Welcome to Prog's Tracks Of The Week. Eight brand new and diverse slices of progressive music for you to enjoy.
In a rather one-sided Tracks Of The Week last week, the return of Swedish proggers Moon Safari with the ten-minute long Between The Devi And Me, taken from their long-awaited Himlabacken Vol. 2, romped home with over 80% of the vote, so huge congratulations to them. That certainly bodes well for the new release. Aussie prog metallers Torizon came second and US psych rockers The Third Mind third.
The premise for Tracks Of The Week is simple - we've collated a batch of new releases by bands falling under the progressive umbrella, and collated them together in one post for you - makes it so much easier than having to dip in and out of various individual posts, doesn't it?
The idea is to watch the videos (or listen if it's a stream), enjoy (or not) and also to vote for your favourite in the voting form at the bottom of this post. Couldn't be easier could it?
We'll be bringing you Tracks Of The Week, as the title implies, each week. Next week we'll update you with this week's winner, and present a host of new prog music for you to enjoy.
If you're a band and you want to be featured in Prog's Tracks Of The Week, send your video (as a YouTube link) or track embed, band photo and biog to us here.
So get watching. And get voting at the bottom of the page.
EXPLORING BIRDSONG - DIAMOND EYES
UK proggers Exploring Birdsong are first up this week, with this delightful cover of the Deftones Diamond Eyes (the title track of the US band's 2010 album). It's a standalone single, following the release of the band's Dancing In The Face Of Danger EP, which was released back in March and, like the EP, released through Lonh Branch Records.
"We wanted to experiment sonically before heading into full length album territory, which is why we think it feels different to anything we’ve released previously," the band explain of the new single. "Collectively, Diamond Eyes is one of our favourite songs of all time. It really feels like a song that is within the same realm of what we try to do as a band too, which made it in turn feel like a perfect song for us to put our own spin on. The weight of the riffs in the original are so crushing, but what we feel really makes this song so special is the chorus, so having the focus of our version be the harmony and melody felt like the most ‘us’ thing to do.”
TARJA - FROSTY THE SNOWMAN
Yes, we know it's only the beginning of November, but hey, former Nightwish singer Tarja's always had a soft spot for winter and the Christmas season so it was always inevitable that she'd follow-up her 2017 From Spirits And Ghosts (Score For A Dark Christmas) album, and indeed Dark Christmas will be released on ear Music on November 10. Here she mixes a children's choir and orchestra with her naturally dark, gothic grandeur on the seasonal fave. Although if we're really honest, it's her version of Wham's Last Chirstmas we can't wait to hear!
"It was fascinating to dive into this new world," Tarja states. "You will appreciate these Christmas songs with our spooky arrangements truly sound in a way they never did before. It was my pleasure to team up once again with Jim Dooley and Tim Palmer. I hope you will dig in our take of a Dark Christmas spirit."
GONG - MY GUITAR IS A SPACESHIP
Cosmic proggers Gong have shared a suitably trippy video for their brand new single My Guitar Is A Spaceship, which is taken from the band's brand new studio album Unending Ascending which is released through Kscope records today! The song, the first to be written for the new album, drew an ecstatic reaction when played to a crowd of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium recently too, when frontman Kavus Torabi slipped it into his DJ set at a recent Blur show!
“The song came into being in the spring of 2022 and we actually debuted it on the Glade Stage at Glastonbury festival that summer," explains Torabi. "It was the first song we wrote for the new album. More than anything we’ve done together, it seemed to pop out fully formed. That morning none of it existed and then an hour later all of it did.
“I don’t think we were even trying to write a tune at that point! What a feeling, we sort of couldn’t believe we came up with it. I said “Man, can you imagine debuting this song at Glastonbury festival?”. Sure enough, two days later we received a message asking us if we’d like to headline the Glade Stage that year. At this point the existence of magic is not even up for debate. The tune is just one propulsive, cycling riff that seems to blast us and the audience upward, hence the lyrics, from which we took the title of the album. Once we’d written this, we knew the rest of the album would be great, it kind of defined the direction we would take as we wrote the remaining seven songs. I honestly can’t conceive of a Gong gig, moving forward, where we don’t play it.”
UNPROCESSED - GLASS
Young German prog quartet Unprocessed will release their fifth studio album ...and everything in between on December 1. The catchy yet technical Glass is the third single to be taken from the impending release, of which the band say "can quite literally be described as everything in between the extremes of life. Dealing with anger, sorrow, nostalgia, love and fear the album reflects on the different shades of a personality that everyone is made out of (e.g. there is evil in everyone).“ Unprocessed have also been announced as support to TesseracT on their upcoming EU and UK Tour in Jan/Feb 2024.
"Glass serves as the atmospheric, dark, yet beautiful episode of our album. Starting with a signature Unprocessed tapping harmonic riff, Glass delivers upon a story of toxic love and the sacrifices one has to make to sustain this kind of relationship," the band say. "The lyrics state “Loving you feels like walking on broken glass”. The song travels through a storm and culminates in a hopeful ending with its unexpected mood change. Glass is a big ballad that perfectly captures the melodic side of this record, and we can’t wait to hear you sing along with us."
GLASS HAMMER - THE RETURN OF DAEDALUS
Industrious US prog rockers Glass Hammer are back with a brand new album, a space concept affair called Arise, which has just been released. Mainman and bassist Steve Babb is joined by singer Hannah Pryor, who sang on the band's Skallagrim trilogy of albums, and guitarist Reese Boyd on the new album, although it appears that long-standing keyboardist and guitarist Fred Schendel and drummer Aaron Raulston are no longer members. The seventeen-minute The Return Of Daedalus is the epic closing instrumental for the new album.
"Books have always been a big influence on the concepts behind our albums," says Babb. "Besides fantasy and historical fiction, I've been a big fan of the cosmic horror genre. The works of H. P. Lovecraft have been a favorite since I was twenty, and recently, I've gotten into the works of his protégé, Clark Ashton Smith.
"Arise was conceived as a cosmic horror story, or at least one that would evoke that particular sort of dread. It's about a deep-space mission meant to glorify the achievements of man. But the android they commission encounters a rift in space. All sorts of nasty beings are emerging from this anomaly, and rather than being glorified, humanity finds its very existence at stake."
KOYO - MECHANICAL BULL
We've not heard from Leeds alt-proggers Koyo for a while but the band, now slimmed down to a quartet (guitarist Seb Knee-Right is no longer in the band) , are back with this new video for the quirky Mechanical Bull. It's a taster for the band's upcoming third album Onism, for which the band have just opened a new Kickstarter campaign, which you can find here. The band have recorded all the music and are looking to add the finishing touches to the new work.
"We've got nine brand new tracks, and we're really proud of them," the band say. "We feel they've got a lot of potential and we want to fulfil that pontential and do the music justice. We aim to raise funds to complete mixing, mastering, manufacturing and marketing of our third studio album, Onism."
ARABS IN ASPIC - THE MAGIC OF SIN
Norwegian prog rockers Arabs In Aspic have the final three albums of their current reissues campaign released through Karisma Records on December 1 - that's 2013's Picture In A Dream, 2015's Victim Of Your Father’s Agony and 2017's The Magic Of Sin (the first three albums were reissued back in 2021). And now the label have released the epic title track to The Magic Of Sin to celebrate.
"The Magic of Sin itself was an album that marked a turning point in the band's career, setting the parameters, both musically and structurally, for the direction that Arabs In Aspic would take going forward," the band say. "Like all the albums in the back batalogue re-releases, it has been re-mastered by Jacob Holm-Lupo (White Willow, The Opium Cartel, Donner, Solstein), and features artwork by the band's long-time collaborator Julia Proszowska."