Every week, we’re sent dozens if not hundreds of promotional emails from agents, PR firms, and hopeful artists containing the latest releases from around the world. From the biggest superstars to the ambitious self-starters we comb through it all to highlight to you what we’ve been digging, the tunes that caught our eye, and the recommended selections that make the notifications worth it. This is New Music From The Inbox! (Short on time? Listen to this article in playlist form!)
Artist: Single Mothers
Song: ‘Sad Dumb Game’
Drew Thomson might be the only permanent member of Single Mothers, but with how much this band has shape shifted over its electrifying lifetime you’d be hard pressed to guess it. Where 2014’s Negative Qualities was searing hardcore punk, 2023’s Roy looks to be shaping up to be a brighter indie affair – Thomson’s talk-singing is accompanied by a catchy flighty melodic riff and scuzzy rhythm on guitars, hopping through a deceptively quick runtime with critical ease.
Artist: Royel Otis
Song: ‘Going Kokomo’
Album/EP: Sofa Kings
The Beach Boys didn’t know what they were unleashing when conceiving of the silly-sounding imaginary paradise of Kokomo, but Royel Otis is only happy to oblige the perceived principality with their breezy ‘Going Kokomo’. Jangly guitars, nonchalant singing, and a minimalist kick and snare drum beat don’t quite get into the surf rock trope, but they’re certainly not afraid to dip their toes into the impeccably beachy vibes on this sunny Sofa King cut.
Artist: Poppy Patica
Song: ‘Awful Sound’
Album/EP: Black Cat Back Stage
Another jangly entry to the Inbox, this time veering towards an unflinchingly peppy power pop flavour that nearly unhinges itself in Poppy Patica’s ‘Awful Sound’. The DC group sprinkles some zest on this agile single as it speeds along, highlighted by screwball key runs and dynamically twinging guitars. I’m almost tempted to label the tune as post-modern, since it so simply yet effectively steps away from other contemporary power pop releases – I couldn’t see Alvvays or Charly Bliss getting this loopy!
Artist: Gentleman’s Dub Club
Song: ‘High Hopes’ feat. Eva Lazarus
Bright high-energy reggae that veers into a surprisingly delightful drum and bass conclusion, ‘High Hopes’ injects a modern dub flair into the hooky single. It’s got all the shining hallmarks of the genre – warbling keys, boisterous brass stings, and a heartfelt duet delivery featuring vocalist Eva Lazarus – plus a healthy dose of danceable hardbass-lite (mediumbass?) production to carry us through the conclusion.
Artist: Cowboy Junkies
Song: ‘What I Lost’
Album/EP: Such Ferocious Beauty
A dark, discordant, and devastating exploration of loss and reflection is on display with Cowboy Junkies’ latest, ‘What I Lost’. A reflection on the dementia-ridden descent of the band’s shared father, the siblings of the Cowboy Junkies aren’t afraid to plumb the depths of their grief and translate it into a beautifully gentle sonic assault. The disjointed instrumentals of roughly weeping guitar, peeling string strikes, and an unevenly compiled rhythm of drum set and bass set alight a shattering single.