Our Firsts section this week is a feast of exciting new cuts from artists on the cusp.
You may well be mapping out the gigs you’re planning to go to this spring/ summer. With the opening up of music venues in a socially-distanced capacity from May 17th, it’s seemingly a great time to be releasing music. We are truly seeing the fruit of artists’ lockdown labour right now. We’ve collected a range of new tracks that have caught our ears this last week and written about them below. You can also find our Hard Of Hearing Top Tips playlist, which dives into the current world of new music just that little bit more.
The new single by English Teacher is a dynamic beast, complete with tight-knit rhythms and barbed guitar lines. ‘R&B’, a new edition to the Nice Swan Recordings singles club, feels like an upfront conversation in the mirror after a night out. Introspective lyricism drips from walls and takes it’s cues vocally from Drahla‘s Luciel Brown, wandering heavenly over a hectic and surging instrumental drive that pushes the track into hypnotic alternative rock territory. Find the band on Spotify here.
‘More Is More’
Listening to More is More by French outfit Unschooling feels like that recurring nightmare in which you’re clambering over walls with cemented broken glass to escape the neighbour’s dog from your childhood. The track is hectic, sweat-inducing and pushes your heart to skip a beat. Like that very nightmare, it has so many twists and turns that you won’t remember them all, but the overall feeling is that you’ve won and the thrill of the chase was well worth the gut feeling you now possess. The track is an absolute delight, and is taken from their stellar new EP Random Acts of Total Control, out now on Howlin’ Banana Records. Find it on Spotify here.
South London’s Rattletooth are following in the footsteps of music purists, where instrumental detail and an overarching feeling provide an atmosphere for the listener to create their own narrative and emotional context. While vocals do echo through the outer space of the mix, the power arrives through the collective force of shifting emotion through instrumentation. Distorted guitars, oscillating synths and a swung drum beat provide the foundation for a soundtrack to a soul leaving the body after death and drifting into a new dimension. Think Boards Of Canada or Radiohead. An outstanding and ambitious debut release that shouldn’t be overlooked. Find the band on Spotify here.
A quick google of Ivan Ivanovich will take down you down a rabbit hole of how a wooden dummy cosmonaut was blasted into space in the 60s alongside a dog, mice, reptiles, guinea pigs and an automatic recording of a choir to test space travel. Operation Ivan, the recording project of Conor Clements of Portsmouth outfit Hallan is a joyride through bubbling synths, deep bass grooves and an exploration of the strange – creating quite the out of body experience. The man knows his way around a chorus and the subject matter is quite simply refreshing, what a joyous dedication to a wooden cosmonaut that paved the way for human space travel. Find Operation Ivan on Spotify here.
I Know I Know
Fade Out is where dreams meet reality. A soundtrack to sorrow or moving on, I Know I Know build hypnotic drum grooves and present us with a drifting and raw guitar sound that feels like memories circling your mind before being washed away in resolution. It’s reflective and hits with a sudden nostalgia similar to catching a whiff of perfume in a room and not knowing quite where to place it (it was your ex’s or your grandmother’s). Fade Out sticks in your head and it’s hooks kick like a carthorse, everything about the track is a lesson that less is sometimes more. Find the band on Spotify here.