Listening Post: 28th February 2016
it’s tough to keep up with what songs are amazing and what songs are a bit pants, so we’re here to help. we’ve collected the very best tracks from the past seven days (like those fishermen on television but with tunes instead of tuna) and displayed them in one handy location. Sit back, turn the volume up and sign up to this week’s listening post.
After the runaway success of ‘White Noise’ and the adventures it inspired, you wouldn’t blame PVRIS for taking a step back to find space to regroup. However Lynn, Alex and Brian have always played the game differently.
True to form ‘You and I’ sees the band on the move once more. Atmospheric and chirping, the track still captures their film noir spirit but, instead of back alleys and bedrooms, ‘You and I’ is built for the stage. The band has always had a rich, cinematic edge to their music but now it comes in glorious high definition.
Sure, the opening seconds are reassuring and familiar but as the heartbeat synth builds, providing foundations for the soaring vocals, PVRIS take off. ‘You and I’ is brooding and wistful but those diary confessionals are cut with hope. It gives the band a new colour in their pallet and suddenly, everything pops just a little more.
The band has always been confident in their craft but somehow ‘You and I’ goes harder than anything they’ve done before. It’s not arrogance, it’s full emersion in what PVRIS can be. Hopes and dreams realised. From the whispered “You and I” that introduces the track through the entwined vocal melody, locked in motion with the rumbling electronics and out the other side with the pointed cry of “We can meet in the middle, body and souls collide,” ‘You and I’ is intimate, delicate yet absolutely-ruddy massive. Walls bulging, it soundtracks PVRIS catching up to the idea that they can be both an arena-commanding force and genuine chart botherers. while losing none of their wide-eyed charm.
Whether they were looking for it or not, PVRIS have found their space. With ‘You and I’, they’re untouchable.
‘Vertigo Flowers’ is lush and laced with dreamy escape. Riddled with reverb and dashes of shoegaze, the first cut from ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’ sees Nothing return to the top of the game.
Nothing are back with their second album, Tired of Tomorrow, due for release later this year and have just released this bedraggled gem as a lead single – if this first taste it anything to go by, then the record will be nothing less than a delight.
Flooding your ears with fuzzy guitars and soft vocals, ‘Vertigo Flowers’ creates an instant connection. The bedraggled gem floats with careless refrain before lip-curling twists bring it down to earth with a bump. For a band that, shall we say, have had a very complex past, this track is full of warmth and provides a backdoor escape to tedium. (Emily Pilbeam)
Coming in like a classic disco stormer, the latest cut from Against The Current cements the band’s position as utterly unpredictable. Thought the band had pushed their pop limit with covers of Mark Ronson, Bieber and Jeppo? Think again. This is the sort of neon sparkling banger that will inspire covers, karaoke, questionable dancing and mass sing-alongs. ‘Runaway’ is absolutely monstrous and impossible to avoid.
Despite the shinier than shiny bop, the track doesn’t scrimp on the fire though. Both ‘Outsiders’ and ‘Running With The Wild Things’ came with a snarling declaration of staying true and ‘Runaway’ takes that grand defiance to heart.
Quick to hit and quicker to shift, ‘Runaway’ sees Against The Current at their most relentless. The band dodge, duck (dip, dive and dodge) away from expectation while ensuring every moment of their lightning delivery flies true.
Passionate, heart-felt and soaked in self-belief, ‘Runaway’ only works because of how much the band have committed to it. There’s no tentative whispers or downplaying here. Against The Current want the world and they’re sure as hell going to do everything in their power to take it. Two songs into ‘In Our Bones’ and the band are keeping everyone on their toes. There’s no running away from it though, Against The Current know exactly what they want and it’s for all eyes to be on them, asking what’s next?
Tackling lad culture and misogyny, Muncie Girls’ ‘Respect’ is their most challenging track to date but even at their most confrontational, they’re never out for a fight.
Instead of going for the throat, the band is out to offer education and ask questions. Skipping, captivating and dynamic ‘Respect’ is impossible to outrun. The lyrics break down grand topics of conversation into relatable questions of the everyday while the radio broadcast featuring words from the likes of Stéphanie Genz and Laura Bates being drowned out by crashing instrumentals is perhaps the most powerful statement of all.
They say you don’t know what you’re missing until it’s gone. Where White Lung are concerned, it’s more a case that their glorious return makes it blindingly obvious that they’re exactly what we need.
With a new album ‘Paradise’ coming this May, first track ‘Hungry’ is a shot to the system. Doors kicked down, in your personal space, demanding attention; it’s a direct, immediate calling card for a band not prepared to wait around for anything.
That’s not to say it’s simply a basic thrash through. There’s a satisfying growl to their engine, but White Lung have it all under control. Inside their densely packed melody there’s space to breathe – a soaring note that’s never allowed to get too full of itself, but smart enough to prove they’re a band apart from many of their peers. And all of that delivered at full throttle.
‘Hungry’ both satisfies that nagging appetite, and leaves you wanting second helpings. Paradise is an all you can eat buffet, after all.
There are still a bunch of unanswered questions about Babymetal. One album in and it’s tough to know where to place them in the grander schemes of things. Their self-titled debut was entertaining, captivating but the whole thing still teetered very closely to the idea of a fad. A shot of adrenaline but is there really anywhere left for them to go?
‘Karate’, the first track lifted from their upcoming ‘Metal Resistance’ album doesn’t really address any of those concerns apart from the most basic and, perhaps, the most important. ‘Karate’ is an excellent song.
The stomping introduction clears the room before Su-Metal, Yuimetal and Moametal come careening in, energetic, excited and unified as ever. The vocals dance with the thundering instrumentals, facing off and challenging each other to do more. It’s that conflict and collision that provides the spark that lights Babymetal up.
Instead of constantly bounding around though, ‘Karate’ sees Babymetal pausing for breath, allowing the tension to build before launching a more potent attack. They’ve found space and they know how to use it. Dynamic, heavy-hitting but with an unwavering lust for life, it turns out there are a load more places the band can do. Taking the curiosity and building upon it, this is Babymetal all grown up.