-home festival has itself a breakout star.

Happyness ‘Ouch [yup]’
The London duo are on the comeback trail, previewing tracks off their upcoming third LP. The 1990s alt-rock vibing guys are a joyous riot of brightly distorted guitar and artful lyrics about just about everything your furloughed brain could daydream about. That jittery guitar solo could be off of Generation Terrorists too, which is the icing on the cake.

Dream Wife ‘Hasta La Vista’
The London trio’s new single might be their best work yet. Hypnotic-pop that’s driven by singer Rakel Mjöll’s exquisite vocal, given plentiful space to soar and draw you in. Props to them also for making forthcoming sophomore album So When You Gonna… produced, engineered, and mixed by an all-female team. Action > Sentiment.

Superlove ‘Circles’
This Bristol fuzz-rock trio have touches of pop-punk and metal in them, and they also embrace all the trapping of modern electronica to add a new sheen to their well-crafted, expertly produced songs. This one’s a bit different – a Post Malone cover that takes the original and adds layers of dirty guitar filth on top to make it their own. The chorus is a weighty beast too. Work those neck muscles!

Empyre ‘Drive’
MTV Unplugged vibes from the [usually] hard rockers, with a nicely turned-in video filmed in Vintage Retreat‘s Retro Room. Their acoustic side allows them reinterpret, reimagine, rearrange their grungey tendencies into something more earthy, and it certainly highlights their vocal prowess. Alice In Chains fans will lap this up, as should everyone.

The Big Dirty ‘Dirty Rider’
“You’re just a love machine/I wanna ride you”. They’re back!! A couple of years on from when we last heard the sex rock doyens, and they sound louder, harder, and sexier than ever. Riffs by AC-DC, clothes designed by Joe Exotic – you’ll either love this care-free lot, or be dead inside. Your choice! There’s a nice UK-based resurgence at the moment for ‘real rock’, and these undesirables are rightly at the forefront. Become a dirty rider before society crumbles!

Andy Crofts and Le SuperHomard ‘Forevermore’
Le SuperHomard is Montepellier-based Christophe Vaillant, who specialises in lush ’60s-style orchestral-pop. Hopping into bed with The Moons/Weller man for this unique collaboration was a superb choice. Andy’s rich, melancholic tone perfectly suits the song’s romantic leanings. It will have you proposing marriage to your nearest and dearest before it’s even finished. If this is to resemble the sound of Andy’s solo career then I for one cannot wait for more.

Crawlspaces ‘Primrose’
Northants emo types have finally released their debut single, and it’s a strong beginning. ‘Pop-punk’ doesn’t feel enough of a definition to cover what’s going on here. It rises and falls like the best of them, with Sam Morrison’s voice giving it plenty of depth, whilst the lads bring the fireworks around him. The chorus is an absolute monster; untamable. An exciting future awaits.

Jay Orosz ‘Do It Better’
Another week, another Harlz production! Lot of vocoder used by this amorous Northampton rapper. As previously heard guesting on Weirdoe’s ‘Diana’ a few months back, its his time for the spotlight. A confident debut single, hopefully there’s more to come.

Props ‘Easy’
Wellingborough/London bedroom pop to finish off this week. The quiet bedroom beats of 2019 releases have been given the boot in favour of scratchy guitar verse and a dancefloor chorus. It as excellent as those previous numbers, endorphin-rush feel and all. It’s deserving of a much wider audience, so do check out all his wonky pop manoeuvres.

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