The Playlist: May 2021
Gigs are back and we've been swept up in a tide of new music.
Our May Playlist picks out our favourite recent releases, from goth-rock and synth-filled anthems to some luscious math-pop.
In this feature we’re collating our favourite songs of the past month, every month.
Featuring: Maebh, Lakes, Billie Marten, BXB LOVE, Raye Robinson, VALERAS, Callie Reiff, Cherym, Prudence, The Early Mornings, Bears In Trees, SCATTERED ASHES
Words: Amy Albinson & Molly Davies
Cover Art: @alexandraisart
Kitchen Tiles | Maebh
The saccharine taste of Newcastle-born Maebh’s first release of 2021 is a melt in your mouth take on the glorious rush of reminiscing. Harking back to the high water mark of a relationship now turned sour, her luscious vocal melodies are steeped in nostalgia, recalling intimate moments with beautiful clarity. Equal parts melancholic and hopeful, the track is a promising glimpse at her upcoming debut EP, due out later this year.
Start Again | Lakes
The title track of Lakes upcoming album is a hope-filled cluster of jangling guitars and glistening math-pop. Newly signed to Big Scary Monsters, the Watford-based six-piece stutter through a wash of overlapping vocals and take comfort in a rising chorus of mutual understanding. With confessional emo lyricism and a Mike Kinsella cameo in the accompanying video, it’s easy to pinpoint their influences, and yet their sound continues to blossom into something truly their own.
Human Replacement | Billie Marten
The return of summer was marked by some truly excellent releases, and few stood out as much as Billie Marten's third album, 'Flora Fauna'. While altogether a joy to hear, third single Human Replacement hit the mark as particularly poignant, focusing on the danger women face when out after dark, with a video showing Marten going to the shops for a pint of milk… in a tank. A big favourite!
Ignorance Song | BXB LOVE
Ignorance Song, the second single from BXB LOVE, is produced to perfection. With a heavy edge, the track is peppered with various inviting percussive elements and electric guitar laced throughout. Unmistakably LA and oh-so-addictive, the choral repetition building into an anthemic chant hits just the right mark.
Daisies | Raye Robinson
LA-based Raye Robinson’s dulcet tones are cascading freely in debut single Daisies. A pop-soaked cruise of confessional anxiety, her minimalist nature harbours an enticing intimacy which floods, melodrama-abound, into the warm embrace of a hopeless romantic. With a telephone shrill backdrop and bouncing beat to accompany, her first single makes for an impressive arrival.
Rita | VALERAS
VALERAS are back! New single Rita is an electric blend of indie rock and alt-pop and a firm favourite of the month. Lyrically championing those who work hard in the face of adversity, the track is laden with catchy instrumental hooks and a memorable vocal line.
What Ifs | Callie Reiff
The drop in What Ifs, the latest offering from Callie Reif, is spine tingling. What Ifs pushes what indie electronica can be as a genre whilst cementing Callie Reif as an incredibly talented multidisciplinary artist and producer. Expertly blended vocal harmonies are combined with complex beats and chord progressions to a stunning effect, all while exploring the feelings that arise when you don’t know how a situation will pan out.
Listening To My Head | Cherym
Pop-punk three-piece Cherym’s latest track Listening To My Head is an explosion of joy reminiscent of noughties pop punk and garage rock. The single is written from the point of view of Betty from Netflix drama Dirty John and is a riotous 2:58 seconds of thrashing guitars and rock-steady drums that hits the nail on the head of what a catchy pop-punk track should be.
Here & Now | Prudence
Heavenly synth pop delivered with confidence that can only come from experience, Here & Now from Prudence highlights the importance of remaining present and in the moment. Lush synths and crisp drums support Olivia Merilahti’s self-assured vocal performance. A vehicle to explore a new musical path, Prudence is presented as a “modern creature who also speaks of freedom and emancipation”.
Days Spent | The Early Mornings
There's a heightening anxiety in the latest release of Manchester-based The Early Mornings. A minimalist take on the post-punk wave, their despondent lyrics rise alongside understated guitar wailings with an effortless precision, giving way to a drawn-out and unexpected instrumental conclusion.
Fresh Concrete | Bears In Trees
South London quartet Bears In Trees’ Fresh Concrete is a testament to the very best of emo-pop. Caffeine-fueled delivery bounces energetically off jangling guitars with a self-deprecating, stream of consciousness delivery that’s undeniably enthralling. Released as a double A-side with the equally enticing Evergreen, the group’s upbeat charm makes them a newfound firm favourite in London’s ever-glowing music scene.
Parallel Lines | SCATTERED ASHES
The title track of the Dublin post-punks new EP is an ensnaring cut of goth-rock meets brutalism. Atmospheric and coated in reverb-filled distortion, there lies a building urgency in the quartet’s hot-headed breath of simmering anger. Interwoven with a persistent melody bleeding through drawn-out vocals, their take on the genre sits on the murkier side, shrouded and bewitching.
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