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.
DREAM WIFE ‘SOMEBODY’
This week’s first pick comes from London-based DIY pop band Dream Wife, who’s latest release ‘Somebody‘ is a pop song with bite, tackling the reclamation of the female body. Singing lyrics like ‘I am not my body/I’m somebody‘ in staccato Icelandic drawl (courtesy of lead singer Rakel Mjöll), this track is all about female empowerment (it was released on International Women’s Day for a reason you know). Guitar that is equal parts surf-rock and punk pop is complimented by simple drum fills, making this track entirely danceable, as well as empowering. Enjoy, and fight the power!
OYAMA ‘HANDSOME DEVIL’
A few days ago I read an interesting article about a man who was lost in the wilderness for 27 years – but unlike most people who get lost, his retreat from the outside world was fully intentional. At 20 years old, Christopher Knight left his family and job in Massachusetts without so much as a note, and drove North until his car ran out of gas. With just a few snacks and a tent, he walked into the woods, and was not seen again for over a quarter of a century, until he was arrested for stealing food from a family’s log cabin. Speaking to a journalist after his incarceration, he said ‘I was never lonely. If you like solitude you are never alone’. Although this case is extreme, and I wouldn’t recommend that anyone talks off into the wild any time soon, there is something to be said for spending a bit of time to yourself now and again. If you do, make sure you stick on ‘Handsome Devil‘ by Reykjavik band Oyama. Currently touring the UK with Foxing and Fog Lake, the band’s latest release is a brooding soundscape-turned-pop-song, with euphoric synth swells, thrashing guitar, and unusual harmonic progressions. Sung in eerie chant-like vocal harmony, the track concerns ‘finding yourself in an environment that is beyond your grasp of understanding‘ and ‘trying to make sense of it and coming to terms with your existence within the space you occupy‘ according to Oyama guitarist Úlfur Einarsson. Something I’m sure Christopher Knight knows all too well.
EUROPEAN VACATION ‘STILL WAITING’
It’s good to get out in the sunshine and commune with nature, especially if you’re like me and spend a lot of time indoors working from home. Sadly the weather is abysmal today, so I’m stuck inside, and listening to the latest album ‘2‘ from European Vacation, the pseudonym of Winnipeg based musician Bry Rieger. Described by the artist as an album of ’70’s style keyboard-based stylings’, the first track ‘Still Waiting‘ is particularly good. With a nostalgic jazz sound, gentle sine-heavy keyboards accompany Rieger’s understated vocal, giving the effect of a mumbled first take of a recording at the keys. Shuffling drums play up the jazz feel and give the track a sense of movement, making it the perfect listen for late drives and insomniac nights lying awake in bed.
CAITLIN PASKO ‘FAVORITE DESSERT’
The new EP ‘Glass Period‘ from Brooklyn songwriter Caitlyn Pasko, is described on her bandcamp as ‘a small chapel to personal grief’. Exploring themes of tenderness and heartbreak, the music is loosely based around the Impressionism movement in art and culture whilst retaining the simplicity of modern songwriting; harking back to the work of Debussy through her suggestive and unattached piano playing, and evoking the haziness of Impressionist paintings with her dreamy sound world. Particularly good is ‘Favorite Dessert‘, which explores the relationship between the mundane and the profound within heartbreak, with lyrics like “I’m walking up to your favourite dessert in the store / Now I am passing it by /This is letting you go”. Vocal harmony in monastic fifths add an eeriness to the track at the beginning, which eventually gives way to Pasko’s voice alone, in absolute fragility, signalling a ‘waking up’ from the haze mess of emotions and beginning to see the harsh reality around her – like rubbing the dust from your eyes to find you’re in a grocery store, all alone, looking at your ex’s favourite dessert. Enjoy.
Stayed tuned for next week’s picks!