These are the tracks we were digging this week at New Moons HQ. Check out our New Moons Weekly Mixtape playlist on Spotify, updated every week with our favourite new music.
JONI PAYNE ‘STICK TO WEED’
There is so much I love about Joni Payne’s latest release ‘Stick To Weed‘. Firstly, just listen to her voice – sultry and smooth, with the perfect amount of raspiness, it floats effortlessly above the jazz inspired piano below. However, it’s not just her tone that’s stunning, it’s what she does with voice; sampled in collage style chaos, coming together for silky harmonic cadences. The production in general is lush, melding jazz and RnB influences with atmospheric electronic production elements, with haunting beats providing some framework for the the more ethereal elements of the track to adhere to. Of the track Payne says “I think that when the vices in life get to be too much it can be helpful to hit reset, and go back to the basics. For me, this song is about recognising when things might be getting too heavy, and slowing down before you’re in over your head.” If things are getting too heavy, this track is surely the antidote. This is the song you play when you break up with someone. This is the song you play when you tell the fuckboy where to go, sipping on a martini in a feather edged satin nightgown. Cheers everyone.
DIET CIG ‘BARF DAY’
I’ve fully thrown myself onto the lo fi bandwagon and now if I listen to music that sounds in any way produced I am immediately turned off. When I say produced, I’m talking super-pop-sparkly production, not the unbearably cool production work of those in the alternative hip hop, pop, and RnB scenes – that stuff is A-OK in my book. ~Regardless, I need help – this is starting to turn into a problem, considering that the trend for lo fi music can’t go on forever PLUS there is a multitude of brilliant pop and indie artists who use elegant production techniques to their advantage. I guess part of the problem is how I listen to music – when I’m looking out for stuff to feature on the blog, I tend to listen to the first 10 seconds of a song before deciding whether it’s for me. Generally, my gut instincts are correct, but I’m sure that there is a lot of wonderful music out there that has completely passed me by. I actually came across a Spotify playlist recently entitled ‘lo fi bedroom music for sad girls‘, and I realised that I’m such a stereotypical twenty-something white girl and I need to expand my horizons a bit (no hate towards the playlist by the way, it’s really good). I’m not quite ready to make that change however, so here is some wonderful lo fi pop punk courtesy of Diet Cig, who have recently released new single ‘Barf Day‘. Telling the story of a birthday gone wrong (think loneliness, blowing out candles alone, missing your own surprise party etc.), Alex Luciano’s piping vocal soars above the punky guitar and drums. It’s no surprise that, as well as acclaim from music critics, the duo also enjoy a rather large following of little girls – after all, everyone wants ice cream on their birthday.
FUVK ‘GHOST SHEETS’
In case you hadn’t noticed, Wednesday was International Women’s Day. I received a few emails wishing me a happy one, which was nice – although I can’t say that I was treated by mankind any differently than any other day. Then this morning on my way to work, a man shouted across the street ‘you look beautiful today!’, and wished me a ‘happy International Women’s Day’ for yesterday, which made me laugh. What a fine line to tread between catcalling and female empowerment – but hey, at least he tried, which I do appreciate. Plus, who am I to turn down a compliment when it comes? I’m not exactly inundated. Usually catcalling (from those with less than wholesome intentions) puts me in a sour mood, and for good reason. It’s degrading, it’s embarrassing, and can sometimes be quite frightening, especially if you are on your own. The word catcalling, I feel, is a bit of a misnomer. Firstly, let’s not associate something so heinous with cats, which are of course tiny furry angels. Secondly, more often than not, men don’t shout these kind of things for all to hear – it’s usually something muttered under their breath, a ‘smile love’ when you’re walking past, kissing noises, a whispered ‘slut’ when you’re stood close on the tube. The smile thing really gets to me – men never say this to other men; it’s just a perpetuation of the idea that women’s faces and bodies are the objects of men, and that they have some kind of divine right to intervene should they be displeased with what they see. I think the best way to deal with a demand to smile is to look the perpetrator square in the eye and do a kind of velociraptor screech in their face. Alternatively, pre-fill your mouth with a fake blood capsule, smile inanely, and let the fake blood run down your chin. It’s really down to personal preference. Anyway – today, some of the Killing Moon team are flying out to SXSW, so it’s appropriate that today’s Track Of The Day comes from Austin based bedroom pop artist fuvk, who has just released a new EP ‘Almost Tuesday‘. One track that particularly stands out is ‘ghost sheets‘, a hypnotic psalm of loneliness and the space in between. The repetitive melody allows for the cleverly written lyrics to take centre stage, with simple vocal harmony accentuating cadence points. Haunting piano melodies give this otherwise grounded track a sense of otherworldliness – a juxtaposition between the mundane and the profound, the couch cushions and the spaces in between.
SLOWLIGHTS ‘I TRY SO HARD’
Following the success of their previous singles ‘A Dream I Had’ and ‘So Far’ in 2016, New Moons artists Slowlights are back with an infectious new single ‘I Try So Hard’, set for release on 10th March. With soaring vocals, melodic guitar riffs, and a driving rhythm section, this anthemic track is full of uplifting hooks that are sure to get stuck in your head. Having come off a huge tour with Eliza and the Bear at the end 2016, Slowlights have hit the ground running in 2017, with the new single coinciding with a massive tour supporting Lewis Watson in March. With an EP waiting in the wings, 2017 is set to be a definite year for the band, whose live credibility is increasing with every show they play.
This weekend I have been charged with the responsibility of cutting my partner’s hair. Or at least, attempting to. You see, he has this strange notion that hairdressers are incapable of achieving his desired look (an undercut, but not an undercut; bald, but not bald, graduated, but the same length), and somehow he believes I am, despite having no training save for cutting my own fringe in a few moments of madness. So he has purchased some clippers (more expensive than a visit to the barber I might add), and an instructional DVD, and has threatened to shave his entire head bald unless I do it. As much as I hate literary clichés, that truly would be cutting off his nose to spite is face. Or his hair. Either way, I’m the one who has to look at him everyday, so I have accepted my fate – wonky haired boyfriend or bald boyfriend. I choose the latter, in some misguided hope that my efforts won’t be in vain. So spare a thought for me this weekend, as I shave wonky lines into my beloved’s stubborn little head and try to avoid shearing off his earlobes. Pray for me, pray for the ‘do, pray for our relationship. It may not last the weekend. Trying to distract myself from our impending doom, I have been listening to the insatiable new single ‘Petals‘ from TOPS, the Canadian four piece taking the DIY pop scene by storm. Harking back to 70’s disco music with lazily strummed electric guitar, and a tight rhythm section, this track is totally evocative of summer days and sunshine. Sugary Fleetwood Mac-esque vocal harmonies further throwback to that 70’s vibe, with languorous guitar solos breaking through the hazy mix. Enjoy, and happy Friday.
Stayed tuned for next week’s picks!