Crowds of music fans may have flocked to Brighton for this year’s edition of The Great Escape, but that doesn’t mean the new music machine has slowed down this week! Oh no, on the contrary, it was another packed week for new music, led by the return of emotitans My Chemical Romance… Yes, you read that right!
Elsewhere this week is the scorching new ‘un from Pale Waves’ third album, a brand new offering from Remi Wolf and the incredible prologue to Kendrick Lamar’s new album, which arrived in the form of ‘The Heart Part 5’. There are also new versions of Stella Donnelly, Crack Cloud, Nova Twins, as well as the latest offerings from Phoebe Green, Starcrawler and Ezra Furman. I told you it was a big one!
Read on to discover some of our favorites from this week’s new music, or simply subscribe to DIY’s Essential New Tracks playlist on Spotify here.
My chemical romance – The foundations of decay
When My Chemical Romance played their first live show together in nearly seven years in December 2019, no one could have predicted what would happen next. Now, after a two-year delay, the band is finally about to hit the road for their hefty worldwide reunion tour; what we might not have expected was new music for the time. Whether it’s a byproduct of the long wait or an intentional move that would be played all along, the band’s first new music makes a big statement.
An amalgamation of elements from their entire discography (the glitchy opening synths are immediately reminiscent of ‘Look Alive, Sunshine’ before shifting to the darker, more sparse sounds and muffled vocals of their early material), ‘The Foundations of Decay’ is a slow burning sacrifice that swells to hectic life in six minutes. However, it’s the second half of the track that really erupts into the fires of life, with its punk slump, hefty riffs and scorched screams. Whether it’s a standalone song or a sign of things to come, it’s a return of epic proportions. Bring on the live shows. (Sarah Jamieson)
Kendrick Lamar – The heart part 5
For each of his studio albums to date, Kendrick Lamar has presented an edition of his song series ‘The Heart’, ushering in a new era with a non-album track just days before the full record comes out. ‘Part 5’ is arguably the best of the bunch, welcoming Kenny’s new Oklama alter-ego. “I am. All of us,” says a quote from Oklama at the beginning of the stunning official video of the funky track. In the visual, Kendrick transforms – via deepfake technology – into the late Nipsey Hussle, under fire Will Smith, Kanye West and more, rapping about his relationships with his ancestors and the legacy he will leave behind.As a teaser for ‘Mr Morale & The Big Steppers’ it’s really exciting.(Wil Richards)
“You confused me, yeah, really bad,” sings Heather Baron-Gracie on “Lies,” a scuzzy, unapologetically honest version that further draws Pale Waves from the pop-punk influences of the previous album, “Who Are you?’ (that LP contained the heartbreak of ‘Easy’, ‘She’s My Religion’ and ‘Wish You Were Here’). But this time it is less rosy. ‘Lies’ was inspired by someone who tore the frontwoman’s confidence like a wrecking ball – and the resulting song hits it with just as much force. Produced by Zakk Cervini – who has produced Machine Gun Kelly, Poppy and Blink-182 among others – it serves as a stark warning: Pale Waves are not for fucking. (Tom Skinner)
crack cloud – Satisfy yourself
Always in front of heavy imagery, Crack Cloud’s latest issue discusses the paradox of how music and media can aid fans’ self-understanding, but also foster insecurity and unhealthy habits. The first single from the upcoming album ‘Tough Baby’ is classic Crack Cloud; unafraid to question commonly held beliefs, deeply informed by the community in and around the band, but also a damn catchy art punk track that can be enjoyed both on the surface and in the weeds. (Will Richards)
Nova Twins make blazing bad bitch rock anthems like no other band, and they were in explosive form leading up to their second album ‘Supernova’. With female empowerment at the center of their mission, the idea of them writing a sultry sex-positive rager seems incredibly fitting, and they slip effortlessly into their sexy side. “Bigband candy man, give a girl a bone / Don’t want you to love me, you just gotta make me moan,” frontwoman Amy Love spins over buzzing, hot-blooded riffs with a spike of R’n’B influence. If the quality of this and the singles that have preceded it prove anything, ‘Supernova’ gets downright exciting. (Emma Wilkes)
Remi Wolf knows how to deal with us. We’d have been happy to enjoy the bright rays of last year’s ‘Juno’ – funky bit of upbeat soul pop that it was – for a while longer, but she shared a hazy bonus cut in the form of ‘Michael’, as well as announcing a deluxe version. ‘Michael’ may come across as a bit moodier than most of ‘Juno’, but it complements it perfectly – reflective, relaxed and full of sonic sparkles and Wolf’s signature, emotional vocals. In contrast to ‘Juno’, it shows off Remi’s seasonal variety to a tee. (Is Taylor)
Stella Donnelly – Lungs
In the video for her new song “Lungs,” Stella Donnelly plays, she says, “a shaky adult, trying his best with his new set of legs and responsibilities,” surrounded by a bunch of kids who are totally more confident. The danceable track – a first teaser of the second studio album ‘Flood’ – sees the Australian singer-songwriter singing about herself slowly but surely rediscovering herself with every next step. It’s a joy to watch her grow. (Will Richards)
Phoebe Green has long been checking things off the alt-pop bucket list quite regularly, as she is fast becoming one of the scene’s most beloved inventions. Now, right after a song on Killing Eve, she has announced her debut album alongside the release of Lucky Me. It’s a three-minute world of all things Green: grounded lyrical realisms, swaggering goth-pop instrumentals and swooning melody lines delivered with elfin glamour. She entertains and evokes intense emotions at the same time, and there couldn’t be a better introduction to her first album. (Is Taylor)
Ezra Furman – Forever in sunset
The latest chapter of Ezra Furman’s new era – with a new album, ‘All Of Us Flames’ due out in August – is beautifully disarming. Starting as a moody ballad with clattering percussion and the soft rumble of an electric guitar, it suddenly bursts into shimmering epicness because of the chorus. It’s the sound of a woman who has a knack for writing music for a moment, and with her contributions to Sex Education’s signature soundtrack on her resume, it’s easy to see where it’s coming from. This new era could be beautiful. (Emma Wilkes)
With bite, charm and rock’n’roll feeling of the highest level, Starcrawler shines with ‘Roadkill’. Classic punk with a pearlescent sheen over the top, it’s as rough as it is fun, blooming with groovy harmonies and punchy riffs. The Arrow de Wilde episode is subdued and fierce at the same time, exuding charisma even only through the loudspeakers, saturated with the inimitable energy of rowdy punk shows. Starcrawlers’ live appeal hasn’t gone unnoticed either – “Roadkill” doubles as the appetizer for the band’s upcoming shows alongside none other than My Chemical Romance, and it’s a sweet taste of what’s in store.