On Repeat: the place where we round up the most exciting new music releases. Five tracks, all recently released, featuring artists we can’t get enough of right now – so, almost certainly, you’ll find at least one song in this bunch to add to your playlists.
MARTHAGUNN – “LOVE & EMOTION”
Communion signees MarthaGunn update the sounds of the ’70s and ’80s with a vibrant, modern touch. New single ‘Love & Emotion’ follows the band’s recent trailblazing return with ‘Saint Cecilia.’ Back on the touring wagon too, the band’s enthusiasm for live instrumentation is certainly felt when listening to ‘Love & Emotion,’ the track exudes passionate romanticism with a driving symphony of rhythmic blues, magnetic pop smarts and folk-rock grit. At the heart of it all is Abi Woodman’s incisive vocals, a collection of sensations; smokey and perfumed, rugged and rousing, serious and smooth. The track has a great message too, commenting on its meaning Woodman said: “Love and emotion represents sadness from an unfulfilled relationship. When first meeting someone it can be easy to project your ideals onto them and waiting for someone to reciprocate that is crippling. This song is a realisation that who you want someone to be may be different from who they are.” If this track is a sign of where the band’s heading then we’re very lucky indeed.
OUTLYA – “LOST”
Starting afresh, OUTLYA retrace the roots of their sound and in the process open the door to a beautiful new journey. The now-duo still retain the optimistic, adventure-seeking spirit that’s always guided their artistry, the only difference now is, where there once was a brash, bright fill of bombast, a languid oasis now occupies the space. ‘Lost’ is tranquil yet also juliant and self-reliant, the production is a mixture of rustic, naturally ambient takes and rainbowed confidence. The verses and chorus are emphatically juxtaposed, both serve different purposes and infuse the song with dimension, tone and character. Pitting acoustic bliss alongside synth pop euphoria isn’t a tactic often practised nor successfully rendered, yet OUTLYA get away with it and make it sound so natural. Part of the charm of the band’s songwriting heart and undefeatable ambition. A strong track, we hope future material continues this trend.
SUGAR – “LATE NIGHT”
Sugar formed in Manchester whilst studying at BIMM’s College of Music, since then the band has embodied many forms and embraced different styles, but the current configuration is the most definitive yet. ‘Late Night,’ is a song about mental health – which the band claims to be the clearest reflection of their sound to date. It’s one of the band’s oldest tracks yet also, in the same breath, a song that’s probably experienced the biggest transformation. In its current iteration ‘Late Night’ starts ominous and small with a riff repeating an unsettling, off-key motif, as it inches closer towards its peak, remarkably the mood once again descends and turns bleak before finding its own kind of lightness amidst chaos, here is where the musicality then latches onto and reinterprets the melody lines into something more hopeful. The song was written as a way to explore the often unspoken side of depression and anxiety, of feeling comfortable within the mess and unmotivated to do anything about it. ‘Late Night’ is just as relevant now as it was when it was written.
MEALTIME – “DENIM”
Manchester is buzzing at the seams with new names, a new collective broke out onto the scene in May with debut single, ‘Denim’. Already establishing their live appeal, the six-piece have been playing all over town with shows at the newly reopened Fairfield Social Club and a well-attended slot at Dot to Dot – and only one track has been released online so far, it would seem that good old word of mouth and DIY spirit is still in vogue. And why not? There’s nothing better than watching a band perform in person in real time. Their music is heavily textured, synth-driven and completely in debt to its members’ consolidated efforts. ‘Denim’ is a big number, the glistening gem in Mealtime’s crown. Sophisticated, stylish, representative and a total bop. A song that works on all levels: good vocals, statement lyrics, punchy hooks, interesting breakdown and a nice beat. We’ll be on the lookout for more.
PHOEBE GREEN – “DREAMING OF”
Signed to Chess Club Records, this Manchester-based artist is quickly becoming one of the most talked about newcomers of the year. Her first studio release follows the massive breakthrough success of an EP recorded in Green’s bedroom, 02:00 AM captured the writings of a songwriter with a lot to say and the intent to make her voice heard. ‘Dreaming Of’ is certainly more polished than those seminal recordings but nonetheless compelling, or inspiring. Backed by a band and a voice of authenticity that feels so relevant in the times we’re living in, Green doesn’t dwell on implied subtext rather her words are direct, bracing, plain-spoken. A level of honesty that’s rare to behold, but very much invited. ‘Dreaming Of’ is leagues beyond a typical debut in its maturity of mind, musical technique and progressive dialogue. It’s certainly refreshing – and a joy to listen to. We’re definitely eager to hear more from Phoebe Green.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest additions to our On Repeat playlist by following the Complete Collection on Spotify:
Photo Credit [Phoebe Green]: Sara Carpentieri