Tracks Of The Week, 27.01.17

It won’t be long before Fliiis take over the world. It’s starting small with Manchester – I saw their name scrawled on a wall opposite the aquatics centre the other day – but it won’t be long before they’re inescapable. They’re rapidly building a social media presence, and even got themselves on one of Flume’s playlists.

The best part? Fliiis are one band that you won’t actually want to escape. With their latest track ‘Make Me Cry’ the two-piece throw it back to the 80s, with nods to Depeche Mode and The Human League.

Like everything Fliiis create, it’s addictive. While there may be a darker storyline behind the track – telling tales of a tormented mind – it’s so fantastically more-ish. ‘Make Me Cry’ would blend seamlessly with its influencers on indie dancefloors.

In ‘Alphabet Block’, Marnie has created, to put it bluntly, a pretty faultless pop track. Pulsating and driven, ‘Alphabet Block’ is danceable, but equally soothing. It harks back to the 80s – synth-heavy and technical – while simultaneously remaining completely relevant and securing Marnie a place at the very top of pop.

What stands out most about Marnie – and ‘Alphabet Block’ – is the intelligence behind the track. Beautifully composed, and almost sci-fi in its nature (only enhanced by the album title Strange Words and Weird Wars), Marnie manages to, while creating something obviously thought-out, keep it 100% listenable. And, most importantly, fun.

Strange Words And Weird Wars by Marnie is out on 25th March 2017

I’d be surprised if, at this point, you hadn’t heard anything about The Shimmer Band. From their caps lock track titles, to their absolutely huge sound, everything about The Shimmer Band is in your face – in the best way.

‘JACKNIFE AND THE DEATH CALL’ – their latest offering – only kicks this up another gear. With an accompanying video, filmed in the basement of St Emmanuel’s Church where Cremolla Coven spontaneously combusted, The Shimmer Band’s thunderous sound is almost enough to bring the structure down again. Rooted in the belief of the ‘healing power of rock ‘n’ roll’, ‘JACKNIFE AND THE DEATH CALL’ does just that; if anyone still needed faith in music restored, they won’t anymore.

The Shimmer Band support Cabbage on tour for the following dates:

February 2017
Wed 1st CARDIFF, Clwb Ifor Bach
Thu 2nd LONDON, The Lexington
Fri 3rd SHEFFIELD, Picture House Social Club
Sat 4th LEICESTER, The Cookie
Wed 8th NOTTINGHAM, Bodega Social Club
Thu 9th BIRMINGHAM, Hare And Hounds
Sat 11th MANCHESTER, Gorilla
Wed 15th OXFORD, The Bullingdon Arms
Thu 16th READING, Purple Turtle
Fri 17th SOUTHAMPTON, Joiners Arms
Sat 18th BRISTOL, Thekla
Wed 22nd NEWCASTLE, Think Tank?
Thu 23rd LEEDS, Brudenell Social Club
Fri 24th SCUNTHORPE, Café Indiependent
Sat 25th GLASGOW, Stereo

‘Swimming in Strange Waters’ – the title track from The Wooden Sky’s new album – is a lesson in two things: firstly, how to create wonderful, glimmering psych tracks and secondly, how to tackle your demons head on while doing so.

With the album as a whole seeing frontman Gavin Gardiner come to terms with the trauma and unknowns haunting his life, ‘Swimming in Strange Waters’ is a small snippet of such traumas; but a snippet which allows us to acknowledge Gardiner’s talent. Though the subjects might be delicate, and delicately handled in Gardiner’s lyrics, the music is massive: swirling guitars and a psychedelic power that seems to be both laid-back and relentlessly urgent. I’m time and time again impressed by musicians’ abilities to communicate their feelings – The Wooden Sky are no exception.

Swimming In Strange Waters is out April 7th

Melissa Svensen

Melissa Svensen

Melissa Svensen

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