Sometimes the world of rock can get noisy and chaotic as hundreds of hopeful up and coming acts, alongside music legends, release new material each month. Don’t fret about filtering through it all though. Here’s a list of five song releases in May that you should listen to before the month comes to a close.
1. Brave Bird—T-Minus Grand Gesture: “Rekindle”
Brave Bird first first rose to popularity in 2011 with a slew of comparisons to the emo-rock kings Brand New, but the Ann Arbor trio really made its own name in this sweeping guitar stunner. Lead singer and guitarist Chris Lieu’s sultry voice slinks along the languid guitars as he pours all his self-loathing and loneliness into the autobiographical tune. The awkward perils of teenage angst have not been displayed in such agonizing specificity since the early days of Weezer. Enjoy.
2. Sharon Van Etten—Are We There: “Your Love Is Killing Me”
The Brooklyn singer-songwriter’s recent fourth album Are We There sees the starlet embrace larger-than-life, crushing power ballads and float through a bottomless river of heartache. This track—built on a melancholy string of piano notes and forlorn drum thudding, steers Etten’s aggressive vocals as she howls: “Break my legs so I won’t walk to you/ Cut my tongue so I can’t talk to you/ Burn my skin so I can’t feel you.” The princess of break-up soundtracks strikes again.
3. The Magic Gang—“She Won’t Ghost”
This latest track from Brighton’s The Magic Gang may be their most straight-ahead rock single to date—but with their twisted touch, it’s still safely off the mainstream radar. Frontman Kristian Smith sing-a-long hooks and Angus Taylor’s body-slamming guitar riffs are smothered in a sheet of dark cymbal noise, cooking up a dark classic treat so deliciously messy that listeners will beg for seconds.
4. Merchandise—USA ’13: “No You and Me”
Merchandise’s music is often met with a hyphenated “post”—post rock, post-punk, and even post-hardcore. But, “No You and Me” paints the Tampa trio as innovators of new genre, which thrives in a pool of untamed hyperactivity and emotion. Clocking in just over 6 minutes, the track takes its time teasing out the knots and tangles of its progressive hooks, before bursting to life in the final stretch with a grandiose-guitar swing.
5. Slow Club—Complete Surrender: “Tears of Joy”
Suddenly armed with juicy bubble-gum pop jangles and soulful lyrics—not to mention a new tinge of heartache blues—Sheffield folk-rock duo have grabbed national attention with this new, beautiful opener track from their upcoming, still-in-progress third album. A slow-burner, the single navigates through an artfully crafted hypnotic sprawl of disco-funk rhythms, electric guitar and trademark vocal interplay.
Purchase a CD and buy concert tickets from each band’s website, and let us know in the comments which tracks made your list!
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