New Track: The Early Mornings – ‘Ultra-Modern Rain’

With the first single from their sophomore EP, London-based Mancunians The Early Mornings show that they are a force to be reckoned with! An instant post-punk anthem, ‘Ultra-Modern Rain’ fizzes with big, frenetic energy and dazzles with promise. 

I love post-punk, but so many bands who play it fail to bring something new to the party. And who needs a nostalgia fest? However, ‘Ultra-Modern Rain’ feels as fresh as its name suggests. The song’s driving, angular guitar is reminiscent of the likes of Gang of Four or The Fall, but the urgency of the drums (and cowbell!) provide a deliciously modern twist.  

The song’s spiky instrumentation is complemented perfectly by front person Annie Leader’s sweet, understated vocals, which bring in a real pop sensibility too. So it’s hardly surprising that, after just a couple of listens to this banger, it becomes a total earworm. I can’t wait to hear more from this exciting, energy-oozing trio!  

Ultra-Modern Rain, the new EP from The Early Mornings, is out now via Practise Music.

Vic Conway
@thepicsofvic

Photo Credit: Luke Keatinge

Five Favourites: Bria

Whilst you may recognise Bria Salmena from working in Orville Peck’s world-conquering backing band, she is also an immensely innovative artist in her own right. Following the release of Cuntry Covers Vol.1 in 2021, Salmena has now collaborated with multi-instrumentalist Duncan Hay Jennings once again for Vol.2., set for release next month.

As a taster of the upcoming EP’s release, Bria has now shared her rendition of Paula Cole’s ‘Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?‘. Adding her own unique reverb-strewn scuzz and whirring danceable energy to the original, her rich, sumptuous vocals ripple alongside a soul-strewn groove, creating a dreamily immersive soundscape.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of Cuntry Covers Vol.2, we caught up with Bria to ask about the music that has inspired her the most. Rather than pick five all-time top albums, she’s selected the songs she’s listening to the most right now – read/listen below and check out Cuntry Covers Vol.1 while you await the release of Vol.2!


It’s impossible for me to pick my favourite songs or albums, I’m just not one of those people. For me, it’s constantly in flux. So I’ve decided instead to share my top five songs of January 2023. And to be clear, these are not songs released in Jan 2023 but rather what’s been on repeat in my house, car, headphones etc. This list is extremely manic, I hope you enjoy it. 

Nourished By Time – ‘Romance In Me
Nourished By Time is a new discovery – initially introduced through an NTS playlist. There’s a very obvious nostalgic quality to the track, but I really just think the vocal progression is something entirely unique. I love the production – there’s a really satisfying balance of tension between the keys and guitar, especially in the choruses. This song really builds extremely well, I feel as though I kind of get swept away in it. It’s the kind of song I find myself harmonising with vocally, however annoying that may seem. When I’m in the mood to feel heartbroken I’ll probably put this song on.

Kate Bush – ‘Pull Out The Pin’
I’m a long-time Kate Bush fan, and this song came back into my rotation this month. The intensity of this track lyrically and musically is so satisfying for me. I love Bush’s ability to tell a story, it feels like theatre. This song was written after she had seen a documentary about the Vietnam war, wherein they show Vietnamese soldiers putting little silver buddhas in their mouths as they approached the front line. I love hearing this side of Bush’s vocal range – her ability to sing-scream is so beautiful, it’s been somewhat cathartic to listen this month. I also feel as though this is an overlooked B-side of hers, so I’m urging you now to give it a listen. 

Deftones- ‘Change (In The House Of Flies)’
So technically, I started having this song on repeat in December, but there are no rules here. On Christmas day, I went to a very famous bikini bar here in Los Angeles called Jumbo’s, and one of the dancers did a very impressive pole dance to this song. I hadn’t heard it in so long and after that, I played it throughout my somewhat lonely holiday season. I think it might be the hottest song ever written – not sexiest, but hottest. The whole record is amazing, I don’t even know if I can say any more about it.

Golpe – ‘Non Piergarti’
Golpe is an Italian punk band whose first full-length record came out in 2021. Lots of Italian friends had told me to check them out and I finally did sometime last fall. ‘Non Piegarti’ might be one of my favourites of theirs – with ‘La Colpa E Solo Tua’ as a close second. I’ve spent most of January moving into a new apartment and sorting out my life here in Los Angeles, and the song title translates to “Don’t Bend Over” which has been a bit of a mantra of mine throughout a stressful month. I’m a big fan of the production of this song, and I love the vocal effect on this song and how well the guitars sit alongside. It’s heavy, but very well-balanced.

Florist – ‘Red Bird Part 2 (Morning)’
This song is extremely beautiful and EXTREMELY sad. You’ve been warned. When I’m searching for a sort of sad calm feeling, I will put this on. It’s a beautifully tragic song about the death of the singer’s mother. I’m drawn to the simplicity of the instrumentation, rooted in acoustic guitar and accompanied by a kind of dreamy ethereal electric guitar. I also am a big fan of the double unison vocals on this track – I myself love doing that, as I feel you can really round out the sound that way.


Massive thanks to Bria for sharing her five ‘favourites’ with us! Listen to new single ‘Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?’ now:

Cuntry Covers Vol.2, the upcoming EP from Bria, is set for release on 24th February via Sub Pop.

Photo Credit: Justin Aranha

NEW TRACK: Grandmas House – ‘Desire’

A smouldering blend of charged riffs and commanding beats, Bristol punk trio Grandmas House have shared their latest single ‘Desire’. Taken from the upcoming new EP, Who Am I, which is set for release on 3rd March via Brace Yourself Records, the track is inspired by the disorientating power of romantic infatuation.

Formed of Yasmin Berndt (vocals, guitar), Poppy Dodgson (vocals, drums) and Zoë Zinsmeister (bass), Grandmas House combine gritty guitars, thudding percussion and a joyful dose of sarcasm to create their catchy punk inspired anthems. The band released their self-titled debut EP in October 2021, which covered everything from dismantling the patriarchy, celebrating queer love, to a penchant for local pasties. Now, Grandmas House are back with their new single ‘Desire’, and another collection of songs that tackle topics such as body image, identity and disassociation, and negatively stereotyped zodiac signs.

“‘Desire’ is about meeting someone new and being immediately intrigued by them,” the band comment about their new song. “It focuses on the confusion surrounding infatuation and trying to keep yourself grounded at the same time.” Berndt’s raucous voice rises and falls alongside Dodgson’s backing vocals and blistering beats across the track, whilst Zinsmeister’s rumbling basslines enhance the all-consuming yearning that’s explored in the lyrics.

The single is accompanied by a monochrome video, directed by Oliver Mallory. The visuals feature Frankie Darwin and American writer, poet and friend of the band Savannah Brown, who end up clashing over an unusually intense game of chess.

Grandmas House will be celebrating the release of their new EP with a UK headline tour this March. Full dates are listed below. Grab your tickets here.

Watch the video for ‘Desire’ here:

Grandmas House UK Tour Dates 2023
3rd Mar – Liverpool, UK – Kaz Stockroom
4th Mar – Bristol, UK – Exchange
9th Mar – Leeds, UK – Oporto
10th Mar – Glasgow, UK – McChuills
11th Mar – Sheffield, UK – Sidney & Matilda (Basement)
16th Mar – Leicester, UK – Duffy’s
17th Mar – Manchester, UK – YES (Basement)
18th Mar – Cardiff, UK – Clwb Ifor Bach (Downstairs)
23rd Mar – London, UK – The Victoria
24th Mar – Brighton, UK – The Hope & Ruin

Follow Grandmas House on TikTokbandcampSpotifyInstagramTwitter & Facebook

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: The Famous Daxx – ‘Treetops’

A deceptively light tune, ‘Treetops‘ by The Famous Daxx has layers you won’t notice at a glance. Inspired by fairy tales, the song has a playfulness in its music combined with heart-wrenching pain in the lyrics, which deconstruct the stories we take for granted as being light-hearted just because they are told to children.

‘Treetops’ is set long after the story of Hansel and Gretel’s abandonment by their father. It is sung from Gretel’s perspective as she laments the death of her brother at his own hand, after finally succumbing to the trauma of his childhood. The song makes a statement about masculinity and mental health, and its impact on men’s lives, whilst also being an exploration of how it feels to love someone struggling with their mental health and the conflicting, long lasting emotions that tragedy can trigger.

It’s a gentle song; the vocals are soft, and flow delicately over almost playful slide guitars. The sorrow in the words and the darkness of the subject matter overall is hidden by the air of lightness in the music, which itself acts as a challenge to our perception of stories. Much like the original tale, the sweetness of the sound masks the suffering at its core.

‘Treetops’ doesn’t have a happy ending. In the same breath that Gretel resolves to speak out, she fails to break the cycle – “This time I will speak my mind / I open my mouth but nothing comes out” – leaving her pain lingering in the air. The track is profound, but doesn’t pretend to have answers to the helplessness Gretel feels; it laments that all Gretel’s love ultimately couldn’t save her brother from his pain, and knows there isn’t an easy solution that can be condensed into a three minute song. But it leaves you with the undeniable conviction that it’s worth the work it will take to find one anyway.

‘Treetops’ is out now, ahead of The Famous Daxx’s upcoming debut EP TFD.

Kirstie Summers
@actuallykurt

Photo Credit: Hannah Mason