There are quite a few returning faces this week, but that’s because they keep coming out with amazing stuff and I find it too hard to leave them out. There’s also music from some new people whose back-catalogues I’m keen to explore. Enjoy.
1. ‘NO. 28’ – Methyl Ethel
I’ve been in love with these guys for a while now and I made noises that could be considered unmanly when I saw they’d released a new track. ‘No. 28’ holds the same dream-pop, jangly beauty that first gripped my attention with the group, but is more upbeat and staggered than a lot of their previous output. I hate the fact it’s only the one new song, but I love it because it’s fantastic.
2. ‘SOMETHING IN THE WAY’ – Jorja Smith
Jorja Smith is going to have an amazing career. Her output has been consistently great, and her latest EP Project 11 shows her versatile talent and range of influences. Opening track ‘Something in the Way’ is soulful, powerful, and gives Smith a chance to show off a voice that sends chills down my spine.
3. ‘LILIPUTT’ – Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves of Destiny
Beth Jeans Houghton is somebody I hadn’t come across until last week, but she’s been plugging away in the industry for a while now, and I’m looking forward to drowning in her past releases. Born in Newcastle, Houghton’s music holds psychedelic, folk and pop elements, which are masterfully blended with one another into something incredible. Houghton’s voice is perhaps the dominating feature of her music though; it penetrates the wall of sound created by the other instruments and sticks in your mind long after you’ve heard it.
4. ‘LA FEMME RESSORT’ – La Femme
There are so many influences on show with French group La Femme that it’s hard to put them down as any one thing. Having said that, is it necessary to even try to do that? ‘La Femme Ressort’ comes from the band’s 2013 album Psycho Tropical Berlin, and is an experimental, psychedelic soundscape that’s easy to get lost in. I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of the group’s material.
5. ‘CORRINE’ – Black Honey
This Brighton four-piece generated a lot of buzz last year, but I apparently missed all that. Whoops. ‘Corrine’ is a fantastic indie single; jangly, catchy and perfect for shoegazing Brighton-types, it’s one that’s been on repeat ever since I first heard it. The group have released a few more tracks since this one, but none have become as stuck in my head as much as this has.
6. ‘SWIM AGAINST THE TIDE’ – The Japanese House
Ethereal, gorgeously produced and brooding with beauty, ‘Swim Against the Tide’ is the title track from The Japanese House’s (AKA Amber Bain’s) third EP. The EP itself is just as great as the first track, and proves that Bain has an exciting career ahead of her.
7. ‘SPOILER’ – Baloji
Belgian hip-hop artist Baloji has been creating music since the late 90’s, but only started his solo career in 2006. ‘Spoiler’ is the opening track from his latest offering, an EP titled 64 Bits & Malachite. Whilst it’s something that would have fit in with the UK club scene back in 2010, it’s a solid track that’s infectious and contains influences from Baloji’s Congolese heritage. Great stuff.
8. ‘C-H-E-M-I-C-A-L’ – The Chemical Brothers
Songs containing the name of the performing artist are normally found in the realm of hip-hop, but The Chemical Brothers decided to buck that trend with their latest track. It’s another great offering from the duo, but unfortunately isn’t part of an upcoming new LP. Instead, the pair announced that they’ll be releasing reissues of most of their back catalogue, just in time for Christmas. Funny that.
9. ‘SUN CITY CREEPS’ – Woods
I came across this track, and the band Woods, for the first time last week and I’ve been trying to listen to as much of them as I possibly can. ‘Sun City Creeps’ comes from their 9th LP though, so it should be no surprise that I’ve not quite got through everything yet. This track, and indeed the album it’s taken from, is different to a lot of their older output in that it explores jazz and reggae elements; older albums tended to focus primarily on psychedelic-folk that presumably became quite stale. ‘Sun City Creeps’ is a great jumping off point to explore the rest of the group’s music, and makes me wish it was still Summer.
10. ‘SIDE TO SIDE’ – The Beat feat. Ranking Roger
Carrying on the reggae sounds and closing out this week are Birmingham-based group The Beat, featuring original lead vocalist Ranking Roger. The group have apparently re-formed, so I’m not entirely sure why Roger’s credited as a featuring artist, but that’s not really a massive concern. The group released a new album, Bounce, back in September, and ‘Side to Side’ is taken from that LP. It’s an upbeat, classically ska track, and made me give the rest of the album a listen which was most definitely worth it. Go check it out.