Goat Girl – Badibaba (Indie Rock)
The controlled frenetic energy of London’s Goat Girl is on full display throughout their intoxicating second album, “On All Fours.” “Badibaba” is a dark song about masking your anxieties and insecurities, which in another band’s hands might come off as drab and dull. But with Goat Girl’s breezy, melodic refrain, off-beat chord progressions and sci-fi synthesizers that circle the drain as the song ends, you’re having too much fun to realize the world is collapsing all around you.
Viagra Boys – Ain’t Nice (Punk / Rock)
Stockholm-based post-punk band Viagra Boys’ sophomore record “Welfare Jazz” comes on strong with a noisy, brash and careless snarl. On opener “I Ain’t Nice,” lead singer Sebastian Murphy spits at himself in the mirror while coming to terms with being the boyfriend you love to hate. The track features a nasty groove climaxing into a swirling tornado of tinkering keyboards, wailing saxophone and thunderous drums.
Shame – March Day (Post-Punk)
Catapulted into the public eye after their breakthrough album, South London’s shame returns bigger and bolder on their follow-up, “Drunk Tank Pink.” The album deals with the band’s pre-pandemic, nonstop touring lifestyle being brought to a standstill and the struggle to find their identity in an unfamiliar solitary existence. On “March Day,” punchy, angular riffs surround the lyrics “I can’t get up, I won’t get up,” addressing the feeling of being stuck in a room we’re now all too familiar with.
Working Men’s Club – Teeth (Minsky Rock Megamix) (Dance / Rock)
Working Men’s Club’s unique brand of fuzzed-out guitars and mechanical drum machines gives the band a hard-edged electronic sound in no small part thanks to their desolate surroundings living in West Yorkshire, England. Their 2020 self-titled debut album has now been re-imagined by the band’s producer, Ross Orton, and Minsky Sergeant, under the moniker “Minsky Rock.” In this track, the duo take replayed or replaced parts of the original version of “Teeth” and weave them in and out, creating a flow and groove that digs deep, much like a classic 12” extended mix from back in the day.
Logic1000 – Medium (Dance / Electronic)
Berlin-based, Australian-born producer Logic1000 has said when it comes to writing music, “I have no idea what it’s going to sound like. My intuition guides me.” On her latest release, “You’ve Got The Whole Night To Go,” Logic1000 combines the flavors of U.K. funk, garage, house and techno to deliver a consistent EP that’s both simple and expansive. “Medium” utilizes a bouncy bassline, driving drum pattern and chopped up vocals to produce a track worthy of filling those empty dancefloors.
Bicep – Apricots (Dance / Electronic)
“Isles,” the sophomore album from Belfast-born, London-based duo Bicep (Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson) expands on the mixed emotions and experiences of growing up on an island. The struggle between wanting to leave and wanting to return is addressed in their meditative collection of tracks featuring raw energy, cosmic synths, pitch-shifted choral elements and an introspective quality that’s hard to ignore. Lead single “Apricots” grabs you initially with its spare percussion and wobbly synth line before filtered chanting vocals come in and take the track to soulful and disorienting heights.
Sad Night Dynamite – Smoke Hole (Indie Synth Pop)
U.K. duo Sad Night Dynamite’s latest single “Smoke Hole” is meant to feel as though you’re sinking through your own brain; the further into the song you get, the deeper into your own mind you fall. Light and bouncy while at the same time dark and surreal, the track invites you into the minimalist dystopian world Sad Night Dynamite calls home. An exciting combination of G-funk, psychedelic pop and London subculture, “Smoke Hole” is a form of escapism you didn’t know you needed.
Toots & The Maytals – Got To Be Tough (UTRB Re-Imagination) (Reggae / Dub)
Before reggae legend Toots Hibbert tragically passed away, he released one of the best albums of his career with 2020’s “Got To Be Tough.” Now producer Until The Ribbon Breaks has reinterpreted the title track with boom-bap drums, jazzy horns and soundbites from various civil rights activists, breathing new life into Toots’ poignant words–words that hit differently now that he’s gone.
Brent Faiyaz feat. Tyler, The Creator (R&B / Hip Hop)
Up-and-coming Maryland singer Brent Faiyaz delivers a hypnotic single about the quest for stardom and how it complicates fidelity with “Gravity”. The concept of “stars” not being able to “stay down” is referenced throughout. A guest verse from Tyler, The Creator, guitar by Steve Lacy, beat by DJ Dahi and the fluctuating pitch of silky vocals from Faiyaz combine to produce an intergalactic pop nugget.
Thee Sacred Souls – Will I Ever See You Again? (Soul / Funk)
San Diego, California, based Thee Sacred Souls know a little something about love. They are signed to Penrose Records, an imprint of House of Soul record label, Daptone. “Will I Ever See You Again?” drips with pain, yearning, confusion and, most importantly, soul. The song comes from the perspective of a lover fearful his affection is unrequited. He pleads his case convincingly over shuffling drums, delicate guitar tones and a heartwarming, round bass line.