It’s been a big couple of weeks. 17 months later, 2 gigs announced, plenty more to come. I don’t need to tell you how good that feels. Yes, nothing’s 100%. Yes, it could all come collapsing down at any minute. For now, though, I just want to live in the moment. We’re getting there. Something akin to life resuming seems a genuine reality. We’re nearly there. We’ve nearly made it. All of us.
It’s also been a big couple of weeks for pure, unadulterated traxxxx m8. This week’s edition of ENDLESS UNSTOPPABLE TUNEZ is an all-new compendium featuring some sublime new artists and an awe-inspiring comeback. Shall we stop ruminating? Shall we get on with it? Ok, if we must:
Garsa – The Unfairity (EP)
Garsa’s a vet, man. The man formerly known as Martin Garside has a track record of excellence as part of The Maitlands, Little Avis and loads more. He’s been a vital cog in some of the best guitar bands Manchester has produced in the last 20 years. Now, with The Unfairity he steps to the front on his own with a complete about turn; a lovely set of lo-fi bedroom pop songs that showcase the understated beauty of his writing, the intimacy of his production and the compassion of his lyrics. The Unfairity feels like a moment of unfurling for Garsa; the delivery on the promise of last year’s singles ‘Jimmy Sour Highs’ and ‘The Devil’s Own’ in which he sets out his stall. He has produced the EP, written and played everything on it and even done all the artwork – in doing so he has given us a piece of his soul that is pure, infectious, full of unexpected delights and brimming with idiosyncratic melody. Another triumphant release for Golden Believers Records and a vindication for Garsa, who has cemented his status as a special talent.
Facebook – @garsamusicuk
Instagram – @Garsa
Twitter – @Garsa_music
YNES – Better Job
YNES is an absolute hoot. Everything she has released so far crackles with wit and radiates joy, and Better Job continues in that vein. Striding along buoyant and piano-driven with quickfire, half-spoken lyrics that spell out some uncomfortable home truths about the financial reality of being an artist in 2021, Better Job articulates anxieties and anger a lot of us are feeling more intelligently and perceptively than anyone I’ve heard in a long time. Plus, it’s got a banging singalong chorus. YNES is an exciting AF talent and one of the best lyricists I’ve come across in ages. Inventive, honest and laden with pure addictive hooks, Better Job is the most accomplished release so far from one of the most original artists going right now.
Facebook – @ynesmusic
Instagram – @ynesmusic
Twitter – @ynesmusic
The Umlauts – Boiler Suits & Combat Boots
I’m cheating a bit here because I heard this months ago, however I completely forgot about it and stumbled upon it again this week, remembering in the process how utterly ace it is. Based in Wimbledon but hailing from across mainland Europe, The Umlauts are as powerful an advert against the misery of Brexit as exists (apart from, y’know, the New Troubles). ‘Boiler Suits & Combat Boots’ is a sleek, enigmatic slice of zesty Electronic goodness in the vein of ya boiz Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream, with deadpan, duelling lead vocals dovetailing in an arrangement that is physically sparse but musically rich. Their debut EP U is forthcoming and looks set, if the lead single is owt to go by, to be one of the releases of the year.
Can’t find them anywhere on Social Media. They’re on Bandcamp though – theumlauts.bandcamp.com
ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Glasvegas – Godspeed
What a journey the last decade has been for this special, special band. So many obstacles, so much adversity and yet so much triumph. 2018’s 10th Anniversary tour seemed to revitalise a band who seemed to have had their backs broken by a series of unfair rejections, with the band once again reaching unstoppable heights as a live band. The thing is, live they have always been an extraordinary, powerful spectacle, brimming with the kind of life-affirming passion and unmatchable beauty that has on more than one occasion left your humble working writer in tears. The question remained… could they still deliver on record? What would a new Glasvegas album sound like so many years after 2013’s Later… When the TV Turns to Static? Godspeed is the answer, and it is emphatic.
A semi-concept album documenting a stream-of-consciousness diatribe spanning one dark Glesga night, Godspeed showcases a band, and in turn a writer in frontman James Allan, at the absolute peak of their powers. Clattering, fuzzy guitars in the trademark Glasvegas style pepper the album on songs like Cupid’s Dark Disco and Keep Me a Space, mingling with ice-cold synths that could light up the pitch-black sky. They sound familiar yet completely different with each song in a way no band has done since maybe The White Stripes. Dive and Shake the Cage (Fur Theo) buzz with new ideas, with the latter building to a synth driven, almost Trance-like synth-led crescendo beneath some sumptuous James Allan spoken word. Throughout the album James is in particular form, sounding impassioned and imperious, vocally the best he has sounded since that wonderful debut album. The album is perfectly structured, the concept beautifully realised, the aesthetic utterly captivating.
As you can probably tell, I love GV, I always have. Their music has been, deliberately and accidentally, the soundtrack to so many important moments in my life. Keep Me a Space was playing when my son was born. I used to walk the snowy streets of New Moston at night, a 16-year-old dreamer listening to Glasvegas on repeat and dreaming of ever writing songs that powerful, that truthful. They evoke so much for me. I think every album they’ve released is superb in its own way. But this is something else. Godspeed is a towering achievement from a band who have been far too often undervalued and underappreciated. As good, if not better than, their debut. It’s a masterpiece. I’m so glad they exist.
Facebook – @glasvegasofficial
Instagram – @glasvegasofficial
Twitter – @glasvegas