Back with some fresh sounds is the Getintothis team, bringing you their favourite tracks from this month to feast on.
I read an article recently about the age at which we stop discovering new music. That age, according to a survey by Deezer, is 30. Well, 30 years and 6 months to be precise.
Sadly for me, if I’m to believe said article and said research, I reached that age over two and a half years ago, which is quite tragic really.
Initially I was pretty angry about this; upset that a survey could proclaim such a thing; to suggest I was unable to, at the grand old age of 32 years and 10 months, find anything new worthy of listening to was preposterous.
How dare I be told that my ability to discover new music ended almost three years ago. How dare I be told that my peak age for new musical discovery was 24. Just…well…the sheer audacity of it!
And then I had a think. I digested the article and I sat and contemplated. And it pains me to say, but I found myself, after much deliberation, kind of agreeing with it.
Over the last few years my musical taste has stayed pretty much the same as it was throughout my twenties. I still listen to the same bands, I still adore the same genres (and hate the same genres to some degree), and I still find myself popping on that go-to playlist whenever I’m in the car or out for a run – the one which includes songs by The Coral, Oasis, The Courteeners, Cast, Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, The Music, et al.
I have of course, developed a liking for music that’s come since, by artists that could now held in as high a regard as I hold the likes of Ocean Colour Scene or Pulp, for example. I tapped into artists such as; Jake Bugg, Jack Garrett, The 1975, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Blossoms and, more recently, Dua Lipa, Courtney Barnett, Jaws and DMAs.
But throughout my twenties I was consciously dipping into new and exciting music each week. I was going to those obscure gigs, I was following the newest artists like an over eager puppy follows his owner; I was exploring my favourite genres, and I was awash with band upon band, song after song, fresh sounds that delighted my ears and often brought tears of joy to my eyes.
Now though? Not so much. And this was only something I became fully aware of after reading that article.
I no longer attend so many gigs and the ones I do attend are by artists I’ve been fan-girling over for quite a while. I no longer scour the NME or Spotify to find out who’s new and what’s fresh; anything I do come across occurs by some kind of happy accident. In essence, I kind of just stopped exploring.
According to that article, the reasons we stop discovering new music at 30 is because life gets in the way; we get bombarded with the stark reality of bills and mortgages, marriage and babies, savings and career progression. Despite having none of these in my life just yet (apart from the bills that is), I have managed to successfully neglect what I once loved.
Adulting sort of took over, and I forgot that new music existed. I became so engrossed in the familiarity of bands I knew were reliable, comfortable, that I didn’t take enough time to get to know anything else.
And that’s really sad. Not only because, as I write this, I find myself reminiscing and thinking back to the time when I would delight in calling up my mates to tell them about this new band I’d found and asking if they’d come with me to see them; but because there’s so much new music out there. And if we sift through the abundance of shit (because there is a lot of shit new music about), there’s actually a hell of a lot of it that’s good.
Not only that though, on deeper consideration, I came to the conclusions that discovering new music doesn’t always have to mean discovering brand new music.
What I have found is that although I may have neglected the pleasures of the unknown – the young, spunky bands fresh from the womb, full of energy, ready to take on the world, I have been steadily, unintentionally exploring music that has been around for a while; and that in itself is new music, because it’s new to me.
Through friends, relatives and colleagues, I’ve discovered artists who have repertoires dating back years; I’ve listened to bands I’d heard of but had never taken the time to get to know; I’ve delved into soul and reggae and have uncovered music I wasn’t even aware existed.
And that’s the beauty of music; no matter whether it’s brand new and hot off the press, or has been around for decades and never graced your ears, music always has the potential to be new. There are always new sounds to be discovered and new artists to obsess over. And it’ll never stop.
I’ll always enjoy listening to and appreciating brand new music; I may not seek it out as much as I used to, but it doesn’t mean I’m averse to it, and it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped wanting to discover it.
What it does mean is that as I grow older, I’m more accepting of the fact that I’m able to discover new music at a pace that suits my lifestyle, and I shouldn’t have to feel bad about it.
And if being over 30 results in me discovering a band long after the release of their debut, or stumbling across them on a Tuesday evening down the local pub, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter.
For me, music, like food or wine, is always waiting to be discovered, whatever my age.
And for those who disagree, there’s always this month’s Deep Cuts to get your teeth into; so go ahead, get your ears round these beauties and dive right in! Amy Farnworth
Down and Outs – You Can Have Your Country Back
This month’s exclusive track comes from Down and Outs, the three piece who are no strangers to some heavy topics, heavy sounds and heavy performances.
While they’re no heavy metal band, there’s a fair dose of punk in their music. Their brand new release, You Can Have Your Country Back, comes ahead of their month-long tour of Japan where they’ll make stops at Yokohama, Kyoto and Tosu among others.
You Can Have Your Country Back is an unapologetic attack of the current state of politics, outlooks and the general atmosphere Brexit has conjured up. Tackling such subjects means it has to be lyrically-focused, but the one that sums it up is really: “Went to sleep in Great Britain, woke up in Little England“. If you’re feeling a bit hopeless after watching Question Time, stick this on and get some of the anger pulsing through your veins.
- Katie Smith
Stealing Sheep – Lush 2 Barracuda By Heart / Level 10 WOW MACHINE
You wait a couple of years and then two come along. Nope, not buses. Stealing Sheep tunes.
It’s been three years since Becky, Emily and Lucy lashed out the electronic wonder-pop of Not Real and despite a busy time on tour, fashioning Suffragette-championing parades, one-off spectacles at the Barbican and a herd load (that’s the correct definition!) of DJ sets, there’s been little in the way of new tunes.
Until now. Hurrah! Showcasing their ebullient cosmic pop in extra-level dimensions at a special Buyers Club gig in Liverpool in 2017, they’ve moved further into the realms of dancefloor disco and with Emily now adopting the bass more prevelently over guitar, it’s seen a step into more robo-funk terrain. See here with Lush 2 Barracuda By Heart a laid back groove of luscious electronica brushed with spaceage production, day-glo synths and jerky rhythmic swagger.
Yes the trio’s harmonies remain but this is a world away from those days of Shut Eye and Genevieve. And that’s even more evident of the second track, Level 10 WOW MACHINE, which dropped on to the band’s SoundCloud without warning. A tribal instrumental electro-boink which should come complete with coloured disco flat mat and accompanying lighting.
As the Sheeps enter their third album phase, they’re once again proudly exhibiting a musicianship and exploratory nature few of their contemporaries brave to dare.
- Peter Guy
Chelcee Grimes – Just Like That
Liverpool gal Chelcee Grimes first single Just Like That dropped less than three weeks ago
causing a pretty big bang with the video already racking up an impressive 118,000 views on
The track echoes the best kind of early 2000s pop that has hints of Mary J Blige’s Family Affair and
Blu Cantrell’s Hit ‘Em Up Style. But brought up to date by being all about sexting the person you’re
dating. It’s an unbelievably catchy summer song that’s light and breezy for the raunchy vibe you
get from the lyrics. It’s a tune that turns up the heat on summer 2018, you can almost hear it
blasting from speakers whilst hanging out outdoors catching those rare British summertime rays.
The video is also something of a must see, kitschy and brightly coloured it involves elderly couples
hooking up in a caravan park, trailer trash style.
Despite this being a first single, Grimes has already written tunes for huge pop divas such as
Kesha, Dua Lipa and Kylie Minogue. Recently picked up by Sony’s RCA Records, she is obviously
set for much bigger things and currently working on a debut album whilst also playing football for
Fulham Ladies. Being a massive football fan, she has previously played for Liverpool Ladies FC.
So it’s no surprise that Just Like That has appeared just in time for the World Cup.
- Lucy McLachlan
Phaedra – You Left Me In The Winter
Liverpool-based two piece Phaedra are… hard to describe. Their sounds vary from the soulful and emotional to the psychedelic, with a splash of electronic thrown in. Head over to their Facebook and it’s as though you’ve signed up to a stress-busting Instagram page that both alleviates the constant worries you’re confronted in everyday life while also revealing them to you slowly so you’re forced to take a look.
For a demo, there’s a lot going on in Phaedra’s You Left Me In The Winter. To begin with it’s a simple intro, a lulling sense of a relaxing playlist piece. Layer by layer it builds, until you’re in the midst of the psychedelic/rock/electronica that they do well – their own unique sound that you’ll never hear anywhere else.
In amongst the summer pop You Left Me In Winter is starkly different, cool and chilling – but perhaps that’s better meant for winter.
- Lauren Wise
Strange Collective – You’re Gonna Die
This one’s been a long time coming, but as the Guinness advert says: ‘Don’t be impatient, you filthy fuck‘.
And just like Guinness, the first fruits of Strange Collective‘s forthcoming first album, You’re Gonna Die is a healthy motherload of hearty goodness. Sure there’s the characteristic frazzled vocals and relentless rhythms we’re well accustomed to, but it’s the centre-piece breakdown complete with some kaleidoscopic dueling between Ali Horn and Alex Wynne‘s guitars and some stratospheric keyboards which makes this such a freaking rush.
Throw in the ‘666‘ mantra which sends the song rattling to a frenetic fun overload finish, and your favourite Merseyside garage rock & roll band haven’t just returned, they’ve rocketed back to the front of the pack.
- Peter Guy
The Room In The Wood – Magical Thinking
Back in 80s, Liverpool was in one of its many band booms, with a proliferation of bands perhaps unequalled in the city’s history, as excellently documented on the recent Revolutionary Spirit box set. High in the league were The Room, who were tipped for great things but, for some reason, never had the breaks to make it big beyond their hometown. The critical acclaim and support from John Peel, for whom the band recorded four sessions, gave the band a high profile but, like Pale Fountains, were unable to take this to national success.
But now, The Room’s Dave Jackson and Paul Cavanagh have come together to form The Room in the Wood and will hopefully be able make good their former band’s reputation and promise.
Lead track Magical Thinking starts with a folky guitar riff before the song kicks in and Jackson starts singing. His voice gives a suggestion that something is going on under the surface of this song, not exactly a hint of menace, but not a million miles away.
Magical Thinking manages the difficult task of linking the past and present, with nods to The Room and an eye on something different, while not forgetting to craft a catchy and memorable song.
With an album just released, The Room in the Wood prove that Liverpool’s 80’s band boom still has the creative minds and excellent music that redefined post punk and made the city’s name as a musically exciting place to be.
Family Jools – Sister
If you’re after some laid-back retro vibes in this mad, mad world, look no further than the new Family Jools. We saw them recently on the bill of Sound City 2018, and the Bristolian quartet have received radio play on BBC 6Music.
If you’re after some easy, soulful listening that goes down a treat, the guitar tones of Sister will be like swallowing some cough syrup to alleviate the day’s tickles.
The five piece offer this delightful new cut, which wanders into your life wearing sun-bleached Levi 501s and a retro t-shirt. Sister takes a beer from your fridge and settles down on the patio, tossing a sort-of chorus the listeners’ way.
But it’s all about the journey, not the destination, and every moment of the song feels like one long pay-off. Whether it’s the flowing guitar solo lapping up against your toes, or the tinkling tambourine that jollies the whole thing along. Check out that earthy tone and singer George Sims’ gravelled authenticity if you need any further convincing of Sister’s credentials.
Listen on a sunny day to pick up influences as far afield as Stax, Northern Soul and Tame Impala. Hopefully we’ll get to hear sounds like Sister at some time in the near future from Family Jools on a Merseyside stage once more.
- David Hall
The Cheap Thrills – Accident Prone
Their latest release, Accident Prone, is a classic rock/pop song, catchy and easy to listen to that soon grows on you the more you listen. There’s a feelings of the 80s channelled through the keyboard layered throughout that’s topped off with guitar solos and a heavy drumbeat throughout.
If you’re into your local Liverpool indie this is definitely one for you, especially if you’re Accident Prone.
- Olivia Jones
County Line Runner – Hard to Find
The debut track from County Line Runner is a mesmerising, alternative love song, offering dreamlike melodies tinged with a little modern Americana.
- Amy Farnworth
meg. – Greedy
This pick isn’t just a brand new track, it’s a brand new artist too – and one that will making waves as soon as she sets her live performance dates.
meg. is a Liverpool-based singer/songwriter influenced by a wide variety of artists including George Michael, Troye Sivan, Whitney Houston, Lorde and Beyonce, all of which you can understand when you listen to her release Greedy.
On first listen it sounds like a simple enough love-forlorn pop tune that Taylor Swift could bash out, but when you give it the time it deserves it soon becomes clear that there’s more than meets the ear. The bright synths and brooding drumbeat allow you to see the alternative that’s undeniably hypnotic, especially when coupled with the (self-filmed and produced) video.
A typical rocky relationship tale is transformed into a dance-remix ready track that will soundtrack your summer. One thing’s for sure, you need to keep your eye out for meg.
- Lauren Wise
IRMA VEP : Evil / Holiday
Edwin Stevens has made his underground scene mark under the moniker Irma Vep in Wales, Manchester and currently resides in Glasgow with tours around the US and Europe thrown in for good measure. Stevens moonlights (for want of a better word) in Sex Hands, Klaus Kinski, Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura, and Yerba Mansa, so his adventures aren’t confined geographically and that’s all for the good.
The new Irma Vep single, Evil, is spiky guitar pop with an edgy, intriguing weirdness; the b-side, Holiday, a melancholic, slow dream of a song with his trademark eccentricities not so subtly interwoven.
‘I had a friend and he turned yellow’ he bluntly intones; no room for misunderstanding here. The single is released via Handsome Dad Records, the label responsible for releasing early recordings from The Big Moon and others.
- Cath Bore
Rats: cover demos
Not since The Maybes? have a bunch of lads worn their hometown’s colours with such gusto – and with a name like Rats it’s obvious that these four young men mean business. Don’t be deceived by the dress code, cocky Scouse colloquialisms and obvious, yet carefully chosen, covers of Vampire Weekend‘s A Punk or Amy Winehouse‘s Back to Black – they’re all part of a deeper masterplan.
And behind the quasi facade lies musicians who’ve served their time in various young Liverpool bands and are now down south decamped in Decoy Recording Studio home to Ed Sheeran and The Maccabees. Yep, this lot are serious, having already bagged support slots with The Happy Mondays while there’s a team within a team carefully managing their escapades around Liverpool and beyond.
Their debut single is set to drop on July 19. The Rats are out the bag.