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!
Artist: Emma-Jean Thackray
Song: “Our People”
An indelible funk/jazz piece that brings Emma-Jean Thackray’s incredible gruff voice and arrangement wizardry to a frantic and spinning live set, “Our People” is an exceptional offering from the UK artist. Splashing and incessant drums spiral off into a controlled calamity as keys, tuba, and chanting four-part vocals swirl and sway together. There’s a satisfyingly chaotic busy-ness to this tune’s composition that has the masterful drumming of Dougal Taylor at its centre.
Artist: The Weeknd
Song: “Take My Breath”
Hot take: with “Take My Breath”, The Weeknd is taking a respectable swipe at MJ’s King of Pop title. A huge, banging, love-fest collision of synth-pop and disco draws some of the best songwriting we’ve seen out of the Toronto native. Glitzy keys, massive high-register vocals, an anthemic bass groove, and a speaker-pumping, stadium-filling hook cements another banger in The Weeknd’s ever-growing catalogue.
Artist: Iron Lizards
Song: “Obey / Annihilate”
Album/EP: Hungry for Action
Raw, redlining amps and incessantly flailing drums spell destruction for all who stand in French power trio Iron Lizards’ way. The thrash of 80s hardcore and the greasy sheen of DIY garage come together in “Obey / Annihilate” in a way that outright screams classic rock and roll rebellion. It’s rough, it’s unhinged, it’s intoxicating.
Bright and catchy indie clashes with the pessimistic lyrical content of Glaswegian solo artist Gunke in recent single “Mum”. Lines like ‘I don’t think your mum really likes me, but that’s ok ’cause no one does’ tucks into sneaky spaces between airy electric guitars and disarmingly optimistic syllabic vocals.
Artist: Smashed Gladys
Song: “Never Take No”
Your ears aren’t deceiving you: “Never Take No” is bonafide hair metal straight from the 80s, originally a demo produced by Gene Simmons in 1983 that has since been remastered in a posthumous release honouring Smashed Gladys’ late frontwoman Sally Cato. Soaring guitars and Cato’s snarling vocals show Simmons’ fingerprints, creating a gargantuan stadium-rock single.