This Month’s Top Notch Listens

So I don’t have a great deal of free time at the moment, on account of living out a tedious study filled lifestyle which is gradually crushing my soul like a tangerine in a vice. That being said, because I’m spending so much time face down in a book with headphones in, I’m ploughing through music faster than the time I was bought a meter long packet of Jaffa Cakes for Christmas. However, unlike that incident, this overdose of music hasn’t ended in me vomiting…yet. In light of this, here’s a couple of tracks I’ve been really digging these last few weeks.

INHEAVEN – REGENERATION

If the shouty capitalisation of INHEAVEN’s name on their social media outlets is any indication of their desperate need for attention, then it’s entirely justified. ‘REGENERATION’, dropped as a vinyl release off the back of Cult records, is a chaotic, soaring anthem, encompassing the stark detachment of the teenage condition. It’s a ballsy, yet highly accomplished piece of indie rock; the interplay of falsetto female and roaring male vocal is a joy. Oh, and that chorus hook, good luck not singing that over the next few days (even if it puts me in mind of The Who’s My Generation…)

ALABAMA SHAKES – FUTURE PEOPLE 

Does Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes have the best voice in alternative rock at the moment? I’ll leave that to your good judgement, as ‘Future People’, by far the standout track on the new Sound & Color LP, showcases soulful, technical vocals, and a distorted bass drop that will make you lose control of your limbs. Seriously, stop reading, start digging.

BECK – MORNING 

I must confess that I’ve only recently started to look over Beck’s music in light of his supporting The Strokes in June (a concert which I’m going to, and might well be the highlight of my year). That being said, his grammy winning Morning Phase LP is as creamy and unchallenging a listen as you can possibly imagine, though not particularly inspired or creative. The opening track ‘Morning’ is perfectly soothing and delicate, ideal for clearing a clouded mind such as mine after a long day.

KT TUNSTALL – OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD 

Again, an older track, but one that ought to be played, replayed, and surgically implanted into your brain so that you can summon it on command to soundtrack your life. Not only is this track fabulously produced, but “all the muscles tighten in your face” might well be one of the most fantastic lyrics ever to describe guilt or loss. KT Tunstall seems to have vanished in recent years, but we need her back so she can deliver more of this fantastic nostalgic goodness. By far one of my favourite songs at the moment, both uplifting and desperately sad all at once.

SAVAGES – SHE WILL

Savages are one of those bands with so much attitude that even whilst you’re enjoying their music, you feel they might leap out of the speakers and stab you in the chest. This kind of frantic, on-the-edge excitement is exactly what ‘She Will’ delivers, as well as fantastic guitar lines, dark lyrics analysing the patriarchy and enough angst and outrage to spark a fire. Grow your hair down and thrash to this perfect piece of post punk.

And there ya go, 5 top notch tracks to keep you going through whatever turmoil you’re enduring right now. Might not be quite as ordered and cohesive as my other posts (particularly the various sized media links, I can only apologise), but these artists are all worth checking out. Get going, go on, scram!

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