Track Of The Day: Alice Hubble – ‘Power Play’

In a shadowy universe of glitchy instrumentals, London-based synth-pop artist Alice Hubble has invited us into her euphoric unravelling in her cathartic track ‘Power Play’. Described as “the closest thing (she’s) written to a protest song”, Hubble shares her piece on the #MeToo movement in the form of emotive electronic music.

Through both Hubble’s revealing lyrics that detangle the disparities of sexism and gender-based violence, and her strategic sonic choices made throughout the track, ‘Power Play’ feels like an alleviating climb to a significant release. Hubble achieves this by not shying away from anger and draws from it accordingly. Channeling the relationship between grief and strength, leaving each their own corners.

In anticipation of a new album coming later this year, Hubble’s ‘Power Play’ provides a taste of the mellow, comforting vocals to come, as well as the captivating magnitude of the synth tones that will surround them. It is clear that Hubble’s songwriting stems partly through the voicing of her synths themselves, creating a melodic bath within her approach that is as intricate as it is natural. Interweaving this swirling musicality with the poignant sentiment of the lyrics, Hubble’s ‘Power Play’ stands on its own two feet as it immerses itself firmly in your ears with its empowering, ’80s inspired drive.

Power Play‘ is out now via Happy Robots.

Jillian Goyeau

LISTEN: New Pagans – ‘Christian Boys’

A riotous, refreshing call for accountability and a take down of sexist double standards, Belfast band New Pagans have shared their latest single ‘Christian Boys’. It’s the first track to be lifted from their upcoming debut album The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All, which is set for release on 19th March via Big Scary Monsters.

Named in our Get In Her Ears ‘Ones To Watch in 2021‘ feature which we shared earlier this year, New Pagans create urgent, considered, catchy sounds that challenge the norms surrounding relationships, history and gender roles. The band take the best elements of post-punk, grunge and pop and transform them into beautifully melodic noise, and this is epitomised on new single ‘Christian Boys’.

Based on the experiences of vocalist Lyndsey McDougall’s friend – who had been having an affair with a Christian leader in Northern Ireland before his marriage to a virgin bride – ‘Christian Boys’ seethes with a righteous fury against the unfair judgement of women who are involved with hypocritical men. “This is shocking but what is more disturbing is that it hadn’t been the first-time similar stories had emerged,” the band explain about the context of the track. “When these men were confronted, they all stated that the women were to blame, it had been their fault, they were the sinners and had led the Christian men astray.”

The urgency in the repeated lyric “Christian boys are the worst I know / Christian girls should take it slow” exposes the hypocrisy underscoring the track’s narrative, calling out those who blame others for their own mistakes. “Lyndsey knows that some of the lyrics in the song could be considered controversial,” the band continue, “but she has grown up around Christian men and believes that this conversation needs to happen, it shouldn’t be off limits.”

Watch the accompanying lyric video for ‘Christian Boys’ below.

Pre-order New Pagans’ debut album The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All here.

Follow New Pagans on bandcamp, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

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