As the summer temperatures continue to rise to an uncomfortable degree, we find ourselves wanting to do either of two things: hide away with our bottoms on couches in front of a fan with a good album or two, or bask in the sun, frolicking with a bev and a loud speaker. Either way, good music is involved, no matter how we decide to spend these hot summer days, so what better way to craft its soundtrack than by diving into our mighty pool of new and refreshing tunes right here?
Well, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's take a moment to throw our hands together for last week's winners, with the first place slot awarded to Hey Colossus' doomy My Name In Blood with 47.27% of votes. Nice one chaps.
In joint second and third place is Durry's anti-capitalist anthem Coming Of Age and PJ Harvey's magical folk ditty I Inside The Old I Dying. All great tracks, so congrats to you all.
Check out this week's lot and vote for your favourite below:
Osees - Goon
Bulked out by mucky and muscular riffs, Osees new single Goon oscillates from snotty punk to more precise psych rock, with terse vocals in the verse that call to mind Primus’ Les Claypool. Pinched from forthcoming album Intercepted Message, John Dwyer dubs it “early grade garage pop meets proto-synth punk suicide-repellant”, which - just like this new release - sounds like heaps of fun. A hearty hunk of hooligan rock for beer-lobbers, pit-ready fist-throwers and 24 hour goons: ‘A goon in the day time / A good in the night’.
The Hives - Countdown To Shutdown
Self-described as a “versatile banger for all your summer rock needs”, Countdown To Shutdown is less fun-in-the-festival-sun, and more third-day-festival-sleaze, as you learn to accept the ever-thickening layer of grime on your unwashed skin, and immerse yourself into all the squalor and shenanigans. In a statement, the Swedish garage rockers offer it up as a soundtrack for many situations, be it for "financial collapse” or “the weekend bender you've been waiting for”. Either way, chaos is imminent.
Stu Brooks (feat. Danny Elfman & Poppy) - They'll Just Love You
In an unexpected yet wonderfully well-matched collaboration, composer/master of the macabre Danny Elfman has teamed up with nu gen pioneer Poppy as special guests on Dub Trio bassist Stu Brooks' new single, They’ll Just Love You. As rumbling bass drives the track forward with clattering, electronic-backed percussion, Poppy spits out the majority of the lines before Elfman appears with a slick spoken-word segment. “Something about Danny and I just clicked when we first met, musically and personally," says Brooks. “Now that it’s been a few years of collaborating both live and on his albums Big Mess and Bigger Messier, it feels full circle to have this new song together.”
JJUUJJUU - No Way In
Having recently co-curated another brilliant staging of London’s best alternative festival, Wide Awake, LA-based Desert Daze co-founder and psych-rock overlord Phil Pirrone aka JJUUJJUU returns with a mind-melting new single, No Way In, accompanied by an appropriately farrrrrrrrrrr out animated video directed by Micah Buzan. This, apparently, “is what would happen if JJUUJJUU was the soundtrack of 90s video game ToeJam & Earl.” Cosmic.
Ash - Race The Night
In recent years, Ash have been dedicating their live outings to celebrations of their classic albums Free All Angels and Meltdown, so this week’s news that their eighth album, Race The Night, is coming in September as the follow-up to 2018’s excellent Islands is exceedingly good news. Frontman Tim Wheeler says that the album’s title track is “the sound of the band revelling in the sheer joy of being a band after being separated by time and distance through the insanity of the early 2020s" and says that lyrically “it’s all about seizing the crossroads moments in life with both hands.” The horror-themed video, meanwhile, is a homage to Stephen King classic Misery.
Dream Nails - Good Guy
London DIY punks Dream Nails slap down self-proclaimed ‘good guys’ and faux male feminists in this tongue-in-cheek track from forthcoming album Doom Loop. A riot grrrl ruckus of sly vocals, hip-smacking riffs and vitally on-the-nose lyrics, served up with plenty of satisfying eye rolls and scathing commentary about the realities of living in a patriarchal-society where men refuse to take accountability for their gender’s actions. ‘It’s not a lone wolf it’s the whole damn pack / it’s not a bad apple it’s the whole damn tree’, clips vocalist Ishmael Kirby. A vital listen and a total earworm.
Sigur Rós - Blóðberg
A new single no-one was expecting, from a new album (Átta) that no-one was expecting: well played, Sigur Rós. A typically beautiful, gently unfurling, contemplative mood piece, created in collaboration with the London Contemporary Orchestra, the 7 minute 16 seconds Blóðberg is partnered with a striking 9 minute 59 seconds video, directed by Johan Renck, which shows countless corpses strewn across a desert landscape.
“I feel as nihilistic as one could regarding the future,” Renck says in a statement. “We are powerless against our own stupidities. Some aspects of this came to merge with my impressions of the themes of Blóðberg. The music becoming a score to my own miserable thoughts, giving them beauty as only music can.”
Mutoid Man - Siren Song
Accompanied by the week’s most adorable animated video, the second single previewing Mutants, the first new album in six years from prog/psych/stoner/alt.metal supergroup Mutoid Man - Cave In vocalist/guitarist Steven Brodsky, High on Fire bassist Jeff Matz and Converge drummer Ben Koller - is described simply as “a straight-up rock n’ roll song, peppered with triumphant bass, stunning guitar runs, and bottom-heavy tones.” Well, what more could you want, frankly? The band will be touring the UK in September: we’ll save a space for ya by the bar/barrier (delete as required).