Friday 22 March 2024

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE FORTNIGHT 22/03/2024: Vampire Weekend, Fcukers, Keegan Powell and more...

It’s roundup time and it’s mostly rock this week. If you have a phobia of guitars, do not proceed. Artists featured this week include Vampire Weekend, Fcukers, Keegan Powell, Dave Guy, Sober Sundays, Young Fatigue, Cardinals and Sexyy Red.

THE BEST:                         

‘Classical’ – Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend are a musical blindspot for me. Despite listening to a ton of indie as a teen in the 00s, I don’t think I’ve ever sat down and listened to a Vampire Weekend song until now. I’m digging the weird guitar and the skronky sax and piano section towards the end. Fans are saying that this sounds like VW’s older material. If so, it sounds like it’s right up my alley.

‘Mothers’ – Fcukers

Moments like this are why I love the ‘track - artist’ title format. The NYC three-piece actually released this single nine months ago, but Indie Shuffle only just featured it, so I figured I’m allowed feature it too (half the songs I feature are months old anyway). ‘Mothers’ features breathy vocals reminiscent of Alice Phoebe Lou over a bubbly house beat complete with bouncy pianos. It’s a banger.

‘In My Cave’ – Keegan Powell

This thrillingly noisy track is the work of Toronto musician Keegan Powell, self-described as his ‘own rocked out deranged version of The Beach Boys ‘In My Room’’. It features some passionate fed up vocals half-buried under a blown-out kickass guitar riff and stomping snare. The song threatens to completely derail at 2:40, accelerating into a complete cacophony, before returning back to its original groove as if nothing just happened. It’s the type of chaos I live for. The track comes off Keegan’s third album, Alien Radio.

‘Footwork’ – Dave Guy

I’ve been listening to a lot of trumpet-heavy jazz recently, so this track couldn’t have landed in my inbox at a better time. It’s the work of Brooklyn-born trumpet player Dave Guy who, as well as being a member of The Roots and The Dap Kings, has worked with everyone from the likes of Amy Winehouse to Lizzo. The instrumental consists of some catchy trumpet melodies dancing over a lively backdrop of Latin percussion and groovy bass. I wish it was longer (it’s not even two minutes! Is this the Tiktok-ifcation of jazz?), but at the same time I like a track that keeps you wanting more.  

‘More Than Yourself’ – Sober Sundays

This song from Bath-Spa-University-bred band Sober Sundays is quite an adventure. The first half reminded me of a jazzier ‘Paranoid Android’ with its twisting and turning guitar passages, albeit with softer more intimate singing. I was not expecting the slam poetry section, or the loud BCNR-flavoured climax that follows. Combined with the introspective lyrics, there’s a lot to unpack. This could be the start of something very exciting!

‘Sold Out’ – Young Fatigue

This might be the cleverest (and most fun) music video I’ve seen all year. Had the whole video been deepfaked footage of them playing the Graham Norton show, that would have been witty enough, but the whole hilarious montage made up of Glasto and Beatles footage that follows is a stroke of genius. And the best part is that this London pop punk band sound good too, delivering some playful riffs and a catchy-as-hell chorus. They’ve got a lot of potential, and perhaps some day in the future this video can be closer to reality.

‘Unreal’ – Cardinals

Ireland’s Cardinals wrote this song in the back of Ford Transit van – apparently inspired by a chord from a Beach Boys song (that’s the second artist this week to be inspired by The Beach Boys!). The guitars have a semi-moody-semi-upbeat 90s-indie-band flavour to them that I’m digging, and the cracked delivery of ‘we-e-ell’ during the chorus is addictive.


‘Get It Sexyy’ – Sexyy Red

Fantano recently sparked outrage across the internet by giving the latest Sexyy Red album an 8. If the rest of the album sounds like this single, then I’m not surprised by the reaction, because this is dogshit.