Tracks Of The Week, 26.05.17

Ahead of their recently announced debut EP 21st Century, Paris-based duo 99 Trees have shared ‘Broken.’ Comprised of multi-instrumentalist Axel Concato and vocalist Pia Blixen, 99 Trees is a coming together of unimaginable talents.

‘Broken’ introduces us to 21st Century, and its tales of love and friendship. Brought up in a self-governed community in Copenhagen, Pia acquired a talent for storytelling – and ‘Broken’ shadows this. While ethereal and soulful – a sound deeply rooted in the 60s – 99 Trees also have an air of honestly to their tracks. Bittersweet, as life is, ‘Broken’ is the sound of a match made in heaven.

21st Century is due out 23 June via Bleepmachine.

Giving the world what they need – unity against racism and fascism, queerphobia and general fear – Downton Boys’ latest track ‘A Wall’ provides a raucous, energy-fuelled direction for our anger.

Lyrically inspired by Assata Shakur’s poem, ‘I believe in living’ and sonically with an energy reminiscent of The Clash and Wire, ‘A Wall’ puts Downton Boys at the forefront of politically charged music. Battling the idea that a wall could ever succeed in crushing spirit and humanity, the track offers an uplift: a sign that should divisive walls be built, we can – and indeed will – rise above them. ‘A Wall’ is an important opener for what is set to be an extremely poignant, and critical, album.

Downton Boys’ new album, Cost of Living, is out 11 August on Sub Pop.

Pop Crisis is the latest project from The Leisure Society’s Christian Hardy. Born of a confidence crisis, and the tragic death of Hardy’s uncle putting such crises into perspective, Pop Crisis came to be. With a collection of songs under his belt from years of writing but not sharing, ‘Tell Me I’m Wonderful’ is the first song shared by Hardy and his band.

Covering hypocrisy and insecurity, the brittleness of masculinity and the masks we put on, ‘Tell Me I’m Wonderful’ is extremely frank. Yet with the tracks almost bitter honesty, there’s a beauty. Particularly now when male suicide is such a huge problem, tracks like ‘Tell Me I’m Wonderful,’ and indeed, Hardy’s discussion and tackling of his own insecurities, act as a welcome voice and platform. It may have taken a while, but with ‘Tell Me I’m Wonderful’ is sure to launch Hardy – and Pop Crisis – into huge success.

‘Tell Me I’m Wonderful’ is out on 16 June.

Sharing their latest single, ‘Californians Drive All Day (In The Sunshine),’ The Imagineers have set us up for what is set to be a truly cinematic new album.

It’s hard to pin down exactly what or who the track sounds like – there seems to be nods to west coast surf, 60s beat groups and even a hint of David Bowie. What is clear, however, is that ‘Californians Drive All Day’ paves the way for a new sound that is nothing like anything else; a sound that is truly unique. Despite the album as a whole being said to sound like a film score, ‘Californians Drive All Day’ almost soundtracks an entire film in its 2 and a half minutes. Yet with twists and turns, and ups and downs, The Imagineers never sound messy. Psychedelic, yes, but with a level of control that proves the track to be wonderfully considered.

The Imagineers’ latest album, Utopian Dream, is out now.

Melissa Svensen

Melissa Svensen

Melissa Svensen

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