Track Of The Day: Spurge feat. Bri Foxx – ‘Why Would You?’

Having met in the Atlanta underground scene, queer feminist artists Bri Foxx and Jen Hodges decided to join forces after playing a show together in their respective bands. And now, we’re super excited to share the outcome of their collaboration – Spurge‘s catchy new single!

A song that carries the weight of failed relationships in its core, ‘Why Would You?‘ has a simple but relatable premise. The track as a whole is executed in a way that takes the familiar stab of heartache and draws out the raw and powerful emotions within.

The song reflects on relationships, written from a healthier place. The lyrics juxtapose a heartbroken chorus against wiser, more contemplative verses which creates a moving narrative – a story of growth following pain, only to revisit that same sorrow with another person later on. The fact that the separate sections were written during very different emotional times in the writer’s life is evident in the rich texture of the song. It makes for a more powerful piece that encapsulates the moments of pain in the context of a positive, hopeful journey. There is a cycle to it, but one that delicately balances the resignation to start over with a great sense of hope that next time will be the one.

The vocals pair elegantly with the feeling in the lyrics. You can really feel the rawness and the power in the lead line, whilst backing vocals lend weight to the emotional high points in the track – the hardest parts of the conversation that herald the end of a relationship. Every never and don’t go and why would you feels ripped from the moment.

This is bolstered by instruments that flow together really well. The string lines running through the track are playful and catchy, ramping up into very fun interludes that give the song a lot of energy.

‘Why Would You?’ ends with the lead vocal, alone, holding one final, powerful note. It clings to that emotional feeling down to the very last beats, lingering like the memory of an old love.

‘Why Would You?’ is accompanied by a gritty live video, directed by Tyree Smith and Daniel Medina. Watch it here:

Kirstie Summers
@actuallykurt

Track Of The Day: First Frontier – ‘Break Away’

As a debut single, ‘Break Away‘ cements First Frontier as a band that don’t hold their punches. They define themselves forcefully as performers who aren’t afraid to be vocal about their real, raw reactions to the world around them.

The Birmingham-based garage rock duo use a simple but incredible combination of drums, guitar and vocals to create a powerful sound that narrows in on its message. The raw strings and precise drums flow effortlessly together, pouring in from the first beat. The simplicity of just the two instruments provides a great foundation for the impact of the vocals.

‘Break Away’ speaks to something that a lot of people are feeling right now, in terms of the time when people are thinking about fresh starts for the new year, as well as the general social landscape. If the past two years haven’t been enough to encourage people to deeply think about what makes them truly happy and drop anything that doesn’t bring a little bit of joy into the grim reality of the world, then I don’t know what will. The repeated call to “break away” hits exactly how it needs to. The track as a whole sucks you into its energy; you can’t help but feel the rage and the heartache behind it, and be inspired by the way that pain manifests through upbeat and catchy music.

The lyrics allude to the political in a way that is satisfying for anyone paying attention to the state of UK politics right now. References to “this wasteland of a union” and calling for the offending party to be “overthrown” feel revolutionary, but they’re structured in such a way that you could easily apply them allegorically to whatever else might be bothering you on a personal level. If you’re not feeling like breaking away from a corrupt capitalist system, the vibe still matches up to the need to escape from oppressive workplaces or toxic relationships.

It all comes together into a song that is incredibly easy to connect to and sing along with. It’s a vibrant, exciting sound that you’re happy to get swept up along in, wherever First Frontier are going next.

Find out more about First Frontier on their website now.

Kirstie Summers
@actuallykurt

Track Of The Day: The Klittens – ‘Canned Air’

The first single to be taken from Amsterdam’s The Klittens’ debut EP, ‘Canned Air‘ captures the band’s self-described air of “happy songs and sad sentiments” perfectly.It eases you in with light strings playing simple lines, before they layer gradually over each other and, as the song goes on, build into a rich platform for the heart and emotion in this song. The strings intertwine around each other and the vocals come in soft.

The comparatively low-energy vocal lines keep you grounded as the music beneath swells, until eventually you get to the cathartic, explosive solo. The raw energy of it screams out of every instrument, before finally winding down into a calmer, more relaxed conclusion. The lyrics are simple, but convincing – there’s power in them, coaxing you into that state of giving in, and the gentle delivery makes the invitation incredibly tempting.

That softness of the vocals, juxtaposed against the surging music underneath, captures the sensation of overwhelming emotions so beautifully. The music takes on the role of the feelings themselves, creeping in gradually until they are so loud and overwhelming that they drown out the rest of the world, taking over almost without you noticing. The lyrics, meanwhile, remain muted, as if they remain just out of reach. This combination makes for a song that encapsulates the all-consuming feeling of emotions that roar and churn beneath a quiet, introverted surface.

‘Canned Air’ is accompanied by a weird and fantastic music video. The Klittens wander around beaches and forests wearing colourful knitted balaclavas before they find a chest in the woods which contains a beating heart. It doesn’t offer an explanation as to why this is happening, but you can’t help but be drawn into their mysterious world.

With this release, The Klittens have made a statement about the kind of music they’re going to put out going forward and it promises to be unusual and enticing in a very exciting way.

Kirstie Summers
@ActuallyKurt

Track Of The Day: Peaness – ‘What’s The Use?’

Originally planned for release in summer 2020, ‘What’s The Use?‘ is the latest single from Chester trio Peaness, taken from their debut album due out in 2022.

It drops in bright and makes its statement immediately: What’s the use? Throughout, the track is upbeat and fun, with bouncy strings, a fast beat and cheery-sounding vocals. It’s an addictive and absorbing sound that is impossible not to bop along with.

The lyrics, on the other hand, do not share the same sense of limitless joy. Instead, they go into quite a bit of detail about how it feels to be thoroughly depressed. The song acutely describes the feeling of a sigh that carries the weight of the world in it. The refrain “Can I just stay in bed?” repeats and repeats until you can’t escape the utter lack of motivation to get up and engage with the world. Finally, the eponymous “what’s the use?” carries the overwhelming feeling of all the inescapable pressure that won’t leave you be, even when you do manage to drag yourself out of bed.

I absolutely adore the juxtaposition of the two massively contrasting styles between the music and the lyrics, it’s so delightfully nihilistic. It encapsulates a relatable sense of freedom that comes with accepting that, actually yeah, things are pointless sometimes.

The song has been released alongside a video compiled of phone footage of various shenanigans shot on the band’s previous tours. It matches the music in terms of its fast pacing and general sense of joy, and adds another layer of complexity to the content. You see the band on their adventures, in nice restaurants, at landmarks, at funfairs, playing gigs, practicing, stroking their pets. It feels like an immensely powerful comment about what depression can look like, about how you can seem like you’re living your best life while all your lowest feelings are still very much present.

You can feel how the past eighteen months have shaped the song. Even without the context of the pandemic, the full piece feels incredibly meaningful. When you add in the global trauma we all share right now, it becomes all the more powerful, as the clips and music become happy memories experienced from that all-consuming bed in the lyrics.

‘What’s The Use?’ is a brilliantly constructed song and so, so catchy. The 2022 album can’t come soon enough.

‘What’s The Use?’ is out now via the band’s own label, Totally Snick Records. Catch them live at their biggest ever London headline show at Oslo on 18th November. Tickets here.

Kirstie Summers
@ActuallyKurt