The 10 best guitar-driven tracks to hear this week
From sombre post-punk to psychedelic motown and everything in between, this week’s playlist has got you covered and then some to sort your midweek blues
I Don’t Belong by Fontaines DC
The second single from the Dublin band’s sophomore album, I Don’t Belong was written as the antithesis to their single Big. Opening with sombre, chugging guitars underpinned by a driving bassline, it acts as the perfect bed for Grain Chatten’s downtrodden vocal delivery, recorded after a few cans to aid in the slurring, sad delivery.
One Of Those Days by JD Simo
Returning with a brand new album, JD Simo’s latest single sees him perfectly straddle the line between psychedelia, Motown and all-out blues rock. Opening with a dirty octave fuzz before calmly stepping into a passage straight out of the early 70s, it once again proves why Simo is one of the most revered guitar players in the world today.
The Birdwatcher by The Fearless Flyers
Once again featuring the Delta Force brass and woodwind trio, the latest single from the Flyers is a full-throttle, woodwind-laced funk romp full of colour and hubris. Originally penned by labelmates Vulfpeck, this version is more animated and aggressive, with pops and slaps from Mark Lettieri on the baritone guitar and Cory Wong’s signature right-hand chops.
Flourish by Modern Nature
Fronted by former Ultimate Painting member Jack Cooper, this track from their new mini-album Annual sees Jeff Tobias (Sunwatchers) take a more central role alongside drummer and percussionist Jim Wallis. Opening with unnerving guitar and off-kilter percussion, Flourish still maintains a natural and considered sense of calm.
I Remember Everything by John Prine
Recorded in the late singer’s living room, the song was composed alongside long-time friend and collaborator Pat McLaughlin and recorded with the Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb. The song was first unveiled in the post-credits of Picture Show, the live streamed tribute to Prine which aired on 11 June. Prine’s baritone vocal shines in this intimate performance, and his guitar playing isn’t too shabby either…
Let You Go by Bombay Bicycle Club
Released in conjunction with their new EP Two Lives, Let You Go has been reworked for the extended player, following its release on their acclaimed new album Everything Else Has Gone Wrong. Recorded mostly at frontman Jack Steadman’s house during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown, it features beautiful arpeggiated guitar work and a synthesized brass section.
I Can’t Breathe by H.E.R.
Written in response to the recent killings of unarmed black people in the US and the Black Lives Matter movement, the track debuted as the first song from her appearance on iHeartRadio’s Living Room concert series. Playing acoustic guitar and accompanied by lilting guitar and Wurlitzer, the performance is evocative and engaging despite its lack of audience.
The Spirit Of Radio by Rush
Rush have released a new video for their classic track The Spirit Of Radio. The video celebrates the histories of both FM radio (obviously) and the band, while also serving as a tribute to late drummer Neil Peart. 40 years after its release and the guitar work and composition still sounds fresh and boundary pushing, with quick-time signature and key changes and killer riffs.
Caution by The Killers
Taken from their forthcoming sixth album, Imploding The Mirage, the Vegas natives performed their recent single on the Ellen DeGeneres show via a live stream from their studio. The studio version featured former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham on guitar, and his solo is omitted from the live version performed here. Still, it’s an uplifting performance full of keys, synths and great 12-strings.
Where To Start by Bully
Nashville indie-grunge outfit Bully have announced their third LP, Sugaregg, and released its first single entitled Where To Start. Bully’s Alicia Bognanno noted that the album came out of a complete overhaul to her creative process. Opening with a brutal bassline and a vocal that recalls Joan Jett, it quickly moves into early-noughties punk reminiscent of the Distillers and Weezer.