Global crises are rarely good news for the music industry. Aside from cancelled gigs and festivals, many celebrities take it upon themselves to butcher iconic songs for the better good (Will Ferrell shouldn’t be getting anywhere near Lennon’s ‘Imagine’). And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, James Blunt releases a new album.
But it’s not all bad. There have been some genuinely good releases during lockdown – many of which have been written and recorded in self-isolation. Whilst we couldn’t possibly give you a rundown of everything new we’ve heard, here’s a snapshot of our favourite lockdown listens.
The Beths – I’m not getting excited
New Zealand band, The Beths, have released a single ahead of their July 2020 album Jump Rope Gazers. Fully embracing the times, they released the track ‘I’m not getting excited’ on Instagram Live, followed by a couple of covers (like ‘Sway’ by fellow New Zealander, Bic Runga). The pacy, drum-driven track explores the idea of Imposter Syndrome, apparently felt by lead vocalist and guitarist Liz Stokes. The video for the track is also quite impressive; each member shot their own parts, which were then stitched into a stop-motion style for the final edit.
Sealford Mods – All That Glue
Outspoken and socially-aware, Nottingham-based electronic punk duo Sealford Mods have released their latest album, All That Glue, which contains eight years of unpublished material. With tracks like ‘McFlurry’, ‘Rich List’, and ‘Jobseeker’, Andrew Fearn and Jason Williamson demonstrate their caustic, low-fi hip-hop alongside a complete disillusionment with pop culture and austerity-era Britain. This is definitely an album to get angry to.
Badly Drawn Boy – Banana Skin Shoes
Badly Drawn Boy, otherwise known as Damon Gough, has been around for quite some time. Although he won a Mercury Prize for the genre-defying 2000 album The Hour of Bewilderbeast, and released You Fed the Fish two years later to critical acclaim, the past decade has been relatively quiet. Gough has been frank about the reason why – alcoholism, health and relationship problems have all played a part in his conspicuous absence. With Banana Skin Shoes, however, he marks his return. Although more pop-sounding than previous albums, it still retains an experimental edge; tracks range from upbeat soul Bossa nova all the way to electro-chamber fusion.
Gerry Cinnamon – The Bonny
Having built up a huge grassroots following, it might come as a surprise that The Bonny is only the second studio album to come from Gerry Cinnamon. The title of the album, which includes the tracks ‘Canter’ and ‘Where We’re Going’, is a reference to the Scottish slang for ‘bonfire’. According to Cinnamon, the bonfire is a metaphor for building and realising your dreams. Reflecting on his career so far, he said, “When I was a wee guy I predicted a lot of the stuff that’s happened in the last few years. I told my pals all this shit was going to happen before I could even afford a proper guitar. They thought I was mental. But for some reason I was daft enough to hold on to the ridiculous dream. And here we are, Bonny’s blazing”.
HAIM – Women in Music Pt. III
Known for their tight, polished pop sounds, the Californian trio of sisters, HAIM, have been experimenting with different moods. Their new album (which is also their third studio release) covers electronic beats, funk, and even country. The track ‘I Know Alone’, released prior to the album, has gone even further, with some noting a distinct connection with UK garage (although we’re not too sure on that one). Either way, if the layered vocals and synthesised baseline don’t entice you, maybe the video will; it features the sisters following a highly choreographed dance, all whilst socially-distancing on an outdoor basketball court.
If our favourite lockdown releases have inspired you to record, get in contact with Kore Studios to book a session. Based in South West London, our recording studios are equipped with the latest equipment as well as vintage setups, meaning we can achieve the sound you’re looking for.