I really have to give credit to Jarvis Cocker for not overstretching the temporary Pulp reunion in the early decade to unbearable degrees. That would have been too easy for a man who’s always looking for the next artistic adventure. Following two underrated solo albums in the late 00s he flew a bit under the radar during the past years, accept for the joint album he released with Chilly Gonzales. Now, he’s launching a new project called JARV IS… and, well, it’s quite a thing. His new band also features other artists Serafina Steer, Emma Smith, Andrew McKinney, Jason Buckle & Adam Betts. They played their first show at Sigur RósNorður og Niður festival in Iceland at the end of 2017 and have been played at various occasions ever since.

According to the mysterious press release JARV IS… is primarily a live experience and their first single MUST I EVOLVE? was also mostly recored live last April when they played a concert in Peak Cavern, Derbyshire. Playing in caves is indeed a pattern we sense when we take a look their touring plan. The track continues that theme as Cocker is pretty much summing up humanity’s entire evolution within sven minutes. But of course, not without being critical. Look how far we’ve come only to end up in the stone age again. At least Cocker and his group are using that cave metaphor to start a giant tribal rave in them and the music really helps here. It’s a massive krautrocking dancefloor anthem with psychedelic notion and you immediately sense how good this must feel when played live. These days they are performing at the Primavera Sound Festival and on June 4th they are playing in a cave in Ibiza because… well, you know why. (Norman Fleischer)

Clairo – ‘Bags’

On her previous releases, such as Youtube-breakthrough single Pretty Girl and debut EP diary 001 Claire Cottrill aka Clairo celebrates the longings and disenchantments of adolescent love. For Clairo, the release of her new single Bags and her debut album Immunity (to be released in August), also marks her coming-of-age. It’s the first song of her dealing with her own sexuality, describing a fantasy where she fell in love with a girl in the seat next to her while driving through Los Angeles in the nighttime. ‘Can you see me? I’m waiting for the right time/ I can’t read you but, if you want, the pleasure’s all mine’ the Massachusetts-based artist sings. While she came only came out as queer within the last year, the 20-year old will deal with topics such as queer love, but also anxiety and depression on her album. Bags was coproduced by Rostram (ex Vampire Weekend) with drums by Danielle Haim. While Bags still uses the same, innocent-seeming lo-fi production, it’s more reflective and withdrawn compared to her previous releases. The song might be the perfect anthem for tepid summer evenings and long car journeys. And maybe for falling in love with the person in the seat next to you. (Louisa Zimmer)

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – ‘Black Star Dancing’

Obviously for Noel Gallagher the release of a full disco mode single isn’t a big thing anymore in the year 2019. Ten years after the infamous split of Oasis the older of the Gallagher brothers is doing his best to move away from the Britrocker’s musical legacy. I already noticed that during his last tour and while 2017’s Who Built The Moon? already saw him moving further into the field of psychedelic dance sounds, Black Star Dancing takes this whole thing even further. But, well, that’s what you get when you’re recording a tune with Mr. ‘Get Lucky’ himself, Nile Rodgers. In a short (as always) press statement the Mancunian mastermind describes it with the following words:  “It manages to combine the influences of David Bowie, INXS, U2, Queen, Indeep AND ZZ Top FFS! … I might have been watching too much Top Of The Pops recently … anyway, it’s ‘dope’ … not my words, but the words of Nile Rodgers who literally danced in the studio when he heard it!”Any questions left? Liam already hates it and is plotting his revenge but Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds continue to fly into any possible direction. Next stop is a short EP that also goes by the title Black Star Dancing and it arrives on June 14. Personally, I enjoy Noel’s disco phase very much, maybe just for the sake of imagining how he actually dances to this tune. (Norman)

Tycho – ‘Pink & Blue (feat. Saint Sinner)’

Well, I can’t really say I’m surprised. We all knew that it was only a matter of time before Scott Hansen’s acclaimed dream electro project Tycho would leave the familiar instrumental path and embrace vocals in their music. A first ‘remix turning into collabo’ attempt with Beacon in 2017 already hinted on what will now arrive in full form on Tycho’s new album Weather which arrives on Mom + Pop Music/ Ninja Tune on July 12. After slowly but steady turning his former solo project into a full band over the years the addition of a vocalist – Hannah Cottrell aka Saint Sinner – only appeared to be the next logical step. And as much as I personally still struggle a bit with decision I also have to admit that the project hit a dead end, following 2016’s Grammy-nominated album Epoch. Hansen told everything he had to tell without using words and he probably didn’t want to get stuck as well. Pink & Blue is a strange affair. Tycho‘s DNA is still sensible here and Cottrell’s voice fits pretty well to the sound but it also limits the possibilities to interpret the music in a personal way. Luckily there’s also an instrumental version for all oldschool Tycho lovers here. And judging from the other new song – Easy – the new album won’t be ‘vocals only’ after all. Change is inevitable and Pink & Blue will surely grow on you if you allow it to do so. (Norman Fleischer)

Slow Pulp – ‘Big Day EP’

Strange times we’re living in, and it feels like the music business’ traditional powerbrokers are about five years away from losing total control of huge chunks of their market. The phenomenon of younger generations, raised permanently hooked to YouTube and disdainful of the several minutes it can actually take to read a text interview with a band, discovering music via YouTube channels and Soundcloud mixes has been discussed a little over the last few years, but generally in terms of bolt-from-the-blue underground rap songs that racked up millions of plays before anyone at a label had even heard of them. However, a lower-intensity version of that phenomenon is also present when it comes to bedroom pop and dream indie. Scout around YouTube a little, and you’ll find hazy indie songs from little-known bands sitting on millions of views, and dedicated channels set up to compile and feed them to a massive audience (and some of those channels demand a couple of hundred dollars to playlist a song, so someone is making money from this new media environment).

It’s a media ecosystem that plays a part in the rise of Wisconsin four-piece Slow Pulp. The band’s gracefully breezy style of music lands right in perfect sonic territory for that playlist world, and it’s adopted them eagerly, with many of their songs posted across various channels and pushed into the path of an audience of thousands. But the thing is, even there, slotted in amongst songs chosen for how similar they sound, Slow Pulp stand out. Anyway can write a decent bedroom indie track that’ll sound fine on a playlist designed for background music. Slow Pulp‘s songs are something else, nimble, carefully layered compositions, with their recent EP Big Day pairing the atmospheric swell of opener Do You Feel It to the Smith Westerns-esque swoop of High.  It’s a gorgeous record, and a great introduction to a band that hopefully has a lot more to come. (Austin Maloney)

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

Our Daily Tunes from May 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.