Need to update your playlist? Try these new summer tracks
The Horrors‘Still Life’ There’s a certain dreamy quality to The Horrors’ music. Though latest collection Skying, released last month, brought the floppy-haired Brits closer to the realm of pop, certain tracks retain the ethereal waftiness that first got them noticed. This, the first single from the album, is one such beast, contrasting euphoric synths with singer Faris Badwan’s trademark melancholic intonations. Lovely stuff.
Philip Selway ‘Running Blind’ When your day job is drumming for arguably the biggest indie band on Earth, stepping out on your own means confronting a huge amount of expectation. But if this title track from his new EP is anything to go by, Radiohead’s stickman is taking the pressure in his stride. Unlike bandmate Thom Yorke’s bleepy-bloopy 2006 solo experiment The Eraser, Selway’s one-man-and-his-guitar jam is instantly accessible, subtle and quietly triumphant.
Anvil ‘Juggernaut of Justice’ If it wasn’t for smash-hit 2008 documentary The Story of Anvil, chronicling their 30-year, 13-album struggle to hit the big time, chances are nobody would even be bothering with these grizzly Canadian metalheads. But having eventually found the limelight, it’s good to see they’re at least putting it to good use, in this case with thundering power chords, GnR-esque fretboard shredding and a Converse hi-top-stomping bassline.
Foo Fighters ‘Walk’ Although album-closers don’t generally get a lot of love, this second release from the Foos’ faith-restoring seventh studio album Wasting Light proves that, sometimes, it’s worth sticking around to the end. It’s a slow builder, but by the time you hit the bridge – the bit that has Dave Grohl screeching ‘I never wanna die!’ about four thousand times – chances are you’ll be flying those rock horns high.
The Upskirts ‘She Devil’ This Sydney band formed in high school, jamming along to Sum 41, but have since found their own eclectic sound. Peppered with flecks of Joy Division and Nirvana, The Upskirts will strike a chord with your inner teenager, singing of young love and heartache juxtaposed against punky riffs and rousing guitar hooks. ‘She Devil’ is a fine example: two and a half minutes of energetic crazy.
Dananananaykroyd ‘Muscle Memory’ Even with a facetious, virtually un-Googleable moniker, this Scottish sextet has successfully secured itself a spot on the playlist of virtually every indie disco in the land since arriving on the scene five years ago. This, taken from sophomore long-player There is a Way, is a typically shout-along, bouncy romp, featuring a similarly energetic video that sees the band thrashing around in multicoloured tracksuits. Marvellous.
Wild Beasts ‘Bed of Nails’ Despite their critical success, when it comes to the real world, this lot are real opinion splitters – you either fall in love with Hayden Thorpe’s dramatic, effeminate falsetto or you try to shove mud in your ears to make him stop. Here, his girlish tones are more gently coquettish than usual; sliding like warm butter through this beautifully synthy ode to a girl named Ophelia.
Foster the People ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ It’s not often an indie troupe makes an impact on the American mainstream, a fact that renders the success of these LA-based gents – who have spent time in the upper echelons of the Billboard and iTunes charts – all the more remarkable. This, their breakthrough track, is a rose-tinted tribute to carefree youth in the vein of MGMT – a song you might play over a video montage of a balmy summer.
Battles ‘My Machines’ Math rock isn’t supposed to be comfortable or familiar, so don’t be discouraged when you step away from your first listen of this New York trio’s latest. Give it a few spins, though (the more decibels the better, we find), and you’ll start to hear past the monotonous, regimented rhythms and discover a richly textured, vaguely haunting chunk of sonic gold.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds ‘The Death of You And Me’ Although it’s only officially released this week, the debut post-Oasis effort from the older, wiser Gallagher has spent the summer racking up YouTube hits faster than a cute kitten on a skateboard. It’s standard stuff for Noel in terms of sound – save for a folky lilt and a touch of brass. We’ll have to wait to see if he can out-chart Liam’s Beady Eye, but this is a strong start. All songs available to download via iTunes.