There was a time, during the height of lockdown, when almost every new video looked kinda the same: it was badly-lit musicians in their homes, or drone footage of suddenly empty streets lifted from stock video sites.
As restrictions slowly lift videos are becoming more imaginative, and we wonder if there'll be an explosion in creativity once musicians are able to do whatever the hell they like without running foul of whatever current regulations are in place.
In the meantime, congratulations to Texan rockers Blacktop Mojo, who triumphed in our last Tracks of the Week roundup, and to Fish and to Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons, who filled the other podium positions.
This week's choices are below – don't forget to vote at the foot of the page – but first, here's a chance to enjoy Blacktop Mojo again.
Austin Gold - You Got It All
Y'know what they say, it's always the quiet ones you've got to watch for (and by 'quiet', in this instance, we mean relatively-under-the-radar, not actually quiet...). Mixing notes of the Foo Fighters with their bluesy Bad Company-nodding base, the Peterborough rockers' new single was built for arenas and widespread airplay.
SKAM - Green Eyes
From one arena-reaching homegrown group to another, next up it's the return of Leicester power-trio SKAM (following their last studio release in 2017; a concept album about a time-travelling fighter pilot... you could really never accuse of them lacking ambition). Green Eyes is a straight-up, one-two punch of fuzzy riffage and biiig melody, with a winning chorus to boot.
The OBGMs - Outsah
Some bands like to take the listener on a long, involved journey of musical discovery and intriguing nuances. The OBGMs… well they kind of are like that, only they do it in under two minutes, packing tripped out grunge textures, Afro beats, abrasive punk and thrashy rock’n’roll into new single Outsah. Like what you hear? Their new album, The Ends, is out on October 30.
Low Cut Connie - Help Me
"That's me shooting straight from the hip," says LCC main man Adam Weiner of this soulful, bittersweet plea for compassion and understanding (the sort of community spirit he's channelled through the live-wire livestream show, Tough Cookies). "I just sorta opened up my brain for a quick second and spit this out. Listening back later, it feels very real."
Pre-order Private Lives (and check out info on Tough Cookies) here.
Black Stone Cherry - Ringin’ In My Head
Over to Kentucky next for this beefy bruiser of a song from Black Stone Cherry, originally dreamt up some three years ago. "Fast forward to 2020, we were in the studio recording The Human Condition and we decided to re-visit the song and re-work it," the band explain. "It’s eerie that it fits into the current state of the world so well right now.” Well quite.
Pre-order The Human Condition here.
Taylor Locke - Dying Up Here
LA-based producer/guitarist/singer/songwriter Taylor has lent his six-string skills to the likes of Sparks and (Jellyfish alumnus) Roger Joseph Manning Jr, as well as co-founding alt/power pop crew Rooney. This sunkissed CV isn’t a bad indication of the sort of music he makes under his own name, as seen on the gorgeous Dying Up Here. Music for driving and dancing too (preferably not at the same time).
Find this and more on The Bitter End EP, out in October.
Hawxx - Low
Described by lead singer Anna as “a song about finding power in your vulnerability and knowing that growth will come”, Low finds this politically charged foursome on urgent, metallic form, blending Gojira-infused weight with angular, emotive tastes of Bjork in the vocals.
Terrence & the High Flyers - This Could Be The One
If what you need more than anything else right now is something warm and sweet to make you feel that the world is a safer place, look no further. A gauzy, acoustic-based swathe of early 70s sunshine and Laurel Canyon mushroom dreams (from Ottawa) this'll sort you right out. Plus Terrence has beautiful hair.