‘New year, new me’ is overrated. ‘New year, new music’ is better! Here’s some artists and releases that have recently crossed our radar.
Phoxjaw – “Lottery”
The sweet riffage at the intro of this track had me hooked from first listen. Bristol based Phoxjaw released “Lottery” in October, the follow up to their two-track debut single (Victorian Dolls/Spin Club). “Lottery” goes hard and chaotic, with expansive choruses the only reprieve. It’s so wild and riff happy that I’m even willing to overlook the momentary cowbell. The shifts in “Lottery” held my interest through to the end. Loved it.
BAILER – “Long Gone”
How good is new music?! BAILER are an Ireland based metal/hardcore quartet with their self-titled EP on the way next month. In the meantime they have dropped “Long Gone” and it’s so good. It’s ominous and prickly, reflecting conflict with a drenching of fear. It’s unpredictable and impressive in its structure, and feels like a melodic rabbit hole of discomfort you can get lost in. Loved every minute of this intense ride, and goddamn what an ending.
We Were Sharks – “Ashley”
Canadian six piece We Were Sharks hit us with a punk rock ode to old flames with “Ashley”. This so-fast-you-might-miss-it track comes from the band’s Lost Touch album releasing next month, and is a warm and fuzzy dose of infectious reminiscing and love.
Behind Crimson Eyes
Melbourne metalcore/hardcore band Behind Crimson Eyes not only played at Unify Gathering over the last week, they’ve also released new single “Say Bad Things”. The track gives a hard stare toward the topic of sexual abuse by religious leaders. “Say Bad Things” feels like a collective force speaking out against a manipulative facade. The band are going beyond the music alone, and will be donating 25% of all royalties from “Say Bad Things” to charities who help victims and survivors of abuse.
Sienna Skies – “Widow”
Another band we caught at Unify was Sienna Skies. The Sydney band released “Widow” recently, along with a music video. “Widow” is fluidly done; metalcore ache expressed by divine guitarwork and raw vocal emotion. The use of colour in the video powerfully heralds a sense of reinvention or waking up.
Conveyer – “New Low”
Midwest band Conveyer go hectic and heavy in “New Low”. The track comes from latest album No Future, released mid last year. “New Low” starts out with boxing gloves up, hitting back at crushing experiences with intensity. Beyond hitting hard, “New Low” is soaring storytelling unfolding in front of us, owning up to needing to put on a mask to handle social anxiety. Gorgeous, gritty, and moving.
The Amsterdam Red-Light District – “Carry On”
A very cool 360 music video is how The Amsterdam Red-Light District have shared “Carry On”; their second single in the leadup to sophomore album Sapere Aude, releasing in March. The glitchy and split wildness of the video reflects the sketchy grip on life and raw intensity the band express in the huge track. Loved this 3:45 of heavy insanity.
Traveller – “The Idea”
German post-metalcore band Traveller released Hourglass EP last year, and “The Idea” is one of the tracks from the seven track release. The cinematic and fiery track confronts oppressive and controlling forces, with courageous and revolutionary thought; acknowledging the untouchable/unbreakable nature of the mind and ideas. Strength and hope are combined into an intricate piece of music.
Forbidden Seasons – “Thank You For The Venom”
Italian metalcore quintet Forbidden Seasons have announced their debut album Promise is coming in March, as well as dropping “Thank You For The Venom”. The track is a curious combination of gentle and ethereal melodics and crushing heaviness, using hurt as strength to confront another. Following this track like a thread and ending with strengthening layers and a confirmation to ‘bring them down’ is so satisfying.
Sad Hill – “Mantras For A Failed Academic”
“Mantras For A Failed Academic” is the debut single from Sad Hill, a new indie punk trio from Perth. Cool riffs and driving pace set the scene while a determined voice calls hopefully out into the ether, aiming for more. Chaotic at times and undeniably cool.