It’s New Music Friday, which means there’s loads of new songs out. Here are the highlights of the day’s new tracks.
See the New Music section for full selection of tracks and albums featured this week.
Don’t Shut Me Down
Announced via a press conference yesterday, ABBA are back. A new album out on November 5th with 10 new songs, a potentially weird or amazing live show involving hologram versions of the band accompanied by a 10-piece live band, in a custom-built arena at the Olympic Park, London. It’s the kind of escapist lunacy we need right now. I mean, look at them!
ABBA released two new songs from the record yesterday, the highlight of which is the classic string-soaring ABBA melancholy of ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’, which pips the more gloopy Eurovision-ready ballad of ‘I Still Have Faith In You’.
Tokischa & Rosalía
Dominican rapper/singer Tokischa hooks up with fellow J Balvin collaborator and patron saint of Nialler9 Rosalía, on a track which mixes dembow and flamenco. Always fun.
James Vincent McMorrow
We are getting closer to Grapefruit Season (September 17th) and ‘Tru Love’ is another lovely pop-centred taster from McMorrow’s album.
‘Tru Love means a lot to me, what it says, what it means, how it sounds. The path to finishing it was long and winding, started the verse one night by myself in a hotel room in Miami, about a year later in LA I started singing what would end up as the chorus over a beat me and Lil Silva were making. But I never thought to put those 2 ideas together until last year when I was working on something else with Jay Mooncie and Two Inch Punch. I sent them the demo and they made it all fit together so perfectly. Last year was suitably shite for everyone but there were these pockets of light within it all, this song for me was one of those. The lyric is so simple, “bright lights when I see you”, about not fucking about and waiting for the future to bring happiness that might be right in front of you in the moment but you’re missing it.”
Sit Around The Fire
Jon Hopkins’ 2018 album Singularity was inspired by the use of psychedelics and with a new album Music For Psychedelic Therapy (November 12th), that title clearly compounds that exploration. The ambient piece features the words of guru Ram Dass, and the album will feature no drums and Hopkins says is “something that is closer to a classical symphony …. more like having an experience than listening to a piece of music.”
“‘Sit Around The Fire’ exists from one of the deep synchronicities that ushered this thing (Music For Psychedelic Therapy) into being. I was contacted by East Forest, who had spent some time with Ram Dass in Hawaii before he passed. He was given access to several lesser-heard talks from the 70s, and asked to set them to music. He sent me some starting points, including the beautiful choral vocals he recorded which open the piece. I put my headphones on and with Ram Dass’ voice inside my head, I sat at the piano and improvised. What you hear is the first thing that came out – it just appeared in response to the words.”
Drimnagh rap artist Fynch has been knocking them out of the park of late, and ‘Canal Straddle’, produced by Gaptoof, is another winner. “Can’t insure a SEAT, never mind a Benz”.
El Michels Affair
Just a lovely new El Michels Affair jam that was used by Virgil Abloh in a Louis Vuitton campaign.
Grouse, Deaf Joe
An impressive discombobulating collaboration between Dublin musician Ronan Carroll aka Grouse and Edinburgh-based, Waterford artist Deaf Joe. ‘Days’ is from a forthcoming fourth album called Interpolate, out in October.
Spanish On The Beach
I love this woozy track from London-based Connemara artist Olan Monk which crosses the streams of synth-electronica, live stadium rock*, Twin Peaks melodies and an experimental hymnal.
It’s from the Auto Life EP, out on October 1st via C.A.N.V.A.S.
“The sacred framing of presence makes the pop idol always-already-dead by turning them into a symbol and an image—undead, un-ageing and endlessly reproducible within a commercialist visual culture. I love this music—yet I question the context and conditions through which it has come to exist and continues to change shape. Opening up the horizon of pop to a new kind of strangeness, where the familiarity of the pop song disappears into blissful distortions and mixed signifiers towards a world in-between, otherwise unknown.”
- Says the press release – The inclusion of the sample of crowd noise in ‘Fameless’ is the music studio equivalent of a laugh track being added to the soundtrack of a sitcom—unable to give up on disappearing horizons completely and imagining another context for performance in which an actual audience beyond the performer is present. Dreaming of that shared space. Live again.
The Altered Hours
You Are Wrong
The Altered Hours announced this week that their new album Convertible would be released on Pizza Pizza Records on October 22nd, just in time for the restrictions of live music in Ireland to be lifted. ‘You Are Wrong’ is a sumptuous slice of melodic MBV-esque shoegaze, that I suspect will sound immense withElaine Howley and Cathal MacGabhann duetting it in the flesh.
Cork – Cyprus Avenue – Oct 29th
Galway – Roisin Dubh – Nov 4th
Limerick – Dolans Warehouse – Nov 13th
Dublin – The Grand Social – Nov 26th