Tame Impala – ‘Patience’

Okay, I don’t need to state once again how game-changing Tame Impala‘s 2015 Currents record was for the band and the scene. We all know that, right? Their poppy third full-length them turned them from ‘that pretty nice Australian psychedelic rock band’ to ‘one of the biggest bands on planet now’. Four years later, Tame Impala are Coachella headliners, their fourth full-length is one of the most anticipated album of the industry and in-between Parker worked with Lady Gaga, got sampled by Rihanna, had a club hit with ZHU (My Life), worked with Theophilus London and Travis Scott and also lost a lot of his equipment due to the raging California wildfires last fall. Troubled times but Patience marks a return to form for Paker. It’s a sun-drenched piece pf psychedelic summer-pop, carried by a lush and charming piano melody and this special Tame Impala vibe which countless bands have been trying to copy over the past years but mostly failed. He manages to let this old-fashioned analogue vibe sound very contemporary and on top of it he’s just a really good songwriter that appears to be getting better and better with every release. So, yeah the forthcoming new Tame Impala record will probably make them even bigger than they already are and the backclash is waiting just around the corner but as long as the music is as good as on Patience I really couldn’t care less about that. (Norman Fleischer)

Kedr Livanskiy – ‘Ivan Kupala (New Day)’

Ivan Kupala night is a feast day in Russian, Ukraine, Belarus and Poland, with its roots way back in a pagan festival later Christianised by the Orthodox Church. The title of Kedr Livanskiy‘s new single Ivan Kupala (New Day) hints at the holiday’s themes – the blooming of new life and new adventures in life, from (mythically) blossoming ferns to new relationships. The new is something very relevant to Livanskiy right now, not only because she’s about to release a new album (Your Need is out in May), but because of the sound of that new record. The wide open spaces and otherworldy air of her previous outing Ariadne are reigned in, taken indoors and replaced with hard, breakbeat club music as the record’s spine, on a record that taken as a whole, is a leaner, more tumultuous and rapid collection of songs than her previous work. Ivan Kupala, the album’s final song, feels like the end goal realisation and blossoming of all that new, where the fresh elements confirm their home in her sonic tapestry, and fuse with her stylistic signatures – when the shuffling beat drops out, the chorus shines in like the dawn warming up the trees. After tumult, resolution, new life, new day. (Austin Maloney)

Jamila Woods – ‘EARTHA’

Somewhere in between anthem to march in protest and soothing music to heal, artist Jamila Woods finds her place. The Chicago based singer, poet and activist is about to release her sophomore album LEGACY!LEGACY! and shared EARTHA as a little sneak peek this month. Like all of the thirteen tracks of the LP due in May, the single is an ode to an icon of color in literature, art, and activism that inspired Jamila Woods.

The heavy beat draws a steady rhythm through the track dedicated to the actress, singer, and civil rights activist Eartha Kitt. With echoing and smooth vocals Jamila sings of self-respect and confidence on lines like ‘Who is gonna share my love for me with me?’. EARTHA is a mature and courageous ballad of a woman who found her own worth. ‘I’m trying to see eye to eye, but you see right over me’ are thoughts written down after an argument with a partner.  Lyrics like these push towards the realisation of being worthy of more. The gentle and slow R&B melodies sparkle in contrast to the bass-heavy drum section while Jamila Woods creates a lyrical monument ‘inspired by the badass spirit and wisdom of Bertha Kitt.’ (Liv Toerkell)

Das Boy – ‘Graceland’

I’m driving a truck across the rules of this feature, because Das Body didn’t actually release a song in March (their last single, Taller Than The Average Man, came out in February), and the song I’m picking as the headline actually came out last year. But after writing about Taller… in February, the Oslo band and their catalogue, comprised of that single and last year’s self-titled EP, filtered into my listening more this month, probably provoked by writing about them and their increased social media visibility from playing SXSW. And it was only at that point that I started to really get this band. What is, on the surface, bouncy, slightly goofy electro-pop really starts to show itself as some of the most open-hearted, raw and original pop music that any new band has delivered recently. The road to Dasbodycus moment really hit on Graceland‘s pre-chorus, where Ellie Linden wrings her voice out and exclaims “you know that this could make you feel so strange, this will make you see some change, oh I’m gonna make you feel something”. Pair that with the video’s mime-eqsue sorrowful contortions, and it’s a moment that floors you, one of those where music hits in a way it’s hard to explain or define. Dig deeper into their EP, and it’s full of moments like that, original in both their musical style, aided by Linden’s chewing-gum flexible voice, and the innovative little turns of phrase delivered in ways that stick in your head for days (another example is Know My Name‘s swooping “Jesus christ, there’s more to come, when I changed my mind again, so I gotta smoke more cigarettes and lose some more weight”). An awful lot of music at the moment is songwriter-factory produced pop music that’s not bad or even particularly bland, and is pretty well-crafted, but is ‘fine’, hitting a chorus into your head like your IKEA shelf holds your books up. And that’s not even really a problem – music is a business, and the majority of it is always going to be songs like that, and it’s fine to write about them and even like them, they’re the water that keeps the mill going. But when you find a band that have something extra outside of that, a special magic that’s makes them both unique and exciting, it stands out a mile. And that’s why Das Body are in this column this month. (Austin Maloney)

ANOHNI – ‘Karma’ (feat. J. Raplh & Jade Bell)

Receiving New music by the artist formerly known as Antony Hegarty is always a fascinating experience because you never know what you get from ANOHNI, well except for pretty extraordinary quality. While 2016’s HOPELESSNESS record surprised us with a electronic and pop-oriented sound his latest release is a tender reduced ballad, destined to send shivers down your spine. Karma is a collaboration with musician Jade Bell and film composer J. Ralph and it’s not only a brilliant piece of music but also one that comes with a good cause. All benefits from the track will go to Jade’s Kids, a non-profit organization founded by Bell which got the goal to creatively inspire young people. Bell’s biography is also a pretty intense one as a drug overdose in the late 90s left him both blind and immobile; turning into him a social activist who now fights for the greater good. Karma is a small but essential opportunity to contribute, so please donate and listen to the following words by ANOHNI herself:

‘Living in the world today can be tough. So many more kids, as well as adults, across the world are addicted to painkillers and pharmaceuticals that can kill us so easily It wasn’t hard to to get behind someone with as much guts as Jade, who is helping young people to reach for creativity instead of heroin or fentanyl. Please buy the single, and donate whatever you can afford to support Jade in his service to the community. I did it as a way of connecting to and caring for others as part of a larger family. You can too.’

Find the 50 most essential fresh tracks in the ‘Nothing But Now’ Playlist!

Our Daily Tunes from March 2019

Ain’t it wonderful to start your day with a fresh piece of music? Every day the writers of NBHAP pick a new song for you, present them on our page and add the to the playlist you’ll find below. These have been our highlights from the past weeks.