It’s the New Year!
Despite 2016 still only being a few days old and metaphorically still trying to get the cellophane wrapping off itself, so much has happened since we last spoke. In what feels like one big whirlwind of musical activity, LCD Soundsystem returned from the grave with news of a tour and a new record, Yeezy Yeezy Yeezy jumped over jumpman, and this hip new band called The Beatles joined Spotify.
Plus, on the smaller side of music, Jack Garratt was crowned ‘Sound of 2016’ by the BBC – meaning he’s going to be played on Radio 1 every day for the next 12 months.
Regardless, it’s a new year and we’ve got so much new music to get stuck into.
LCD Soundsystem – Christmas Will Break Your Heart
Is it illegal to play Christmas songs in January? Probably.
For this track however, I’m willing to risk musical incarceration.
LCD Soundsystem haven’t made some kind of cheesy Christmas number. Despite the sleigh bells, this is a track of grandeur – such grandeur – the sort only present on the bigger tracks from David Bowie – ‘Life On Mars’, ‘Starman’ and the like.
Birdy – Keeping Your Head Up
We’re inundated with young female musical prodigies at the moment. Frances is in LA recording her debut album prior to taking over the airwaves, Billie Marten is generally great, and Alessia Cara was a close second in the ‘Sound of 2016’ poll to name just three.
With this in mind, it’s easy to lose track of all the new talent that has come to light and maybe not quite found fame just yet.
Birdy is an artist who you might remember from her cover of Bon Iver’s ‘Skinny Love’, a song that received massive support from Radio 1 and Fearne Cotton in particular. Having already followed her original spate of stripped back cover versions with an album of original material; she’s gone again – this time armed with the experience of two albums under her belt, despite still only being a teenager.
‘Keeping Your Head Up’ is a show of force from an artist who’s definitely finding their voice. Rather than a predictably stark ballad, Birdy’s delivered us an uplifting, piano driven track that retains all the vocal magic that drew her attention in the first place.
Yeasayer – I Am Chemistry[video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XzqCUbiPc4]
I love Yeasayer; they’re the mad, experimental band that everyone needs in their lives.
In typical fashion, the first song to be taken from their next album, Amen & Goodbye, is a swirling five-minute journey of exotic harmonies, rhythms, and timbres – a choral breakdown also thrown in for good measure – all centring around a lyrical idea that I just don’t know where to start with. ‘I am chemistry’… What?
It’s fantastically weird.
Based on this evidence and the pedigree of the band’s previous work (‘Ambling Alp’ is potentially one of the most uplifting songs I’ve ever found), Amen & Goodbye could sneakily be one of most exciting releases of 2016.
Icey Stanley – Good Enough ft. Jordan Mackampa[video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXa-ePg35EA&feature=youtu.be align:center]
More new music!
Icey Stanley is a Coventry-born artist who’s already made a name for himself supporting big name acts like JME and Meridian Dan.
‘Good Enough’ makes a sombre end to this weeks New Music Monday. Whilst Icey’s flow is centred on a nicely floaty beat, this is a song about heartbreak – most poignantly shown by the one line:
‘I feel like whatever I say won’t be good enough’.
What do you think of our picks this week? Let us know in the comments below!