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The Hot Five - August #4

  • Published in Columns

The Hot Five – My favourite new tracks of the week, usually rounded off with a classic, obscure or alternate track from my music collection.

Track of the Week: Blossoms – ‘Blow’

The sight of a Rickenbacker bass guitar always gets me weak at the knees, but that’s not the only impressive thing on show here. With a swagger reminiscent of Arctic Monkeys and Miles Kane, and hints of psychadelia, Blossoms have created something special from a range of their strongest musical influences. The video for ‘Blow’ was filmed on a humble budget of just £60, the band commented we wanted to make the video ourselves so we shot it in the warehouse where we rehearse and built a set and got a smoke machine, £60 later we had ‘Blow’…”. ‘Blow’ is out now via Skeleton Key Records, and you can see Blossoms on their headline tour of the UK throughout October.

The Courteeners – ‘How Good It Was’

‘How Good It Was’ is the lead single from The Courteeners latest album, Concrete Love, which was released last week. It’s a strong piece of Manchester indie rock, and working with producer Joe Cross (Hurts, Chlöe Howl) has refined that rough and ready sound that The Courteeners are typically associated with. For this very reason the track, and indeed the album, will probably split opinions; however, good production and a great hook in the chorus make this a clever and complete indie rock song for me. The Courteeners will be touring Concrete Love around the UK with 18 dates this October and November.

Royal Blood – ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’

I think back to the first time I heard ‘Out of the Black’ at the end of 2013; even back then it was clear that I’d stumbled across a pair of seriously talented musicians in Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher. Since then their success has been exponential, and their well-documented rise has seen them complete their first headline tour of the UK, and support Arctic Monkeys at their massive shows at Finsbury Park in May 2014. Their eponymous debut album, which features album track ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’, was released on Monday and is already shaping up to be one of the albums of the year. ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’ is, like the rest of the album, a raucous noise of big riffs and vocal hooks; enjoy.

Zola Blood – ‘Meridian’

The mysterious Zola Blood burst onto the scene in July with their debut track ‘Grace’, an ambient piece of down-tempo electronica. Follow up single ‘Meridian’ continues with a cleverly minimalistic sound that swells to accent some great melodic moments. ‘Meridian’ also promotes Zola Blood’s debut EP of the same name, which will be released both physically and digitally in October along with the band’s first live show in London on October 9.


Hidden track of the week: Elbow – ‘New York Morning’ 

The release of The Take Off and Landing of Everything, Elbow’s sixth studio album released in March 2014, largely passed me by. A rousing set at Glastonbury Festival and some time not spent writing a dissertation has won me over, with the album’s standout track being this one, which I featured earlier in the year but never fully appreciated. The song’s lyrics follow a diary entry that lead singer Guy Garvey made on a trip to New York, documenting his feelings as “the city was waking up”.

You can follow Tom on twitter @tom_fake


The Hot Five - July #1

  • Published in Columns


The Hot Five – My favourite new tracks of the week, usually rounded off with a classic, obscure or alternate track from my music collection. Tracks usually concentrate on guitar-based music, but really focus on anything and everything that I come across.

Track of the week: Novo Amor & Ed Tullett – ‘Faux’

There aren’t many songs that captivate you from the first listen, but for me this was really one that really did. The track’s reverberating falsetto vocals remind me of Vancouver Sleep Clinic and London Grammar, and the sense of space created gives it a very current sound. There’s a beauty about the laid back, well-produced atmosphere that is created by Cardiff-based Ali Lacey and Brighton’s Ed Tullett in this collaboration, so it’ll be good to hear what these two artists come up with next.


George Ezra – ‘Cassy O’

It’s been a busy week for George Ezra… After a massive show at the John Peel, and a number of smaller gigs across Glastonbury over the weekend, Ezra’s debut album was released on Monday. This song was very well received by the large Saturday crowd, and has gained some acclaim despite never being released as an official single. The 21-year-old delivered an impressive performance, which suggests good things about Wanted On Voyage, which is available now.

Royal Blood – ‘Figure It Out’

Royal Blood were another band to emerge triumphant at Worthy Farm. I apologise if news from Glastonbury is getting rather frustrating or old now, but Royal Blood provided one of the most energetic sets of the weekend. New single ‘Figure It Out’ maintains the high quality heard in ‘Out Of The Black’, ‘Little Monster’, and ‘Come On Over’, with a great rock hook in the chorus that has embarrassingly got me playing air guitar around the house all day.

Seeing as this is Musos' Guide, I don’t feel bad in telling all you muso’s that Royal Blood are releasing a special edition white vinyl version of debut album Royal Blood. The album will be available from August 18.


Bon Iver – ‘Heavenly Father’

First thing’s first, this isn’t necessarily what I expected it to be. The sampling of Justin Vernon’s vocal at the beginning of this track disguises the track before that unmistakable Bon Iver vocal enters. There are some great harmonies in here, and the arrangement of the track is both creative and rewarding. ‘Heavenly Father’ will appear on the soundtrack to new movie Wish I Was Here, which stars ScrubsZach Braff.

Hidden track of the week: Arcade Fire – ‘Wake Up’

Despite pulling off one of the greatest headline sets I have ever witnessed, it seems that Arcade Fire have had the least attention of the three Glastonbury headliners this year. Potentially it’s because they’re the act that requires the least justification for a headline slot, while much media attention has focused on the more controversial inclusion of Metallica. A set crammed full of hits, riffs, and energy culminated in a massive rendition of the classic ‘Wake Up’, taken from their 2004 album Funeral.

You can follow Tom on twitter @tom_fake

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