Tracks Of The Week, 12.08.16

Though it might be easy to get absorbed by the delightfulness of summer, we all need a little bit of menace in our lives. And when that menace comes in the form of jaw-dropping new music, it’s hard not to welcome it.

Case in point: Jackals Rose and their latest offering ‘Preach 4 Peace’. Hand-in-hand with a video featuring balaclavas, severed dolls’ heads and lots of fire, ‘Preach 4 Peace’ is about as riotous as it gets. Proof that being nice gets you nowhere – for lyrics like “You fell in love with me by the ocean / Sucked on my wand and swallowed my potion” certainly aren’t ‘nice’ – it’s almost impossible not to be completely transfixed by the complete destructiveness of this track.

I can’t help but feel bad for how much pleasure I get from the pain of musicians – to be specific, the breakups that result in (quite often) the most beautiful songs. That said, as long as they keep being made, it’d be wrong not to listen.

With that in mind, Luke Rathborne’s ‘You Let Me In’ has been stuck on repeat recently. The result of “a dark period of time coming out of a break up”, ‘You Let Me In’ is, in contrast ridiculously lovely. Rathborne’s voice and piano, backed by drums, cello, bass, brass and wind sections is almost Christmassy in its powerful emotion: despite it’s upsetting origins, there’s something underlying twinkly about the track. And since I’ve only ever been able to ugly-cry after a breakup, I’m going to enjoy the sheer beauty that can come out of other people’s.

There’s something admirable about the honesty that a lot of songwriters display: an impressiveness in not needing complex metaphors and euphemisms to get a point across. And Albert af Ekenstam does exactly that.

Though his latest song ‘The Devil Bird’ may in itself be an extended metaphor (one can only assume) and the lyrics are not transparent or harsh in their meaning, there’s something overridingly relatable about it. Lyrics aside, the music has a sense of truth to it – what Albert presents seems heartfelt.

Simple, perhaps, in that it doesn’t require much more than his voice to get the point across but in its melancholy and emotion ‘The Devil Bird’ seems to resonate. Whether what it is that is resonating is what Albert himself felt when writing the track is irrelevant; the connection is undeniable.

Ashes, the new album from Albert ad Ekenstam, is out 14 October on Kning Disk.

Nothing’s better than politically charged music. Correction: particularly charged, bloody good music. The Meow Meows’ latest track – this time tackling sexism – comes at a time when it’s perhaps more relevant than ever. With an accompanying video (directed by Melanie Light) showing such f*cking cool women beating up sleazy men, ‘Pretty If You Smile’ is something pretty much all women can relate to.

A ska-funk influenced track – both in its sound and carrying of a social message – ‘Pretty If You Smile’ sees the Brighton 9-piece dismantle sexism and create the perfect summer anthem. This is how it’s done.

‘Pretty If You Smile’ is out 31 August. 

Melissa Svensen

Melissa Svensen

Melissa Svensen

Melissa, 22. Editor. Student, music journalist, probably talking about Blur or Bowie