Stonking weather to go with a handful of stonking singles. To round up last week's competition, Vinyl Jacket were narrowly beaten by the beautiful 'Bluebell' from Sophie Barker as she swept up a little over 56% of the vote, with Ben Howard failing to pick up a single fan. Ouch. Having personally spent the weekend listening to The Beatles without pause, new music is needed and I'm happy to offer new tracks from Let's Wrestle, Sweet Sweet Lies, The Lost Cavalry and The Middle East, in exchange for your votes and comments. Have a listen, get sun burn and propel your favourite to our weekly crown by voting at the bottom of the page.
Let's Wrestle – 'If I Keep On Loving You'
Another spanking garage anthem from Let's Wrestle opens proceedings, all lovely and bristling with attitude and personality. Owing as much to Neutral Milk Hotel as Weezer, this is an authentic slice of the alternative underground, blending nineties Americana and twee high school lyrics to create an accessible, British answer to Wavves. The Leeds-based three piece have take a sideways glance at the urgency of Frightened Rabbit here, but as always retain the sense of alienation that has come to inspire their crisis-pop. The DIY edge adds a certain cynicism to the delivery, as the act take a self-deprecating journey through their own song-writing sensibilities.
Sweet Sweet Lies – 'Capital Of Iceland'
This is a brooding, sneering country track, if that makes sense. Harnessing the sinister vocal and sharp lyricism of Bellowhead, the Brighton band here present a pastiche of folk influences and beyond, from the bouncy bass work of Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit to the arguably metal influences in the angry, frenetic voice. Fast-paced and lightening tongued, this is a heart-broken ballad for the boozed and bitter.
The Lost Cavalry- 'Desert Tracks'
Immediately effete and more than a little twee, it requires persistence to last this through its four minutes plus, but 'Desert Tracks' pays off, in the shape of a song that refuses to be defined in its ever-changing tempo and tone, veering off the melancholy road of resignation to an abstract Sufjan Stevens tribute to abandoned diamond mines, Namibia, sand and horses.
The Middle East – 'Jesus Came To My Birthday Party'
I'm sure that you know what to expect from The Middle East by now, with a delightful lo-fi ditty served up here featuring boy/girl vocals dripping with chemistry bemoaning the tale of the title over a fuzzy, distorted backing. A garage hit taking in Best Coast, but surpassing Cosentino et al in longevity and depth. The track stands up to multiple listens, with plenty of surprises to keep you entranced long after the scuzzy three and a half minute summer.