Happy Good Friday, everyone. In recent years this has become a day when we celebrate our inherent goodness by embarking on all manner of clandestine drinking in the hope, depending on your predilections, that your local priest/garda/probation officer is or isn’t watching. So, here is a pile of new and new-ish music to ease you into an alcohol and Easter egg-fueled weekend of bodily harm. Again, there’s a bit of everything in here but all of it is good, so the day isn’t a complete misnomer. And finally, if you stumble across any new tracks which you think should be included in our weekly Mixtape please send it on, along with a few words as to why you think it’s worthy, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Skating Polly – ‘Alabama Movies”
Two girls, one band. If multi-instrumentation, charmingly juvenile lyrics, demented arrangement and all-out-punk is your thing, then you’re in luck. More of this, please. Lots more.
OBN IIIs – ‘Worries’
In keeping with the garage-rock motif here is the vaguely unpronounceable OBN III’s. Shedding any form of pretense, apparently, these lads sound like a hybrid of the Stooges and Franz Ferdinand. Maybe that’s a lazy description but it’s Good Friday and State is heavily medicated. Just listen to it.
Gold Zebra – ‘Apart Again’
Much less abrasive is this synth-pop cracker from the musical hotbed that is Montréal. Once famous for being the birthplace of the frankly absurd poutine, Montréal these days never fails to fly it’s own flag where making great music is concerned. Gold Zebra have encapsulated all that is good about lying in long grass with this one.
Sasch – ‘Take A Message’
EDM is an absolutely horrible term. But because dance music has invented so many genres-within-genres that only a theoretical physicist or somebody with D. Arch after their name is equipt with the ability to understand it, EDM is fine for now. Here is a song.
Curtin – ‘Better Ride’
Curtin are a two piece band from Chicago. And like many artists before them who thanks to an overly simple name make googling them an nearly impossible task (like Man Man or True…), they may be relatively obscure until they OWN their name (like Cream or Nirvana…). If this song doesn’t ensure they do then nothing will. Featuring Mikael Jorgensen from Wilco on keys it’s a gentle yet devastatingly emotive track that if you don’t instantly love means there is something wrong with you.
Tiny Victories – ‘Drinking With Your Ghost’
Yet another two piece band to feature in this week’s Mixtape are Tiny Victories. There are elements of White Lies, Bruce Springsteen, The Killers and even The National in this track. Lyrically it straddles the space between depressed alcoholism and remorseful nostalgia but as a song it has a sing-a-long quality that suggests it’s neither nor. Great stuff!
Sleaford Mods – ‘Tied Up In Nottz’
There was no concerted effort to include this many duos in the list but as it happens there are loads. None as angry and shouty as this. Essentially this song is what would happen if Blur’s ‘Song 2’ and ‘Parklife’ had been written together and recorded by a homeless, drunk man in a bus shelter. That’s by no means a criticism, it’s a savagely sanctimonious and aggressive tirade aimed at somebody but held together by a brilliant, riff-driven track. Punk meet Mod, Mod meet Punk.
Happyness – ‘Great Minds Think Alike, All Brains Taste The Same’
This song is an absolute beauty. London has never sounded so sun-kissed and beach-y. At only 1.56 seconds it demands repeat listening and each time you play it you’ll hear something new in it to make you wish it was your own personal soundtrack. The little musical bridge (at 18 seconds) is a killer.
Lore City – ‘The Days’
Back to duos, this art rock ensemble sound at points like PJ Harvey, Merchandise and a nightmare you had once. But don’t be put off by the art rock tag, it’s their choice and carried out with such conviction that you can only listen in awe. Absolutely brilliant.
Action Beat + G.W. Sok – ‘Spoonfeed Hell’
This band, clearly, like nothing more than making a racket and being as noisy and invasive as they possibly can. The punk DIY ethos has become a cliché and has cynically been used to mask all sorts of inadequacies. Thankfully a band has come along to reinstate some artistry in the whole affair.
The/Das – ‘Parallel Worlds’
“Techno Tenderness”, apparently. A duo from Berlin who’s own description does them no justice whatsoever. Electronic, yes. Soulful, yes. Purely original, yes. They can call it what they want but it’s deserving of as many plays as you can fit in between now and the time somebody rips their sound off.
So Many Animal Calls – ‘My Blood’s Not Mine’
Another band who describe themselves using made-up terms; this time we have “Failpop” from Glasgow quartet So Many Animal Calls. And since we’re being silly with descriptions this is slightly edgy and spiky yet with an ultimately pleasant outcome, like a crisp sticking into the roof of your mouth.
Dylan Shearer – ‘Mold In The Fold’
Some lo-fi pop from San Francisco’s Dylan Shearer. A modern troubadour in every sense, Shearer blends his breezy West Coast-pop with Neil Young-esque downbeat restraint in the vocal delivery department. If you’re going to dampen your delivery this is the way to do it.
Young Aundee – ‘Amazing Grace
And finally, some synthy goodness to finish off this holy Mixtape on Good Friday. Go in peace.