We've reached number 45 so Stars on 45 has reached its conclusion. Enjoy these tracks and trawl back through another 44 pages of great music, often from some of the best overlooked bands around. Columnist Nick Roseblade will be back with another brand new series very soon. Keep your eyes peeled.
Miss World - Carb Yr Enthusiasm
After hearing ‘Carb Yr Enthusiasm’, by Miss World, I am reminded that I love a bloody good shouty pop song. ‘Carb Yr Enthusiasm’ is an Instagram indie, tongue-in-cheek critique about summer diets, and societies obsession beauty, where Natalie Chahal, AKA Miss World, sings ‘I’m going gluten free, for the summer’ like a mantra throughout, while lo-fi Stooges-esque riffs raise all kinds of hell behind her. It brings to mind Helen Love, Shampoo and Kenickie at their brashiest and most infectious.
DRAM - WWYD?
It feels like forever since DRAM released his debut album Big Baby D.R.A.M. in 2016. But that wait appears to be worth it as he’s now released the ‘That’s a Girl’s Name EP’. The standout track is ‘WWYD?’. DRAM is clearly having a fun on ‘WWYD?’, as there are playful bouncy beats, laidback piano loops and jovial lyrics, sounding like a lost Gorillaz and De la Soul outtake. What would you do? Just keep playing this, obvs…
Julie’s Haircut - Karlsruhe
Last year Italian psych outfit Julie’s Haircut released the nigh on flawless ‘Invocation and Ritual Dance Of My Demon Twin’. Expectations for its follow up are high. Unfortunately, that might take a while, but in the meantime they’ve delivered us ‘Karlsruhe’. At just under seven minutes ‘Karlsruhe’ is an ethereal bluesy jam that slowly winds and waves its way along. It never really breaks a sweat as the layers of hypnotic psych build and build until we under its trance.
Animal Collective - Hair Cutter
Everyone’s favourite experimental pop ground has returned with a new single, ‘Hair Cutter’, and new album, ‘Tangerine Reef’. The album is made up of 13 tracks with all the usual suspects. Well, everyone minus lynch pin Panda Bear. You can’t have everything right? Anyway, Tangerine Reef is an audiovisual collaboration with Coral Morphologic. Me neither, but they are a duo who specialise in avant-garde coral macro videos. Lead single ‘Hair Cutter’ is an ambient visual tone poem. Subdued electronics and synths swirl about, like eddys, while the vocals drift by like flotsam on the tide. Given what we know, ‘Tangerine Reef’ looks set to be Animal Collective’s most ambitious, personal and trippy album to date.
Gabe Gurnsey-Harder Rhythm
It’s cut the to chase. Gabe Gurnsey’s new single ‘Harder Rhythm’ is a banger. Massive beats and stark synths and squelchy basslines that propel the track onwards do much of the heavy lifting. Taken from his debut album, ‘Physical’, which tells the story of a night out. The getting ready, going out, waiting in the queue, dancing and that awkward journey home as people at going to work. ‘Physical’ is more an album, and snapshot, of club culture, than an album of songs to be played in clubs. ‘Hard Rhythm’ is a celebration of dance music, form the euphoria you feel when the music hits you, to the tension, and anticipation of going clubbing.
Claw Marks - Swallow U
‘Swallow U’ isn’t a song you listen to, but something that takes you prisoner and gives you Stockholm Syndrome. Dirty bass riffs do battle with searing guitars, while rambling, yet insightful, lyrics are shouted at you. Its utterly riveting and mesmerising. Claw Marks are one of London’s worst kept secrets, with incendiary live shows and songs that restore your faith in new music. Sounding like Nick Cave fronting Swans as they cover The Locust, it’s a terrifying journey to outskirts of garage rock and beyond.
Ross from Friends - Pale Blue Dot
‘Pale Blue Dot’ is a gloriously wonky slice of dance music from Ross from Friends. It showcases his prodigious talent, and ear for a melody, no matter how skewed it is. Its everything we’ve come to expect from Ross, AKA Felix Weatherall, and Brainfeeder. The video for ‘Pale Blue Dot’ is something else. Culled from home videos it shows Weatherall’s parents, as they criss-cross Europe in the 1990’s with an ad-hoc sound system setting up impromptu raves and parties. This is everything ‘How I Met Your Mother’ should have been!