Your mid-week serving of new music cocktails is a globe-trotting affair. Featuring six new singles from artists in Australia, England, Scotland, Wales, and the US, today’s mini-playlist brings you plenty of sonic diversity. Let’s get things started with a bang courtesy of San Francisco’s finest rockers.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – “Question of Faith” (San Francisco, USA)
RIYL: The Black Angels, Mark Lanegan, Morphine
We still have two long months to wait until Black Rebel Motorcycle Club finally release their new album, Wrong Creatures. Fortunately for fans, the band keeps giving us plenty of sonic goodness to help tide us over. Their latest single, “Question of Faith,” is available as a free download with pre-orders. If the album’s previous offerings (“Little Thing Gone Wrong” and “Haunt”) didn’t send chills up your spine, then “Question of Faith” certainly will.
The song opens with an ominous bass line that sets a haunting, nocturnal tone. BRMC are masters of creating dark soundscapes that hint at something lurking in the shadows. Here you can envision walking in a dark wood, perhaps being followed by an unidentifiable presence. The eerie game of chase continues through the pulse-quickening bridge up to the very last notes.
BRMC are: Peter Hayes (vocals/guitar), Robert Levon Been (vocals/bass/guitar), and Leah Shapiro (drums).
Until the Ribbon Breaks – “Here Comes the Feeling” (Cardiff, Wales)
RIYL: London Grammar, Phantogram, Run the Jewels
Until the Ribbon Breaks have been taking their time crafting a follow-up to their 2015 album, A Lesson Unlearnt. This is because frontman Peter Lawrie-Whitfield has been around the world seeking a fresh start after getting “stuck” as he sings in the new single, “Here Comes the Feeling.”
While getting sober in Thailand, he began writing what will become the band’s next as-yet-untitled album. On this song he mentions “the repetition of a bad dream,” which may be the most intimate and personal lyrics he’s ever penned:
“I don’t know the language
I can’t find the rhythm
I don’t know the way to say I tried
I don’t know the language
I can’t find the rhythm
I don’t know the way to say goodbye.”
Clearly he found the right words – along with equally perfect (and oh so catchy) rhythms – to close one chapter of his life. Now he’s embarking on a new path, equipped with a clear vision of his future. Who knew therapeutic endings could feel and sound so damn good?
Until the Ribbon Breaks features Peter Lawrie-Whitfield (vocals/keys/bass/programming) and Elliot Wall (percussion/programming/backing vocals).
Annie Booth – “Chasm” (Edinburgh, Scotland)
RIYL: Feist, KT Tunstall, London Grammar
We love nothing more than shining a light on emerging talents. This is why we scour the deepest corners of the music world to unearth hidden gems. We also love to cheer on female artists who sometimes struggle in the male-dominated music scene. For these reasons, we are especially chuffed to come upon Annie Booth. The Edinburgh indie folk-rock artist may be young, but what she lacks in years of solo experience she more than makes up for with impeccable vocals and a fresh sound on her debut album, An Unforgiving Light.
But she isn’t exactly an unknown artist. We have previously featured her other project, Mt. Doubt, and praised their rich sound that echoes The National. Still, it’s a pleasant surprise to find Booth launching a solo project. There is obviously something in the Edinburgh waters (or is it the whisky?) that turns ordinary musicians into extraordinary artists.
Her single “Chasm” features an irresistible riff that you’ll not be able to get out of your head. It’s got an equal balance of folk, pop, and rock sure to satisfy fans of every genre. Get to know Annie Booth now. Your ears will be forever grateful.
The Golden Filter – “End of Times” (London, England)
RIYL: Röyksopp, Goldfrapp, GEMS
With the luxurious caress of the softest silk, the new single from British electro-pop duo The Golden Filter will tantalize your senses.
“End of Times” from their upcoming EP of the same name follows in the footsteps of Röyksopp and Goldfrapp in its understated approach. This duo of Australian singer Penelope Trappes and American Stephen Hindman have left their former New York City base and relocated to London. This international flavor gives them a distinctive sound that is cosmopolitan and polished.
“End of Times” provides listeners with a euphoric rush fueled by sleek synths and ethereal vocals. It is a perfect soundtrack for a late-night drive where your only guide is the moonlight. Chaos may be closing in on all sides across the globe, but “End of Times” offers an oasis of elegant, synth-driven calm.
Look for the End of Times EP when it arrives November 10 via Optimo Music.
The Ocean Party – “Tell” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Tallest Man on Earth, Local Natives, Silver Jews
It’s no secret we are fans of Australian indie outfit The Ocean Party. They aren’t known for resting on their laurels. Their latest album, Beauty Point, is only three months old, yet they are already sharing a preview of their next EP called Guilt.
“I’m not sure that I’m OK
but should I keep that to myself…
and if you look me in the eye
please tell me nothing’s wrong”
There is absolutely nothing wrong with The Ocean Party. They are purveyors of cathartic pop that fits every season. Where their earlier songs veered further into dream pop/indie rock territory, here they flex their Americana muscles with the use of some twangy slide guitar. That, combined with the shouted chorus refrain (“Please tell me nothing’s wrong”) gives a quick jolt of feel-good vibes sure to get you through the rest of 2017.
Their previous albums are out on Spunk Records, who will release Guilt on December 1.
The Ocean Party are: Lachlan Denton (guitar/vocals), Liam Halliwell (guitar/vocals), Curtis Wakeling (guitar/vocals), Jordan Thompson (keys/vocals), Mark Rogers (bass/vocals), and Zac Denton (drums/vocals).
H.C. McEntire – “A Lamb, A Dove” (Durham, NC, USA)
RIYL: Mount Moriah, Indigo Girls, Angel Olsen, Tift Merritt
The American south boasts an impressive list of native singers with legendary voices. Names like Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris reign as country matriarchs while modern singers like Rhiannon Giddens and Julien Baker are cementing their place as future legends. One name to add to the latter group is H.C. McEntire, better known for her work in indie band Mount Moriah. On her debut solo effort, LIONHEART, McEntire melts hearts with her intimate songwriting, especially on lead single “A Lamb, A Dove.”
On this stripped-down ballad, McEntire offers a glimpse into the world of a native southerner who defies stereotypes. Even in 2017, gay artists still face discrimination, especially in typically conservative southern states like her home of North Carolina. Despite this, McEntire proudly sings of finding “heaven in a woman’s touch” and “come to me now; I’ll make you blush.” This is a powerfully moving song that heralds the beginning of a bright solo career. It also features indie singer/songwriter Tift Merritt on backing vocals, which is a lovely treat. Other guest artists on the album include Angel Olsen, Amy Ray, Phil Cook, William Tyler, and many more.
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