We’re soundtracking our eagerly awaited June skies with an all-you-can-eat entrée of dance-punk, electronica and psych-pop courtesy of our weekly-updated Hot Pink! playlist. We may be allowed indoors, but these tunes have us pining for that vitamin D.
The DSM IV
The current prognosis for dance-punk trio THE DSM IV is looking extremely positive with the release of Scumbag, an urgent and engaging track which juxtaposes disturbing lyrics with a compulsion to dance. Guy McKnight’s resonant vocals reverberate across the track as he lyrically explores the interplay of power and desire and its perverted consequences. This is underpinned by Jumanji-style drums and an insistent synth, creating a disorientating and compelling 80s inspired anthem. EG
Vice Möth and Pretentious Dross
It’s difficult to not get nostalgic to VICE MÖTH AND PRETENTIOUS DROSS’ track. The synthy 80s groove puts a new spin on two iconic hits – Kylie Minogue’s Slow and The Human League’s Being Boiled. The cornucopia of magical twists in Ghost Dance are unexpected for sure, yet something you will never want to end. SG
If I Ever
Groovy, soulful and electric, JAZMINE JOHNSON’s latest single is laced with funky R&B beats and fused with extremely raw lyrics. Effortlessly written, If I Ever cruises through the regrets of opening up to somebody. The track commands to be listened to, especially in the breakdown towards the end where the vocals shine through. SG
I’ve Got Time
HUSHTONES’ sunshine psych-pop guitars and effortless melodic sensibilities combine to create a highly repeatable indie-pop record in I’ve Got Time. The vocals are as sweet as honey and float upon cloudlike riffs and punchy retro drums. The gorgeous production accommodates this sonic landscape wonderfully, lending the charming little tune the warmth it deserves. EH
PIZZAGIRL continues to shine. The high-octane banger oozes technicolour electronic beats and showcases an array of chugging synth basslines under a rousingly anthem hook. Despite being an up-tempo track, Bullet Train is ironically downbeat as the protagonist eclipses the bitter parts of a nasty break-up. It’s a larger-than-life track, taking charge of its story through the 90s industrial synth-pop escapism sounds. SG
Hold on 2
The more melancholic flipside to WORKSTUFF’s single, Mannequins, it’s no wonder Hold on 2 can be found on Spotify’s Doomer Tapes playlist, sharing the bill with Molchat Doma and Joy Division. But its spot here is deserving. With a repeating melody of haunting bells uttering throughout, the four-minute track – mastered at Liverpool’s What Studios – is soon submerged by an irresistibly monotonous baritone and a whooping synth drone pulsing its way through to the exit. MB
Going Far Away (This Time)
For the fourth entry in his streak of introspective soft-rock mini-epics, the hopeless romantic GEORGIE WESTON once again uses analogue-minded ambition to reject the limitations of a cramped bedroom studio, proving the vast sonic possibilities of lockdown pop. Georgie’s rich soundscape of synth, saxophone and punchy bass guitar sparkles above Philly-soul grooves, while his anecdotal lyricism evokes vintage Macca. EH
House on the Hill
A gutsy, rock-solid drum intro leads into a dirty melting pot of down-home Americana, generous on the Delta blues. SEAFOAM GREEN’S take on rustic blues-rock is delivered with such sincerity and authenticity that you genuinely can’t tell if they’d be more at home commandeering a stage at a major UK rock festival, or simply rattling the floors of a gutbucket Memphis rhythm and blues bar. EH
Flowers of White
ASK ELLIOT are festival-ready with their new jangly track. The dreamy guitar backing and bouncy bassline are almost Smiths-like, with the lyrics hitting the perfect balance between invention and cliché. Nevertheless, in evoking the excitement and confusion of falling for someone, Flowers of White is a soundtrack for the perfect sunny day. SG
Like stepping into a record shop and browsing its many categories, we are first treated to a surprisingly effective marriage of Americana vocals to a wonky synthesizer accompaniment. The latter lends a touch of electro-pop to otherwise War On Drugs-esque rock as the song evolves, with the chorus followed by yacht-rock sax and indie-dance piano. It’s an eccentric mish-mash of quite disparate genres, but such bold experimentation is refreshing, and the result is a soothing record that evokes a cinematic montage of breezy heartland panoramas. EH.
Words: El Gray, Shannon Garner, Ed Haslam, Matthew Berks.
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