Soundtrack your sunny weekend with another Singles Club, this week from Getintothis’ Naomi Campbell.
After months of social seclusion it’s been refreshing to wrap my ears around some new music.
As life slowly gets back to normal, one thing that hasn’t changed is the constant flow of releases as musicians are busy working from their home studios with bedroom records and living room live streams becoming the new norm.
These invitations into artist’s personal lives complete with DIY music videos give us an otherwise unseen glimpse into the bodies behind the music.
More excitingly artists have been getting creative with new remixes of old favourites, genre swaps and acoustic versions of studio perfected material and the hidden gems that they never thought would see the light of day.
For these shiny new creations we have, somewhat stubbornly, lockdown to thank.
Here’s my pick of the crop…
Single of the week
The Orielles: 7th Dynamic Goo
The latest fast-paced psych meets disco release from Halifax four piece The Orielles can only be described as a high energy trip through decades of experimentalism.
Every second of their performance is executed with perfection and youthful exuberance with tight, dynamic drumming driving the track though its tempo reliant musical voyage through 70s funk to 90s house.
The futuristic, cyber-punk groove is accompanied with a similarly quirky video, the sci-fi inspired animation proving the perfect visual.
If you enjoy them digitally then keep an eye out for them at Festivals next year with their live sets coming highly recommended.
7th Dynamic Goo will be the latest track from the much-acclaimed second album Disco Volador released on Heavenly Recordings in February.
Flock of Dimes: Like so much desire
Jenn Wasner has imprinted her musical nuances on multiple credits from Bon Iver to her beloved duo Wye Oak but the collection of songs in the new EP from her solo project Flock of Dimes perfectly demonstrates her abilities to swoon in both her music and production skills.
Title track Like So Much Desire offers a slow burning introduction into a kaleidoscope of glitch-synths transpiring the conflicting emotions of finding peace amidst personal hardships.
The combination of a bright sounding acoustic guitar against Wasner’s lustrous, airy vocals in the introduction are instantly akin to the likes of Joni Mitchell before the harmonies bring contemporaries similar to that of vocally impressive groups such as The Staves or Haim.
Moving past its acoustic intro the track enters a colourful realm of intricate synths accompanied with vocal effects.
If you’d like to experience some of those soothing melodies for yourself Flock of Dimes have scheduled a concert stream via NoonChorus on Tuesday, June 30th at 7 pm.
The five track EP Like So Much Desire is out now.
SPARKLE DIVISION (William Basinski + Preston Wendel): Oh Henry!
SPARKLE DIVISION, the new union of William Basinski and Preston Wendel are a vibrant electronic fusion of experimental jazz and gritty disco.
Oh Henry! is the funky, experimentally intriguing collaboration with and tribute to the legendary upright bass player and multi-instrumentalist Henry Grimes who died of COVID-19 in April.
One of his final studio recordings, Grimes contributed upright bass and violin to Oh Henry!.
With the deceiving vintage sound of tape crackling led along by a slow burning lone sax the track introduces its contemporary personality with snare and hi-hat beats played in double time alongside Grimes’ eccentric double bass parts.
Other nuances of the tracks founders can be heard amongst the experimental soundscapes and synths.
Oh Henry! was released on Bandcamp with Temporary Residence Ltd on 19th June in which all profits went to organisations committed to countering structural racism in association with JUNETEENTH.
Anna of the North: Dream Girl
The intimately reinvented, lo-fi version of this delicate number from Norwegian pop prowess Anna of the North is as delicious and sweet to listen to as it is to watch with its laidback homemade video.
You might recognise Dream Girl from the Global Apple iPad Pro commercial which clearly perked the ears of its wide spread audience leading it to Chart in over 30 countries.
Anna of the North lures her listeners through intricate sprinklings of synths and guitars over wispy vocals. Personal and sweet, the lyrics are reflected in the songs dreamy simplicity.
The single comes ahead of new material released on an acoustic EP set for release later this summer.
A limited edition acoustic LP was re-issued in aid of the #LoveRecordStores campaign aimed to support the independent retail sector.
Annie: American Cars
American Cars is the debut single from the new album from Norwegian pop star Annie, in her first offering in ten years.
In a nod to the album title Dark Hearts, American Cars omits an eerie, brooding energy with its low sounding synths, echo-dripped vocals and pulsing bass.
Annie lives up to her own genre description of “melancholy Disco” with a protruding 80s sounding drum pad contrasting its cinematic counterparts.
A wiry synth towards the middle eight section under dialogue from Annie breaks listeners from the trance inducing pull of the track before returning back to the chorus.
The album Dark Hearts is released on October 16th.
The Asteroid No.4: The After Glow
Psychedelic rock-quartet The Asteroid No.4 have released the debut single from their highly anticipated new album.
Trippy and languid, as the song title suggests, The After Glow is in no rush to get anywhere with drawn out, hazy drumming underneath slow harmonic changes.
Layered guitars and reverb-drenched vocal harmonies have always appealed to the California-based group and remain their defensive aesthetic with The After Glow being no exemption.
The Asteroid No.4 will release the hypnotic, self-produced album Northern Songs via Little Cloud Records in the summer.
M- and CAT POWER: Toop Toop (A Tribute to Zdar)
As the song title suggests, Toop Toop comes as a worthy tribute to French duo Cassius which consisted of producers Hubert Blanc-Francard and Philippe Cerboneschi better known as Boombass and Zdar.
The pairing of singer Charlyn Marshall, or Cat Power and French rock-singer-songwriter Matthieu Chedid (M) was made exclusively for the delightfully stripped back single, with both having worked with Zdar in the past decade.
An ambience inspired acoustic guitar introduces the soulful elements of the track before Powers silky honed voice emerges creating a live room effect.
The simple, minimalistic instrumentation provides a summery, easy-listening groove that easily becomes addictive the more you hear it.
The single was released a year after the tragic passing of Zdar. The song was originally released in 2006.
Dyane de Serigny, Philippe Zdar’s wife said:
“Cat Power and -M- started humming Toop Toop. That moment was so magical that we decided to turn the console, plug in the microphones and make the first recording of this new chapter in life. This foundational event gave us the strength and encouraged us to preserve the future of his beloved studio.”
Sally Anne Morgan: Thread Song
New single Thread Song from House and Land alumni Sally Anne Morgan enchants through its simplicity with Morgan’s layered multi-instrumentals beneath sweet hymn-like vocals.
A charming guitar lead moves the track along an unusual melodic journey which is as equally satisfying as it is unsettling. The award winning fiddle player creatively uses her main instrument more so as a drone towards the mid-section before luring us back into the lazy, soothing melody.
The rustic, self produced track was released with an aptly rural inspired video featuring Morgan holding different farm animals and playing guitar in a sun-soaked field.
The demo-style patchwork of dextrous and experimental playing and vocal quips charm listeners through the lost, pastoral melodies.
Morgan’s fearless self-exploration in this floating piece befalls Thread Song somewhere between indie folk and elements of raga.
The new album Thread will be released on 21 August.
Private World: Hypnagogia
Cardiff pop outfit Private World are a modern day Spandau Ballet meets Peter Gabriel with husky, deep vocals moving across a sweetheart synth.
Hypnagogia, named after the grey area between wakefulness and sleep suggest the track is slightly akin to its title with tinkering, brassy chimes reminiscent of an 80s inspired lullaby.
Much of the singles character is made up of the soft tones used on the emulation of the Fender Dyno-Rhodes Electric piano, which the band intentionally used for its nostalgic inducing purposes saying: “the main piano sound was used on everything. We love the sound, so opted to make that a big blatant part of the song.”
Hypnagogia is the debut single release from Private World’s debut album Aleph, out on 28th August.
Pinkshinyultrablast, Russia’s offering of epic shoe-gaze, defy all expectations with new single Songs.
Guitars awash with ambience swapping between moments of tranquillity and intense, distorted bursts are layered over an ethereal vocal effortlessly sweeping between the carefully selected parts.
The exploration of an intense 3 minute long breakdown and build shows an artistic disregard for conventions when most songs usually only last as long in their entirety.
Pinkshinyultrablast clearly were aware of their intent referring to the track as an ‘oddball’ and a ‘beast’.
If you’ve got the patience to listen through to its full 15 minutes you won’t regret it.
The C33s: Harpurhey Hostility
Garage-Surf tinged Manchester trio The C33s garnered attention last year with their debut single Manic Depression gaining airplay on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6.
Their distinctive punk-rock sound is set to do the same with new angst driven single Harpurhey Hostility.
Energetic vocals and rambunctious guitars result in an explosive mix of garage punk and raging northern discontent with a story telling visual to accompany set in the centre of Harpurhey.
The chant-like choruses and consuming rhythm section is reminiscent of past iconic delights such as The B52s and The Fall.
Harpurhey Hostility is set for release on 29th June via Black Bleach Records.
NOGA EREZ: No News On TV
No news on TV is the new up-beat synth bop from Tel-Aviv artist Noga Erez.
The seamless production was both penned and recorded by Erez and her partner Ori Rousso during the pandemic.
Erez’ choppy, effects-laden vocals are mirrored alongside hypnotic synth melodies and a magnetic drumbeat.
As is her style based on previous releases, Erez’ gritty, outright lyrics are the focal point of the track and focus exclusively on political and personal affairs.
Speaking on the song, Erez comments:
“This song was written during a period where I had more time than I’ve had in a decade. I felt a deep need to imagine what it would be like to live in a world with no politics, money, grit, racism or violence.
As I write these words people all over the world are fighting for justice for the black community. It’s tragic and saddening that in this day and age we still have to deal with racism. But this fight is so extremely important, not just for the black community in the US but for any person who suffers from oppression and mistreatment.”
The song was released with a reflective music video focusing on Erez’ time in isolation, in the shots Erez can be seen underwhelmed in different areas of a luxurious mansion before faced with an ‘intruder’ that encourages her to go back to her ‘perfect boredom’.
NO news on TV is the debut single from Noga Erez’ forthcoming second album following the success of Off The Radar in 2017.