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: Natalie Prass, Amen Dunes, Kimbra & More
Sam Evian ‘Health Machine’
Sam Evian is the moniker of Sam Owens, the frontman of Celestial Shores, and ‘Health Machine’ is his lead single for his upcoming solo album You, Forever. Centring around a twangy riff that veers from melodic to atonal, the track has a dreamy but distinctly surreal take on Americana rock. The video has clips from what looks like a cross country trip and Owen’s moody modified vocals, coupled with the slightly off-kilter vibes of the song, makes for an eerily enjoyable trip into the heartland of the United States.
Natalie Prass ‘Sisters’
Natalie Prass’s excellent first record consisted of opulent, awarding folk music that laid bare a lovelorn soul. Based on the singles for her upcoming follow-up The Future and The Past, however, we are already seeing a fairly major departure, both thematically and musically. New single ‘Sisters’ is proof of this: The pure, pop ambitions are still buried here but ‘Sisters’ simmers with the freewheeling tension of neo-soul. Somehow both structured and lovingly loose sounding, the track is a satisfying and subtly psychedelic ode to the importance of female friendship in hard times. You don’t need no man, you just need to “keep your sisters close”.
Miya Folick ‘Deadbody’
The LA-based musician Miya Folick drops a pop rock stomp filled with pomp and power. An anthem for the post-Weinstein age, ‘Deadbody’ is visceral middle finger aimed at oppressive power structures and figures that exploit the vulnerable. “I don’t want money for my silence/ I don’t care who knows your name” Folick spits with real venom as she’s supported by thunderous drumming and a production that veers from skeletal to seismic in a split second.
Kimbra ‘Like They Do on The TV’
I’ve said it before on this column, but Kimbra deserves to be recognised for so much more than just as a featured vocalist on a terrible Gotye song. ‘I’m on top of the world’ from 2017 was one of the year’s best pop singles that didn’t get a look in. In terms of quality, ‘Like The Do on The TV’ continues the trend. An airy electro-pop number, it has a soundscape saturated with hooks that feel like they floated into the proceedings. Plus there’s a sax line at the end that could kill.
Amen Dunes ‘Time’
Daman McMahon’s band released their third album Freedom this past week and it’s their strongest yet. Made in part as a response to dealing with a terminally ill mother, McCahon’s new record is grand sounding epitaph with oblique, witty lyrics that cut through the ambiguity of its meaning with the sincerity of its emotion. ‘Time’ is one such highlight that demonstrates this. Like time’s arrow, the simple, central guitar line is an ever-present force that seems to only march forward as the sprawling symphonics swirl around it but can do little to alter its course. As a vocalist, McMahon has the uncanny ability of sounding utterly defeated and hopelessly romantic at the same time in a track that that accepts our mortality, but only begrudgingly so.
Armour Glamour ‘Sugies Dreamin’
The LA based Armour Glamour mix post-punk aesthetics with the slightest touch of woozy psychedelics to create music that sounds simple but spacious. ‘Sugies Dreamin’ is the first track off of their latest full release Dramatic Cinematic, and it is indeed both dramatic and cinematic. Sounding like on eerily subversive take on a crooner track from the 1960’s, the song is like a perilously pleasant journey into the past. It’s a sweet, sad sack of a thing with gentle guitar strumming that’s lovely and oddly leery. It’s that strange dichotomy that makes their music stand out.
Reuben James ‘The New Day’
Dublin’s Reuben James is a rapper and yet another example of why we should be excited about the city’s ever growing hip hop scene. A BIMM graduate, James is a talented all-round musician whose music displays impressive vocal acrobatics. ‘The New Day’ is an electrically charged ode to the power of self-realisation.