LNWY Recommends: February’s Best New Music

Missy Scheinberg and Dom O’Connor – from the Laneway offices in New York and Sydney, respectively – team up for the best tracks of the month.

Blood Type

Cautious Clay

Brooklyn’s Cautious Clay has proven himself as one of the year’s most promising acts with his recently released EP, Blood Type. And the title track is its crowned jewel. ‘Blood Type’ manages to combine soulful vocals and hip-hop production with an indie rock aura that feels part Moses Sumney, part Man On The Moon-era Kid Cudi – and what’s more is that he produced the entire EP himself. – Missy

Performer

Montero

The title track from Athens-via-Melbourne expat Benny Montero’s first full-length is an ivory-tinkling, soft-rockin’ kiss-off that’s as sickly sweet as the finest Michael McDonald falsetto. The track’s languid keys and fizzing cymbals mask Montero’s anguish, until his voice cuts through in the expansive chorus – a strangled, reverb-coated howl to an ex lover/friend. The vocoder in the song’s long, searching coda feels like a robotic counterpoint to the expression of raw emotion that makes ‘Performer’ such an enrapturing listen; an injection of digital feeling in an analogue world. – Dom

I Don’t Wanna Waste My Time

Joji

Few entertainers have a more interesting career path than George Miller – best known on the Internet as ukulele YouTuber Filthy Frank, comedy musician Pink Guy, the originator of the ‘Harlem Shake’ meme, and perhaps most importantly, his trip-hop-meets-soul persona, Joji. After releasing one of last year’s most stellar debut projects, In Tongues EP, the multi-talented Japanese-Australian is back with a gorgeous two-minute number that somehow manages to channel both James Black and Yung Lean while remaining completely his own. – Missy

Middle America

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks

The first taste of new music in four years from the erstwhile elder statesmen of slacker indie is a characteristically warm, shambling jaunt full of tossed-off hooks and uninhibited rhymes (“Men are scum I won’t deny/May you be shit-faced the day you die” is an early front-runner for lyric of the year). The Pavement co-frontman has never sounded in a hurry, but the lackadaisical charm of ‘Middle America’ feels particularly comforting in the current climate; a brief respite of easy-going contentment in the shape of a three-minute pop song. – Dom

Child Grows Old

Micra

Lying somewhere between The War On Drugs, Tycho, and Gengahr is new Sydney duo Micra, whose debut single ‘Child Grows Old’ is a near-perfect psychedelic indie-pop gem. – Missy

About You

G Flip

From the skipping, insistent drum beats to the clarion-call synths that begin the song, ‘About You’ is about as confident a first single I’ve heard in a very long time. Melbournian newcomer G Flip also uses her own voice masterfully, coalescing disparate layers of her own harmonies and synthesising them all to create an ear-worm of a chorus. The song’s assured poise is also matched by the lovely, swooning sentiment- a perfect mix of songwriting nous and wounded heart. – Dom

2 Down 2 Dance

Sorry

South London-via-North London four-piece Sorry may be one of the most underrated guitar bands of the past couple of years. On ‘2 Down 2 Dance’, the recent Domino Records-signees continue doing what they do best: creating mathy, textured psychedelic-tinged DIY indie-rock. Just another reason why South London – home to Shame and Goat Girl – is becoming the UK’s most exciting hub. – Missy

Desire

Ought

Jittery Canadian post-punks Ought have never struggled to stay in perpetual motion in the past. The rim shots and loungey feel of ‘Desire’ sound like a distinct outlier in their discography at first, but frontman Tim Darcy’s impassioned delivery gives ‘Desire’ the dramatic energy it needs, his baritone sounding parts Verlaine and parts Psychedelic Furs. Tim and his band are masters of the slow-burn. The band builds to a palpable climax before Tim is joined by a Greek chorus of choral voices, repeating the song’s refrain into infinity without softening the brutal, harsh truth at the centre of it. – Dom

My Crew

Kevin George

While it’s barely been a month since his debut single ‘High Like This’ took the internet by a storm, Atlanta’s Kevin George has returned in full force with second single ‘My Crew’. The track creates the perfect blend of futuristic soul and hip-hop, surely putting the rapper/singer on his way to becoming one of the most exciting new R&B acts since 6lack. – Missy

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