Photo: Maria Mochnacz/PJ Harvey’s Facebook
PJ HARVEY – THE WHEEL
It’s been four long years since PJ Harvey has graced the musical airwaves with her majestically morose tones, but the time has come for a new single, a new album and Harvey at her best.
Never one to shy away from the political spotlight, her new material is as poignant as ever with lyrics such as “A tableau of the missing/Tied to the government building.”
With her trademark battle march sound – beating bass drums and handclaps – they go hand in hand with those low harmonies to hammer home her choral message.
With the album out on April 15, could there be a better time for one of her rousing political calls? Unlikely.
ANDREW SHELLEY @
IGGY POP – GARDENIA
Iggy Pop, Josh Homme & Matt Helders… If that’s not a supergroup, then what is?
Iggy premiered the track on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and did so in impeccably stylish fashion. If anything, Iggy’s echoed taunts play out much better in a live environment on this track.
‘Gardenia’ modestly shows off Homme’s crisp guitar underneath some signature, harrowing Iggy vocals. A slow jam of sorts, prompting unavoidable sexy struts through Helders’ sporadic backing beats.
As the first single from upcoming album Post Pop Depression, there’s no doubting that the record will be one of 2016’s top releases.
RUPERT TAYLOR @
BLACK STONE CHERRY – IN OUR DREAMS
Black Stone Cherry release the first single from their new album Kentucky. This song is everything you could ask from Black Stone Cherry, heavy hard rock riffs with a ballad chorus.
The band went back to the studio they wrote their debut album in with the same engineer and equipment and you can hear that within this song. It just sounds like a more polished version of tracks from their self-titled album, it feels as if they knew that album did well and are trying to regurgitate that again.
This song does hold some innovative riffs and the same sing along chorus we all love in a Black Stone Cherry song but it does feel awfully familiar.
ÉIMER HARPER @
MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS FEAT. JAMILA WOODS – WHITE PRIVILEGE II
It has been a decade since Macklemore & Ryan Lewis released ‘White Privilege’. 2016 has brought the sequel (featuring Jamila Woods) that has caused confrontation, controversy and confusion among the online community.
Typical to Macklemore’s style this song is loaded with trumpets and piano playing, along with this a black gospel choir can be heard in the background to match the connotation of the song.
The song is nine minute story around white people standing up against racial injustice only when it suits for them. “You speak about equality, but do you really mean it? Are you marching for freedom, or when it’s convenient?”
HARVEY BALDWIN @
SIA – UNSTOPPABLE
On the 29 January, Sia releases her seventh album This Is Acting, a release assembled almost exclusively of songs she penned for other artists. The sixth track from the LP, ‘Unstoppable’, only reinforces that in the case of Sia, the amalgamation of her creative and vocal aptitude means the greatest version is her own.
Gently building and in keeping with her refined style, her natural soaring vocals evolve into yet another principally memorable and captivating chorus, blending themes of vulnerability and confidence. The Australian singer’s lyrical capacity is consistently surprising, and it’s still got nothing on her vocal chords.
ADRIANNE GORON @
NETSKY FEAT. DIGITAL FARM ANIMALS – WORK IT OUT
Netsky is one of the musical pioneers in the genre of drum ‘n’ bass because of the popularity he has brought to the genre with songs like ‘Puppy’. This does not hide the fact that he’s new song has got fans fuming.
The lead up to the bass drop starts of promising, but then leads to a more disappointing switch in tempo than TC’s ‘Get Down Low.’
‘Work It Out’ is a poorly produced excuse for drum ‘n’ bass. This is the type of song you would expect to reach the pop charts if you slapped on someone like Jess Glynne on the vocals for the track.
HARVEY BALDWIN @
FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE – GRAVITY
Following crushing lead single ‘The Fool’, ‘Gravity’ is the second song to be released ahead of the Italian death metallers fourth album King.
A crazily heavy song even for Fleshgod Apocalypse, it’s multiple layers combine to create a mental song that showcases the group’s technical ability, whilst symphonic elements create an ominous mood over an otherwise hard-hitting metal assault.
Ditching clean vocals in favour of Tommaso Riccardi‘s low guttural growls, ‘Gravity’ is the sort of low thudding track that fans of the Mafia EP will devour. After the manic ‘The Fool’ and now the brutal ‘Gravity’, excitement for King should be at an all time high.