Sunny days taste so much better with good music – especially brand new music, that rocks, and gives you a rejuvenating little burst of enthusiasm for life. Wherever you are and whatever you're doing today, the eight songs here form the soundtrack you need.
In last week's poll Fish emerged victorious, followed by Larkin Poe in second place and Sky Valley Mistress in third. Three great tunes, one great winner – check out Fish's first prize track below, then dive into this week's new set of contenders and vote for your favourite at the foot of this page.
Buffalo Summer - If Walls Could Speak
The Buffalo guys say this propulsive new single sounds like the “lovechild of The Cult and Pearl Jam”, which is a pretty apt description, if you think of both those bands at their hookiest and most rabble-rousing (and maybe throw in a bit of Foo Fighters in the chorus). Either way, it’s easily one of the best things they’ve done to date. A bouncy yet brooding roundhouse kick of a rock song.
Deraps - Sex, Drugs & Rock N' Roll
A power trio from Canada now, who’ve clearly eaten Van Halen’s Hot For Teacher for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for the last year and had the best time ever. “Fuck you all I’m doing fine!” 22-year-old singer/guitarist Jason Deraps sings, and you don’t question him. If you’re having half as much fun as these guys are right now, you’re doing something right – so keep doing it.
Bad Touch - Strut
You want Black Crowes riffs, sunbaked 70s festival vibes and lovely big hair? Of course you do; it’s sunny outside and chances are you’re stuck inside. Either way, Brit rockers Bad Touch are here to help. This toe-tapping taste of their new album Kiss the Sky is the sort of music to make your Monday feel like Saturday.
Stolen Money - One Love
Scuffling, syncopated bluesy rock’n’roll from Slovakia that parties like the Rolling Stones getting high at a laid-back beach party. Grab a cold beverage, open the windows, brandish your finest air guitar (or hell, your actual guitar if you play) and dance like no one’s watching. And if they are watching? Do it MORE! They’ll have no choice but to join in...
Clutch - Willie Nelson
As part of their Weathermaker Vault Series, the Marylanders have dug out this groove-fest from 20 years ago. Tasty, stoney and gloriously grizzled, it's probably grown its own beard by now. "It started making appearances in our sets recently,” says Neil Fallon, “so we figured now was a good time to re-record it... And for what it’s worth, [Willie Nelson record] Red Headed Stranger gets regular play on our tour bus."
Atari Ferrari - The Way I Look Tonight
No, it's not a reverse spin on the Fred Astaire-sung ballad The Way You Look Tonight. The one-off David Bowie tribute band that took on a life of its own, Washington rockers Atari Ferrari (the brainchild of Matthew Hughes) are on prettily plaintive form on this new single that mingles flavours of Tom Petty and John Lennon among others. Says Hughes: “Here's to growing a kinder, more accepting, safer world for everyone when we overcome our current global illness.”
Black Rainbows - Radio 666
Get heavy and freaky now with this head-banger from Italian stoners Black Rainbows. Deliciously woozy, oomphy stuff that you can also dance to (well, a fairly lethargic, spaced-out kind of dancing, but still…). More where this came from on their upcoming album Cosmic Ritual Supertrip. Far out, maaan.
Robert Jon & The Wreck - Oh Miss Carolina
Something sweet and rootsy to finish now, laced with acoustic strumming, pretty pianos and Skynyrd-nodding lead guitars. And all from sunniest California, with a heartfelt chorus refrain that creates a picture of some southern belle somewhere. That’s a whole lotta sunshine y’all.