Our Firsts section this week is a grassroots nosedive into the exciting and varied new sounds of 2021.
Words by Karl Johnson
Glastonbury was never really on the cards this year was it? That’s not to say that it isn’t a disappointed, but 200,000-odd gig-goers travelling to a Somerset farm in June just seemed too good to be true. Quality live streams (often pre-recorded for COVID safety and quality) from our favourite grassroots venues is now a done thing, we’ve come a long way since the glitchy Instagram Live sessions of March last year, neatly finding another method of funding venues in need in the process. New music has never been stronger, more vibrant or emotionally-healing than it is right now. We’ve selected a few of our favourite new tracks to write about as part of our first features section ‘FIRSTS’. Find our Spotify playlist here for a deeper dive into what we’ve been enjoying of late.
New signings to the Nice Swan Introduces monthly series, the Colchester quartet arrive with their third single Irate. Effie Lawrence’s vocal presence instantly haunts the track, effortlessly rolling in and out of the relentless and cutting guitar sound. Complete with a restless underlying instrumental tension – and a bleeding organ sound – Anorak Patch find a ghostly middle ground between the driving rock of QOTSA and more modern American punk influences. The band are all still in high school to boot. Find them on Spotify here.
From Adelaide, Australia arrive Placement with their debut single Harder. With flickers of the spoken word vocal charm of Dry Cleaning‘s Flo Shaw and a mesmerising and raucous post-punk sound, Harder makes it’s mark with razor-sharp guitar lines and ear-splitting saxophone. The quintet’s debut release seems as though it will implode at any second, yet retains and rediscovers it’s biting rhythm to finish what it has started. Placement mention, “Harder is a response to many years spent working in customer service and the ensuing unwanted
conversations that must take place every day, each one making it a little harder to get through the shift.” Find the band on Spotify here.
Beach for Tiger
You won’t find a moment of filler in the instrumentally air-tight and touchingly soulful new release by London/ Essex quintet Beach for Tiger. The bass groove is a relentless yet fruitful journey, guitars rip through the sun-bleached and percussive soundscape like a hot knife through butter. Trumpets soar through the shimmering textures and are accompanied by sky-high vocal harmonies that pull the track to heavenly levels. Daze offers a glimpse of sunnier times and warmer climes. Find the band on Spotify here.
London project Sepi Scar exists in a world where technology knows us better than our own mothers. Silicon Creatures, the debut release, is an otherworldly experience. Lounging synths and shooting guitar textures wrap around the track and suck us into the vacuum of a post-modern existence. Vocally, the single explores human interaction and technology through an anxiety-inducing electronic soundscape. We strive for happiness through technology and lose our ability to communicate with humankind, unable to realise our own mistakes until it’s too late. Sepi Scar is a bright yet tense voyage into a future existence, you get the feeling that Silicon Creatures is just the tip of the iceberg. Find the band on Spotify here.