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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 lowdown on what you might have missed. This week: Wild Beasts, Protomartyr, Kamasi Washington and more
Undercover Boys ‘Everyone you know’
Debut singles are rarely this good. With ‘Everyone you know’ we can hear a successful marriage between the hazy psych-pop of Tame Impala and the laid-back ease of a Mac De Marco effort. The song sways along in a breeze of ambient hallucination as the guitars twang and the vocals soothe.
Wild Beasts ‘Punk Drunk and Trembling’
The saddest news in music this week came in the form of the breakup of one of Indie rocks most consistently exciting acts, Wild Beasts. They have, however, planned to release a 3 song EP and final Dublin date next February so it’s not all bad. One of the tracks from said EP was dropped during the week and while its a funky lovesick homage to a special someone, some lyrics also ring out like a sobering message to fans who might still hold on to hope “What’s done is done, what can be said /Why speak, why dry the tongue, what’s done is done” front man Hayden Thorpe concedes. The last minute and half here is worth your attention alone, the searing fuzz of a guitar line supplies the back-up for Thorpe’s forceful falsetto in one of the Beasts best moments in a couple albums.
Nilüfer Yanya ‘Baby Luv’
Nilüyer Yanya doesn’t make indie pop so much as craft it. ‘Baby Luv’ might be one of her simplest sounding efforts, but it’s also one of her strongest. The track’s is built off a steady foundation of unadorned bluesy guitar riffs that metronomically power forward as Yanya’s voice scorns someone she thought she cared for deeply. In the final stretch, things open up, as a basic drumbeat sounds like a genius apparition and our singer get‘s direct with her lover “Do you like pain” she repeats in question that doesn’t sound like she wants answered.
Radiohead and Hans Zimmer ‘(Ocean) Bloom’
BBC released a new trailer for their hotly anticipated follow up to their Blue Planet series. The aptly titled Blue Planet 2 will premiere later this year and the soundtrack will feature a reworked version of Radiohead’s 2011 track Bloom off their King of Limbs album. Made in collaboration with famed composer Hans Zimmer ‘(Ocean) Bloom’ is a sumptuous piece of score that washes over you like a seaside wave. Thom Yorke’s deeply felt falsetto is given a new context of optimism in the face of nature’s beauty in a song that sounds like cinematic ode to the ocean’s depths.
Kamasi Washington ‘Integrity’
Kamasi Washington is arguably the most famous practitioner of contemporary jazz and this past week he released a well-received EP entitled Harmony of Difference. The strongest number might be ‘Integrity’, a track which showcases his ability for freewheeling ambition and just the right amount of restraint. Depending on how you are so inclined, this is either glorified elevator music or the work of a mastermind of instrumental eclecticism.
First Aid Kit ‘It’s a Shame’
Of the (presumably) many Swedish duos that are fondly retreading Americana’s brightest period, First Aid Kit are certainly the best. New single ‘It’s a Shame’ is no ‘Emmylou’, but it is another charming folk rock gem that champions the sincerest aspects of the two big D’s of the late 60’s female driven pop: Dusty and Dolly. The song sounds pristine, but the exquisitely rendered and lovelorn lyrics are lonely thoughts about the void left by an absconding lover.
Protomartyr ‘Male Plague’
The ghostly punk rockers have returned this past week with an excellent new album called Relatives in Descent. One of the best tracks is ‘Male Plague’, a fist pumping anthem about the scourge of toxic masculinity. The track mixes the old school genre tropes like call and response with more modern, incendiary indie rock guitar lines. The lyrics are vocal assaults aimed at the entitled men who want to believe that progress for women comes at the expensive of their own gender’s place in the world. “Hey figurehead, what are you gonna do? /Her truth moves to fast for you” snarls lead singer Joe Casey as the hi hats crash behind him and drown out the malignant male privilege.