Track Of The Day: King Hannah – ‘Crème Brûlée’

We have actually previously featured this song from Liverpool duo King Hannah as Track Of The Day way back when it was first brought to our attention in July last year, but – with its official release having just been announced on City Slang Records – we felt it only right to sing its praises once again.

In fact, ‘Crème Brûlée’ had me so completely hooked the first time around that the band even featured in my Ones To Watch for 2020 (hate to say I told you so…). It just completely cast me under its spell on first listen.

With a sweeping, ethereal power and the longing, impassioned vocals of Hannah Merrick that flow with a majestic musicality, it’s just utterly compelling; a stunning introduction to the band who I hope to hear a lot more from over the coming months. Although they’re just one single down, with already over 11,000 streams on Spotify and a sound as captivating and original as this, I have a feeling that they’ll be enchanting many more ears.

And now ‘Crème Brûlée’ comes complete with its own beautifully homemade, documentary-style new video. Watch now:

‘Crème Brûlée’ is out now via City Slang. Listen on Spotify.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Lucy Mclachlan

Track Of The Day: First Frontier – ‘Take Cover’

Having been creating music together since last year, South London duo Helena Poole (who has previously played for us at The Finsbury in her other band Macadamia Sluts) and Paul Stafford – aka First Frontierpride themselves on choosing hope over fear and play over fight. Now, having spent time writing together throughout ‘lockdown’, they are ready to share their debut single with the world. 

Focusing on what we can control and devote positive energy to, ‘Take Cover’ is propelled by scuzzy hooks and thrashing beats, creating a catchy slice of fuzzed-out garage rock, tinged with dark ‘80s nu-wave vibes and swirling harmonies. A truly uplifting offering, urging us to live in the moment to avoid burnout, its driving energy and shimmering spirit showcases a band to get excited about: I can’t wait to hear what First Frontier come up with next. 

 

Engineered by Brett Shaw (Florence and The Machine, Foals), ‘Take Cover’ is out 18th September. Pre-save here. And find out more about First Frontier on their website.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

WATCH: Order Of The Toad – ‘Do It With Feeling’

Even though they began making music as flatmates in Glasgow, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Order of the Toad have their origins in sunnier climes. Taking their cue from the intersection of beat, electrified folk and psychedelia, the trio – made up of bassist Gemma Fleet (also part of The Wharves), lead guitarist Robert Sotelo and drummer Christopher Taylor – seem to have that focus firmly set on ’60s California, with latest track ‘Do It With Feeling’. Taken from forthcoming album, Re-Order of the Toad, this latest single follows July’s ‘Lady’s Mantle’ and their Rabbets EP, released in 2019, and finds the group in joyous form, that’s just slightly off-kilter.

Opening with a bassline that throws back to The Animals, the opening verse proceeds with a Byrdsy mix of finger picks and strummed guitar, that sound almost sitar-like. Melodic and gently trippy, the backing is given a warm topping courtesy of Gemma’s vocals, which, by the time the track’s chorus hits, have turned up the power to Grace Slick levels. In fact, that’s reflective of the structure of the whole, with a chorus that kicks the song up to fifth, via a delightfully old-school switch-up in its rhythm section and the whole band on backing vocals. 

The track’s middle eight though, wanders into far more psych territory, verging on something more drone-y, before that familiar melody returns and the chorus reprises. Just as you think the band will take their own order to “stop right now”, so the bass breakdown returns, ending things with just the slightest hint that they’ve gone off the rails.

The video for ‘Do It With Feeling’ sees the band making a series of poses in an aluminium foil draped, DIY photo studio, incorporating various colour filters, props, hats, their instruments and, of course, a life-size model of a toad. It reflects their own home-brewed take on another era’s experimentation and its surrealism, but also the song’s discussion of seeking that perfect take, as the group keep trying for the shot that’s just so, whilst its repetitive nature also matches the track’s earworm tendencies – one listen, and you’ll be humming it for days. And much as it may seem tricky to find new ways to explore the styles of the Nuggets era, it sounds like Order of the Toad have found it pretty easy: even if it is warts and all.

Watch the video now:

John McGovern
@etinsuburbiaego

 

Track Of The Day: Eilis Frawley – ‘Stats’

How often do you hear something that’s really new? ‘Stats’, by classically trained drummer and percussionist Eilis Frawley is a revelation, unlike anything else I’ve heard.

Kicking off with an arresting, almost military-style drumroll, it quickly picks up the pace and moves into bold, Krautrock-infused spoken word. The lyrics see Frawley recite hard-hitting stats, as the name suggests, which highlight the everyday injustices facing women today.

Using her platform so powerfully, Frawley, formally of Party Fears, tackles period poverty, domestic violence and other vital issues that affect us. Both avant-garde and catchy as hell, the result is a protest song that you can dance to. And is there anything better than that?!

Released on the increasingly brilliant Reckless Yes label, ‘Stats’ is so wonderfully different that it’s hard to anticipate what to expect from Frawley next. That new EP can’t come soon enough!

Watch the new video for ‘Stats’ here:

Stats’ is the first release to be taken from Frawley’s forthcoming second EP, which will be released via Reckless Yes this Autumn.

Vic Conway 

Photo Credit: Janina Gallert