New Music Weekly is your one stop shop for new releases in the world of music each and every week. From the best of the best, to some of the rest, Mark Conroy is here to give you the low down on what you might have missed. This week: Nicolas Jaar, SOPHIE, Rhye & More
Oh Joy ‘Apple’
Having opened for the likes of Show Me the Body and Pinegrove at their Irish shows, Oh Joy continue to be a fuzz leaning indie rock trio worth looking out for. The Dublin based group have released a new single ‘Apple’, as well as a humorous black and white visual to go along with it. Filled with Static-y string bends, assertive drum beats and drizzled with some distorted melody, the song builds to a gentle explosion in its final stretch. It’s an unhurried effort, but the measured pace is sets itself displays a level of confidence, with Ollie Moyle’s lovelorn lyrics of longing providing the emotion. It raises only one gear just once, but it feels earned.
Nicolas Jaar ‘Coin in Nine Hands’
‘Coin in Nine Hands’, released during the week, only appeared on the deluxe version of Nicolas Jaar’s last album Sirens but the producer admitted on twitter that “I started performing ‘Coin’ at every show… I couldn’t get it out of me.” It’s easy to hear why, as this would set the perfect, moody tone at the start of gigs for a musician who excels in making what one would imagine overcast itself would sound like. ‘Coin’ is stark piece of desolate electronica, Jaar’s dead pan vocals anchoring the track deep below the surface into nigh pitch-black territory. For all it’s dark atmospherics, though, there is still a rich sense of melody buried somewhere here.
Twin Peaks ‘In the Meadow’
Twin Peaks’ atypical album rollout, where they dropped two singles every month, ended this past week with the releases of the final two new tracks. One is a 70s throwback, Eagles-channeling near-instrumental called ‘We Will Not Make It (Not Without You)’ but ‘In the Meadow’ is probably the stronger effort. It’s like an ambitious progressive number that sounds like it was recorded in a garage. The cantankerous drumming, keyboard wizardry, sudden tempo shifts, and lo-fi vocals soaked in reverb amount to bewildering six and half minutes that sounds like The Doors if they doubled the members and pre-recording vodka intake. Twin Peaks often sound—to put it mildly—untidy, but there’s always method in their mess.
SOPHIE ‘Pony Boy’
After the vulnerable simplicity of ‘It’s Ok to Cry’, SOPHIE returns to the kind of metallic abrasion that made her popular in the first place. An all our aural assault is perhaps the only way one can adequately describe a song like ‘Pony Boy’. The industrial dub step drops she uses as hooks will rattle the senses and BDSM championing lyrics will add to the sense of behind close doors spotlighting.
Rhye ‘Count To Five’
Rhye’s sensual R’n’B has an air of confidence about it, like it never needs to fully ignite to arouse the senses. ‘Count to Five’, the funky, ever fluctuating new single off their forthcoming album Blood, is no different. The bassline is the bouncy foundation for a track that glides smoothly in every which way as sudden injections of synths shimmer and strings turn things cinematic. Mike Molish’s voice almost sounds like a falsetto and wavering whisper, but there’s an intimate gravitas to his delivery.
Charli XCX ‘Out of My Head (feat.Tove LO and ALMA)’
Charli XCX continues to be able to do a lot with very little. In terms of low-key, minimal pop. ‘Out of my Head’ isn’t as successful as ‘Boys’, but it seems unfair to compare to one of the year’s best pop songs. A strong, simple effort built off of trippy tropical synths and 808 beats, the track features a passionate chorus, sung by Alma that is—not-so-ironically—hard to get of your head after hearing.
Guided By Voices ‘Space Gun’
Guided By Voices have changed very little in their 3 decade long history. Having already released two albums in 2017, they continue their prolific streak with ‘Space Gun’, the title track from another record that will drop early next year. Another anthemic lo-fi number, there’s nothing really new here, but the track captures the best of band who don’t know when to quit, nor should they.