A Hero’s Death by Fontaines D.C.
The Dublin quintet’s first single from their sophomore album of the same name, featuring roaring guitars shifting between major and minor and quintessentially Beach Boys-esque backing vocals. Recorded in LA during their sold out 2019 tour, the single features Chatten’s trademark husky vocal and a sudden shift to more positive and freeing lyrics.
What Am I Gonna Do Today? by The Regrettes
Eerily written before the Covid-19 pandemic, the Los Angeles riot grrrl band lean into the globe’s worries and concerns on this track. Opening with softly sung vocals and jangly, chordal guitars it then leans into lush arpeggiated guitars laced in reverb.
Call To Love (ft. Bethany Cosentino) by Jimmy Eat World
Teaming up with Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino, Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World initially performed this cover of the Crooked Fingers song as part of a live stream on what would have been Record Store Day. Using his signature thinline Tele throughout, it’s mirrored with killer bass melodies played on a Mustang Bass.
Ochoa by Damien Jurado
Heard on his latest LP, What’s New, Tomboy?, Damien Jurado returns to the fore with a more stripped-back offering, featuring his trademark abstract lyrics, this time around themes of existentialism and, conveniently, isolation. Sultry guitars that remain unaccompanied for the most part, there’s the odd organ or ambient tones.
Paper Thin by Lianne La Havas
Coinciding with the announcement of her first album in half a decade, Paper Thin opens with undeniably cool, lo-fi drums courtesy of Homer Steinweiss and smooth, jazz influenced jazz guitar melodies. La Havas’s vocal is effortless throughout, and the track offers a glimpse into her new, minimalist approach.
Never Forever by Blake Mills
The opening track from his new album, Mutable Set, it starts where Look finished, with ambient tones before its crescendo into a beautiful fingerpicked guitar part. The track leans into folk more than into predecessor, thanks to Blake’s work alongside Cass McCombs.
Anaphylaxis by PUP
A thrilling slice of American punk rock that’s reminiscent of both Flogging Molly and Bad Brains in equal measure, the song is written about a friend being stung by a bee. Hence the scuzzed out guitars during the intro, intended to sound like a bee, and Babcock’s erratic vocals.
Moth To The Flame by Windy & Carl
The closest the Michigan-based duo have come to writing a pop record – and still at nine minutes long – and it’s both comforting and unnerving. Guitars move and flicker alongside barely audible vocals with no end in sight, before it opens it a warming synth passage around the five-minute mark.
Moon In Reverse by Mogwai
Heard as part of the ZeroZeroZero soundtrack, it was released for one week exclusively on a pay-what-you-can basis on Bandcamp with half of proceeds going to Help Musicians and NHS charities. Moody pianos abound with minimal percussion, elevating Mogwai’s signature guitars, swirling in luscious reverb.
Insanity by BlackLab
The opening track from the Japanese female witch-doom duos sophomore record, it’s an eight-minute blinder of ghostly drums and brutal riffery that would make even Toni Iommi wince. It doesn’t get much more doom than this.