The Round-Up (19/05/23)

Took the week off last week because I saw the Eras Tour on Friday – still not over it, if I’m being honest. This is truly Taylor’s world and we’re just living in it. So I was going to call this “The Round-Up (Taylor’s Version)” this week, but let’s be honest – this is one thing we do a fine job of all on our own. For proof, look no further than below.

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Gatlin – When You’re Breaking My Heart

Mark my words: ‘When You’re Breaking My Heart’ has ‘Driver’s License’ level potential. Slightly less melancholy from a sonic perspective, sure. But the heartbreak rushes through in waves all the same. Comparisons aside, the fact remains that Gatlin might’ve just dropped this summer’s unexpected pop hit. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go sing along for the 13th time. [TF]

Also new this week…

Christine and the Queens – Tears Can Be So Soft
Christine and the Queens’ ‘Tears can be so soft’ is a modern pop masterpiece with a sophisticated twist. The track captivates with its beautifully minimal composition, highlighted by swelling instrumentation that adds depth and emotion. With the energy reminiscent of ’80s Madonna, Chris brings a boldness to his pop songwriting that is truly captivating. ‘Tears can be so soft’ is a testament to Christine and the Queens’ ability to blend nostalgia with contemporary sensibilities, resulting in a mesmerising and powerful musical experience. [JG]

LØLØ – omg
Oh my god, indeed. Can LØLØ do anything wrong? The TikTok generation’s answer to Avril Lavigne is rife with consistency, ‘omg’ being yet another gem in her sonic output. Bouncing back and forth between brash punk and acoustic-focused ’90s throwback, this song has a little something for anyone who’s a fan of all things catchy. [TF]

Creature Cult – I Did This To Myself
Strap in, because Creature Cult is taking audiences on an auditory rollercoaster. It’s electronic at its core, the techno really coming through in video game-esque bridge, characterized by short beats and succinct, rhymed lyrics (‘tick tock goes the clock/not long ‘til I self-destruct/demons run amuck/in my mind‘). The chorus, however, is hard rock vocals perfect to match the dark tone of the track. Is there a genre for this? Techno-rock? Rockno? [RG]

Akira Galaxy – Teardrop
Akira Galaxy delivers a competent cover of Massive Attack’s iconic single ‘Teardrop’ that stays true to the original’s essence. While the cover doesn’t venture into significant reinterpretation, it remains an enjoyable listen for fans of the original. With their rendition of “Teardrop,” Akira Galaxy pays homage to Massive Attack’s timeless classic, offering a fresh take that still resonates with the haunting beauty that made the original so beloved. [JG]

Maya Ongaku – Something In the Morning Rain
I wish this blissful song would last forever: it invites you to a more peaceful place through its meditative soundscapes of rain and acoustic plucking that carries a gentle tune. ‘Something in the rain’ is taken from their forthcoming album and, if this track is anything to go by, listening to a full-length LP by this band would simply make me melt away… [LW]

The Drums – Plastic Envelope
The Drums are back. Yes, the OGs of sadboi indie are making a return. Has their songwriting formula of jangly guitars and emotive lyrics changed? Not really. Am I mad? Not one bit. ‘Plastic Envelope’ / ‘Protect Him Always’ is a whirling kaleidoscope of passionate love and love lost. We welcome it with open arms. [JG]

Bully – Change Your Mind
Just a few weeks out from Bully’s new Sub Pop release, she’s gifted us a new single rife with energy and emotion. Her voice escalating to a yell that’s somewhere in between Courtney Love and No Doubt-era Gwen Stefani, ‘Change Your Mind’ is anthemic as hell, and has me beyond excited for the rest of the album. June 2nd can’t come soon enough. [TF]

Pigeon Wigs – Hold Up
I had so much fun watching this music video that I forgot I was actually supposed to be reviewing the song. Anyways, both were phenomenal. A super fun car chase through claymation, space, the ocean, the desert, and more to the tune of some funky, dancey, good ol’ fashioned rock n’ roll. Fine, you caught me blushing – I just love Pigeon Wigs, okay? [RG]

Grouplove – Francine
The band with the best original TV end credits song (BoJack Horseman, please check it out) anticipate their next album with a four-minute little pop machine that fails to impress or disappoint. Recycling parts from the Lips’ Yoshimi Battles… the shunting beat is a head-nodder but the lyrics and tone of the music can’t tell you whether it’s happy and wistful or sad and wistful so the emotion becomes stacked rather than layered. ‘I’m tearing at the seams…’ sings lead vocalist Hannah Hooper; ironically “Francine” shows you exactly where it’s been stitched together. [SL]

feeble little horse – Pocket
feeble little horse’s ‘Pocket’ takes the essence of bedroom pop and filters it through a glitchy lo-fi electronic lens. The track immerses listeners in sporadic walls of noise that beautifully complement the intimately creepy lyrics. With an atypical song structure, ‘Pocket’ embraces the asides and revels in the delightful weirdness of its vocals. feeble little horse has crafted a uniquely Americana musical experience, where the unconventional becomes captivating. Get ready to dive into a sonic adventure that pushes boundaries and showcases the distinct charm of bedroom pop. [JG]

Brendan the Navigator – Animal
Not sure that I would call tihs dream pop, but it’s definitely dreamy, and it has some pop sensibilities. Sort of has some Keane vibes about it – remember them? Doesn’t matter. ‘Animal’ has an ethereal quality about it, great for a late night drive through the city. [TF]

Dream Wife – Who Do You Wanna Be?
This tune is an absolute punk banger that you won’t be able to help but headbang to. Raucous and rapid guitar is matched by the biting lyrics criticising ‘the left cuts down the left while the right upholds the crown...’ Lead singer Rakel Mjöll’s vocals were even giving me some serious Veruca Salt vibes which is an esteemed compliment in my opinion. [RG]

Contributor Key:
[TF] TJ Foster, [JG] Jack Gill, [LW] Lydia Webb, [RG] Rory Graham, [SL] Sam Lasley

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