Happy Friday to you all – as ever, its been a week in which music was released. As ever, were on hand to document said music. Never say we dont do anything for you.
Weve picked out the biggest and best new songs to emerge this week, and theres plenty to get stuck into. The Kills are on top, barbed-wire form on Heart Of A Dog, Deerhoof marked their territory once more, and Oxford newcomer Hudson Scotts swiftly proving theres potentially massive festival slots well within his grasp. Perhaps not a massive as his best mates Foals bill-topping slots just yet, but who knows what the future holds?
For everything else out this week head over to the DIY Listening Hub, or hit play on our Essential Playlist.
The Kills – Heart Of A Dog
The Kills comeback single Doing It To Death earlier this year smouldered with obsessive hunger to create – a burning drive to double-six it to the bitter end lying in its heart. Their fifth album title Ash & Ice hints at violently colliding opposites; hot and cold fizzing together. And on the evidence of Jamie Hince and Alison Mossharts second preview, Heart of a Dog, thats a chemical tension thats only set halogen heaters to grow more magnetic.
Name-checking a novel of the same name by the Russian satirist Mikhail Bulgakov – about a stray dog who plots to destroy a stuffed owl, and then turns into a very uncouth, out of control human – theres a strain of undying loyalty to The Kills Heart of a Dog. Chewing through chains and breaking spells, theres something fixated and tenacious about Hinces sparing guitar slashes in combination with an ever relentless, never quitting drum machine. Meanwhile, Mossharts at once helplessly devoted and destructively hell-bent. I want strings attached, she growls, challenging opposition, and backflipping her way through the video at the same time. Dangerous, fuzzed-up, and on the edge of obliteration, this is The Kills at their best. (El Hunt)
Fifteen albums to the good, Deerhoof dont take time for things to click. The chemistrys instant, especially on new album The Magic, which took seven days to record in a sweltering (freezing, apparently) office block by the New Mexico desert.
Click a finger and out steps a song, at this rate. Debut – the first track to be unveiled from the new record – carries that momentum. Stop-start flashes of guitar wrestle with Satomi Matsuzakis deranged charts, wobs of bass leaping into view like a poisonous frog jumping from leaf to leaf. Theres a tropical taste to this stream-of-consciousness juggernaut, like if Talking Heads took a trip to the Amazon rainforest. Heat and insanity share a sweet, short-lived space, and it makes for one of Deerhoofs most instant cuts for some time. (Jamie Milton)
PUP are going in harder than ever on new album The Dream Is Over. First cut If This Tour Doesnt Kill You, I Will is as savage as theyve ever been, and Doubts, the second preview proper from their second record, is as anthemic as it is crushing.
Stefan Babcocks evolution as a frontman continues, supremely confident and backed by waves of chanted backing vocals that feel enormous. Doubts shows no restraint, and is another example of the band taking a debut album that hinted at extremely good things and running with it, previewing a second effort that could see them go above and beyond. (Will Richards)
Oliver Wilde – Blit Scratch
Oliver Wildes voice is always drenched in effects. At times, he sounds like hes under ether. Or to put it in bleaker terms, a bit like how Thom Yorke would sing while underwater in the No Surprises video. Wilde is under a spell the entire time. But on the impressive Blit Scratch, he finally breaks out.
An explosive moment arrives in the songs second half. Those doused vocals morph and splinter into different directions. Wilde begins to spit, shout, growl like a predator on the prowl. Miles away from the Bristol musicians previous material, the broken instruments hes trying to contain begin to rebel. The propeller on his helicopter smashes into a million pieces. Digital discomfort, Blit Scratch could always collapse under its own weight, but Wilde masters a balancing act between approachable and disturbed. (Jamie Milton)
Mutual Benefit – Lost Dreamers
The opening lines of Jordan Lees latest Mutual Benefit song speak volumes. Lets take the long way home / Lets throw away our phones. On his new Skip a Sinking Stone album, Jordan wrestles with life in the big city, the loss of a relationship and a subsequent depression. Lost Dreamers, however, captures a pure essence of escape, the kind you think about when shunned in-between strangers on a commute or dragging DIY Safety from one day to the next.
Millions of lost dreamers should, as a result, relate to this song like a new friend. Its arguably the most clear and streamlined Mutual Benefit song to date, a trip faraway when theres always a spare seat. Theres always been a purity at play with Jordans music, but its front and centre here. (Jamie Milton)
Where debut single Clay and its follow-up Whale painted Hudson Scott as a purveyor of twisting melody, taking his pop sensibilities and bending them into ever-more otherworldly shapes, Gone takes a different tact. Gunning straight for the heart, its Scotts most immediate offering to date.
Dont be fooled theres still a bent edge to Scotts instrumentation, synths taking on space-age guises throughout. Gone picks up the pace, though, driving forward with a motorik pulse and fidgety guitar lines that feel like an echo of his Oxford hometowns creative outdoor designs math-rock past.
Framed around a tale of abandonment, Gone finds Hudson Scott desperately seeing out the brightness, attempting to lift the dampened spirits of his storytelling with a shimmering musical backdrop. As he adds festival dates to his summer schedule, though, theres no danger of Hudson Scott staying lonely for long – these are songs that are purpose built for packed-out tents and adoring, sun-kissed masses. (Tom Connick)
Flume – Say It (feat. Tove Lo)
The first three previews of Flumes upcoming album Skin – the already-smash-hit Never Be Like You, the surprisingly aggressive Smoke & Retribution and the instrumental oddball Wall Fuck – have given little insight as to the flow of the album, with all three disjointed while impressive.
Say It brings in Swedish party starter and recent Years & Years collaborator Tove Lo, whose contribution falls slightly flat when held up against the insatiable Kai (who sings on Never Be Like You), and Vince Staples spiky verses on Smoke & Retribution. A large amount of Flumes existing material finds itself as either a slow-burner or a party starter – Say It cant quite work out which of the two to be, and the middle-ground feels without purpose.
While a lot of Skin is set to push Flume forward to bigger places, Say It will simply sit comfortably amongst the pack. A shame, as it could have been the standout.(Will Richards)