There’s nothing more exciting for a music fan than discovering a new artist that connects with you straight off the bat (alongside none of your mates knowing that artist). Whether that’ll be the case with one of the new bunch of bands you’re about to dig into below, we can only hope so. From the floral and psychedelic big band feel of Oxford’s Mandrake Handshake to the destructive yet socially-aware Aussie post-punk charm of 100, we couldn’t have asked for more exciting new music this week. Follow our Hard Of Hearing Top Tips playlist here which contains the best of our weekly new music discoveries and more.
We discovered Sydney band 100 through their previous release Weightless and they’ve now returned with their first release of 2020 in Psych. A string of abrasive yet well thought-out singles have followed their independently released debut EP Cortisone in 2018, resulting in 100 being the first signing to Alex Cameron’s label Endless Recordings. The Australian outfit confront topics of toxic masculinity and anti-social behaviour head-on, their weapon of choice; a brand of guitar music that hits hard emotionally and cuts deep melodically, complete with a snarling yet poetic lyrical underbelly. Find 100 on Spotify here.
Oxford psych-collective Mandrake Handshake are the latest signing to London label Nice Swan’s monthly introducing series. “This is our 3 minute party tune” say the band on Gonkulator, the track representing perhaps their most pop-ready offering so far. The track drifts along hypnotic and carefree in it’s groove-ready approach, twitchy instrumentation and a fizzing undercurrent mark the track’s psychedelic depths. Mandrake Handshake will release their debut EP in early 2021 featuring Gonkulator and previous release Mandragora. Find the band on Spotify here.
The Reality TV
Won’t Stop Dreaming
The Reality TV is the new solo project of musician Benjamin Mace-Crossley (also of post-punk duo PKNN) and clings to the romance of late 70s/ early 80s post-punk lyricism. Debut single Won’t Stop Dreaming is a beautiful ride through dark thoughts and cold-blooded synths; a perfect example of how lo-fi music can shoot straight for jugular and yank on the heartstrings. The chorus of the track is as epic as they come, vocally with just enough oddball charm to avoid direct comparison to greats that have come before (Joy Division and Future Islands love child). A flawless lo-fi debut, I can’t wait to see what arrives next. Find the band on Spotify here.
London’s Beatbuzz Records are flying the flag for exciting ‘heavy’ music of late and Polemics are a perfect example of this. The Bristol duo arrived in 2019 saving their first two releases until the latter part of 2020, with Hegemon the band find a delightful balance between savage riffs and rampant guitars to a backdrop of flawlessly tight and destructive drumming. At any second you feel that the track could spiral out of control as if ahead in a one-horse drag race, but Polemics’ technical prowess avoids collision with exciting left turns and knife-edged vocals. Watch the music video here, find the band on Spotify here.
Words by Karl Johnson