The Round-Up (26/04/24)

Hope everyone’s survived the audio assault that was 31 new Taylor Swift songs last week. Not sure we’ll hear from Matty Healy for a while. Probably for the best. Anyways, that’s enough cheeky blah blah blah. It’s round-up time.

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Pearl Charles – Smoke in the Limousine

Pearl Charles has reinvented her sound with this new track, ‘Smoke in the Limousine’. The cosmic country singer’s newest release is a string-drenched walk in the park. It’s at times haunting, the strings creating a noir feel, yet there are moments when it feels like fresh air hitting your face. A blend of mystery and optimism, Pearl Charles keeps you guessing. [JR]

Also new this week…

renforshort – Buried Alive
renforshort is quickly becoming one of my new favourite artists. Her latest single ‘Buried Alive’ sounds like a slightly-poppier Julien Baker and it works swimmingly. The twinkly guitars that interplay throughout the song are a perfect backdrop to her gentle vocal. Not to mention the harmonies which, when they come in, are a pure “chef’s kiss” moment. [TJ]

Vacant Weekend – Talk
Vacant Weekend are back with their most honest single to date. An almost stream of consciousness, rambling tune, ‘Talk’ is a depicition of how confusing and lonely it can be to be an early twenty something. It also touches on the everpresent pressure to, for lack of a better term, figure your shit out. There is a lyric, ‘I used to be the singer, now i just talk…’, a very appropraite nod to the band’s new talking-style sound of this single. [CC]

Frances Mistry – Letters
There are important moments that can be found in this song, two little pieces of audio are blended into the instrumental. They maybe minute, but they’re very significant. Found at the closing of the song and 30 seconds in, they fit perfectly with the earnest and sincere lyrics that coincide with the gentle guitar and drum pattern. The two muffled talking clips are distinctive but not distractive. It’s safe to say this is more than a song, this is a core memory between mistry and their listeners. This song has come straight from the heart. [TM]

Jacob Kulick – Running in a Cemetery
After dropping his former moniker, KULICK, Jacob has branched out into a new era of sound for himself which we’ve really been digging. ‘Running In A Cemetery’ is a track that is wonderfully confident in itself, slowly building up to a driving guitar that complements Jacob’s warm, unique vocals. Lyrically, he weaves a beautiful metaphor of a relationship on the verge of life and death, coaxing you to play it again to parse through all his meanings. [RG]

Formal Sppeedwear – A Dismount
This disorientating number from Stoke’s finest is a blend of post-punk and goth rock. The echoey vocal matches with the distorted guitars, creating a maze-like masterpiece. [JR]

LYLO – We Move Again
Scottish trio LYLO are back with ‘We Move Again’, another taste of their upcoming album Thoughts of Never’ (out May 10 via El Rancho Records). Fusing pure escapism, a longing to dance, and desires to be physically present in the situation you are in, the track blends euphoria with a tinge of melancholic reflection, over a soundscape of grooving, pulsating rhythms and shimmering guitars. [GC]

Bonnie McKee – Jenny’s Got a Boyfriend
The name Bonnie McKee might not mean anything to you (yet), but I guarantee you’re famliiar with her work. With co-writes on massive pop hits of the 2010s (like Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’, for example), it’s no wonder that ‘Jenny’s Got a Boyfriend’ is a certified pop banger. If this anthem doesn’t soar to the top of the charts, it would be a severe injustice. [TJ]

The Accident Group – Go Away (Please Come Back)
Despite owing massive debts in style to Yard Act, this jerky tantrum is a funny hit of post break-up repulsion and obsession. Despite sounding very much like their aforementioned peers, the band laces enough ideas of their own (Beatle-like harmonies on the bridge and a satirical conversation interlude) to keep it from going stale quickly. [SL]

Human Interest – Shapeshifting
Released alongside the announcement of their forthcoming Smile While You’re Losing (An Audio Guide To Wellness) EP, Human Interest’s latest cut ‘Shapeshifting’ is a biting, powerful track, tackling the feeling of knowing you’re not being yourself as you navigate your life and encounter different people, particularly from the queer perspective. As label mates of English Teacher, Sprints, and Opus Kink, we’re sure to see big things from this quartet going forward. [GC]

Dalia – To the Bone
Slowly building and ending with a dramatic, striking climax, Dalia knows how to captivate an audience. This theme of strength is continued in the lyrics with the artist referencing the durable element cobalt. The single also features some Spanish lines which were a very pleasant surprise. However, when noticing the singer’s Instagram bio, ‘Mediterranean Baby based in London,’ it all becomes clearer. When translated, Dalia expresses, ‘I will learn to swim in any sea you try…’. The song may be reflecting on a failed relationship, but the vocals and instrumental are a formidable pairing. [TM]

Contributor Key:
[GC] Gemma Cockrell, [TM] Thomas Melia, [TJ] TJ Foster, [SL] Sam Lasley, [RG] Rory Graham, [JR] Johnny Rogerson, [CC] Cat Campbell

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