In his latest Singles Club column, Getintothis’ Matthew Wood unveils some tracks to cherish this summer with a rare dream-pop gem and a hug from one of the finest alt-rock collectives on the planet.
Single of the Week
Beach House – Chariot
Not many would contest your opinion if you were to crown Beach House as one of the greatest if not the greatest dream-pop outfit to date. Their expansive career has spanned thirteen years, they’ve release six studio albums and have appeared on practically every music platform there is.
They’re a special band for many and not just because they’re so prolific, but because their sound is one of the finest forms of escapism; it captures the other-worldly, it transports you to places your dreams can’t, and frankly they’ve crafted some of the most beautiful piece of music in the contemporary mainstream.
A mighty treat awaits us on June 30, when Beach House release their B-Sides and Rarities album, which includes this previously unreleased gem, Chariot. It’s an archetypal piece that shimmers and glides fluidly and offers all you need to drift away to your happy place.
Lød – Folder
Danish four-piece Lød burst out of the Copenhagen post-punk scene as a four-piece and have since cemented themselves as a dark, abrasive quintet in Denmark, combining elements of moody British punk outfits like Joy Division with the hectic kraut-rock of NEU!
Folder is an 8-minute jam of dissonant chords and deep Danish-language vocals, growing with intensity and aggression as it progresses. A switch in tone arrives through a mighty bass riff and fret-board scratches and the band’s reliance on rhythm shines through; it’s energetic, pulsing and fantastically mesmeric like all good kraut-rock should be.
Go and impress your cool mates with some Copenhagen-kraut.
Courtney Barnett – How To Boil An Egg
From a collaboration between Milk! Records and Bedroom Suck comes Courtney Barnett‘s latest number in which she yearns for change from the monotony of bills, pegging out the washing and sheer listlessness… it’s better than it sounds I assure you.
Her deadpan tone always adds a comedic slant to her storytelling and her poetic gift shines through as she strikes chords with many, ‘Every morning I feel more useless than before/Trying hard to see the point in anything at all’, she sulks, with simple chords scratching in the background.
There’s an appeal of her deep realism, and it’s rare rock stars truly appear on our wavelength. It’s a neat track with a sob story, but one that equally keeps us trucking on.
Neon Waltz – Heavy Heartless
Another exemplary piece of song-writing from the John O’Groats six-piece here, as they launch into their latest string of releases and tour dates ahead of a hectic summer.
Heavy Heartless is a big, booming anthem yet somewhat weary or road-worn with the lacklustre, spoken word lyrics taking centre stage amid soaring snyths and pounding timpani, ‘nothing’s okay, i’m going through a phase‘ admits frontman Jordan Shearer.
However, Shearer and his band transform the down-trodden into the mightily uplifting, and the track becomes an anthem for not feeling to good, but knowing it’s just a phase.
Mogwai – Coolverine
Following up 2014’s Rave Tapes, Scottish post-rock monoliths, Mogwai announce their new album, Every Country’s Sun and latest track, Coolverine.
The album is set for release September 1 and Coolverine will serve as title track. It’s a gentle opener as far as Mogwai go, building over a series of plodding chords with sharp stabs of snare cutting through the pensive atmosphere.
As expected, the band launch into a more fierce attack, those opening chords ringing true amid the heavier blasts from the world’s loudest band before crashing down to a shuddering ending. It’s one thing Mogwai do better than most, and it’s again wonderfully executed here; giving you enough to get lost in, but not too much that it’s overkill. We can’t wait for more!
Broken Social Scene – Hug Of Thunder
Taken from the band’s fifth LP, Canadian alt-rockers’ latest number is certainly one to savour. The fluctuating collective follow up 2010’s Forgiveness Rock Record with Hug Of Thunder due for release on July 7.
The eponymous debut single demonstrates the momentous power behind the collective, shifting between genres, and blessing your ears with a myriad of layers and effects that surprise and entice no end. We’re initially met with some uncertain chugs of guitar while Amy Millan lays elegant verses down before us.
The track then launches into a sun-drenched blast and her lyrics become much sweeter and more addicting recalling the blissful blend that is Warpaint and the sophisticated structuring of alt-rock heroes, The National.
A track that will no doubt mature and grow old gracefully, there’s so much to sink your teeth in here!
White Room – Take Me Away
These lads are growing wise beyond their years, after their FestEVOL Gardens performance it’s clear to see they’re not just here for the ride; they mean business and have done since day one. Take Me Away is one of their more challenging tracks but by far one of their most formulated and impressive; they’ve taken the necessary steps from channeling a ‘vibe’ to channeling something adventurous and wholly their own.
Rumbling to life on a bed of tom-toms and gurgling bass, Jake Smallwood’s vocal joins the melee; measured and eloquent, he’s a born story-teller. Fantastic guitar work is complemented by bursts of vintage organ and the track morphs into a fluid psych jam recalling psych kings The Black Angels with a distinctly British tone.
This is a very capable band and they continue to prove it with their enriched melodies, delicious grooves and undeniable talent… We await their debut album with baited breath.
The National – The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness
Ahead of what is bound to be a colossal summer for The National as they promote their upcoming record Sleep Well Beast, they’ve offered up a new track with a new sense of direction. Usually with a National track you can kick back, sip your glass of red and sink into their ornate orchestrations, but what strikes is the sense of urgency with this one.
They launch into rapid fire movements with clanging chords and a race-y beat, Matt Berninger’s the only real signifier that this is the same band; but that’s all we really need. A stab of guitar repeats throughout, present but not overly welcome, but we’re met with delight as the same guitar shreds mightily later in the track while drummer Bryan Devendorf adds even more urgency.
With such a prolific history they’re in a position to anything they please, but that’s not to say this sense of a new direction isn’t well chosen. It’s punchy and more manic than they’re pervious releases, sure, but I’ve a feeling this is only going to propel them even further towards global stardom. Pour another!
Danger Mouse – Chase Me (Music From The Motion Picture Baby Driver) ft. Run The Jewels & Big Boi
Some of hip hops finest superstars join forces with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World director Edgar Wright in his latest action comedy Baby Driver, starring Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx, among others.
Chase Me is, as the title suggests, a perfect car chase track made specifically for scenes from the movie. Laying verses over a frantic beat that honks in your face like oncoming traffic and a spiralling bass line that just adds to the chaos.
The track then slows and taunts anyone willing to chase chanting ‘you ain’t gonna get your money back‘ sticking up the V’s as they sail out of sight with a sack full of cash!
Someone – The Deep
Another Dutch artist for you here, Tessa Rose Jackson releases her debut single as Someone and sets her twee, acoustic songwriting aside for this sweetly textured number.
Switching a pluck of strings for a burst of synth, Jackson’s new direction harnesses shoegaze and electronic tendencies to define her own brand of uplifting pop. Her voice, soft yet dominant, sends ripples through the track’s crystal layers and mumbling beat and it’s these precise measurements that successful pop relies on.
Close your eyes, drift away and enjoy this one just as Jackson intended it!