Congratulations to Massive Wagons, whose hit single Changes topped last week's poll to find the best new song in the world right now. Their triumph was the end-result of a fierce battle also featuring Ayron Jones (Spinning Circles) and Crashface (Gold), who clambered aboard the podium in the silver and bronze medal positions.
This week? It'll be different. Literally anything could happen, and for seven days battle will commence, war will wage, and you'll get the chance to wrap your listening gear around some choice new sounds.
But first, once again, ladies and gentlemen... your Massive Wagons.
Royal Blood - Boilermaker
Produced by Josh Homme at his own Pink Duck studio in Los Angeles, Boilermaker takes the QOTSA flavours that have long percolated in Royal Blood’s arsenal and turns them into a monster. All godzilla bootsteps, basement-sweaty grooves and sassy hedonism, it flirts liberally with self-destruction (lyrics like ‘head like a cocktail shaker’ hark back to the now-teetotal Mike Kerr’s drinking days) but ultimately brings you back to the rock club, and then the dancefloor.
Myles Kennedy - Get Along
The animal kingdom have the last say in this animated video (think The Animals Of Farthing Wood with an environmentalist twist, and a ninja turtle) for the Alter Bridge frontman’s stellar new single. Also the commanding opening salvo from his next solo album, The Ides Of March (on sale May 14), it’s one of many moments that prove what an ace guitar-slinger he is, as well as a singer, and songwriter. You’d hate him if he didn’t always seem like such a nice bloke.
Arielle - Inside And Outside
“When I was recording the new album Analog Girl In A Digital World, I thought this was the closest song in sound and production that I got to what my goal was in my head,” Arielle says of her new single, “Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours meets something new.” Evoking a world of 70s sunsets, kaftans and VW campervans – with a twist of country melancholia – Inside And Outside suggests that she pretty much nailed her brief. If you like what you hear you can check out the aforementioned album on May 7.
Ryan Hamilton - Satellite
Take a drive back to 1997 with Ryan Hamilton’s breeze-in-your-hair, sun-in-your-eyes take on (shoegaze-y British alt rockers) Catherine Wheel’s overlooked gem, an ideal cover choice for the Texan maestro of bittersweet melody. As is the case with Hamilton’s own songs heartache is never too far away, but it sure sounds pretty – all gauzy harmonies and glimmers of pop rock hope.
Dropkick Murphys - Queen Of Suffolk County
Rabble-rousing celtic punk’n’roll by way of Boston, courtesy of that city’s foremost soundtrackers of booze-drenched, banjo-brandishing good times, the Dropkick Murphys. Recounting the exploits of a knife-toting local femme fatale (‘She’s soft like a kitten but she’ll still mess you up,’ they caution) it’ll have you bellowing along, careering off to the pub and ordering an accordion before the first chorus is done.
The Mavens - I Don't Believe In Love feat. Lilith Czar & Starbenders
From the the Amazon Prime series Paradise City, a "supernatural musical thriller" starring Black Veil Brides frontman Andy Biersack. The Mavens include Starbenders singer Kimi Shelter and drummer Emily Moon, with fellow Sumerian Records recording artist Lilith Czar (also the real-life Mrs Biersack, marriage fans) out front. To complicate matters further, I Don't Believe In Love is a cover of the Queensryche song, but it all comes together in a brightly-produced, 80s-meets-right-now, epic mish-mash of both rock and roll, with Shelter and Czar's voices dovetailing slickly. Can we have an album, please?
The Black Keys - Crawling Kingsnake
Another cover, as The Black Keys return with the first fruit to be plucked from their upcoming covers album Delta Kream. The duo's version of Big Joe Williams' classic Crawling Kingsnake is a lovely, spacious production with a video filmed at Jimmy Duck Holmes’ Blue Front Cafe, the oldest active juke joint in America. It's one of those recordings that – much like like the work of African bluesman from Ali Farka Touré to Tinariwen and beyond – is a reminder of just how trippy the blues can be. Sublime.
The Struts & Paris Jackson - Low Key In Love
Probably the poppiest thing The Struts have done, but it works, so who's counting? Luke Spiller's voices goes so well with that of Paris "Michael's daughter" Jackson that sometimes it's difficult to figure out exactly who's singing which part, and the whole production is swaddled in such a lovely, hazy warmth it's like pouring maple syrup directly into your ears. In a safe way, of course.