Introducing a new regular feature, where the Songwriting team review a collection of new releases that have caught our ear
THE MAPLE STATE
THE MOTORBIKE AND THE CLOSEST OF CALLS
Far Out Records
New music from Manchester’s The Maple State is always a good thing. The jangling guitar and urgent vocals make for some bold songwriting on this surprise EP, the title track leaving you begging for more as the record unfolds.
NO SUCH LUCK
This softly anthemic number is an ideal introduction to Scott Mickelson’s second full-length, A Wondrous Life. Examining that peculiar part of human nature that is compelled to make life hard for ourselves, this is classic songwriting with something to say. Fans of Christ Stapleton won’t regret having a listen.
The latest song to be released from Snail Mail’s hotly awaited debut LP, Lush. Band leader Lindsey Jordan shows of the dexterity of her guitar playing and beauty of her songwriting on Lush, a gorgeous five-minute indie-pop gem. We’ve heard the album already and you can catch our thoughts soon – spoiler alert: it really is a record you should look forward to.
MANIC STREET PREACHERS
HOLD ME LIKE A HEAVEN
The Manics never fail to impress and this is definitely true of their latest offering. With a more mellow sound on the verses and a rousing chorus that sets up residence in your head for days, it looks like they are onto another smash.
THE WATERS & THE WILD
Jon Whitley and Jay LaBouchardiere have created another enrapturing collection of filmic folk. An album which isn’t afraid of looking back whilst fearlessly charging forward, it’s exactly what the genre needs. Standout track, Halsewell, is a masterclass of harmonies, balance and atmosphere.
This late night cocktail is a heady brew of lust, longing and black humour which once again highlights the maturity possessed by the 21 year-old songwriter. It also finds him inhabiting the sweet spot between Richard Hawley and Neil Hannon. His debut album can’t come soon enough.
ALICE IN CHAINS
THE ONE YOU KNOW
Grunge titan’s Alice In Chains haven’t released a new song in half a decade. After such a gap, there’s a fear that the group may have lost some of their fire. Not a jot. While The One You Know doesn’t have the punch of the band’s best work, it still ranks higher than most band two-thirds their age.
RUSH HILL ROAD
Quickly becoming one of my feel-good tracks of the summer, The Orb’s Rush Hill Road – featuring outstanding vocals from up-and-coming Hollie Cook – is a refreshing dub-influenced tune, perfect for long summer days in chilling in the park.
YOU’RE NOT WRITTEN IN MY STARS
Scottish DIY pop trio Breakfast Muff marry a deceptively danceable bassline and cutting guitar line, with delightfully accented vocals on this new single. While there’s little chance of it snapping dancefloors this summer, there’s every chance of it becoming an anthem for indie-rock kids right now.
Words: Damien Girling, Duncan Haskell, Fern Dunn