Hello party people and welcome to another edition of the only new music round-up you need in your life. We've just got back from a full weekend at Download festival (the only place where you can be both aggressively rained on and get sunburnt, literally at the same time) and are knackered but keen to share these delicious new nuggets with you guys. But who won last week? Let's have a look at the top three:
3. Henry’s Funeral Shoe - Everybody Says Hi
2. Soren Anderson - City Of Angels
1. Ulysses - Bad Tattoo
Congratulations to our winners Ulysses! And to second and third prize winners Soren Anderson and Henry’s Funeral Shoe. Worthy, honourable tunes all round. Let’s see who ends up in your top three out of this lot; you know what to do, so go forth and listen. And don’t forget to vote, and give your favourite a chance to be crowned champion. Like these guys...
Whiskey Myers - Die Rockin'
New single from Whiskey Myers? Those dudes from Palestine, Texas, who make some of the coolest, baddest new Southern rock’n’roll going? Oh hell yes! If they do intend to ‘die rockin’ (and given their current gig rate we wouldn’t put it past them) this rollicking stomp of soul, swampy grooves and dirty bluesy swagger would be a tasty way to go.
Hiss Golden Messenger - I Need A Teacher
MC Taylor’s quietly pensive yet sweet, sunshiney ode to a serious cause - ongoing funding cuts for public education in America. He’s also donating $1 from every ticket sold for his upcoming tour to Durham Public Schools Foundation, who look to invest in “students, educators and families to ensure success and equity for every student.”
De Staat - Tie Me Down
It begins with a clap of thunder, but quickly snaps into crunchy distortion, synth splashes and an ass-kicking heavy alt rock earworm of a chorus – which blossoms into a gloriously layered affair, mixing stabbing guitars with electronic floweriness. If Gary Numan hung out with a bunch of trendy Dutch kids, and leaned more heavily on guitars, he might have made something like this.
Badflower - Promise Me
Next up we’ve got a heart-breaking look at the fear of growing old – drawing from singer Josh Katz’s own fears of losing youth and the changing nature of love and heartbreak. It might make you cry (especially as you watch the video) but we think it’s worth it. Overall it's a searing, uncompromising tune from one of rock’s more exciting new noisemakers.
Bruce Springsteen - Western Stars
Another emotionally deep number, but a little more on the philosophical, ultimately uplifting side. The Boss in on stirring form on this, the title track from his luscious new album – a display of acoustically rooted storytelling at its finest, which swells into a glorious orchestra-boosted affair. Age and wisdom really become him, it seems.
Deaf Radio - Astypalea
And now for something completely different from these Greek “proponents of hard rock and grievous genre assault”. They may have a point on both counts; this new single is psychedelic but also hooky and super heavy – in manner of QOTSA getting freaky (but groovy) after a big cigarette or two. Nice.
Volbeat - Last Days Under The Sun
Classic rock, 80s brightness and Michael Poulsen’s heavy metal Elvis vocals come together in sweet harmony on this new slice of the Danish metallic rockers’ new album (Rewind, Replay, Rebound, out in August). More of the rock and less of the metal than much of their previous work. We’re liking it here...
Marco Mendoza - Leah
And to finish, how about the lighter-swaying, guitar-soaring man-hug of a ballad from Marco Mendoza? Dedicated to his wife, Leah isn't rewriting any musical rulebooks whatsoever (and Dylan can rest easy with that Nobel literature prize), but that's hardly the point. Chunky, heartfelt fodder.