Video Premiere: NUUXS – ‘Laundry’

Following acclaim from the likes of Annie Mac, Clash and BBC Introducing for 2019’s Redtape Mixtape, London-based artist NUUXS has now shared a vibrant new video.

Propelled by a soulful, sparkling energy, ‘Laundry’ offers a poignant reflection on the domestic pressures that many in society face. Flowing with a shimmering heartfelt groove, danceable glitchy beats and luscious sultry vocals, it’s an uplifting sun-strewn slice of alt-pop. Of the track, NUUXS explains:

Having observed my mum, the once vivacious ballerina, turn into a very tired woman with severe back pains from all the heavy duty washing she was doing, I could see why some might turn to alcohol as a form of solace. So I guess this song is me being pissed off with how society can be, and how the government can be. This is the time more than ever that we should see community being at the forefront of leadership.

‘Laundry’ is accompanied by an artfully created kaleidoscopic new video, hand-painted by animator Charlie Cross. Speaking more about the video, NUUXS expands:

“… it’s inspired by the metaphorical concept for ‘Laundry’, including the idea of “stress is a killer” being shown in the bloodstream and the countdown on the actual washing machine itself representing “the pressure is on”, referring to the pressures of life as we know it.”

Watch the new video for ‘Laundry’ now:

‘Laundry’ is the 3rd single from NUUXS’ forthcoming debut album Heirloom.

 

Mari Lane
@marimindles

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

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

 

WATCH: Belako – ‘Truth’

Whether it’s the global nature of alternative music in the age of streaming, or possibly the cultural aftershocks of the credit crunch, it feels like there’s a new, mucho cool Spanish indie band every week. In the case of Belako – a four-piece from the Basque town of Mungia – using the word “new” might be a bit of a stretch for a band who have been releasing music since a couple of online demos in 2011 – but, whilst forthcoming LP Plastic Drama may be their fourth album, it’s their first international release on a major label. The best part?  The album’s lead single, ‘Truth’, finds them in as fiercely DIY a mood as ever.

Clocking in at a pacey (and satisfying balanced) two minutes and twenty-two seconds, ‘Truth’ lays its cards on the table pretty quickly; in a matter befitting its title, it launches into the slightly off-kilter, detuned guitar line and punchy, if tinny, sounding drums, which are consistent throughout. This is even more true of the track’s video, in some respects, which provides its viewer with the nine lines that form the song’s lyrical content.

Theirs is a stripped-back take on post-punk, consistent with some of the genre’s best voices, who have generally used a fairly simple adage: find a message, repeat it, make no compromises. There’s something of Dream Wife’s early stuff in vocalist Cristina Lizarraga’s atonal vocal style here, but you can take the combination of the persuasive thrust and wry observation all the way back to pioneers such as The Fall or Gang of Four.

The song’s shonky feel arguably gives the band a kinship with Hinds, perhaps the most widely-recognised Spanish group of recent times. Whilst lyrically, the “truth” being spoken here is that the concept of romance has been weaponised, ensuring that love keeps us “locked up”, enforcing our exploitation – essentially, it’s about as far from the usual pop content as you can get. 

For an album that “searches for the real meaning of things in a world that translates everything into assembly lines, manufacturing and the exploitation of living beings”, ‘Truth’ appears to be the ideal introduction, ahead of its release. It’s particularly encouraging to see a band, now some time into their career, embrace their ideas and apply them not only to lyrics but also to the album’s production. If there is any truth in pop music, it looks certain to come from Belako.

Plastic Drama, the upcoming album from Belako, is out 28th August via BMG.

John McGovern
@etinsuburbiaego