While the sun may have deserted us this week in London in lieu of persistent rainfall, if there's one thing we can count on - if it's not the summer forecast - it's the new tunes that arrive week on week that continue to captivate our ear drums long enough to keep our spirits on a high, even if our socks are soggy and our plans to sit in beer gardens are stunted.
But before we showcase what new songs are in store, it's time to cast our attentions to last week's winners of poll, and by the look of things, it was a close one, with our top artists all practically standing arm in arm in the vote count. But, managing to just exceed away from the others into the top spot was Swiss alt. rockers Annie Taylor, with their ‘90s-flavoured single, School Girl and 27.59% of the overall vote.
In the second spot, with 20.69% votes was CHERYM's Taking Up Sports (just a mere two votes less than Annie Taylor), and coming up third, was Mannequin Death Squad with their track Monsters, who were favoured by 17.24% of you. Congrats all!
Check out this week's best tracks and vote for your favourite below:
Wargasm - Do It So Good
'Baby we came for blood' warns Wargasm's Milky Way over a spiral of frenetic electronic beats, before bandmate Sam Matlock darts in with cut-throat screams that slice their way through the racket. Rowdy and ferocious, Do It So Good sees the fast-rising alt rock duo bring the rave to the mosh pit as they fuse together The Prodigy's anarchic sound with a lethal metal edge. The single is a taste of the duo's forthcoming album Venom, due on October 27, which they describe as, "Heavy, melodic, disgusting, honest, sexy, everything this band has experimented with since our inception has been pinned down on the anvil and hammered into shape, thrown at the wall, beaten into a more fucked up shape and gone back onto the anvil". God save our future selves when the mosh pit inevitably opens to this track.
Royal Blood - Pull Me Through
Emotionally-charged and piano-driven, Pull Me Through is a surprising new direction for rock duo Royal Blood, with it being void of any of their trademark titanic riff work. Showing that there's far more to them than just hugely beefy hooks, this new single unveils a refreshingly sensitive and melodic side to them that's sounds remarkably reminiscent of Radiohead. “Pull Me Through is ultimately about giving up on persevering alone and finding strength in asking for help," explains Mike Kerr. "It’s a song that is driven by the lyrics and melody, as opposed to the riffs doing the heavy lifting. Despite being piano-led, it feels very much like a missing limb to our artillery and a track we’ve been eager to perform live.”
Demi Lovato feat. Slash - Sorry Not Sorry
As Demi Lovato bites out the lyric, 'I came back as a bad bitch', she confirms what we've all been thinking: the pop-star-turned-rocker is now indeed a bad bitch, and that heavy music really is her true calling. And what better way to cement those newly-earnt rocker stripes than by recruiting Guns N' Roses' legendary axe-slinger Slash to help restyle her old pop chart hit Sorry Not Sorry into a new and recalibrated rock club banger? In similar vein to her previously remodelled smash Heart Attack, Lovato's sky-scraping vocals finally sound in balance to the surrounding noise. Fortunately for us, there's plenty more rock-reimagining's to come, as Lovato plans to release REVAMPED, an album full of her career-defining songs with "a fresh perspective that reflects her current artistic vision" on September 15.
Durry - I'm Fine (No Really)
"You know when somebody says they’re fine, but their eyes are screaming otherwise?" brother-sister indie rock duo Durry question. "This is the song their eyes are screaming. Possibly the world’s most common lie, I’m Fine (No Really) is an upbeat barn-burner with dark undertones and a surprising amount of screaming.” This new track, taken from their upcoming debut album, Suburban Legend, is a bittersweet rumination on the realities of mental health with warm and fuzzy production that seconds as a giant bear hug.
Destroy Boys - Shadow (I’m Breaking Down)
Destroy Boys are one of the best punk bands on the planet right now, and a just-completed stint on Blink-182’s US arena tour will ensure that there are a lot more eyes and ears on everything the Sacramento, Californian quartet do from here on in. Good thing that they’re on fire right now. Shadow (I’m Breaking Down), their second single of the year, may be less intense than Beg For The Torture, but it’s no less impactful, with a hooky intro riff, lyrics in both English and Spanish, and a chorus that sticks like glue. Vocalist/guitarist Alexia Roditis says “Shadow… is about compassionately confronting the parts of yourself that you don’t like, or do like but might be toxic. It’s an introspective piece, taking notes from various spiritual beliefs and psychological research.” The band begin a US headline tour today (July 14) and hit Europe next month.
Yard Act - The Trench Coat Museum
With both Elton John and Blur’s Damon Albarn singling them out for high praise, Leeds post-punks Yard Act were able to break beyond 6Music playlists with last year’s debut album The Overload. Now we get to see what they can do for an encore, and the nimble funk-punk of The Trench Coat Museum, with its deadpan lyrics - “You can’t ban a coat can you?” - bodes well for album two. Frontman James Smith says, “The Trench Coat Museum is about how our perception of everything shifts both collectively and individually over time at speeds we simply can’t measure in the moment. We often see our own beliefs as being at the absolute pinnacle of what should be the ‘cultural norm’, and whilst the completely human trait of being self-assured can’t be helped, it’s an absolute hindrance on our collective process.”
Teenage Wrist - Dark Sky
Featuring a lyric-spitting guest spot from one of the band’s heroes, 311 vocalist Doug ‘S.A.’ Martinez, Dark Sky is another excellent, enticing taster for Teenage Wrist’s upcoming album Still Love (due on August 4, via Epitaph), and comes across like 311 gatecrashing a Smashing Pumpkins garage rehearsal.
Frontman Marshall Gallagher says that the song’s lyrics “were inspired by an essay written by my cousin – Suzannah Showler, phenomenal writer – about our relationship to night and darkness.” “Part of my own personal development has been accepting the things I don’t know and can’t control, forgiving and accepting myself for being flawed,” he continues. “So, I really connected with this idea that we are terrified of the dark on an instinctual level, but the pursuit of eradicating it – physically and metaphorically – throws the world out of balance. The ‘new pollution’ in this case is light pollution, or more in the context of the song, pursuit of what we think is right and good. It becomes exhausting and counterproductive – lately I’ve been finding it much more liberating to just admit that I know nothing.”
Special Interest - Disco 1.5
Incorporating disco and funk beats, shining pop melodies, and biting lyrics critiquing late stage capitalism and the unequal application of the principles of justice and liberty for all in American society, Special Interest’s 2022 album Endure was one of the best punk albums of 2022, spitting blood on the dancefloor. This freshly updated version of Disco, originally hosted on the New Orleans band’s 2018 debut album Spiraling, is a blast, and should whet appetites for the next month’s European tour and their upcoming UK shows supporting Sleaford Mods.