Sunday 24 April 2016

BEST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 24/04/2016: Gruff Rhys, Gojira, Ariana Grande and more...

I’ve been having computer problems recently, so I apologise for the two day delay with this weekly segment (yes, I know, you wouldn’t hear Pitchfork coming up with an excuse like that!). I’ve decided to make up for the delay by bringing you lots of good music – no ‘worst tracks’ this week! The theme is Europe

'I Love EU' – Gruff Rhys

Welsh singer-songwriter Gruff Rhys dedicates this big soppy love ballad to Europe and the EU in light of the upcoming referendum in which all us Brits will get to decide whether we stay or leave the European Union. Politics is something I actively avoid covering on this blog and I’m going to be mature and not enter a debate but IF YOU VOTE TO LEAVE YOU A FOOL! Anyway, whatever your opinion is on the matter, this light-hearted ode to baguettes and castanets ought to provide some entertainment value.

'Stranded' – Gojira

And so begins the Eurotrip. First stop France. Nature-loving groove metal titans Gojira have a new ‘emotional’ ‘epic’ album in the works entitled Magma, and this our first glimpse at things to come. It sounds a bit less proggy than previous works – elitists will claim the belting chorus is too ‘poppy’ – but the stomping riff is undeniably infectious and Mario’s drumming is monstrous as usual.

'Faint' – Beffroi

Next, we head to Belgium, the home of this fresh electropop duo Beffroi. There’s all kinds of stuff happening with this beat – the chillingly noisy intro making way for suspenseful minimal 808s followed by some beautifully brooding synths – and as for the chick’s vocals, they’re impressively unique in tone and so seductive I tried hard not to swoon and faint.

'100 Goosebumps' – FEWS

One of the founding members of this band is Swedish. The other is Californian. They both met on Myspace back when it wasn’t a social media wasteland, later meeting in real life, moving to London and eventually setting up FEWS. The pleasant opening had me expecting something slow, but no – the whole track suddenly accelerates into a chugging indie mosh anthem. It's intense!

'Let Me Love' - Ariana Grande

Alright what’s the European connection here? Ariana Grande is half-Italian or something, I guess that’ll have to do. Anyway, here’s my guilty pleasure of the week – the latest release from ex-Disney sweetheart Ariana Grande. The way the rhythm builds up is pretty creative, plus there’s something hypnotically gloomy about Ariana’s vocals and the instrumental, even if Lil Wayne’s blabbering verse temporarily kills the mood.

'Stupidest' – Stove

Finally, I bring you indie rock with blast beats – the kind of noisy off-kilter stuff that could only be the product of Exploding In Sound records. Kaleidoscopic semi-disturbing vegetable-themed visuals accompany it. I’m not going to lie to you; there is no European link here – Stove are from Connecticut formed by ex-Ovlov-frontman Steve Hartlett. Rock out, do drugs and eat your greens!