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; Fleet Foxes, Frank Ocean and more….
Fleet Foxes ‘Third Of May / Odaigahara’
It has been an arduous six years without a new Fleet Foxes release, but good news this week comes in the form of an announcement that their long awaited third album Crack Up is set to arrive in June. Robin Peckhold’s crew also dropped a new, nearly nine minute single entitled ‘Third Of May / Odaigahara’. Peckhold describes the LP as being partially influenced by an F.Scott Fitzgerald essay which ‘addresses the necessity of holding two opposing thoughts in one’s mind at once’. The new track appears to capture the two warring sides of that dichotomy; its first half being a typically harmony-rich slice of autumnal song writing, while its latter devolves into a more ominous, despair ridden soundscape.
Real Estate ‘Stained Glass’
Real Estate give us their second single of their fourth album In Mind, and as far as Real Estate songs go, it’s very Real Estate. Considering, however, that they’ve given us 3 rather good records of their quintessential laidback rock already, this is far from a vice. ‘Stained Glass’ is more suitable soundtrack for a lazy Sunday. It chimes, glides and never even needs to touch the ground before it lifts off.
Eoin Dolan ‘One Girl’
Galway based Eoin Dolan takes the laidback rock of Mac Demarco, and adds a splash of sci-fi strangeness to the mix. ‘One Girl’ is a sincere serenade about being fixated on that single, special person. Lyrically, it combines that bizarrely endearing stargazing of Bowie with the romantic exultation of being with the one you love. The dreamy track will appear on Dolan’s album Ubique, out this summer.
Ty Segall ‘Black Magick’
Ty Segall has two modes, the scuzzy, snotty garage rock side and the late 60’s evoking summery vibe of his British invasion side. ‘Black Magick’ falls into the latter of those two categories. It appears on the Sentimental Goblin EP, which acts as a companion piece to his recently released self-titled album. The song has all the tranquilising mood of The Kinks, with a hint of that periods woozy psychedelic daze.
Girlpool have a new secret weapon, it’s called a drumbeat. And don’t they know it. At around the 50 second mark, the surprising addition rolls in not unlike the way a percussionist would be setting us for an impressive sideshow stunt, only this time, the main attraction is the instrument itself. The Californian duo still have the same brash attitudes of girls on a night out, pre-emptively shutting down the advances of skeezy men, but this time it has scale. The bass now bellows, the guitar blares, and the words bite that much more.
Benjamin Booker ‘Witness’ (Feat. Mavis Staples)
Protest music shouldn’t sound this euphoric. Then again, the church pew ebullience of the infectious, hair raising hook is imbued a with knowing sense of religious self-reproach. New Orleans’ Benjamin Booker says he wrote the track in response the destructive results of both US foreign policy in Mexico, and police brutality in his home country. The playfully plinking piano keys, the voices with more soul then heaven itself and that stunning Mavis Staples feature – it’s all downright empowering. Ultimately, however, what we’re hearing is a condemnation of standing by, an accusation that inaction makes you just as complicit as the perpetrators themselves. “Am I just gonna be a Witness?” is a question we should ask ourselves every day.
Loah ‘The Bailey’
The morning after rousing the crowd alongside beatmaker extraordinaire Bantum at the RTÉ Choice Prize, Irish/Sierra Leonean singer Loah dropped her explosive new single ‘The Bailey’ on Thursday . And with it, she may have just proved why she stands a good chance of reappearing on that same stage next year, as a nominee in her own right. ‘The Bailey’ is a visceral polemic on not only the state institutions which govern us but also the people who mindlessly afford them power without thinking it through. Sure to be one of the Irish tracks of the year.
Nicki Minaj ‘Regret In Your Tears’
Like a great guest verse on a Kanye west track, we have multiple versions of Nicki Minaj this week. She dropped three songs, and they’re not half bad. ‘No Frauds’ is her reply track to that infamous, scathing 6 minute diss dropped by Remy Ma two weeks ago. While is not as vitriolic as that, she’s in full flow and at her spitting best. ‘Regret In your tears’, is her typical pop release that always seems to balance her more purist, hip hop numbers, but it’s one of her strongest mainstream efforts in a while .
Frank Ocean ‘Chanel’
Waking up to a new Frank Ocean track is better than any breakfast anywhere. This is his first solo release since 2016’s undisputed album of the year Blonde, and it’s no throwaway afterthought. The production is bouncier and noticeably less skeletal then anything on that album, but it’s still an atmospheric and introspective stunner. The issues tackled are wide ranging—police profiling, wealth—but at its heart ‘Chanel’ is an endearing serenade about knowing every inch of someone your with. ‘My guy pretty like a girl / And he got fight stories to tell / I see both sides like Chanel’: in three lines Ocean lovingly sums up the nature of the secret selves we reveal to only to each other in relationships.
Health ‘Blue Monday’(cover)
The wonderfully scuzzy rockers Health recently released a remix album entitled Disco3, and keeping to the dance music vibe, they’ve gone and covered one of the more enduring tracks of the genre. True to form, its a manically sinister take on notoriously upbeat floor filler. The song is for a new Charlize Theron action vehicle entitled Atomic Blonde, which like the track, might surprise in its apparent quality.