Great new prog you need to hear from Hasse Froberg, Oliver Wakeman, Eivør, Mercury Rev and more in Prog's Tracks Of The Week

Prog Tracks
(Image credit: Press)

Welcome to Prog's brand new Tracks Of The Week. Seven brand new and diverse slices of progressive music for you to enjoy.

Congratulations to Polish prog rocker Glass Island, multi-instrumentalist and singer Wojciech Pielużek, whose Stay Under Cover won last week's Tracks Of The Week. Wojciech had seen our request for artists to send material in for consideration and ended up winning, so it just goes to show it's always worth a count. Well done to UK alt.proggrs Fate's Hollow and Marjana Semkina, in second and third place respectively.

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 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.

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LOUISE PATRICIA CRANE - MIDNIGHT VIEW

Mel Collins' haunting saxophone sound is the first thing you hear as the video for the jazz-tinged Midnight View gets underway. The multi-instrumentalist isn't the only member of King Crimson to feature on Crane's upcoming album Netherworld, which is released through Peculiar Doll Records on June 21. Singer and guitarist Jakko Jakszyk also features, and produced the album too. Other guests include Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson as well as Gary Husband and Peteer Blegvad.

"As a perpetual night-owl, my mind is most alive and inspiration most fertile when the world is sleeping," Crane reveals. "I wrote Midnight View to close the storybook; it's reflected in the lyrics, the way that I sing them, the warmth and prominence of Mel Collins' saxophone — bringing the stories on the album to what I feel is a satisfying and rather epic conclusion, and closing the narrative arc on my album. My chosen track listing is carefully placed — the album begins with folk and my Irish heritage, and ends in progressive, night-time jazz.

"Progressively a tonal shift occurs, with the first appearance of Mel's playing, marking the turning point for the listener. I really love Tears For Fears' The Working Hour, Mel plays a blinder on that song, so I was determined to give him the floor here too — that opening solo of his really sets the tone throughout.  This is me raising a martini glass to the whole cathartic journey of writing, producing, arranging and composing these songs that make up Netherworld, and to all the other children of the night, like me, who come alive at witching hour."


OLIVER WAKEMAN - INSTEAD OF MY FEAR

The crystal clear vocals of Hayley Griffiths really carry this uplifting track from Oliver Wakeman's recently released Anam Cara album. The main man himself weighs in with a delightful keyboard solo his dad would certainly be proud of, while Oliver Day adds a striking guitar solo towards the end. The song is about finding an inner strength when life becomes challenging. "It’s about finding the thing in your life which gives you strength and upon which you can build your identity," Wakeman reveals. "So when things get difficult, strip it all back to basics - a bit like I did with the writing of this song.”

“I re-wrote this song many times," he continues. "I think I have about 18 versions of it! I was searching for an elusive feeling which took a long time to find.

"My son is learning how to write music at the moment and he had asked me how I know when a track is any good. I told him that if you can play it on a piano or an acoustic guitar and you have a good melody, then you have something worth building on. So when it came to Instead Of My Fear, I took my own advice and took the song back to basics - and yes, I realised there was a really great track here.”


HASSE FROBERG AND MUSICAL COMPANION - WHEREVER YOU MAY GO

It's been 40 years since Hasse Froberg first released an album, Breaking The Spell, with Swedish hard rockers Spellbound! Since the he's been a member of The Flower Kings and launched his own band, Hasse Froberg And Musical Companion with 2010's Future Past. The band have just released their sixth album, Eternal Snapshots, from which comes the breezily uplifting Wherever You May Go

"It's a concept album that deals with questions such as how do we become who we are," Froberge explains. "Is everything predetermined? Is destiny involved in our lives? The title Eternal Snapshots reflects over the fact that new fate of lives is being born every second and here we get to follow two of them."


EIVØR - UPP ÚR ØSKUNI / RISE FROM THE ASHES

Since signing with prog and metal label Season Of Mist, it wouldn't be entirely unreasonable for Eivør to add extra dimensions and textures to her lush sound and you can certainly hear an extra layer of electronic beats and guitar-driven menace  on UPP ÚR ØSKUNI / RISE FROM THE ASHES, which is taken from the Faroese singer's upcoming album ENN, which is released through her new label on June 14.

"When I was writing UPP ÚR ØSKUNI / RISE FROM THE ASHES, I imagined a coven of witches, past and present, chanting to each other across the chasms of time", Eivør says.  "This video felt like a homecoming in many ways. I had a strong urge that to capture the spirit of UPP ÚR ØSKUNI / RISE FROM THE ASHES, we needed to film in the Faroe Islands. Katrin Joensen Næss was the perfect choice for director, as the two of us shared the same aesthetic vision. We were joined by an amazing team of Faroese female artists whom I also admire. Art Director Jenný Kragesteen, Costume Designer Maibritt Marjunardóttir and the rest of these wonderful women all delivered their special magic to this video. In the spirit of the song, we all felt that we rose from the ashes together creating this visual world. I couldn't be more proud or more grateful for this collaboration."


MERCURY REV - PATTERNS

Chamber pop, psychedelia and prog all combine on Patterns, the brand new single from US quartet Mercury Rev, It's the first single to be taken from the band's upcoming album Born Horses, the band's ninth to date, which is released through Bella Union Records on September 6. The band venture over to these shores for live dates this November and again in March 2025

“When we gaze up at the stars in the sky at night, the flickering lights seem random. If we could zoom out and see all of the galaxies revolving around each other, we would see the order in it," the band explain. "There are only Patterns on top of Patterns…"

"When Jonathan and I first met, one thing we bonded over was Blade Runner, both Ridley Scott’s film and Vangelis’ soundtrack: that feel of the past and the future, the haunting noir mood and the romance of the future," explains guitarist Sean 'Grasshopper' Mackowiak. "Born Horses taps into some of that. Looking back to childhood, to Broadway tunes, to lonesome blues, Chet Baker, Miles Davis’ Sketches Of Spain, records that our parents listened to, but we put a twist into the future. From the beginning, Mercury Rev were on a cusp, between analogue and digital, hi-fi and lo-fi at the same time. It was like Brecht or Weill, the words suggesting visuals, and the visuals suggesting moods. We also thought a lot about the desert on this record, and the urban desert."

 


AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR - DO MÓR

Northern Ireland instrumental post-rock quartet And So I Watch You from Afar have created a brilliantly trippy new video to accompany Do Mór, the first single taken from the band's upcoming album Megafauna, which is released through Berlin's Pelagic Records on August 9. Conceptually, the new album serves as an homage to both Portrush on the Irish North Coast and Northern Ireland capital Belfast; the two places the band refer to as home.

"Megafauna is essentially a distilled moniker for our peers; all of the friends and characters that we’ve grown up with who’ve made us and our homes what they are today," explains guitarist Rory Friers. "Lockdown was an intensely introspective and reflective process, which put the comfort of community at the forefront of our minds throughout the writing process."


PARALYDIUM - SANDS OF TIME

Swedish symphonic prog rockers Paralydium will release their second album, Universe Calls, through the Frontiers label on August 23. It follows 2020's World's Beyond debut and offers and assured step up, full of melodic passages and a complex musicality. Sands Of Time is the first single to be released from the album

"Sands Of Time takes you on a journey through vast deserts where a man rises to power, destined to dominate the world," explains guitarist John Berg. "This powerful track blends mighty melodies with hard-hitting riffs and grooves, setting the tone for the album and hinting at what's to come.

"In this album, we've delved deeply into our progressive roots” - the band explained. “Long-time fans will recognize the expansive, open-world qualities reminiscent of our EP, now featuring longer tracks and broader arrangements. The album is a blend of Worlds Beyond with a more epic approach, while also fully exploring our progressive side with complex time signatures and immersive sections.”


Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.