New Music Weekly #46 | Arctic Monkeys, Chromeo & Nation of Language

New Music Weekly is your one-stop shop for new releases in the world of music each and every week. From the best of the best to some of the rest, Mark Conroy is here to give you the low down on what you might have missed. This week: Arctic Monkeys, Chromeo, Nation of Language & more…

Kero Kero Benito ‘Time Today’

Kero Kero Bention makes lofi-pop so sugary it will rot your teeth the moment the needle hits or the wax. Regardless, it’s the self-aware, cutesy charm that also what makes it work. The short spurt of sweetness that is ‘Time Today’ wont be for everyone but it’s DIY sound means it’s rough edges end up improving the shiny production and not the other way around. If Anime was music, this might be what it sounded like. 

Chromeo ‘Bad Decision’

Chromeo certainly owes a huge debt of gratitude to Nile Rodgers but then again, so does so much of the pop music from the last quarter of a century. Like last single ‘Juice’, ‘Bad Decision’ is filled with enough hooks to hang the coats of a nation and it’s certainly gets more credit  for presentation than originality. Channelling Parliament Funkadelic and Talking Heads, the synth funk jam bounces between 80s production tropes with ease and it’s crisp delivery makes it all go down easy. It smears it’s nostalgia on its sleeves, but does it well enough for you not to care.

Nation of Language ‘Reality’

Speaking of sounds from the 1980s, Synth-pop outfit Nation of Language seem to inhabit the very country that is that decade. With a foundation of New Order synth stabs and vocals that recall the sentimental, echoed croon of soft cell’s Marc Almond, ‘Reality’ is drawing from a well with batwing sleeves and androgynous make up at the bottom of it. The song still has a power of its own, carving its own space within a limited framework. It’s a sad pensive diatribe on the state of things and lead singers Ian Devaney’s  proclamations in the chorus (“reality is nothing to me”) hits like a well-earned, heavy sigh. He means it, and who could blame him? 



Arctic Monkeys ‘Star Treatment’

Arctic Monkey’s dropped their already polarising Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino this past week and whatever your thoughts about it, it’s unquestionably the band’s most ambitious and experimental release to date. Lyrically Alex Turner has transformed himself into a sort of acid casualty, nightclub crooner and that aspect can grate at times. And yet, they’ve deserve credit for the left turn. Opener ‘Star Treatment’ is a strong first track and might be the best example of the album’s bizarre marriage between 70s glam rock and whiskey-laced lounge singing.

Many Voices Speak ‘Necessaries’

Sweden’s Matilda Mård records downbeat indie pop under the moniker Many Voices Speak. ‘Necsessaries’ is an exercise in melancholic malaise. Amid the hazy comedown of the production, Mård is eager to become emotionally self-reliant but may also believe that’s a foolish endeavour. “I fear I need your love” she begrudgingly admits with a delicate hum. Throughout, some deft horns arise softly and leaves gently as if to back up the singer’s low spirits just when she needs it.

Kitten ‘Strange Embrace’

Kitten have been around in some shape or form for a few years now, but they started to  really make their mark recently when veered towards making infectious retro pop. ‘Strange Embrace’ is like a powerful hug from an old friend. The is a dance track with dizzying sense of ambition. Lyrically Chloe Chaidez is talking to an ex-lover, one she is sure is full of regret and it’s a thought that gives her comfort. A fiery ballad aimed at those who scorned us, the song fizzles with the emotional charge that comes with letting  go of the last remnants of someone we wish we never met.

Old Hannah ‘Find You’

Hailing from the west of Ireland, the contemporary folk act Old Hannah make music so delicate you feel like their songs would crack if you could touch them. Latest single ‘Find You’ is yet another gentle grower. The leisurely warmth of the song is so relaxed its sounds effortless. The leisurely, soft strumming  of the guitar sets the pace as the vocals, tender and timid, have the listened unwinding from a hard day in no time.


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