What did you do this week? Much of my week was spent in the sun, dealing with 38-degree heat. (That's Celsius, American readers.) When I wasn't doing that, I was rediscovering my love of swimming; I hadn't been in any sort of swimming pool for a few years, but my technique is still basically flawless. When not doing that, I had my earphones in and my head in a book. I had my out-of-office on until Wednesday, so that meant I had to cram a few days' worth of submissions into one mammoth listening session once I had caught up with a flood of emails. That was fun.

I'm not even being sarcastic; I had to make some snap decisions for this week's edition of New Music Friday, but that meant I listened to even more new stuff than usual before whittling the selection down to the regular baker's dozen. The standard of quality control is high this week, so you can be sure you're hearing the absolute best the week's had to offer.

Zoo Zero - 'Fraktion'

Psych-rock has been having a good year, and it's about to get even better, with the news that London experimentalists Zoo Zero are set to release their self-titled debut album on September 30th. The follow-up to last year's Green Apples EP will be self-released on Crest Cont. Records, and it's shaping up to be absolutely brilliant; they've gone and released a 7+-minute track as its lead single (as you do), but 'Fraktion' (which also serves as the album opener) also acts as a mission statement, its forceful drums and restless bassline taking krautrock groove and setting it against swathes of noise.

It's melody versus cacophony, and while I'm not sure which side wins, the contrast is supremely effective. Before you know it, the song's sputtered to a halt, at which point you'll probably want to go through the whole experience all over again. It's exciting enough on its own, but it's also a free download. Win-win.


SlowPlaceLikeHome - 'There Go the Lights Again'

The world that Keith Mannion inhabits is a strange one - he's been 'making sound waves from a distant forest' for the last few years, and released a number of EPs along the way. His music is similarly unusual, and merits close attention. He may not have any genuinely new music to showcase at this point in time - he's recently signed to Bluestack Records; his debut album, Romola, is due in November and has a teaser video to go along with it - but I've got another free treat for you in the form of the title track from last year's There Go the Lights Again, a fascinating, atmospheric track in which hip-hop beats join forces with ambient drones, sparse melody and breathtaking electronic flourishes, not to mention an eerie, vocodered vocal that renders the track's lyrics borderline intelligible. It's not easy to grasp, but the best music rarely is.


Bird Call - 'Tao of Love

Appearances can be deceptive. What starts out as a sparse song can quickly blossom into something else entirely, and this is exactly what the new track from New Yorker Bird Call (aka Chiara Angelicola) does. Her supremely soulful voice charts the track's progression from downbeat and insular to busy and majestic. An impressive mix of rhythms give the song an infectious sort of energy, and its mournful, minor-key chord progression is imbued with a slick pop sound that shows off Angelicola's surprising lightness of touch. It's taken from the debut album, Will We Get to Mars, that's been roughly 19 months in the making and is due in little over a fortnight, achieving liftoff on September 2nd via Found Objects. It's quite possible that it could be one of the most unexpected pop surprises of the year; for now, Angelicola's new track will have to do.


This week also features new music from David Lawrie, Black Hearted Brother, Baby Strange, Druture & Little Cloud, Hejira, Lorelle Meets the Obsolete, The Stargazer Lilies, Constant Mongrel, Reg Life and Pinegrove.