Colorado songwriter mixes obscenity and emotional heft with huge pop melodies
10 Tracks You Have To Hear This Week (17/04/2013)
Beady Eye, The National and more in our 10 tracks of the week
Beady Eye - 'Flick Of The Finger'
Let's get something straight: there's not a single human being this side of the Statue of Liberty who isn't interested in what Liam Gallagher's doing. Whether he's running around Hampstead Heath (every morning at 6am), christening his cat ("Lazy Our Kid") or standing outside a Soho pub holding three bottles of Champagne (as seen in a recent tabloid story), you will look. Don't deny it. You'll definitely listen to at least 30 seconds of 'Flick Of The Finger', the trippy first taster from Beady Eye's forthcoming album, 'BE' – so named because it's the acronym of Beady Eye, but presumably also because it's the verb for human existence. Mega. Being curious about Liam is just a fact of life. He's described 'BE' as "fucking lairy cosmic". Well, if he'd scored Star Wars, 'Flick Of The Finger' would be his 'Imperial Death March'. A brass band takes us on a journey through Liam's mind as he first wakes up "with the moon and the room on the wrong side", then swaggers off towards the future. If you were going to follow any man into the unknown it'd be him. His call-to-arms here ("It's ahhhhhnnnn") confirms that he was born to lead. Let's not be daft and credit producer Dave Sitek for this. You can't hear Sitek. You wouldn't hear Krakatoa erupt over the sound of Liam's bravado. Anyway, is 'Flick Of The Finger' any good? Yeah. So, up yours.
Eve Barlow, Deputy Editor
Waxahatchee - 'Brother Bryan'
One of the major breakthrough hits at SXSW, Waxahatchee has just inked a deal with Wichita that will see her latest album 'Cerulean Salt' get a proper UK release this summer. This is the perfect introduction to the Brooklyn-based artist – a track chock-full of her bruised and beautiful soul, recalling Evan Dando at his most wonderfully whimsical.
Matt Wilkinson, New Music Editor
Splashh - 'All I Wanna Do'
Knee- and fringe-deep in '90s riff-o-rama, the east London-based brood hit us with a tune that shamelessly and beautifully lifts from Dinosaur Jr, The Vines and My Bloody Valentine, roughly in that order. Like Yuck, only with better tunes, less self-loathing, and more copies of old '90s magazines bought on eBay.
Priya Elan, writer
TNGHT - 'Acrylics'
On which you'll find horror movie-meets-happy hardcore synths, ominous stomps, aggro thuds, and eerie lullaby sounds that all add up to a feeling of total dancefloor terror. Hudson Mohawke and Lunice's new single will, of course, be one of the biggest club tracks of the next few months.
Siân Rowe, Assistant Reviews Editor
Var - 'The World Fell'
Safe to say, not many people expected the side-project of Elias from Iceage to sound like Kraftwerk being fronted by Ian Curtis. The fact it does is now our second favourite thing about Elias, shortly behind the fact that he once tried to sell bits of his own hair as merchandise.
Jamie Fullerton, Features Editor
The National - 'Demons'
"I can't fight it any more/I'm going through an awkward phase", growls Matt Berninger on the first single in two years from cult indie-gods The National. Could he possibly be mocking his band's reputation as rock's resident harbingers of doom? It is, of course, a terse and stately anthem, and one that nicely sets the pace for new album 'Trouble Will Find Me'.
Jenny Stevens, Deputy News Editor
Gold Panda - 'Brazil'
Gold Panda pays tribute to the home of carnival fever and the fat Ronaldo with this, the first track to appear from his new album 'Half Of Where You Live'. Pretty chimes and lolloping beats intertwine beautifully on a confident return from the London producer. Just don't go expecting to be able to samba to it, okay?
David Renshaw, News Reporter
Tribes - 'Dancehall'
Way less Gallagher-influenced than next Tribes single 'How The Other Half Live', the lovely 'Dancehall' is a paean to a girl who is variously described as "a gypsy queen", "an aeroplane", "a preacher's wife" and "a razorblade" over a rolling bluesy piano and loose riffs that couldn't be more rock'n'roll if they were a Marlboro hanging off Ronnie Wood's bottom lip.
Matthew Horton, writer
Babyshambles - 'Dr No'
Here's what I can tell from the grainy footage of a recent live Babyshambles show in Paris: their new tune is a jaunty ska number that features Pete Doherty declaring that there are "sharks in the water and the water's deep" and he's "a proud man anyway", all while supping on a French lager, wearing a silly hat and sweating a lot. It's strangely great to have the cheeky sod back, isn't it.
Tom Howard, Reviews Editor
Wolf Alice - 'Bros'
A song about bros – the fratboy term for mates – or a song about '80s boyband Bros? It's the former, sadly, but this does offer further proof that London's Wolf Alice have hit upon a musical sweet spot between singer Ellie Rowsell's candy-sweet vocals and her band's heavier, '90s-revivalist sound.
Dan Stubbs, News Editor
10 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (02/10/2015)
Killer Mike and El-P turn their feline-centric joke project into something with genuine artistic clout
Ridley Scott and Matt Damon team up for a space-based drama that’ll make you chuckle
Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes return with more dirty rock 'n' roll