Here are some of the new releases I’ve been enjoying during lockdown! Some nice (sad and happy) quarantunes. There’s a link to a playlist at the end if you’d like to listen to them.
‘A Hero’s Death’ – Fontaines D.C.
Dogrel instantly became one of my favourite albums last year, so I was very excited to hear how Fontaines D.C.’s sound would take shape on their new album. The first single from the album, ‘A Hero’s Death’, definitely defied my expectations. I didn’t think I’d ever focus on the harmonies of a post-punk song but the ‘ba ba ba’ backing vocals really made the track for me. The way they clash with the guitar and bass line gives off a kind of spooky feel. I am very eager to hear how the rest of the album will sound.
‘Roman Ruins’ – Sinead O’Brien
Sinead O’Brien’s wonderfully poetic lyrics extremely fascinate me. The delivery of her words intertwines so well with her interesting rock/post-punk melodies: the result is totally enthralling. The darkness from the post-punk accompaniment gives off an almost unsettling feeling which matches her words perfectly, focusing on the uncertainty of change. I’m so intrigued to hear the rest of her debut EP (out later this summer).
‘If You Call’ – Angie McMahon & Leif Vollebekk
I’ve loved this version of ‘If You Call’ since it was uploaded to YouTube and I’m so glad it’s on Spotify now! The simplicity of guitar and soft-toned keys accompanying two-part harmonies makes the song so tender. The smooth blend of their voices is so pleasing, with the rough edges of Angie’s voice adding texture and emotion to the song’s chorus. Even the echo of the whistling is gorgeous. Angie has also released the instrumental alongside this which is just as beautiful and makes for a good addition to a study playlist.
‘Cashmere Sweaters’ – Edie Bens
This one has been on heavy rotation for me; the chorus is so addictive I keep coming back to it! I love the build-up to the first chorus, the way the drums and guitar develop means it properly hits you, making you want to come back for another listen just to feel it again. Edie Bens gives the sadness of an ex moving on the big sound that such an emotion deserves. I also adore the tone of her voice, like Angie there’s a gorgeous rough edge to it. I’m very excited to hear more of her stuff! If you like Phoebe Bridgers then you’ll definitely like this.
Don’t Come Back EP – Maddie Ashman
This EP is another one that I’ve had on heavy rotation, it has been wonderful company for me during essay writing. Maddie Ashman gives heart-breaking lyrics such a warming sound with her soft vocals and lovely cello melodies. ‘Would It Hurt’ really made me cry, it’s so gorgeous. The structure makes it especially hard-hitting with pauses in all the right places. The cello coming in later adds a layer of emotion on top of what you’re already feeling.
‘Easy Tiger’ – Flyte
Sorry to make things a bit more downbeat, but here is another sad song. From their upcoming heart-break album, Flyte bring us a gorgeous song with a sound as raw as the loss in the lyrics. The song builds so beautifully after the gentle drums are introduced; I especially love the drive of the guitar in the chorus.
‘Ballad of a Pandemic’ – Matt Maltese
I think Matt Maltese sums up how we’re all feeling with “I’m scared” and “when it couldn’t get worse it does just that”. Only he could place the anxiety of a pandemic into a soft rock song with a lovely injection of humour. He lays out the realistic feelings we’re all having at the moment, but also sends out the message to “help your neighbour even if they’re hostile” in a gorgeous multitude of harmonies, which is lovely.
‘Night Walking’ – Lazarus Kane
You’d think a song about night walking would be nice and serene, but this is so upbeat I love it. It’s an energetic journey. You think the intro is punchy with its slick guitar lick, and then the sheer energy of the chorus hits you. The backing vocals and driving bass line elevate the song to another level of funk. Just when you think it can’t go any further there’s a saxophone solo: ‘Night Walking’ is super funky and incredible.
Check out all of the songs here: