And now, the end (of the week) is near, and so we face the final curtain... or something. Sorry for being melodramatic, it's been a long week, and it's hot as Satan's ball in this A/C-free country right now.
Anyways, last week, as is now customary, we rounded up eight top tunes from eight alt. rock artists doing it their way, and asked you to vote for your favourite.
Now that the poll has officially closed, we can exclusively reveal that, securing a gloriously ridiculous 97% of the total votes cast - yep, you read correctly - Oklahoma City's Skating Polly simply obliterated the so-called 'competition' to bag that much-coveted Track Of The Week accolade with Send A Priest. File under 'Landslide'.
Respect is also due to Foo Fighters who finished in the silver medal position with the epic The Teacher, and to our bronze medal collective Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, who garnered um, 0.77% of first choice preferences for Open The Door, See What You Find, while their leader was answering 1001 questions about that bloody Oasis 'reunion' everyone keeps banging on about.
Congrats again to Skating Polly: we suspect Dave G and Noel G will taking this beating in their respective strides.
But enough about the past, for as surely as night follows day, we are now delighted to present eight new contenders vying to be this week's top dog. Listen to all eight tunes, pretty please, if you will, then cast your votes below.
We thank you.
Durry - Coming Of Age
Like a scene cut from the American sitcom The US Office, brother/sister duo Durry find themselves stuck on a monotonous full-time grind, as they galavant through a workplace in the accompanying video, with their faces pressed up against a photocopier, hellbent on mischief.
Despite the track’s hopelessly relatable lyrics, Coming Of Age feels celebratory, with a chorus that lifts you up from beneath your feet and throws you out the door, resignation letter in hand, seeking out a life far larger than your office cubicle. It’s basically modern day’s indie rock answer to Dolly Parton's 9-5.
PJ Harvey - I Inside The Old I Dying
Emitting an earthy whimsy, this new release from PJ Harvey is wonderfully peculiar and poetic, with forest-nymph-y lyrics calling to mind the ethereal utterings of ancient folk songs, as she sings: "The frogs and twoads in lagwood holes and hedgehogs in their leafy ditch’ and ‘I zing through the forest / I hover in the holway / and laugh into the leaves."
Of how the track explores the cycles of life, Harvey explains: “There is a sense of sexual longing and awakening and of moving from one realm into another – from child to adult, from life to death and the eternal.”
Hey Colossus - My Name In Blood
"Not everything we've done is a political thing," says vocalist Paul Sykes, "but the way you get crushed by this country, being together for this long is in itself quite political. It's kind of a 'fuck you'.” Void of the usual in-your-face fury that comes with politically-charged rock songs, My Name In Blood is a silent but deadly slow-burner, propelled by a creeping doom metal-like pace, slithering through a desolate gloom.
Dream Wife - Social Lubrication
Picture David Bowie's Thin White Duke with a riot grrrl makeover and smudged-lipstick, strutting along to a galloping indie-rock swing rhythm that's both sleazy and spectacular. Serving as the title-track to the London trio's excellent new album, Social Lubrication is a teeth-baring, vital take-down on misogyny in the music industry and beyond.
"What’s it like to be a woman in music dear? / You’d never ask me that if you regarded me as your peer," Icelandic vocalist Rakel Mjöll sighs. "The bubbles in my drink dissolve and they disappear / And as I stumble through the park, although it’s dark, my ride isn’t here."
Social Lubrication is out today: treat yourself.
Sprints - Adore Adore Adore
“Do you adore me? Am I everything you wish you had? Or am I everything you detest?” The first new music from Sprints since they signed to City Slang, the power-punk blast of Adore Adore Adore is typically acerbic, fierce and unapologetic, the latest in a brilliant run of singles from the Dublin alt.rock quartet.
Vocalist/guitarist Karla Chubb says of the song: “There is still a different standard of behaviour expected from me vs even the other members in Sprints. There is a different set of invisible rules I am supposed to abide by – I am supposed to fit their mould and give them what they want – and not deliver what it is I am here to do. So at a time when trans rights are under attack, people are trying to force upon us what they think a woman is or should be, this is the outward expression of my own frustration, struggle and rage.”
Imperial Triumphant - Paranoid Android
New York’s avant-garde blackened metal/death jazz trio Imperial Triumphant have a gift for confounding expectations - remember that cameo from Kenny G on last year’s Merkurius Gilded? - and their take on Radiohead’s OK Computer-era classic Paranoid Android is appropriately fucked-up and head-cavingly intense.
“We are huge fans of Radiohead and their ethos,” the band say in a statement. “We feel that Radiohead have a diverse and unique approach to song craft and lyricism that we have always gravitated towards, and the song Paranoid Android lays out a perfect canvas for us to play and create with…. It was a pleasure reinterpreting this great rock classic, and we hope you find it immensely pleasurable.”
CLT DRP - Nothing Clever, Just Feelings
With a video opening with a mansplaining scene that amused us greatly, Brighton electro-punks CLT DRP slam back into action with the super-infectious title track from their forthcoming album, out September 8 on Venn Records.
“This is the title track for a reason!” says vocalist Annie Dorrett of the new single. “Desperation, anger, confusion—ALL the feelings. I think I spent a lot of time when I was younger trying to be clever about lyrics. I wanted to try and be witty or something ‘mature’. As a younger woman in the industry, I felt like I wasn’t going to be taken seriously writing the way I did. I quickly realised that the music I listen to the most is nothing like that, so why would I try and emulate something I don’t even listen to?
“The lyrics I connect with are always straight forward emotions or familiar scenarios that I can identify right away when I first hear a song. Being present in the lyrics and emotions are important to me as a lyricist. I want you in the car with your friends screaming the lyrics at full blast cursing your ex! That’s what this song is supposed to do.”
Drab Majesty - Vanity
LA "tragic wave" duo Drab Majesty return with a first taster for their forthcoming An Object in Motion EP, due on August 25 via Dais Records and it's a thing of rare beauty, a lush, layered, dreamy collaboration with Rachel Goswell from English shoegaze pioneers Slowdive.
"As a long time listener and devotee of Slowdive, a band that literally shaped my DNA as a listener and musician, it was truly humbling to have Rachel offer her iconic vocal stylings to this song," says DM's Deb Demure. "Her voice is a sonic treasure and unmistakable. I'm infinitely grateful to call her a friend and am still pinching myself wondering - how did we get here?"