Lockdown 1 was not a good time. Amid a miasma of the tedium of online classes, being unable to see anyone beyond my immediate family, and the constant bombardment of death figures and infection rates, finding any scrap of joy was a lifesaving moment. I reached those moments partly through diving into film photography, and partly by trying to listen to as much new music as possible, resulting in a brief list of 5 songs I recommended back in April.
Now Lockdown 2 is here, and while circumstances are a bit different, I thought I’d work out a longer list of songs that you hopefully don’t know but may enjoy. Without further ado, here they are.
‘Furniture’ – Maude Latour
Future icons seem to be coming thick and fast this year. Maude Latour reminds me of Lorde vocally and often musically, though ‘Furniture’ pushes that link to near breaking point with bubbling synths, indie rock guitars, and aggressively fuzzy basslines forming an ever-evolving soundscape. With her intelligent and present lyricism added to the mix, Latour really should be making waves sooner rather than later.
‘Memphis’ – Kitten
I have no clue where Memphis is, but I know where this song belongs. It’s night, you’re at a high vantage overlooking the interstate. The camera pans, following the car that contains our young and very much in love, protagonists. Cue driving montage.
‘I Threw Glass At My Friend’s Eye And Now I’m On Probation’ – Destroy Boys
Snarky lyricism is the name of the game on this in-your-face punk rock runaway. I won’t put them here, because lyrics on a page cannot get near to conveying the sarcastic energy with which they’re delivered. Really, just listen to the song. I can’t do it justice in text.
‘I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore’ – Lucy Dacus
Having worked on indie female heartthrob group Boygenius alongside Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus should practically be underground indie rock royalty. Her debut single from back in 2015 is the perfect self-deprecating indie banger, with Dacus describing the struggle of trying to find a niche for herself beyond just being the ‘funny’ one.
‘La Danse’ – SLANT
Near-porno levels of guitar modulation? Check. Outfits lifted from the worst of the 80s? Check. Bad French? Check. SLANT really have everything that should make a song I utterly detest, but you just can’t not shout along to the chorus – “Un! Deux! Mais oui, je voudrais un kiss baby!”
‘Music With Your Dad’ – Nasty Cherry
Saucy and funky in equal measure, Nasty Cherry evidently know how to do more than whatever happens on their Netflix series that I’ve only just found out exists. With the sort of groove not seen since the 80s and a ton of swagger and attitude, they’ve served up one of the cheesiest yet most excellent and ear-grabbing pop bangers of the last decade, taken from their EP Season One released last year, that somehow slipped under my radar.
‘Blah Blah Blah’ – The Oozes
What a shock, it’s more indie rock! The Oozes bring together beautifully melodic choruses, charming lyrics, and screaming verses into a polished package that somehow people aren’t getting hyped enough about.
‘The Mariner’s Revenge Song’ – The Decemberists
What playlist is truly complete without a shanty? Evidently not this one. I came across this song from my flatmate playing it loudly at 4 am when I was trying to sleep, but my enjoyment has not been marred by this irritating introduction. A haunting tale of revenge, this is sure to get even the most laborious landlubber and moving, hopefully in a piratical jig rather than to leave the room.
‘I Was Gonna Fight Fascism’ – Soccer96
Electronica isn’t a genre I’d traditionally associate with Antifa, but here we are. Soccer96 have crafted a disarming velvet glove of an attack on those who don’t actively endorse the political right but take no action to counter them. It’s simple in message and musicality, but devastatingly effective on both points.
‘Ain’t That Peculiar’ – Fanny
A Marvin Gaye cover from one of the first all-female rock groups to win any level of recognition is a pretty good premise straight off the bat, and the execution of this exceeds the expectations the elevator pitch sets. While technically classic rock, Fanny deliver so much more. Yes, the guitars are occasionally running through Zeppelin-style riffs, but more often you’re hearing the piano and an excitable walking bassline, decorated with bluesy slide guitar. It’s an approach I wish more throwback bands would take and am happy to have uncovered recently.
‘Old Nudes’ – Lauran Hibberd
Being the greatest Rockstar from your island can’t be an easy job, but Lauran Hibberd seems to manage perfectly well, as ‘Old Nudes’ perfectly illustrates. A song about the difficulties caused by someone having one of your old nudes, it’s an amusing and savage possibly true recollection. My favourite line is amusing yet painfully relatable – “Why did I have to try and comprehend all the money I spend making nothing but my bed”, showcasing Hibberd’s wit and lyrical creativity.
What am I missing from this list? Let me know in a comment below and i’ll be sure to consider it for the playlist, linked below.