We are now exactly halfway through the year, and it feels like it’s passed by in the blink of the eye, but also paradoxically taken a lifetime too. Unfortunately, this week started with the news that we will have to wait a little longer for normality to return here in the UK, but at least there’s been some beautiful new sounds to soften the blow.
After a year without live music, normal life, as we used to know it, still remains at arm’s length. If you’re needing something to stick on the summer playlist while having a well-earned rest this weekend, then we’ve got you covered. There’s no shame in wanting to spin some old classics, but these fresh tracks are perfect additions that will sound blistering through a Bluetooth speaker at a barbecue.
There has been a stream of blissful new sounds throughout 2021 that has offered a fine way to stay sane and get those dopamine receptors active. As the months have gone on, there’s been more and more titillating releases, with these past seven days being no different.
Even though playing live for an audience is an impossible dream for musicians right now, that hasn’t stopped artists from continuing to offer up fresh and exciting music straight out of the bedroom studio. Some of the new releases to have come out in 2021 have made it an exciting year for emerging artists. Music has been a constant release for many of us through these turbulent times and kept us going. That feeling of discovering a new artist, one you connect with straight away, is hard to replicate.
Whether it is a song by an artist that you’ve never heard of before or an old favourite that somehow you have allowed to fall off your radar, we’ve got you covered here.
This week’s best new music:
Torres – ‘Hug From A Dinosour’
Brooklyn’s own rock and roll maven Mackenzie Scott, almost famous under the moniker Torres, has released a blistering new single ‘Hug From a Dinosaur’.
Resplendent with chanting choruses, siren-like Moog synth sounds, and a wonderfully grungy bedrock of distorted guitars, Torres embraces the basics on ‘Hug From a Dinosaur’: dynamic shifts and four chords are all that’s needed to communicate a simple and joyous tale of domestic bliss.
“The title emerged from a dream I had,” Scott explains. “The song’s theme is that truth is eternal, and it’s also about never stopping. To bring it back down to earth, the song’s also about being ready to drop everything to do something essential for someone you love. In this instance, it’s bringing my girlfriend lunch so she can keep painting.”
Zuzu – ‘Timing’
Scouse sensation Zuzu has served up her first song of the year, ‘Timing’. The new ‘un is a rousing lo-fi tinged effort from Zuzu that sounds like it was made to be played at a festival while the sun beats down. Her keen eye for melody provides ‘Timing’ with an almighty chorus that will swim around your head for the rest of the weekend.
Zuzu is certainly one to keep an eye out for. Last year she released her debut EP, How It Feels, and it looks like another body of work isn’t too far away. It had been over a year since Zuzu has released anything, and ‘Timing’ is one way of making your return a stirring one. Fingers crossed, it won’t be another year until we hear new music again.
Lauren Hibberd – ‘Bleugh’
Lauran Hibberd has dropped a pipe bomb with her fierce new single, ‘Bleugh’. The 23-year-old musician from the Isle of Wight is gearing up to release her new EP, Goober, next month and is her first body of work since 2019’s Everything Is Dogs EP. Since then, her sound has progressed, and Hibberd has gotten louder with each release, with ‘Bleugh’ arriving as the singer’s most ferocious effort yet.
On ‘Bleugh’, Hibberd takes part in what feels like a session of primal scream therapy, and it makes for an exhilarating listen. Her forthcoming EP is shaping up to be a barnstormer as Hibberd’s continues to enhance her sound and turn the decibels up.
Joel Culpepper – ‘Tears Of A Crown’
Joel Culpepper has shared his silky-smooth new single, ‘Tears Of A Crown’. The Londoner is a special talent and one who sings from the heart, and on ‘Tears Of A Crown’, he bravely opens up about his fragilities and vulnerabilities.
On the track, Culpepper battles with his inferiority complex and lacking self-belief. Considering the wealth of supreme talent that he has at his disposal, ‘Tears Of A Crown’ offers the clearest indication yet that those concerns are misplaced.
Parcels – ‘Free’
Australian five-piece have announced their return with their luxurious new single, ‘Free’. The European-based group arrived in 2018 with their eponymous debut album, which they followed up with a live album last year, but ‘Free’ officially marks the start of the second chapter for Parcels.
They are in a buoyant mood on the new track, which will pop a spring in your step, as you find yourself singing along to the chorus, “I feel this need to be free, Can we feel, and be real?”
The downbeat lyrics are counteracted by Parcels, who usher in upbeat jazzy arrangements that swirl around in your head for hours and acts as a sweet juxtaposition.
Orlando Weeks – ‘Big Smiles, Silly Faces’
Orlando Weeks has returned with his dreamy new track, ‘Big Skies, Silly Faces.’ The former Maccabees frontman stepped into solo territory last year with his debut album, A Quickening. He’s not left it long before offering up new music once more, and Weeks takes another glance at fatherhood which is a theme that dominated his debut.
“There’s something about that that’s always stayed with me,” he says, “The very English absurdity of making the most of a situation. The desperation for any potential silver lining. Really though I think ‘Big Skies, Silly Faces’ is about how I can be my own worst enemy.”
Despite the dark self-loathing subject matter, ‘Big Skies, Silly Faces’ is an uplifting effort that successfully sees Weeks manage to navigate his way to the light. Weeks’ voice is a unique delight on the track, and although he has a new vehicle for his music, he’s still is stretching his voice in the glorious ways he did with The Maccabees.
Wesley Joseph ft. Jorja Smith – ‘Patience’
Walsall’s Wesley Joseph has roped in the help of his fellow hometown hero, Jorja Smith, for his new single ‘Patience’. The track appears on Joseph’s debut project Ultramarine, which arrives today on his own EEVILTWINN imprint. The multi-talented artist produced the record himself in his bedroom, and it features collaborations with Dave Okumo, Leon Vynehall, and the aforementioned Smith.
For an artist who has only just shared their debut project, Joseph has carved out a unique sound that amalgamates parts from various genres together and creates a new type of visceral soul music that feels fresh in 2021. He also directed the video for the track, which you can watch below. The future certainly shines bright for Wesley Joseph.