I'm going to try it again! - However, this time instead of putting together a full Top 20 - I am just going to post up my favourite new song of the week every Wednesday. Hopefully I can keep this going!
And my first track of the week starting 23/01 is:
"Daisy" by POND
In the last few years, Pond have really transformed their sound from sludge-ridden garage psychedelica into epic pop-rock anthems, and yet still retains their brash and untamed tangents - thanks in large parts to the vocalist Nick Allbrook's unhinged delivery. In the video he hops around a technicoloured outback like a lunatic, while dressed like a 1950's Dean Ambrose cosplayer.
Since their last big single "Sweep Me Off My Feet" back in '17, it seems that Pond can do no wrong - and this style change for them has worked; arguably the best since The Jesus and Mary Chain.
Watch out for their new album Tasmania, coming out on March 1.
If there is any doubt in your mind about the delicate and reprehensible state of USA's government, society and general status, then look no further. A blatant slap in the face to Trump and his chauvinistic stance. Flowers' voice has never sounded so powerful and poignant, and he definitely has no problem with the lack of sugar-coating in his lyrics - the polar opposite, in fact. "Incarceration's become big business/It's harvest time out on the avenue", all the while pining about a once beautiful "land of the free". Complete with big choirs, a brutal video and the sap that you'd expect from a Flowers ballad, this is a track that not just USA, but the rest of the world needs.
The absolute cracker of a final track from their newest album "Five", released on the 1st of February. I've always loved it when a band creates a record that shifts their sound from what listeners are perhaps used to, or at least what they were expecting, and having it pay off.
White Lies, while always providing some excellent indie rock anthems in the past such as "Unfinished Business" and "To Lose My Life", have never really shimmered or shined as much as they do here. Taking quite an ambitious step they've managed to incorporate more synths and more echoey guitars and wall-of-sound production to create this masterpiece. Although this track hasn't been released as a single, it is easily my favourite from the album.
Close your eyes, open your minds, think of 1981 as hard as you can, and listen. Arguably one of the best albums released that year was "Dare" by The Human League. Completely crushing the notion that pop mediocrity was synonymous with excellence and success, "Dare" was, and still is a pop masterpiece, with Phil Oakey's cynical, yet daringly witty lyrics and vocal style, and synth hooks that were injected with the pure essence of euphoria.
One such masterpiece was the epic track "Seconds". While not the biggest hit, it always got over when performed live, and its retrospective beauty shines like none other.
LCD Soundsystem are in many ways a lot like The Human League - and this cover version of "Seconds" is probably the finest example. James Murphy has embraced the dulcet tones of '80s pop to perfection.
A bit late this week - but better late than never.
Ever since they took on the world with their previous release, things have really been looking up for Methyl Ethel. Their 3rd album "Triage" was released this week, and here more so, we find all the forebears on their sleeve - with hints of Portugal. The Man and Nothing But Thieves leaving their stain.
Now, I don't know what it is with me and opening tracks, but I've found myself quite fond of this track, a thumping drum track that makes me want to "Sit Down", but it's the agitation and angst in the chord progression that really struck me on this one. It demands attention, and much like the rest of the album, is hopefully palatable to most.
Coming abreast of the release of their upcoming album "Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 1" (due out March 8), Foals have released 3 singles, the languid and brooding "Sunday", the epic "Exits", and this - aptly the "My Number" of this record.
Uncharacteristically short (just over 3 minutes) for Foals, what this track achieves in this time is quite a feat. Managing to harness everything we loved about Antidotes (the chirpy guitars, irregular rhythms and compelling lyrics) along with the colossal aura that The Holy Fire gave off in many of its tracks - and finished with a thin layer of Yannis' somewhat surprisingly silky vocals, and sweeping synth lines that fill in all the gaps for a tremendous sound wall.
Pond are back again - fresh off the release of their latest album of the same name, a sister album of sorts to their prior release The Weather. Here we find the title track and the next rumoured single.
It seems that Pond are pulling an Arctic Monkeys this time around. No matter how many times they try to reinvent themselves, it always sounds fresh and unique, yet still vintage Pond. This track channels its style from the slinking bass and beat from the George Michael classic "Careless Whisper".
As far as Australian rock contemporaries go, you'd be pressed to find a band higher up in the echelons of fandom and followers than Birds of Tokyo, especially in the past 15 years. The song: well it's a painfully truthful knell to a very real and recent fallen marriage of one Ian Kenny. As depressing as the subject matter is, the delivery is on Air Supply levels of freshness and exuberance. Highly anticipating a new release, although nothing is on the cards as we speak. A band like this producing tracks like this will still be relevant for years to come.