Tracks Of The Week: 12.03.16

It seems the loveliest songs often come from quite dark places, as proven by Mutual Benefit (AKA Jordan Lee) with the latest release from his upcoming album. With the latter half of the album drawing on New York life (depression, downturns in relationship and heavy atmosphere following the Eric Garner verdict) ‘Not For Nothing’ is a glimmer of hope.

Jordan Lee has the much lusted after skill of making everything he does sound effortless – not lazy, but rather that these actually quite intricate, complex arrangements just happen to fall into place. And in this effortless complexity is something very soothing – ‘Not For Nothing’ is like the music equivalent of a really good hug when you’re feeling a bit low.

Skip a Sinking Stone is set for release on 20th May. Jordan Lee will play a one-off UK show at London’s Bush Hall on 28th April.

Ahead of the release of their debut album Masterpiece, Brooklyn’s Big Thief have shared their new single ‘Real Love’. In Adrianne Lenker’s own words, their music paints “the process of harnessing pain, loss, and love, while simultaneously letting them go, looking into your own eyes through someone else’s, and being okay with the inevitability of death.”

Heavy stuff, perhaps, but despite its depth ‘Real Love’ is beautifully easy listening. Lenker’s vocals are tough, haunting almost, but overall they’re soothing. It’s depth without overpowering intensity – an honest, raw display of the struggles of love. Musically, it’s driven, chaotic at times but the perfect accompaniment to Lenker’s emotion-fuelled vocals.

Big Thief’s debut album Masterpiece is available from 27th May on Saddle Creek.

Yet another album we have to look forward to is Pure Joy’s Bang Flower, and in anticipation the band have shared a new video for ‘Girl’. Stemming from the Wirral, Pure Joy span genres, fusing American psych, garage-rock, British pop – the list goes in – the result being their own brand of psych-rock.

On ‘Girl’, the band’s dreamy vocals are paired with whirling guitars and a general sparkle that gives the track a real sense of summer. Perhaps the main purpose of psych, ‘Girl’ is so hugely atmospheric that it’s tricky for your mind not to drift – just a small suggestion of the journey the album will take listeners on.

Pure Joy’s debut is out on 1st April on Fresh Goods / Republic of Music.

Following their debut EP Cathedral Irish post-punk trio Slow Riot have set a date for their new single ‘Trophy Wife’. Due for release on April 15th, ‘Trophy Wife’ builds on the band’s already very strong sound, their brooding vocals and infectious hooks only getting cooler.

Sinister undertones come not only from the musicality, but the lyrics too, the track telling tales of a guy drawn in by a girl’s looks only for her to stamp on his heart. What ‘Trophy Wife’ is, overall, is pretty epic – proving that their hometown of Limerick has more than you’d expect on offer. Slow Riot’s moody anthems are both emotional and painfully cool.

‘Trophy Wife’ is available via Straight Lines Are Fine on 15th April. Slow Riot play The Waiting Room, London on 25th April.

Melissa Svensen

Melissa Svensen

Melissa Svensen

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