‘amo’ is the latest album by Sheffield, their first since 2015’s ‘That’s The Spirit’. It’s a varied but focused project that’s miles away from their much heavier beginnings, but this shows a band who aren’t afraid to take risks. I think they paid off.
Lead single ‘MANTRA’ is still as punchy and vital as when it first dropped a few months ago, with it’s personal, timely lyrics about mental health and instantly infectious guitar hook, it’s the one of the best songs they’ve ever written, not a bad start.
‘nihilist blues’ features Grimes. The existence of this collab is enough to turn heads in itself, and the track will probably do the same to long-time fans. A heavy dance number with vocals from Grimes alongside Oli sounds wildly different to Mantra on first listen, but in the context of the whole album it just works.
Tracks like ‘in the dark’ and ‘ wonderful life’ are two more cuts that contrast eachother in terms of heaviness but the great songwriting and production really tie everything together here, with even the glitchy instrumental tracks like ‘ouch’ and the very poppy ‘medicine’ all slotting in perfectly. There are touching moments on the album too, with ‘mother tongue’ and ‘i don’t know what to say’ seeing Oli really opening up about subjects like grief and love.
They took some big risks and have taken a lot of slack for changing their sound, but ‘amo’ is a great album, no matter what genre it is.
Ariana Grande – 7 Rings: Borrowing the melody from ‘My Favourite Things’ from the Sound of Music while also using a trap-infused beat and riffing off Travis Scott’s smash hit and meme ‘Sicko Mode’ and putting it all into a coherent banger is very impressive. 80%
Rozi Plain – Symmetrical: A calming but in no way boring folky new single from Rozi here. It’s just really, really pleasant but the occasional synths and extra harmonies make it a good, developing cut. 90%
Guest Singer – New Experience: A groovy, synthy track from Guest Singer here with rings of Mystery Jets and British Sea Power. Showing real potential on his first single proper. 75%
Sigrid – Don’t Feel Like Crying: A decent new pop single from Sigrid here with a nice positive message & a catchy chorus. She’s like Jess Glynne but actually good. 70%
Little Simz ft. Cleo Sol – Selfish: Little Simz continues the great run of singles she has been releasing in the build up to her upcoming album ‘Grey Area’ with ‘Selfish’, a smooth, funky cut with a great bassline and a great feature from Cleo. 92%
Loyle Carner ft. Rebel Kleff & Kiko Bun – You Don’t Know: More great stuff from Loyle; any time he teams up with Rebel on a song you know it’s going to be a cut with great chemistry and solid bars, and this is no different. 90%
The Japanese House – Maybe You’re The Reason: Another great track from Amber here, with the shimmery production and catchy chorus making this one of her poppiest tracks yet, but also one of her strongest. Very excited for her upcoming debut now. 90%
The Killers – Land Of The Free: Brandon and co have one of the best songs they have released in years here, openly tackling racism, gun control and the prison problems in the U.S with a Springsteen-esque ballad. 90%
KCTMO is the debut single from new London band Pozi, written during the aftermath of the Grenfell tower fire.
The track itself is a brutally honest, open-hearted encounter of what it was like to be near Grenfell at the time, and the anger Vocalist & Drummer Toby Burroughs felt; with lyrics like ‘Deadly damages are due’ Pozi aren’t holding back. Good.
Sonically, the track comes in somewhere halfway between the Maccabees and The Streets. ‘KCTMO’ has an irresistible bassline and a pounding drumbeat that really grab your attention, and the haunting violin that creeps in throughout keeps you hooked.
Very promising stuff for a debut single.
Pozi have 2 upcoming London shows:
31 Oct – London, The Curtain Hotel (PRAH Halloween Party)
27 Nov – London, Moth Club
Self Esteem- Rollout: The strongest track from Rebecca LT so far in my opinion. A great hypnotic melody with great harmonies over a great, funky percussion track. Very promising for a debut full length. 90%
Ian Brown – First World Problems: It’s good to have the monkey man back, with a new solo album coming next year. This new track is a groovy number, and Ian’s voice sounds on top form. Very exciting. 84%
Razorlight – Carry Yourself: A fairly pleasant, non threatening indie tune from Razorlight here, its not bad at all but it would fit in perfectly in a sofa sale advert or the opening of a cookery show. 70%
Lauren Jauregui – Expectations: A smooth, soulful slow jam from Lauren J here that really showcases her strong vocals; showing real emotion and passion while maintaining good control. Gooood. 80%
Bring Me The Horizon ft. Dani Filth – Wonderful Life: The second single from BMTH’s upcoming ‘amo’ album is another top tune. A bit heavier than Mantra, but just as catchy and not too over the top. Dani puts in a good feature too. 81%
Mumford & Sons – If I Say: This would be an alright, subtle growing track but Marcus’ voice is so grating, especially when its the focus of the track. Nah. 30%
Gerard Way – Baby You’re a Haunted House: This new track from emo king Gerard Way is a glam rock esque rock banger. It’s My Chemical Romance meets The Sweet, and its not bad at all. 80%
Cardi B – Money: Not a fan of this one at all. Usually Cardi has some funny bars that show she is still down to earth but this just seems like a big brag-fest. 20%
Peter Raeburn – Note To Self: A lovely, thoughtful collection of songs from Peter here. Sounding somewhere inbetween Fleet Foxes and I am Kloot, ‘Note To Self’ has great, stripped back production. ‘Never Gone’ is an album highlight for me, with haunting harmonies throughout. 80%
Nick J.D. Hodgson just released his debut solo single, Suitable. I asked him some quick questions about the single, songwriting and more.
How does it feel to have your first solo single out?
I forgot how good it is to release music. It’s a very exciting moment when it actually goes live and people start to react to it. You always spend so long in the studio listening to the same bars that you almost become immune to it so when it comes out it suddenly feels fresh. As for being solo, yeh I like it. Lots of work to do cos I’m the label and publisher too but I’ve had 5 years off sooooo.
You’ve written and produced for a lot of other artists; are there any new upcoming acts that you would like to work with?
I think Jorja Smith is really good. She has an amazing effortless voice. Would be cool to write with her.
How does it differ writing stuff that will eventually have your own name on it compared to writing for others or as part of a band?
It’s easier in a way because I only have to get inside my head. Also you don’t have to try and please anyone else. Although It does mean you’ve got nowhere to hide which can be scary. In the band I had a drum kit in front of me, it’s a good place to keep your head down if people aren’t digging it!
What is your favourite album of the year so far?
There’s two. The Cribs, 24-7 Rock Star Shit and Jay Z 4:44
Listen to ‘Suitable’ below:
Dutch Uncles have song of the day with ‘Streetlight’ – Check out the brilliant new video below:
Streetlight is the latest single from Dutch Uncles’ amazing ‘Big Balloon’ album which came out earlier this year. The Salford lads have also got lots of live dates lined up for the rest of the year:
28 July – Standon Calling Festival 12 August – Watergate Bay, Boardmasters Festival 09 September – New Mills Festival, Art Theatre 15 September – Newcastle, Home Gathering Festival 16 September – Ramsbottom, Head For The Hills Festival 11 November – Manchester, Albert Hall 02 December – Leeds, Brudenell (Us vs. Them 2017)
Yesterday’s song of the day was ‘The Pit’ by Public Service Broadcasting. Check out the playlist below for all of them from this year so far:
Public Service Broadcasting have song of the day with ‘The Pit’:
‘The Pit’ is taken from their new album, ‘Every Valley’ which is out now.
The last song of the day was from Palehound, with recent additions from Vince Staples and Tayla. For all of the 2017 Songs of the Day, check out the playlist below.