It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new set of entries in our regular Tracks Of The Week competition. And we're feeling good.
But before we carry on with this great feast of rock'n'roll, we offer our congratulations to last week's toppermost trio: Gold by Chappell, which came home in third place; Don Broco's Uber, which found itself in the runner-up position; and Jack Broadbent's I Love Your Rock 'N' Roll, which smote all competition asunder to finish first.
And now? On with the show.
Ghost Hounds - Half My Fault
Recently confirmed as a support band for the Rolling Stones upcoming North American ‘No Filter’ tour, the Pittsburgh blues rockers are audibly flying high on this sunny, Southern-kissed new single – fresh off their new album A Little Calamity, which is out now. A highly moreish marriage of swampy heat and Cuban heel-tapping blues, it should win them a few new fans at those Stones shows.
Carol Hodge - The Moan Of A Thousand Years
Yorkshire-based Carol’s roots are in punk (her CV includes work with the likes of Steve Ignorant/Crass and Ginger Wildheart) but The Moan Of A Thousand Years shows her to be a real talent in the realm of smart, on-the-money melodies and bittersweet storytelling through song – lines like ‘it’s easier to hear what I want to believe’ pack a quiet but powerful punch. Sweet, sad and life-affirming all at once.
Dirty Sound Magnet - Heavy Hours
You want slide guitar? Like, all the slide guitar? Oh you’ll find it, and more, on this new one from psychedelic Swiss trio Dirty Sound Magnet. “Heavy Hours is us having fun doing the blues rock’n'roll thing,” says singer/guitarist Stavros Dzodzosz. “Like on the rest of the album, we came back to the essence of our passion. We wanted to keep the urgency of our live shows and a certain sense of danger." Keep an ear out for said album in 2022.
Joanne Shaw Taylor - Three Time Loser
Written by late R&B/soul singer Don Covay and previously covered by the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Dave Edmunds, Three Time Loser was picked by Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith for the British blues star’s The Blues Album. It's a great showcase of her chops and comparatively underrated pipes (think Raitt with a touch of Janis Joplin, and you’re in the right ballpark). “I love the lyric,” Joanne says. “It’s a great upbeat song but essentially the lyric is about being so tired of lucking out in love. It’s a nice contrast.”
Biffy Clyro - A Hunger In Your Haunt
Following last year’s A Celebration Of Endings, Biffy are back with their first project made entirely in their Scottish motherland (i.e. instead of flying off to LA or London for the recording process). This taster makes an urgent, propulsive first impression: “A Hunger In Your Haunt was a riff I’d had kicking around for a while,” says vocalist/guitarist Simon Neil. “It’s an expression of pure frustration. There were moments in the past year when I just wanted to scream my head off. I lacked purpose and didn’t want to get out of bed for a while, and the song is a wake-up call to myself.”
Emigrate - You Can't Run Away
Rammstein guitarist Richard Kruspe has brought his Emigrate project back for a fourth album, and the current fruit of this labour is You Can't Run Away, a brooding yet melodic chunk of hard rock with a video that mixes a cold war aesthetic with some zebras. "It's about creating worlds and looking at things from a different perspective,“ says Kruspe. Job done, we reckon. New album The Persistence Of Memory is out in November.
Trip The Witch - Saturn We Miss You (feat. Jon Anderson)
Now here's a union we didn't see coming. Stone Temple Pilots' guitarist Dean DeLeo has hooked up with Nashville scenester Tom Bukovac (who's played guitar with everyone from Stevie Nicks to Steven Tyler) to form Trip The Witch, and they've roped in Yes singer Jon Anderson for new single Saturn We Miss You. It's starts off surprisingly downbeat and is unsurprisingly slick, but Anderson brightens anything he's involved with and the end result is rather lovely. We've got a half-baked theory that the world would be a much better place with Jon Anderson in charge, and perhaps this is the start.
Jacob & The Dazey Chain - The Sky Is All I Need To Get High
If you've been paying attention you'll recall the name Jacob Reese Thorton, whose singles have triumphed in Tracks Of The Week on more than one occasion. Well, now he's back - as Jacob & The Dazey Chain - and new EP The Sky Is All I Need To Get High is out now. This is the title track, which has the swagger of a youthful Oasis but without the turgid instrumental backing. Foo Fighter Rami Jaffee provides assistance on keyboards, and it's co-produced by Bill Reynolds from Band of Horses. Still a teenager, Jacob clearly has bags of talent.