2015 Broadcast Launch Playlist!

FreshAir.org.uk Playlist: 26/01/15 from freshairmusic on 8tracks Radio.

1 Viet Cong - Silhouettes Pitched somewhere between the mathy convulsions of The Dismemberment Plan and Wolf Parade’s synth-driven noiry anthems, Canada’s Viet Cong have put out another killer single with ‘Silhouettes’. Following their guitarist’s death in 2012, Canada’s Women have managed to regroup and make good on the acclaim of their first two records with Viet Cong’s self-titled debut, a remarkable record made up of this kind of unforgettable (and excitingly new in a sphere occupied by Gang of Four disciples and people who just discovered Unknown Pleasures) post-punk that will make you never want to listen to Interpol again. Stellar. Emmett Cruddas

2 Laura Marling - False Hope ‘False Hope’, the second single taken from Marling’s eagerly awaited new album Short Movie marries the singer’s elegantly weighty vocals with a new and refreshing melodic and surprisingly electric sound. The folk elements are present but for a song inspired by American culture and poetry they are presented against a backdrop of moody lyrics and angst ridden guitar which once again prove Marling’s talent for capturing emotion and capsulate her previous work but with a promising new angle. Andrew Malcolm

3 Lone - Life Time Loop Lone - It’s becoming a ritual now that at the start of every new year he puts out something that redefines the sound that put him in the spotlight. This year’s offering comes with an infectious grooves and dreamy synths, and hopefully much more to come. Eric Edmund

4 Aphex Twin - diskhat ALL prepared… Presumably building upon the formula established by Syro’s stand-out track “aisatsana [102]” - which was once performed by a self-playing piano swinging from the ceiling of the Barbican - Richard D James’ accessible new offering takes the intricate rhythms and jarring basslines that have become his signature and applies them to a collection of computer-controlled acoustic drum kits and pianos. With a sound that would feel at home on any respectable 90s crime drama soundtrack, while “Diskhat ALL Prepared1mixed [snr2mix]” won’t provide any new rhythmic or harmonic ground for hardcore Aphex Twin fans, the new textures being explored on this track have given the electronic artist a new lease of life after a fairly derivative output last year. Will Robinson

5 St Vincent - Bad Believer This new track from St. Vincent is a previously unreleased song that will be included on the deluxe edition of her fantastic 2014 self-titled album. Bad Believer is perhaps the most strangely upbeat and straight-forward rock song she’s released since Actor but it’s still a tour-de-force of effortlessly catchy art-pop. Patrick Cartlidge

6 Sleater-Kinney - No Cities To Love The title track off Sleater-Kinney’s magnificent reunion album is one of their most direct and insistent hits in years, certainly harkening back to Dig Me Out over anything off their more conceptually-minded later records. Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker’s vocals and guitars fit together as deftly as ever, while lyrically the band have lost none of their politicised wit, satirising millennials’ attitudes toward urban comfort. If you want to see J Mascis, Andy Samberg and Brownstein’s co-star on Portlandia Fred Armisen sing along, check the video. EC

7 The Cribs - An Ivory Hand Bolstered by five pretty great-to-excellent albums, three of the best pairs of ears for hooks and the UK’s most devoted and obsessive indie fanbases, The Cribs have gone to America to record For All My Sisters with Ric Ocasek (The Cars, produced Weezer’s Blue and Guided by Voices’ Do The Collapse. Boss.) after previous efforts with Steve Albini, Edwyn Collins and Alex Kapranos behind the boards. Lead single ‘An Ivory Hand’ is magnificent for its welcome embrace of traditional power-pop, killer songwriting and the Jarmans’ reliably off-kilter turns of phrase. Yes, it sounds a lot like Pinkerton and no it won’t be replacing ‘Another Number’ as festival crowds’ Cribs singalong of choice but its yet another example of one of our best DIY bands growing further and further away from their ‘landfill’ criticisms, leaving NME-bound contemporaries in the dust. EC

8 Trust Fund - Essay to Write ‏It’s the refreshing, blunt honesty of Trust Fund which makes them so excellent. There’s something so familiar about the feelings expressed in their songs, they leave you with a warm feeling in your tummy. ‘Essay to Write’ is about stress of essays and uni on a dwindling relationship, something which most people can relate to. The guitars have a jangly indie pop sound to them and the sweet vocals from Ellis Jones give the song more depth. With the release of their debut album in February, and having recently signed to Turnstile, Trust Fund are set for excellent things and it’s the honest sadness of their songs that are going to take them there. Rachel Earnshaw

9 Panda Bear - Boys Latin ‘Boys Latin’ is the second single from Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper. The track recalls the glimmering sounds of Animal Collective’s MPP. This track is more accessible than some of his other work as a solo artist or as part of Animal Collective because it is upbeat and more melody driven. Listening to ‘Boys Latin’ feels like being stuck in an eternal echo chamber with the celestial sound of Panda Bear’s voice and some deep synth-y grooves. It is absolutely glorious. And the video accompaniment from Isaiah Saxon and Sean Hellfritsch is equally mesmerising. Liz Clarke

10 Nicki Minaj/Beyonce - Feeling Myself ‏As Minaj says in the ‘Flawless’ remix, it is everyone’s dream, ‘fantasizing ‘bout Nicki and Bey’. The pair reunite on ‘Feeling Myself’, from Minaj’s third and strongest album. The track is infectious hip hop, with Minaj at her lyrical best. From the two of the most powerful women in music, you wouldn’t expect anything other than essentially a bragging contest. Nicki cements herself as ‘the Queen of Rap’ a statement many critics may contest, but it’s tracks like this, and ultimately the whole of The Pinkprint, that really question why Minaj isn’t heralded as one of, if not the, greatest rapper around, and is still trying to prove herself as a rapper. Minaj’s slick raps are paired with Beyonce at both her most egotistical and sexy. Beyonce boasts about her game-changing album, and how she managed to stop the role. ‘Feeling Myself’ is two musicians at the top of their game, boasting about being so excellent, and it’s incredible‪.‬ RE .

11 Houndmouth - Sidona Having just announced the release date of their sophomore album Little Neon Limelight, their first single showcases their modern twist on classic Americana. EE

12 The Vaccines - Handsome After a considerable absence, London Indie kids The Vaccines return with another charmingly addictive song, ‘Handsome’, beginning with the eponymous chanting of singer Justin Young, the single stands easily beside previous hits such as ‘Norgaard’ and ‘If You Wanna’. Handsome presents a bolder melodic take on their well greased formula. Compared to previous EP Melody Calling, new album English Graffiti appears less detached from their signature sound but instead more considered. AM

13 Liturgy - Questzaloatl Liturgy are a force to be reckoned with in metal. Their last album, 2011’s Aesthethica, combined the harsh textures of black metal with the driving force and speed of math rock and the repetitiveness of old school no-wave. ‘Quetzalcoatl’, the first cut from their upcoming album The Ark Work, introduces a more electronic and industrial edge to their sound. The song starts off starkly but soon develops into a chaotic storm of drum machines, layered guitars and synths. This divergence in sound, structually and sonically, proves Liturgy to be one of the most creative and experimental metal bands around and promises great things for The Ark Work. PC

14 Yung Gutted x Wiki - Facts One of the highlights of Ryan Hemsworth’s latest soundcloud promo drop for his Secret Songs Label, ‘Facts’ sees NY’s youth indie rap icon du jour Wiki confidently take on a lovingly crafted homage to Memphis lo-fi trunk rattlers from neighbour Yung Gutted, one of the most fondly-loved and talented post-Lil Ugly Mane individuals on Soundcloud. Look out for Gutted’s Towers 2 EP and more fire from Ratking. EC

15 Aesop Rock - Cat Food The man with the most well-thumbed dictionary in hip hop released this on a ‘collaborative vinyl toy’ with KidRobot, Whiskers: The Undead last year but decided to put it up on Soundcloud. The track, produced by Blockhead, probably won’t win Aes any new fans but his wilfully dense and probably obnoxious lyrics are, as ever, a pleasure to pore over. (Insert backpack joke here). EC

16 Alex Calder - Strange Dreams Ex-Mac Demarco-co-conspirator Alex Calder is always going to face comparisons with his fellow dreamy Canadian singer-songwriter. The two share a sound that is strongly melodic and yet hazily out of reach, but this is where the similarity ends. With sheets of reverb-laden guitars providing a wash of sound reminiscent of Joe Meek’s production in the 60s, “Strange Dreams” uses classic pop sounds to smuggle into your subconscious an unconventionally hyperactive chorus melody, supported by an insistent motorik-style rhythm. It seems that Calder understands how to make great psychedelic music without sacrificing his pop sensibilities. WR

17 Future Brown - Talkin Bandz ‘Talking Bandz’ is the third track released by producer super group Future Brown and just one more reason to be incredibly excited about their debut album being released in February. Whilst the ominous and heavy beat alone would make this a stand-out track, the slurred robotic hook delivered by DJ Victoriouz and fiery verses courtesy of Shawnna only enhance this song even further. Frankly this is just an amazing display of badassery and whilst Future Brown is not yet well known, I’d be surprised if this song didn’t become a club staple by the end of the year. PC

18 Rae Sremmurd - Unlock The Swag The appeal of Mississippi’s own millennial answer to Kriss Kross (storK ssirK?) is probably better expressed in flame emojis and exclamations of backwards words than full sentences. One of their remarkably madcap debut SremmLife’s most cohesive and singular picks, ‘Unlock The Swag’, features a commendably unorthodox delivery from firebrand Swae Lee, Mike Will outdoing himself in the industrial sci-fi soundtrack game and a competent feature from Jace of Two-Nine. (Me neither, but he does a good job of filling a gap obviously meant for Juicy J). Rae Sremmurd offer an excitingly askew perspective on current hip hop trends, enjoy it while it lasts, or until everyone’s Swag has been successfully unlocked, whatever that means. EC

19 Delroy Edwards - Insane in the Membrain After a string of successful releases on brooklyn based L.I.E.S records, Delroy Edwards returns to the west coast with his Kicking Butts! EP on his newly founded LA Club Resource Label. “Insane in the Membrain” is the standout cut, exemplifying his signature dusty ghetto house productions. It is a heavily percussive track featuring flangered hi-hats and pumping 909 drums that will surely get the dancefloor moving. Philip Budny

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