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.
MONICO BLONDE ‘LOVE IS AN ONLY CHILD’
It’s no big secret that music tastes can be divisive at the best of times. At no time is this more relevant than at school, where music tastes often dictate which social groups you belong to – whether you align yourself with the ‘preppy kids’, the goths, the ‘moshers’, or the nerds. Declaring your music tastes at this age is like announcing your identity to the world; who you are, what you believe in, which values you hold dearly. Musical rivalries also play their part in identity – any British teenager in the 90’s will know that choosing between Blur and Oasis was as important as choosing a political party – which is something Welsh indie band Monico Blonde know all too well. Following a heated debate in the summer of 2016 over whether Michael Jackson or Prince was the superior artist, they found that the couldn’t come to a definitive conclusion; but they did however, start a band. Since then the four-piece have gone from strength to strength, culminating in their latest release ‘Love Is An Only Child‘. Built on a foundation of off-kilter synths and drum machines, this 80’s flavoured track gives way to insatiable guitar riffs and a chorus you won’t be able to help but sing along to. Accompanying the single is a brilliant new video, showcasing the moves you need to dance along to this energetic little number- check it out below.
PHOENIX AND THE FLOWER GIRL ‘BABY’S BREATH’
I’m always on the search for my next podcast obsession, something I have found in ‘S-Town’, from the makers of Serial and This American Life. It is absolutely brilliant, and as The Guardian put it, ‘it’s hard to remember a more touching and devastating podcast’. The story centres around producer and reporter Brian Reed, who, after receiving a mysterious email from a John B McLemore detailing a murder in the sleepy Alabama town of Woodstock, decides to investigate with the help of John. When he makes the long journey from New York to the deep South, Reed finds that the supposed murder is not the most fascinating part of this story; rather, it is John, a horologist (clock restorer to you and me) with a hatred of his home, which he refers to as ‘Shit Town’. As the investigation progresses, the two develop a close relationship, with John sharing his various conspiracy theories and general exasperation with the human race and our relationship with the environment. I’m only halfway through the series (so no spoilers please!), but I am completely and irreversibly hooked – much like I am hooked to today’s Track Of The Day from duo Phoenix & The Flower Girl, an audio visual duo who’s latest EP ‘Greenhouse‘ examines ‘the cultivation and exhibition of plants under controlled conditions, relating to us as a species’. Spending their time flitting between Tokyo and London, one track that particularly stands out from the duo’s offering is ‘Baby’s Breath‘, featuring New Jersey artist Ehiorobo. With grainy percussion, reverb heavy keys, and childlike chimes, the track features sultry vocals in singer Phoenix’s silky baritone – perfectly set against the more chaotic production elements. Immersive and futuristic, I couldn’t recommend this track, and the rest of the EP more. Check out the video below:
HONEY LUNG ‘SOPHOMORE’
I attended a workshop orchestrated by AIM, on public speaking for women. It took place at the PRS For Music’s swanky London offices, in an illustrious area of King’s Cross that is also home to Universal Music and Google’s new London HQ. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly intimidated as I walked through the expansive glass doors and into the tastefully decorated reception – I’d come down with a crippling case of ‘imposter syndrome’, something that the workshop looked to address. Despite being completely special and unique, it actually turns out that the majority of the large congregation of women in the room felt exactly the same way – that they didn’t deserve the positions they worked so hard to get to, that despite their education and experience, they weren’t experts in their fields. Which is obviously bullshit. None of these women were any less qualified than their male counterparts, yet they were routinely not going for the same opportunities – the reasons for which will have to be left for another blog post (spoiler: it’s the patriarchy wooo). Anyway, I found the workshop immensely helpful – even if I never take part in a panel discussion or give a speech, I at least can say to myself that I deserve to be doing my job and actually believe it. So, today’s Track Of The Day is an atmospheric piece of shoegaze from London post-grunge quartet Honey Lung, with their new single ‘Sophomore‘. All about ‘depending on your friends’ the track features guitars in dissonant, distortion-heavy chaos, and simple synth riffs playing in tandem with lead singer Jamie Batten’s raw vocal. Enjoy.
STEADY HOLIDAY ‘MORE THAN ONE WAY’
I’m feeling pretty tired today – a running theme as of late, which I think is due to coming off my iron tablets. I’m iron deficient, which manifests itself as tiredness, heart palpitations, and skin roughly the same hue as a glass of watered down milk. I stopped taking my tablets because quite frankly they are disgusting; big brown things that smell like decomposing cheese and taste like old grass – and for a couple of months, I felt completely fine. My raconteur attitude to my health has caught up with me however, meaning that last night I fell asleep at 8pm and woke up two hours later…just in time for bed. A heady mix of exhaustion, disturbed sleep, and a well-meaning but iron low vegetarian diet has left me feeling less human, more laundry pile, desperate to be locked away in a warm dark drawer somewhere and left alone for a good 24 hours to convalesce. Sadly, life goes on, and naps are slightly frowned upon in the working world, so I’m trying to ease my discomfort with that universal soother, music. Taking the edge of today, is ‘More Than One Way‘ from Steady Holiday, AKA LA songwriter Dre Babinski. Built upon a base of sultry base lines and jangly guitar, the track evokes a sense of the ’60’s ballad’ with dramatic strings underpinning the whole track. Electronic flourishes complement Babinski’s coquettish, louche vocal as she navigates the lush soundscape with style. It’s not quite an afternoon spent under your duvet, but it’s the closest thing to it. Enjoy.
Stay tuned for next week’s picks!