We went into the studio for a week and when we came out, the world went into lockdown. What a weird time to be alive. We hope you’re all keeping safe – here are some picks from us if you need more music to keep you sane.
Nick – Guitar
Dua Lipa – Cool
I wasn’t blown away by the first two singles at first, but both have since grown on me massively and the rest of the album as a whole is a radiant blend of modern pop, synthwave and disco. ‘Cool’ is a particular highlight for me, partly because it sounds like it came straight off of Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen. Anyone who knows me well will know how much of a compliment that is.
Myrkur – House Carpenter
I, for one, applaud this album for focussing on the folk side of Myrkur. In my opinion, Braun’s vocals and use of traditional instrumentation have always been the standout elements in her repertoire, so I’m very happy to have a full album dedicated to that. This is one of my favourite tracks from it.
Code Orange – Who I Am
Another one that I was somewhat apprehensive of on first listening but I was already convinced by the halfway mark. It’s clear to see why people are talking about CO like they’re the future of metal. Perhaps that evaluation oversteps the mark a little, but there’s no denying their importance and influence on the underground.
Intronaut – Speaking of Orbs
A splendid new album from Intronaut. These are a band that, for me, get unfairly overlooked and actually flew under my radar for quite a long time. This album is a mosaic of metal fusion that lands somewhere between Boss Keloid and Animals As Leaders, via Mastodon of course.
Demersal – Thoughtless
One of my favourites to come out this year by a band that are fairly unknown (over here at least). Raw and emotional post-hardcore with a similar aesthetic and delivery to our dudes in Still, who I also really like funny enough.
Tom – Guitar
The Red Chord – Upper Deck
I loved the Clients record many years ago (and still do) and this is a monster off it.
Sick Of It All – Step Down
Time off from work has given me chance to go back through stuff I’ve not listened to for a while including this absolute classic from NYC.
Joe Strummer – Redemption Song
Stripped back cover of the Bob Marley classic that became a fitting bookend to a career.
Old Man Gloom – In Your Name
New Gloom. Enough said.
65daysofstatic – Dance Parties (Distant)
Taken from the Dance Parties EP, made mainly of remixes of the track ‘Distant Mechanised Glow of Eastern European Dance Parties’ off the Destruction of Small Ideas album. That track was my favourite off that album and this was a really good reimagining off the EP.
Luke – Drums
Igorrr – Camel Dancefloor
Off Igorrr’s latest output of electronic metal prog thing… This a fantastic combination of the aforementioned genres, with catchy licks and heavy electronic bass!
Lamb of God – Broken Hands
Been listening to a fair bit of Lamb of God again lately. This track has always been a favourite of mine.
Gojira – Born in Winter
It’s been my alarm for most of the month so I’ve heard the first 30 seconds or so quite a lot now! But amazing band, and this track is actually great for an alarm!
Wintersun – Sons of Winter and Stars
Amazing symphonic prog metal masterpiece. Incredible musicianship and writing all the way through. Jari is a God.
Igorrr – Very Noise
The main single off his latest release. Quite frankly this whole list could just be new Igorrr tracks… CHECK IT OUT.
Joe – Vocals
While Heaven Wept – The Drowning Years
Particularly sentimental track that got me through some tough times, hadn’t heard it in ages and it’s still as awesome as ever.
Imperium Dekadenz – When We Are Forgotten
Title track from their last album and a subtle masterclass in euphoric atmosphere.
Enslaved – Veilburner
It’s rare that I focus on drums, but the drumming in this absolute anthem is top draw. A real toe tapper.
Primordial – Bloodied Yet Unbowed
I’ve always found this track really boosts my spirit and makes me feel defiant. Exactly what’s needed right now.
Gwar – Meat Sandwich
Because we all need a laugh….
Richard – Bass
Esoteric – Caucus of Mind
It’s taken a while (and not just because their albums and songs are SO long), but I’m finally clicking with Esoteric, thans in large part to this album, The Maniacal Vale. There’s a lot more movement and changes than you might expect from funeral doom, not to mention buckets of sadness.
Kairon; IRSE! – Sinister Waters II
The psych rock offshoot of Oranssi Pazuzu have always been intriguing to me, and on their third album they dropped a lot of the shoegaze elements and went flagrantly prog rock – and I am here for it.
Gong – Fohat Digs Holes in Space
Continuing the psych thread, I stuck on Gong’s 1971 album ‘Camembert Electrique’ on a whim the other week and immediately loved it. As you’d expect, its pretty eccentric, but there’s a lot of soft groove in there too.
Public Service Broadcasting – Night Mail
Still a pretty unique voice in UK indie music, PSB bring some lush and almost Britpop guitar work to this track in homage of the postal service – seems fitting now more than ever. Have they ever written a song about the NHS?!
Led Zeppelin – The Crunge
I might sound like I’m trying to be cool by avoiding the classics here, but Houses of the Holy has been my favourite LZ record for a long time, just because of the amount of genre hopping they (successfully) attempted on it. Red Hot Chilli Peppers wish they could write grooves like this.