2016 has wasted little time in getting straight back into the thick of things as far as great music is concerned, blasting away all those post New Year cobwebs with a vengeance.
Here are 12 of the best new tracks released within the last seven days or so, to keep your ears busy over the weekend. And we’ve compiled the whole lot into a handy YouTube playlist at the bottom of this page.
So stick it on loud, sit back, and prepare for the best new tunes of the week:
(Scroll to the bottom for the video playlist!)
Yuck – Hearts In Motion
Yuck emerged once again this week to announce third album Stranger Things (due for release February 26), and give us all a taste of what’s to come with lead single ‘Hearts In Motion’. After their brilliant 2011 debut, 2013’s Glow & Behold failed to fill the void that founding member Daniel Blumberg had left upon his depature, though it was trying too hard to emulate his 90s indie-rock schtick.
‘Hearts In Motion’ looks to take things in a slightly different direction with a fuller sound, but still retains some of that Built to Spill-esque indie-rock aesthetic to keep everyone happy.
Mogwai – U-235
The kings of obnoxiously loud, Scottish post-rock are back with a record release of Atomic; reworked versions of the music recorded for the soundtrack to director Mark Cousin’s acclaimed documentary Atomic: Living In Dread and Promise.
For those wondering, ‘U-235’ is one of the isotopes of uranium, fitting considering the documentary’s nuclear themes.
The track itself is pretty radioactive too, taking an almost unexpected (though nothing is truly unexpected from Stuart Braithwaite’s band) electronic turns as it bobs along on bassy keyboard stabs.
Weezer – King of the World
Any hint of a Weezer announcement this year was bound to get us excited. It’s been 20 years since the release of their amazing second album Pinkerton, and our fingers are crossed so hard for a tour on which they play it in full they might snap.
This wasn’t that announcement, but their 10th studio album is set to be influenced by the Beach Boys (and “girls on Tinder within a 4 mile radius) more than ever, so we could be in for some classic stuff from Rivers Cuomo and co. It’s their fourth self-titled effort so will be going by the White Album nickname.
Plus there’s always the second half of the year for that Pinkerton tour.
Bloc Party – Virtue
Bloc Party kick off 2016 with a bang with the release of ‘Virtue’, the third track to be taken from their upcoming fifth album Hymns.
The track takes a more subtle path than previous cuts like the overly electronic ‘The Love Within’, instead rolling along on a warm bass line as gentle keyboard chords carry frontman Kele Okereke’s falsetto chorus.
They also head out as headliners for this year’s edition of the NME Awards Tour at the end of the month, so there’s plenty for Bloc Party fans to get excited about.
Basement – Aquasun
The premise of an emo-rock outfit from Ipswich probably doesn’t appeal to too many, but Basement carry with them a maturity that sees them rise above the rest of the scene, and they’ve been leading the charge ever since their 2008 inception. When news broke of a hiatus back in 2012, fans were predictably mortified, but were happy to learn of a return just two years later in 2014.
They’ve been previewing tracks from Promise Everything (their first full length after the hiatus due for release January 29), and ‘Aquasun’ is the latest, that brilliant blend of hard rocking guitars and more delicate moments that is oh so hard to come by.
They head out on a long-awaited UK tour in February.
Milk Teeth – Brain Food
This Bristolian punk-trio sing about being young and broke in the 21st century. Nothing too revolutionary then, but when it’s carried with guitar hooks as infectious as on ‘Brain Food’ – taken from their upcoming debut LP Vile Child out January 29 – it’s hard not to get on board.
“No one in this town will hire me” sings front woman Becky Blomfield. On the basis of this track, they might not be needing day jobs much longer.
Rat Boy – Move
Rat Boy (aka Essex’ Jordan Cardy) featured in our list of 16 new bands and acts to watch in 2016, and with good reason.
His blend of bedroom studio electronica, catchy samples and hip-hop influences produces a sound which will get under your skin and get you moving in seconds.
Coming on like Beastie Boys meet The Go! Team, we can’t wait to hear what else is in store a debut LP inevitably drops later in the year.
Bleached – Keep On Keepin’ On
These California punks channel everything that was ever great about the punk-rock scene in 80s America and filter it through Spector-esque production into something of their own.
This new track – taken from new album Welcome The Worms due April 1 – is inspired by singer Jennifer Clavin’s “torrid” relationship problems, and we’re sure all the angst and anger that brings will be fed into the record for something spectacular.
For now, ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’ is your first taste.
Jeremy Gara – Divinity
Another Arcade Fire member goes solo following Will Butler’s success with Policy last year! Now it’s the turn of drummer Jeremy Gara, who has announced his debut record will be released on March 11, and will be called Limn.
He’s streaming the opening (and title) track to that record right now.
Quilt – Roller
Have you ever listened to The Beatles and thought “that’s good, but it’s a little bit outdated?” Well, Boston’s Quilt give a good take on what the Fab Four from Liverpool may have sounded like today with ‘Roller’, taken from their third album Plaza due February 26.
Slutface – Kill ‘Em With Kindness
Another of our 16 new bands and acts to watch in 2016, Slutface are an entirely different proposition from Rat Boy.
“You’ve seen it all, Madonnas of the world, crawl across the broken glass” is a particularly poignant lyric from singer Haley Shea, in a song seemingly about the cynical nature of the music press waiting for young stars to balls everything up.
In terms of the Norwegian four-piece’s delivery, think somewhere between Veruca Salt, Speedy Ortiz and Sleater-Kinney.
The 1975 – The Sound
Pop masters of pomposity, The 1975 returned this week to showcase this new track from their second album due February 26, and prove just why they’re deserving of a run of ridiculous sold out residencies at places like Brixton Academy and Manchester Academy.
There’s piano playing that’d have Prince getting giddy, a synthetic string solo, and even a cock-rock guitar solo for good measure. And the thing is, the get away with it.
The new album will probably be one of the biggest things all year for British pop fans, so get a load of ‘The Sound’ before its release.
Listen to our YouTube playlist of all of the above here: