As the weather starts to brighten up and the shoots of spring are beginning to show we’re bringing a mix of tunes perfect for a mildly sunny day (maybe best to still layer up though). New government announcements mean a route back to live music is now on the cards, but in the meantime we hope this playlist scratches your itch for beats, ballads and quality songs.
Protomartyr – Windsor Humming
Post-punk just seems to be on the up and up lately, and 2021 has already seen top class releases from inertia favourites Shame and Black Country, New Road that have been received very favourably by fans of the genre. I’ve slowly started branching out a bit more myself and have taken a real liking to Protomartyr who hail from across the pond, particularly their 2017 LP Relatives in Descent. Windsor Humming is the pick of the bunch on the album in my opinion, a song that picks up the pace of its march with pattering drums, gloomy guitar work and a rhythmic chorus that relents to some really gorgeous chords.
Nico – These Days
Nico’s collaboration with the Velvet Underground on the band’s debut was a really iconic marriage of unhinged sound and Nico’s rich, earthy singing vocals, testament to Andy Warhol’s taste as a creative champion. On her debut Chelsea Girl you can see Nico’s own sound truly flourish, and the voice that makes songs like Sunday Morning and Femme Fatale so special is allowed its own space to flourish and evolve into something more. It seems so at home amongst the folksy sounds that characterised this album, beautifully augmented by strings and contemplative lyrics.
Siggatunez – Downtown Pattern
There’s been a handful of tunes released this year that I’ve been dying to hear in a club when they reopen, and this is chief among them. Talk about perfect house! It’s got groove, soul and a mega climax as all the different elements converge. Berlin-based Siggatunez is still pretty unknown currently but I think his production talents will inevitably bring him more to the forefront soon. Downtown Pattern sees him indulge in samples of all kinds: hand drums, jittery guitars, mellow pianos and sexy disco sounds. This is a track that never fails to make me move when I shove it on, and the metallic keys that arrive at the summit top it off as a new favourite for me.
Slowthai – i tried
Simultaneously one of the most promising and controversial rappers to emerge from the UK scene, Slowthai released his second album this month. The album doesn’t fully address the shitshow at the 2020 NME awards, which is likely an attempt to distance himself for the events which no doubt lost him some support from fans. Musically, his latest record seems to be taking a slightly more American sound which some fans may not be as keen on but there are still some undoubtably amazing songs. The pick of the bunch, for me, is ‘i tried’, the start of the second part of the album that sees Slowthai take the role of a more sentimental and emotional figure.
Goat Girl – Bang
The extremely impressive sophomore album, ‘On All Fours’, from London-based band Goat Girl is a joy from start to finish. Three years on from their self-titled debut the band have refined their sound to a T, utilising all of the most promising aspects of their first record to bring some much needed light into 2021. It was hard to even pick one song from such a good album but in the end I went with ‘Bang’ as its not one of the singles from the record but still encapsulates the dreamlike yet biting sound of Goat Girl.
Ann Peebles – I Can’t Stand the Rain
Perhaps one of those songs that you never really knew the original singer but always recognised the tune, ‘I Can’t Stand the Rain’ has been in my head nonstop since rediscovering it. After hearing someone mention it on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs I quickly went to save the song whilst I could remember the name Ann Peebles. I’m so glad to have stumbled across the original version, which may just be common knowledge to many people. Regardless, this is such an amazing song and the original version easily trumps any of the Missy Elliott, 45 Roller or Tina Turner re-works.