Happy new year, my music related junkies! It’s time for the first weekly track round-up of 2021. I spent the whole of last week masturbating so wasn't able to do a track roundup last Friday. Anyhow, the last few days have been spent frantically catching up on all the submissions in my inbox. Here are some of the new tunes that have caught my attention recently.
‘By The Power Of Barnard Castle’ – Those Fucking Snowflakes
Blackpool post-punk band Those Fucking Snowflakes (check out my cracking interview with them here) have returned with a new hilariously blistering attack on Dominic Cummings, backed by some signature tumultuous riffs. The Tory chief advisor broke lockdown restrictions last year by taking a drive to Barnard Castle, which he claimed was to test his eyesight. This subject matter is of course the perfect fuel for Those Fucking Snowflakes. The accompanying video follows the drug-addled adventures of Dominic Cummings and his attorney (Fear-And-Loathing-In-Las-Vegas-inspired) as they journey to a budget-replica of Barnard Castle before hooking up with Bojo for a coke party twerk-a-thon. If that description doesn’t make you want to watch the video, then I don’t know what will. The band will be dropping a new EP, Everything is Absolutely Fkkkkkkd, on January 22nd.
‘Too Many Emails’ – OOF
Ah yes, a track title I can relate to. All these bloody musicians won’t stop emailing me their music. WHAT DO THEY WANT FROM ME??? Anyhow, that’s not the only reason I featured this song. The Brooklyn band’s self-described styles of ‘spazzpunk, no-wave, art-rock, post-punk’ is pretty unique – it consists of snarled vocals, fuzzy riffs and squealing saxophones. The hilarious lyrics and menacing delivery of the chorus top it off. Those who want more OOF can check out their latest album Is This Really Happening? here at their Bandcamp page.
‘Phantoms’ – AJAY
Philly artist AJAY originally wrote this song two years ago during a period in which he felt socially isolated – and yet its lyrics couldn’t be more relevant to today (how many more lockdowns must we endure???). What really grabbed me however was not the lyrics, but the soulful production, which is so spine-tinglingly gorgeous that I almost slipped a disc. It’s pretty much a 70s soul track but with glistening modern synths and punchy electronic percussion. The jazzy guitar solo towards the end is also a nice touch.
‘Just a dream’ – lando!
This is the smoothest take on hyperpop I’ve heard yet. It’s like 100 Gecs visited a jazz bar and chilled the fuck out. The digitally-altered vocals might still be a barrier for many people but you’ve got to love those warm bright synths. It certainly does have a dream-like quality to it. I wasn’t able to find out any information about who this artist is – or indeed what they are. Are they human? OR ARE THEY DANCER???
‘Placeholder for the night’ – R. Missing
Here we have another quirky track made up of synths and digitally-altered vocals, but with a much darker vibe. The ghostly reverb on the vocals is very atmospheric and I love the rapid tremolo electro bass that comes in around the 2 minute mark. Their sound is like an ominous Crystal Castles. Similar to lando!, the identity of this artist is shrouded in mystery – ‘we’re quite invisible’ is how the artist put it in their email. It adds an extra exciting layer of obscurity to the music. Fans of R. Missing’s sound should check out their new EP here.
‘Girl Like Me’ – Black Eyed Peas ft. Shakira
This collaboration is somehow worse than I imagined. Will.i.am now thinks he’s a reggaeton artist and Shakira’s wailed delivery of ‘aaaaAAAaaa you’re looking for a girl like meeeEEEee’ is excruciating. How are these two acts still going strong? And why hasn’t Shakira aged??