Top 10 tracks of the month: September 2023
Here's 10 of our favourite new tracks from this September...
Gag Salon - Fishyman, Pt. 1
Gag Salon do anything but play it safe in their new single 'Fishyman, Pt. 1'. The Reading quartet described their style as “Incel Patrick Bateman” in an interview with Fred Perry, an eclectic fusion of Post-Punk and Art-Rock styles. Gag Salon’s sound is rhythmic, lively and unique, and their new single is no exception.
'Fishyman, Pt. 1' has a decidedly absurdist flavour, telling of a man who transforms into a fish at the hour of sunrise. The first verse embraces this playfulness and irreverence, and the influence of Beefheart (which the group credit on their Spotify bio) is palpable. The track transforms post-chorus into an urgent euphony, resulting in a charismatic emotional journey listeners do not want to miss.
The drums exude angst whilst also keeping the heartbeat of the song, and the pairing of the coarse, leathery voice of Gag Salon’s lead singer Joseph Mumford and the funky electric guitar make for an immersive, unpredictably outrageous piece of aural storytelling. The band will be playing at several venues this winter, including Big Hands in Manchester, and their studio sound promises an exciting live experience.
Words by Saba Khorassani
The Clockworks - Mayday Mayday
Irish punk-rockers The Clockworks are all about meaning and intent and have slowly built themselves up to being one of the most exciting new Post-Punk bands around. Their second single of the year, aptly titled ‘Mayday Mayday’, cements that status and then some.
The summer of 2023 saw the release of ‘Westway’, a cinematic, dreamlike cavernous song that sounds as if it could be the perfect soundtrack to your final days of summer vacation. In stark contrast, their latest single is loud, fast and most definitely in your face. With thick bass lines, rapid-fire hats and deep, almost tribal drums, the band provide the perfect canvas for lead singer James McGregor’s’ timely observations.
Dreaded morning commutes and political apathy are on the menu, with a healthy side order of looming financial insecurity. Considering the cost of living crisis that burdens so many of us at the moment, they couldn’t have picked a more appropriate moment to release this striking new single.
It’s the kind of wonderfully diverse song that will get everyone on their feet shouting at the top of their lungs at gigs, whilst simultaneously providing some thoughtful and necessary observations on the UK’s financial, political and social woes.
If their upcoming debut album 'EXIT STRATEGY' continues with this form, the band will have most definitely lived up to those grand expectations. With this new single, there’s no reason to think this album won’t be one to remember!
Words by Marlon Loria
Sea Girls - Weekends and Workdays
Say goodbye to your Autumn blues... Sea Girls have just released their new single 'Weekends and Workdays', bringing yet another hit to the Indie scene. UK Indie outfit Sea girls are back, releasing their first single of the year after their summer of touring popular UK festivals such as Reading and Leeds festival, Community festival and Victorious.
Featuring at the top of Spotify's 'The Indie List' playlist we can assure you this is definitely a track you do not want to miss. The new single brings a fresh, light-hearted perspective on living life and encourages you to maybe not taking everything so seriously.
Lead vocalist, Henry Camamile gives insight on the message behind the song (via instagram @seagirls): “Weekends and Workdays is about the importance to have a break, enjoy life and don't get ground down”. The take home message being “keep your head up”, keeping high vibrations and uplifting energy as we head towards the end of the year.
From the meaning of the song to its upbeat catchy chorus, there couldn't be a better single to end the summer with! But before the year ends, the band will be joining Louis Tomlinson on tour, opening for his London show at the O2 Arena on 17th November which we are sure will be the first of many huge shows in the upcoming year.
Words by Tara Sheridan
Trinket - Figure Skater
If you want to feel wrapped up inside a sonic escape room and be transported into a dreamy, yet slightly abstract audible world then Trinket are your band. The New York trio are new to us, grabbing our attention with their latest single 'Figure Skater' yet they are quickly picking up recognition in the UK being signed to London's Sad Club Records (the label behind another of our new discoveries Luce Rushton) and earning a recent BBC 6 Music play!
The new track begins with some beautifully blissful, laid-back guitar strokes and easy going vocal drawls that are both melodic and lamenting. However, these dreamy sounds are quickly complimented by a fuzzy, growling undertow from another guitar line that adds a layer of angst and unrest into the otherwise tranquil soundscape. This becomes a common theme of the track as gritty, off-kilter guitar tones constantly disturb your sonic dreams. This incongruous placement creates a wonderfully quirky, mysterious sound that has the bittersweet Lo-Fi tones of Pip Blom. However, the lead vocals remain hypnotically melodic throughout, matching the feel of the chorus line "I feel like a figure skater dancing on the ice" in the smooth and lucid flow with their delivery.
This track sees a clash of lazy, Sunday afternoon calmness and the angst of teenage rebellion. The later moments let angst take over as the drums also come crashing in to provide an intense finale yet the quirky melodies still linger long in your mind demonstrating the trio's fantastic ability to create complex, emotive music that is both heavy-hitting, soothing and undeniably catchy. Definitely one to watch!!
Bad Nerves - USA
Our favourite Punk Rock troubadours Bad Nerves have returned with their new single 'USA' and, of course, it's a track that takes no time in exploding out of the traps and injecting you with an infectious, retro Punk spirit. The high-octane drum rhythms and straight-to-the-vein guitar tones are back, matched by the unrelenting energy of frontman Bobby Nerves.
If you are new to the band then lucky you! They are about as close to a raw and rebellious 70s Punk band as you can get, combining gritty high-energy with undeniably catchy melodies, delivered with venom.
This is true once again on 'USA', a short and sharp track that has a definite 'written on the road' kind of feel with its punchy vocal chanting that sounds built for the live environment. Like a lot of the songs from their debut record, 'USA' also has hints of coastal American energy, leaning into Surf styled melodies at times, yet delivering them with such an unforgiving angst that they remain undoubtedly Punk.
The track is simple at its core but it showcases their purest form of their talent and offers fans reassurance that they will eventually return from their string of European and American support tours and be back in the UK making more new music soon.
Home Counties - Bethnal Green
We've loved the slightly weird, abstract sounds of Home Counties for a good few years now. Their music is constantly fizzing with energy and never takes a moment to rest. Their last EP 'In A Middle English Town' saw them nail a synth-driven Art-Punk style that utilised the eclectic percussive elements of cowbells and woodblocks as well as the oftentimes strange and distorted keyboard sounds to build a dense, busy atmosphere filled with a quirky angst. However, their latest single 'Bethnal Green' takes things a little more refined and sees them enter a slick new Alt-Pop era.
The off-kilter electro sounds that open the track instantly indicate that they have not lost their abrasive artistic flair. However, the vocal lines are way more crisp and tight on this single. They have clean pop sensibilities and a delivery that is intentionally direct and piercing, cutting through the track's thick dancey instrumentation with great effect.
As the song progresses, multiple vocal lines layer on top of each other wonderfully, creating a typically busy soundscape where you don't know quite where to place your attention. The upbeat, disco energy is infectious while the electronics are strange and confusing. A brilliant blend of weirdness and technicality that will hook you in from start to finish and a return that leaves us excited for what is to come!
Wadfah - Come Around
Thailand may not be the first country you think of when you want to find your next infectious bedroom pop star however, wadfah, one of the country’s latest newcomers is making huge waves…and it’s easy to see why!
Her music is truly joyous, layering big beats, catchy synths and her playful vocal style to make music that will transport you back into peak summer.Her new single ‘Come Around’ might be her most infectious single to date! It’s got smooth, slightly American-tinged vocal lines and a sparkling instrumentation full of energetic drums and gleaming background electro sounds.
For our UK readers it will ring of early Lauran Hibberd and Abbie Ozard thanks to its bright, playful tones while American listeners will be thinking of college Summers and high school romances as it would provide the perfect soundtrack to a coming-of-age movie.
This is the kind of song that will get you dancing around your bedroom in your pyjamas, daydreaming about your crush whole forgetting all your worries just for a brief moment of sonic euphoria!
Humane The Moon - I Saw A Dog
London newcomer Humane The Moon has arrived this year with his debut singles ‘A Track In Orbit’ and 'I Saw A Dog' and they've already made a huge impact! There’s no case of cautiously testing the waters or slowly building up songwriting confidence here, these tracks are bold, brash and introspectively nuanced.
‘A Track In Orbit’ is built upon a thick Electro Punk beat that provides an instantly dance-inducing energy while his slack-jawed vocal delivery is filled with a cocky swagger reminiscent of Slow Thai. There are dreamy guitar textures in the backdrop that facilitate moments of brief tranquility before launching pack into the high-octane rhythm.
Later in the track he utilises the Joy Division lyrics of “Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance to the radio” as he puts a fantastically modern and high intensity twist on the gloomy musings of Ian Curtis and audibly does well to capture Curtis’ frantic, jittery style. Direct vocal delivery and a swirling, angsty sonic texture makes for a wonderfully high intensity track that you can easily get lost in. A belter of a debut that promises big things to come.
His second single 'I Saw A Dog' leans deeper into the dreamscape textures that he likes to play with. The verses still combine this Post-Punk, Joy Division esc tone and his angsty, slack-jawed vocal delivery however the verse then plunges into a pool of hypnotic rhythms and smooth vocal melody. It is deep and lo-fi yet super catchy thanks to the layered vocal lines that deliver the chorus lines with a slick Surf style that will stick in your head long after the track is finished.
These two tracks perfectly balance each other, setting a firm tonal style for this new project while showcasing both the melancholic melodies and angsty power that he has to offer. Humane The Moon is one of our favourite discoveries of the year!
Eden Rain - I Found My Brain
One of our favourite new songwriters is Eden Rain, a confident vocalist and all round cool character who pens Bedroom Pop bops filled with an appealing dose of hip-hop and r&b influences.
This combination creates songs that are both soulful and melodic and her new single ‘I Found My Brain’ is no different! The slick beat instantly creates a sultry vibe dripping with swagger even before Eden dives in with her super smooth vocal palette.
Artists like Olivia Dean spring to mind thanks to the warm, soulful vocal lines yet the chorus has a more definitively catchy melody that shows Eden’s commercial sensibilities. It is an underrated chorus that grows with each listen and it so hypnotic that by the end of the final chorus all you want to do is hit replay!
The Terrys - Silent Disco
Formed in the midst of lockdown in an Aussie trailer house, The Terrys make just the type of music you would expect to come out of that environment. It is frantic, agitated and full of scrappy energy. Yet, they are not a band that sacrifice melody for energy, there songs are full of big riffs and catchy vocal lines that are oftentimes poignant and radiating with coming-of-age, bittersweet tones. Their latest single ‘Silent Disco’ is the perfect example of this, combining a Punk intensity with Indie Rock melodies to produce an infectious concoction.
They waste no time and dive straight into a gritty explosion of Rock instrumentals in the first few seconds of the song. The verses then lean into a wonderfully tight, high-energy, surf-tinged rhythm that you would associate with fellow Aussie acts such as Skeggs. The instrumentals constantly switch between this tight beat and a more expansive, melodic style, bringing that coming-of-age combination of angst and joy to the table.
Some wonderfully piercing instrumental sections filled with harsh guitar lines flavour the song nicely and inject that intensity that makes their live shows so immersive.