The return of a rock'n'roll veteran, experimental ambient alternative and Derek Dick: we have it all and more for you in this week's round up of the world's best new music. But before all that, it's time to announce the winner of last week's vote. Congrats to these three young bands, each of whom prove the future of alternative music is in good hands.
3. Greta Van Fleet - Watching Over
2. The Blonde Tongues - Turn Me Out
1. Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam - All The Way Over The Edge (Bros Don’t Talk About Anything)
But who will be crowned fairest of them all this week? There's only one way to find out, and that's by wrapping your ears around each of the tracks below. First, let's take a look back at last week's winning song.
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - Fresh Start
The queen of rock'n'roll is back, and with her she's brought this stomper of a new single. Recorded for her new documentary Bad Reputation, it's stuffed full of her classic hallmarks, but – as you might have guessed – brought kicking and screaming into 2018 as if to herald an, ahem, fresh start. On the track, Jett says: "Sometimes you need to say to yourself, ‘Am I still enjoying what I’m doing? I need to find the fire again.’ Part of it was just thinking about rock in general. It’s always been a young person’s game, writing about sex, love and partying. As rock and rollers get older, what do they write about? I’m not sure there’s an answer, but we’re looking for it.”
Architects - Hereafter
With an emotional weight to match its sonic heft, the first single from Architects' new album, Holy Hell, does a fine job of setting out the band's stall as they head into their next chapter. Full of massive riffs, roaring melodies and a healthy dose of the old vocal aggression, the song is a reaction to grief and how to live with it as a part of your life. On the new material, Drummer Dan Searle says: “For me, broadly speaking, Holy Hell is about pain: the way we process it, cope with it, and live with it. There is value in pain. It’s where we learn, it’s where we grow.”
The Pearl Harts - Different Kinda Girl
London's Pearl Harts pay homage to riot grrrl, 90s girl power, Cyndi Lauper AND the suffragettes within the confines of this one song, combining scratchy garage rock guitars and pummelling beats with lashings of attitude. On the track, the band say: "[This is a] fun and outspoken song about stepping out and not being afraid to be different, having the confidence to stay true to yourself and beliefs even if you are being squashed down, even if you have to fight. It's about asserting your personality and being proud to stand up for who you are."
They Might Be Giants - The Communists Have The Music
There's a growing theme of erstwhile US radio indie-rockers coming back with songs upon which they hope to build a political resistance. First, Bare Naked Ladies' Steven Page released the aptly-titled White Noise, and now They Might Be Giants have joined the party with this takedown of their homeland's fascist factions. Well, we're all for a good protest song here at Louder, and this track, which calls upon TMBG's trademark whimsical, jerky new wave pop gets our vote.
Savak - Dead Dick
Boasting ex-members of Obits, Holy Fuck and Nation Of Ulysses, it figures that this brilliant track from Savak is a glorious, queasy post-punk racket. Channelling power-pop with a mathy DC edge, the song was written in honour of the #metoo movement and puts the world's creepy scumbags on blast by ribbing them mercilessly and unapologetically. We approve.
All Them Witches - Diamond
You can tell it's getting to be Halloween season 'round these parts, as this spooky video from Nashville psych-rockers sets its foreboding thrum to a series of increasingly unsettling images. On the track, vocalist Charles Michael Parks Jr says: "I wanted Diamond to show two sides of a common problem I have with my ego and personality, the first is being content with where I am, physically and mentally, and the second being a constant drive to leave, to go anywhere other than where I am, to let my scattered thoughts draw me to a comparable scattered lifestyle."
Emma Ruth Rundle - Light Song
This track has sparked endless debate in the Louder office – is it rock? Is it experimental? Is it ambient? Is it... prog?! Who cares – whatever it is, it's verging on the sublime. Ominous post-rock meets cinematic soundscapes and deeply heavy riffs in this otherworldly offering.
Fish - Man With A Stick
Last, but by no means least, we mark the return of one Derek Dick as you've never quite heard him before. The first song to be released from upcoming EP A Parley With Angels, the track marries driving prog rock with a pulsating electronic undercurrent and tribal beat. And loads of super-proggy synths, natch. On the track, Fish says: "I was inspired to write this lyric after my father died in May 2016. He was a strong, proud, well-respected man who, like most of us, found growing old difficult. When he reached his mid 80s he was becoming a shadow of his former self and in the last few months of his life he relied more and more on his trusty walking stick to get around. After he left us I found it hard to look at any old men walking with a stick. I started to think about our relationships with sticks in our lives and how they go from being associated with fun and play to becoming something more sinister and symbols of power eventually supporting us as our strength weakens and old age takes its toll."