Just because 2019 has flown out of the blocks album-wise doesn’t mean the singles baton has been dropped, Getintothis’ Howard Doupé charges up the wireless headphones and dives in.
Single of the Week
Methyl Ethel – Real Tight
Is this really another release so soon? How time flies. Triage is Australian’s Jake Webb aka Methyl Ethel latest offering that completes the triptych of releases. As a stand alone track Real Tight brilliantly blossoms. It’s always been a surrealist outlook on life through Ethel’s eyes and ears, this time around an expression set to the backdrop of dream pop hooks.
There’s elements of LCD Soundsystem at their most fragile here. It’s a wonderful place to be lost in, surprisingly the disorientation offers dream-like comfort rather than inducing panic. It’s been a continued upwards projection and personal development for Webb. The lyrics explore the notion of coming of age through the snapshots of passing memories.
Expanding to a five-piece live band for the forthcoming American, European and Australian tour Ethel’s hitting Manchester’s YES June 3. See you there.
Show Me The Body – Camp Orchestra
Well, here’s a cheery one. NCY’s hardcore underground darlings Show Me The Body return with Camp Orchestra, lead track off their next release.
Inspired by a recent tour stop in Poland and a visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, the song’s title is a reference to the Jewish orchestra groups that were formed in concentration camps during World War II.
NYC has a light to shine in this post-punk fuelled slice of sheer noise aggression. What starts off as a brooding instrumental affair showcasing their unique sound that employs the banjo playing skills of singer Julian Cashwan Pratt, soon unleashes its true self- a vitriolic two-fingers of classic hardcore.
It’s emotive, angry and probably just what the head-banging doctor ordered. Come on in, Dr Death will see you now.
The forthcoming album Dog Whistle is due May.
Nick Waterhouse – Wreck The Rod
It’s swing, but swing with a shaa-ting. Think Mark Ronson’s Valerie via an all-American Friends filter. We haven’t put you off have we?
Yes, it’s retro-whatever the hell that means these days- possibly the rightful heir to the Richard Cheese crown- if covers weren’t the wedge of the day. Full band sound, horns an’ all with The Supremes-style backing singers.
Don’t get us wrong, there’s something intellectually witty going on here, a story lamenting the pitfalls of love and riding out in the most bubbly of ways. Check out the opening lines, ‘love’s not a gamble, love’s not a trap, love is a lovely suicide pact.’ It’ll have your foot tapping and fingers clicking before your 12 bars in.
Oh, did we mention there’s a cracking video featuring Danny Trejo as a fictitious late night chat show host hell bent on ruining what’s left of Waterhouse’s career.
Taken from the forthcoming self-titled album, Waterhouse lads in the UK next month stopping off at Manchester’s Gorilla March 18. Ding ding!
Three From Above – Magic Monday
Liverpool trio and Getintothis favourites Three From Above release Magic Monday next month with a launch party at Sound.
After a number of exclusive support slots, festival appearances last year and three singles releases, they carry on with their punchy, guitar driven sound. It’s rooted in bluesy vibes and catchy hooks.
In terms of thinking outside the box you’ve got to give it to ‘em- true life Magic Monday the inspiration for singer Harris McWilliam. He felt this great underdog story of when wild card, Goran Ivanisevic won the 2001 Wimbledon Men’s singles championship needed to be told.
It’s a tale we’ve all lived in different ways, pushing to be great and achieve your goal, fuck the setbacks. It’s a admirable track subject. A forthcoming EP is on the horizon.
Spotlights – The Age Of Decay
Brooklyn-based Spotlights return with a cut of intense proportions. It’s dark, heavy whilst drawing on a many different lighter shades. The iron-like will of densely distorted guitars and pounding metronome drums are equally balanced with dream-like vocals wrapped up in luscious harmonies. Originally a duo, husband-and-wife duo Mario and Sarah Quintero’s relationship is the inspiration behind this one.
‘Lyrically, it reflects on personal points in my and Sarah’s relationship, how things grew from when we met…The juxtaposition about love against this backdrop of a world that can be hard to deal with.” Mario continues “It’s intangible, It’s intense. It’s beautiful. There’s an impending darkness underneath everything and a sense of unease, but it’s also honest and vulnerable.’
They’ve had some pretty high-profile support (Melvins, Quicksand, Deftones) and this is set to continue with their next release Love & Decay out April. Officially bringing in touring drummer Chris Enriquez into the fold, Spotlights continue to evolve sonically.
DARLING – Love Game
Liverpool-based DARLING is the combination of Norwegian singer Celine Lyng and guitarist/producer Oscar Shepherd. Upon meeting the duo have fleshed out the stripped back singer/songwriter sound of Lyng’s tracks into a concoction of styles.
Combining elements of electro pop and soul ballads is a quirky little gem of a track. The vocals are effortless for Lyng and the track demonstrates the production skills of Shepherd with it’s many layers and diverse nods, equal to any slick top-flight peer.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the live experience with full band brings the sound to life.
Nikki’s Wives – Lemonade
Alt-rock Canadian powerhouse three piece Nikki’s Wives return with their first single of the year, Lemonade.
The drums are the clap-along focal point here. It’s all slick, sugary teen-friendly whoop-pop. There’s a picture of chaos, revolt and disenchantment with modern living all wrapped up ‘in a world we’re given we’re just sipping lemonade.’
Are you ready for the critical message Nikki’s Wives style: ‘1). Wake up, 2) for good luck, 3) get fucked up.’ As for the sugary-factor of the carbonated citron drink, there’s nowt more sickly here than the poodle-rock lovin’ guitar solo. Where do we/don’t we sign up?
Soon to be heard on every teens playlist of ‘edge-tunes’. Nuff said.
Ten Fé – Here Again
It’s a seismic mash-up of Madchester out on a bender with road-worn Americana. Think The War On Drugs on an English pastoral countryside drive, en route to the latest retro field rave and you’re half-way there. The summer’s desperately needed for this breezy little ditty and if we’re all still freezing then Ten Fé certainly don’t want to hear about it.
Here Again is a hymn to the idea that all good things take time to materialise, a central theme of forthcoming album Future Perfect, Present Tense. Recorded in Norway in the depths of winter, the changing of the seasons and passing of time are all evident as having a mark on the track.
They’ll be on tour in the UK back end of April.
Francie Moon – New Morning Light
Hailing from northern New Jersey, Francie Moon is a garage patch rock trio. Initially created by Melissa Lucciola but now a greater beast, their debut album came out in 2017.
New Morning Light fades up with a gentle bossanova groove that suddenly jumps into surf-psych. As the guitars drive forwards they’re circled by Lucciola’s spring reverb-laden vocals. Half-way through we’re thrusted into the spiralling disorientation of a killer solo before heading back into the chorus.
It’s one of the few tracks of this Singles Club to come in under three minutes- does exactly what it needs to. The Scouse-head’s are gonna love this. ‘This song’s for you’ screams Lucciola on the coda. Too right Francie Moon, we’re having it!
Holiday Ghosts – Slipstream
Back with their second LP West Bay Playroom, the follow-up to their acclaimed self-titled debut.
Slipstream is a continuation of their primitive rock ‘n’ roll sound that has a lot to thank The Modern Lovers and The Velvet Underground for. It’s full of bittersweet pop with punky-thrash overtones, delivering vocals reminiscent or The B-52’s.
The three chord refrain is underplayed by some rather nifty lead licks that make you want to grab a dance partner and head to the nearest 50’s themed Friday Night Dance you can find.
Don’t forget yer Brylcreem and comb la.
Cherry Pickles – It Will All End In Tears
Conceived over a buck’s fizz binge in Birmingham early last year Cherry Pickles comes at you like the basement band you always wanted to start. Duo Priscilla B and Mimi B bonded over a mutual love of 50’s malt-shop-pop, 60’s minimalist garage, no wave, fuzz and all forms of outsider art.
Played entirely on thrift shop instruments there’s a naivety here with the simplicity of Camera Obscura or Shitkid filtered through The Vaselines, it’s hard to know if it’s a clever re-imagining or ironic take on lo-fi.
‘Art damaged’ isn’t a slur, it’s a compliment. Anything lost in translation with this transatlantic duo only doubles the charm. One guitar, two drums the result is slightly wrong-sounding but an infectious one-minute-garage-pop with gusto.
Taken from the brilliantly titled Cherry Pickles Will Harden Your Nipples due April 5
Hajk – Breathe
Time for some luscious synth Scandi-pop courtesy of Oslo’s finest indie-poppers Hajk. Being nominated for a Norwegian Spellemann prize of ‘Pop Group of the Year’ has propelled them since their debut release in 2017.
It’s laid-back silky smooth vibes that easily draws comparisons to Phoenix, Dirty Projectors, Belle & Sebastian and Haim. Breathe brings in the best elements of Childish Gambino with bass lines even Thundercat would die for.
It’s uplifting- how can it not be with all those synth horns? The analogue/digital marrying sits well and offers up something new that ultimately has one foot placed in the current age of the 80’s revival.
Tourist – Love Theme
Will Phillips aka Tourist has released his second album Everyday, Love Theme being the latest representation.
On the collaborative track Tourist said. ‘It started with my friend Shura playing me this demo she had of her and a piano with the lyrics “I don’t want to be the centre of attention but, I want your love”. That sentiment really resonated with me, that feeling of longing for someone’s affection but also realising that in itself can be an unattractive quality, I like the duality of that sentiment, and Love Theme is me exploring that territory.’
It’s an electronic-fuelled sun-setting festival comedown track, that’s bound to feature on many hot, sticky evenings in the Med this summer. It’s not just about the BPM’s this track grabs the heart, soul and emotion.