EP: New Pagans – ‘Glacial Erratic’

Filled with urgent, considered, intensely catchy songs that challenge the norms surrounding relationships, history, and gender; New Pagans‘ debut EP Glacial Erratic is a powerful blend of alternative sounds. The Belfast band take the best elements of post-punk, grunge, and indie rock and transform them in to abrasive, yet melodic noise.

Formed of Claire Miskimmin, Cahir O’Doherty, Conor McAuley, and Lyndsey McDougall, the band have cut their teeth playing in different outfits over the years (Girls Names, Rupture Dogs, Fighting With Wire, Jetplane Landing). Together under the New Pagans moniker, they sound louder and more confident, creating a sonic space to explore issues of frustration, defiance, and resolution.

“The demand for perfection is disturbing” sings vocalist Lyndsey on opening track ‘It’s Darker’, with it’s relentless riffs and commanding percussion. The track is based on a real life confrontation Lyndsey had at a party with an aggressive male musician. The song will strike a chord with any woman who has had to defend her right to have her own opinion, and the subsequent anger that comes with feeling humiliated and devalued for it. “Everyone’s looking and I’m upset” she reveals in a moment of raw honesty, working through the unsettling feeling of being challenged in an environment that’s supposed to be fun.

‘Charlie Has The Face Of a Saint’ is informed by conversations overheard on a Belfast bus. Throwaway phrases like “I’m doing my part”, or “You’re easy to have when you’re down on your knees” float above the loud/quiet verse/chorus structure, acting like a stream-of-consciousness narrative. These conflicting voices don’t provide answers, they simply exist in the ether. The spiralling ‘I Could Die’ follows, with its manic riffs and urgent vocals, before the powerful ‘Bloody Soil’ breaks through. It feels like the soundtrack to an uprising, with its intense riffs and chant-able chorus.

‘Admire’ is a humble, shimmering ode to the perseverance that’s needed to keep a long-term relationship going. Proof that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side (even if you’ve daydreamed about it), New Pagans’ treatment of love and its many faults is far more romantic than any Valentine’s card or bouquet. “Let’s preserve our old ways / lets’s preserve them always” Lyndsey sings, as the song builds to a cathartic cacophony of shoegaze noise, removing all sense of doubt about why you chose to stay faithful. It’s a beautifully relatable listen.

Closing track ‘Lily Yeats’ is a tribute to the sister of artists William Butler and Jack Butler Yeats. It smolders with quiet fury, acting as an aural confidence boost to the woman it’s named after, and to all the future Lily Yeats who need help stepping out from their brother’s shadows. “My daughter needs to know that she can do the same” sings Lyndsey, over erratic riffs and pummelling beats, before dual male/female vocals arrive later in the track, driving home the message that it’s everyone’s responsibility to amplify the sound of women’s stories.

New Pagans’ ability to tap into uneasy topics and turn them into empowering, memorable tracks is what makes Glacial Erratic such a an enjoyable and poignant listen. Their confident delivery, genre-blending sounds, and relatable lyrics are well worth your listening time.

New Pagans EP Glacial Erratic is released on 6th March.
Follow the band on Facebook and Spotify for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: New Pagans – ‘Admire’

A humble, shimmering ode to the perseverance that’s needed to keep a long-term relationship going; New Pagans‘ latest single ‘Admire’ is a beautifully relatable listen. The track is lifted from the Belfast-based band’s debut EP, Glacial Erratic, which is set for release on 6th March.

Proof that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side (even if you’ve daydreamed about it), New Pagans’ treatment of love and its many faults is far more romantic than any Valentine’s card or bouquet. Lyndsey McDougall’s lyricism and smooth vocal delivery float above atmospheric guitars, swirling bass lines, and driving percussion. “Let’s preserve our old ways / lets’s preserve them always” she sings, as the song builds to a cathartic cacophony of shoegaze noise, removing all sense of doubt about why you chose to stay faithful.

‘Admire’ follows the band’s previous singles ‘Charlie Has The Face Of A Saint’ and ‘It’s Darker’, all of which are featured on their upcoming EP. They’ll be playing a handful of UK shows in early March (dates below), so make sure you get yourself a live dose of New Pagans’ realistic romanticism. It’s certainly softening our thick skin.

Listen to ‘Admire’ below and follow New Pagans on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

New Pagans’ UK Tour Dates (March 2020)
2nd – Rough Trade, Nottingham
5th – Think Tank, Newcastle
6th – Off The Square, Manchester
7th – The Lounge Archway, London
8th – The Crofters Rights, Bristol

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: April 2018

Another month, another brand new playlist brimming with fresh music! We’ve been (gladly) overwhelmed by the amount of brilliant new sounds bursting in to our ears this April, and we wanted to share our favourites with you here. Whether you’re in to the idustrial/electronic beats of Zola Jesus, the anti-fascist punk glory of Dream Nails, or if you’re breaking in to “mumble rap” with Tierra Whack…there’s something here for your listening pleasure. Scroll down to the playlist below & enjoy! 

 

Zola Jesus – ‘Bound’ 
Artist & Producer Zola Jesus has shared an eclectic set of new tracks & remixes on Okovi: Additions, and ‘Bound’ is one of many sonic treats on this project. This release follows her 2017 critically acclaimed album Okovi (via Sacred Bones Records), and features remixes by a diverse cast of artists including; Johnny Jewel, Katie Gately, Wolves in the Throne Room, and Joanne Pollock. I’ve had this track on repeat since I first heard it in March, and I’m happy to stay ‘Bound’ by Zola Jesus’ sounds. Read our review of the album here(Kate Crudgington)

Wendy Rae Fowler – ‘Svengali’ 
Having previously worked alongside the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age, Mark Lanegan and UNKLE, American artist Wendy Rae Fowler has now released her new solo album, Warped. Taken from the album is the utterly bewitching ‘Svengali’. Filled with sweeping layers of sound and the cinematic grace of Wendy’s vocals, it’s a truly captivating creation. Read our review of Warped here(Mari Lane)

Rhye – ‘Please’
I was lucky enough to get tickets to see Rhye perform in London this week, back in our ears after a four year hiatus.  What a treat. When they played this track I felt like I was melting into Heaven’s floor (apt), so incredibly gentle, sensual and intimate. I can never get enough of the gender-fluid vocals of Mike Milosh, now more so than ever. (Tash Walker)

Girls Names – ’25’
Taken from their upcoming new album, Belfast’s Girls Names’ new single ’25’ is a brooding, shoegaze-reminiscent sonic delight. Filled with sweeping, reverb strewn layers of synth-heavy sound and the dark, swooning vocals of Cathal Cully, it oozes a twinkling, ethereal haze alongside eerie undertones. An intensely captivating offering, it’ll have you hooked on first listen, and desperate to hear the album in full. Stains On Silence, the new album, is out 15th June. (ML)

Henry Green – ‘Another Light’ 
I recently reviewed Henry Green’s debut album Shift, and I felt like every track was a helpful reminder to inhale, exhale, and try to exist in the moment. His gentle electronics and intuitive lyrics have helped me to slow down (whilst still moving at full speed) this month, and I’d recommend him to anyone that needs a ‘Shift’ in perspective. (KC)

Black Gold Buffalo – ‘Magnets’
Keziah Stillwell’s vocals blaze in full glory on the mesmerising ‘Magnets’, which is a swirling fusion of bass, guitar & electronics that prove Black Gold Buffalo have a knack for writing atmospheric dark-pop songs. Their debut album is released today via their own label Buff Rekkids, and we’ve been swooning over it ever since. Read our review here(KC)

Lamb – ‘Gabriel’
I was recently reminded of Lamb after we put together our alternative Best of British playlist this week. Gabriel is a solid blast from my past taken from their album What Sound released back in 2001, which was my soundtrack of that summer.  Listening to Rhodes’ distinctive and emotive vocals wavering over the top of a medley of string samples and gentle beats, this song marks the beginning of my love for electronic music. 15 going on 16 and very sexually confused. All the feelings, all the emotions and all the hormones in the world. (TW)

Maria Kelly – ‘Small Talk’
Filled with smooth, celestial vocals and folk-tinged melodies, Irish artist Maria Kelly’s ‘Small Talk’ is a majestic, emotion-strewn offering. Written during a storm blackout in her hometown, the song parallels the nature of a storm with her own feelings of social anxiety. Double A-side ‘Small Talk’/’Dark Places’ is out 27th April via Veta Records. (ML)

Fenne Lily – ‘On Hold’
Since I saw her live at The Islington pub a few months ago, Fenne Lily’s sad but sublime music has played on my mind (as has her sharp wit and dry sense of humour). ‘On Hold’ is the title-track from her debut album (released today), and it makes my spirits sink and soar whenever I listen to it. The accompanying video is a charming ode to small acts of kindness too. (KC)

Courtney Barnett – ‘Never Tear Us Apart (Rehearsal Room Recording)’
A beautiful stripped back cover of INXS’ ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ by Courtney Barnett. I love this simple recording of her performance, finding myself completely entranced by our Aussie fav. This song was released for an Apple commercial in support of marriage equality – here here. (TW)

Sit Down – ‘Honeysucker’
Oh. My. Word. There’s no force on earth that could make you sit still or indeed Sit Down to the sound of this Brighton duo (pictured above). The pair released their knockout debut EP Cheap Luxe at the end of March, and ‘Honeysucker’ is my go-to track. Filthy, furious, and sweet as hell. Read the full review here(KC)

Queen Zee – ‘Victim Age’
It was Transgender Day of Visibility on 31st of March (thanks to Tash for informing me), so it feels apt to support Queen Zee and all that she and her band mates stand for. They’ve been taking down trolls and tearing up stages across the country with their live shows, and I can’t wait to see them again at their sold out Sebright Arms show on April 26th. Long live Queen Zee! (KC)

Dream Nails – ‘Vagina Police’
“Your body is not your own, you are public property…” Dream Nails front-woman Janey rages in the refrain of our favourite Feminist Punk Witches’ ‘Vagina Police’. Oozing the poignant message that women are not allowed to have control over their own bodies, it races with the band’s trademark punk-fuelled energy and the riotous power of Janey’s seething, impassioned vocals. Another formidable offering that proves once again why we need Dream Nails in our lives, and makes us even more excited to see them live at The Finsbury for GIHE on 13th April! (ML)

Tierra Whack – ‘Mumbo Jumbo’
A twisted reflection of mumble rap and hip-hop, I cannot get this song out of my head and I especially love the ambiguity around what she’s saying, making it so much easier for me to join in.  Quietly. Mumbo Jumbo came out last year but I was recently introduced to her in the wake of her outstanding performance at SXSW. Soooo godamnnnn gooood. Need I say more? (TW)

BARQ – ‘Sassy Mouth’ 
One half of their new double A-side, Dublin band BARQ’s ‘Sassy Mouth’ is inspired by the courage and resilience of Ireland’s Repeal The 8th movement and the perils of online debate. Oozing the soaring power of front-woman Jess Kav’s soulful vocals alongside immense funk-fuelled beats, it’s a powerful, and empowering, call to arms. (ML)

Track Of The Day: Girls Names – ’25’

Having just announced the release of their fourth album, Belfast’s Girls Names make a welcome return after a hiatus from music following 2015’s Arms Around A Vision. Recorded in various locations, including Belfast’s esteemed Start Together Studio, Stains Of Silence looks set to be a defiant, and immersive, come back for the band.

Taken from the album, new single ’25’ is a brooding, shoegaze-reminiscent sonic delight. Filled with sweeping, reverb strewn layers of synth-heavy sound and the dark, swooning vocals of Cathal Cully, it oozes a twinkling, ethereal haze alongside eerie undertones. An intensely captivating offering, it’ll have you hooked on first listen, and desperate to hear the album in full.

Stains On Silence, the fourth LP from Girls Names, is out 15th June via Tough Love Records.

Mari Lane
@marimindles