Unknown Pleasures #78 ft. Stone Cold Fox, Horse Thief, Esther Joy Lane

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Esther Joy Lane

Esther Joy Lane

There’s dark, idiosyncratic R&B, thunderous rolls of emotive rock ‘n’ roll and guitar-pop at its most deft all included in this week’s new music round up, compiled as ever by Getintothis’ Patrick Clarke.

It’s sometimes said we’ve seen the last of the great rock ‘n’ roll frontmen, yet the form of Stone Cold Fox‘s Kevin Olken Henthorn on the Brooklyn foursome’s new single Firing Squad says otherwise.

A hazy, layered grind of fierce, rolling guitar, tumbling bass and just the slightest lilt of extra texture, instrumentally the track’s a powerhouse, yet it’s Henthorn’s vocal that elevates it. Soaring to long, high notes with the same blend of confident sneer and snatch of buried fragility that made Alvvays‘ first record such a marvel, it takes Stone Cold Fox to similar sweeping heights.

With over 200 new bands uncovered and counting, dive in to the rest of Patrick Clarke‘s Unknown Pleasures archive

The acoustic-led new single Drowsy from Bella Union signees Horse Thief, meanwhile, thrives on an earnest ear for guitar-pop at its most deftly crafted. Awash in slick, enticing hooks and boasting a superb lead vocal that’s just on the right side of fragile, it’s emotive but never overstated.

Released on flexi-disc as part of this year’s Record Store Day, it’s a resplendent return from the group two years on from their debut LP.

Unsigned Oxford producer Esther Joy Lane, finally, dropped new single Quest for Her Master earlier this month, a foggy, atypical blend of ambient electronica and off-centre R&B, topped with a low, buried vocal that slips seamlessly within a beguilingly muggy soundscape.

Earlier track Travelling Light, too, is well worth a listen, a more spacious effort that drifts with hypnotic ease through delicate sways of minimalist electro.

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