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With our Louder tracks of the week feature back in full swing, we can finally unveil the winners of our previous poll.
Coming in at first place with over half of the listener vote were LA grunge rockers Return To Dust with their stunningly sorrowful new single Live Like This. Following up in second place was Gen And The Degenerates, who won the hearts of 17.65% of you with their optimistically dystopian track Kids Wanna Dance. And taking third place podium was Sprints, netting 10.29% of the vote with their racing, middle-finger-raising alt-rock anthem Cathedral.
This week, we've got plenty more tunes for you to feast your eyes and ears on, so sit back, stick your speakers on and start your week with a bang as we share with you everything from artistic, shopping-list-themed rock to dreamy electronica.
Just be sure to vote for your favourite below.
Crawlers - Kills Me To Be Kind
Liverpudlian alt. rock quartet Crawlers bare their insecurities and purge out the effects of a noxious romantic past on this emotionally-charged new single. Ruminative lyrics and a dewy-eyed melody meet rough-around-the-edges indie guitar, growing into a euphoric and cathartic release - a final goodbye to harmful habits and harmful people. As they explain, it’s “a song for all the people pleasers. The ones ready to settle in a relationship where they felt diminished of their true self and finally breaking out of that moment”.
Chelsea Wolfe – Everything Turns Blue
Like taking a quiet walk during that liminal time of low light and shallow slumber just before dawn, doom goth Chelsea Wolfe flows through surreal electronic soundscapes, as delicate percussion patters like a heartbeat, her voice lustrous and serpentine, weaving woozily through the mix. Speaking of the inspiration behind the song, she notes how it's about “finding yourself again after a long era of being part of something toxic", adding: “Making a split with someone after 10 years, 20 years, 30 years — there’s going to be some high highs and low lows as you begin to process it all.”
IDLES - Gift Horse
This track arrives with encouragement from frontman Joe Talbot, who bizarrely urges listeners to “be bold and ride us like the disco donkeys we are.” Disco however, it is not, as disorientating bass hums in a circular microwave-like motion, knife-sharp guitars clattering and grating against its edges under hip-hop-inspired, choppy vocals. An unsurprisingly cool release from the Bristolian punk band, and a inviting teaser for upcoming album Tangk.
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Chemical Animal
Taken from their forthcoming album Glasgow Eyes, Scottish alt. rockers The Jesus & Mary Chain have shared the sedate new single Chemical Animal. Hazy and unsettling, the track is a ghostly drift into the past, as a swirling nebula of pulsing percussion and pensive guitars create a moody atmosphere that’s easy to get lost in. “I was thinking back to those dark days of chemical dependency”, says Jim Reid. “When you fall so deep into that hole that everything you do is by instinct. The drugs are the driving force. The thing that gets you from a to b is whether you can score. It was a horrible way to live and I’m thankful I don’t live that way anymore.”
Laura Jane Grace - Birds Talk Too
To coincide with her new album announcement, Hole In My Head, punk powerhouse Laura Jane Grace has unveiled the new single Birds Talk Too, a scrappy and sunny, two-minute-long paean to a memorable holiday.
“Ten years ago I started getting tattooed by a Japanese tattoo artist named Gakkin,” she recalls. “I travelled all around the world getting the work done literally starting with my feet and ending with getting my head tattooed in Amsterdam in July of 2022.
“At the end of our session, Gakkin gifted me a hand-painted Gretsch guitar, covered in beautiful, intricate, swirling design. I took the guitar back to my hotel room and immediately wrote Birds Talk Too. The lyrical references are all Amsterdam: Schipol is the airport, Rookies is my favourite cannabis cafe and Champagne Haze is my favourite strain.”
Kim Gordon - Bye Bye
Ex-Sonic Youth frontwoman Kim Gordon conjures a tense mood on this strangely stylish new solo track, with abrasive guitar and glitching electronics forming a startling backdrop against weirdly mundane lyrics that take the form of a shopping list, including everything from hair conditioner, to mascara and eye masks. Unconventional and artistic, it could easily have been stolen from an unnerving audio-visual art exhibit.
Whores - Quitter's Fight Song
The video for the first single from Whore’s forthcoming War album features a brilliantly sarcastic demolition of what passes for ‘alternative rock’ radio in America in 2024 (“Welcome back to Indy 104FM… that was Coldplay followed by Imagine Dragons… now let’s go on a journey, one of my independent artists of all time... Red Hot Chili Peppers”), before an absolutely filthy riff and chants of “Fight! Fight! Fight!” kick in. Whores have been under-rated for far too long, but if your tastes run to Helmet, Quicksand, Unsane or any other classic NYC noise-rock, the Atlanta, Georgia band’s new tune will elevate your blackened heart. A banger, simple as.
Gossip - Real Power
The title track of the first Gossip album in 12 years - ‘We needed space to deal with our shit” was Beth Ditto’s succinct answer as to why the Arkansas band broke up in 2016 - is sure to trigger happy memories for anyone captivated by the irresistible Standing in the Way of Control. The band’s official ‘comeback’ single Crazy Again slipped by without much fanfare last November, but Real Power is waaaaaay too good to ignore, an uplifting Rick Rubin-produced disco-punk anthem with its roots in Studio 54 hedonism, and Ditto promising “In a moment, anything could happen”. The feel-good hit of the winter, hands-down.