LNWY Recommends: January’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.

'Number One (In New York)'

Titus Andronicus

After your last album was a 29-track, 93-minute rock opera about manic depression, what do you do next? ‘Number One (In New York)’ features none of the punk fury Patrick Stickles has built his career on, trading it in for a balladeering, Pogues-like anthem with the same desperate lurch as a drunk looking for a bar at 3am. With not a chorus in sight over the song’s eight minutes, Patrick’s quiet, seething discontent grows into a rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth conclusion, shouting into the void over the roar of the crescendo-ing band. ‘Number One (In New York)’ is a worthy entry to the TA canon, with the band managing to remain hopelessly defiant in the face of the overwhelming bleakness of the world today. – Dom

'Spoons'

Lady Bird

Every year there seems to be a new UK almost-spoken word punk act. 2016 brought us RAT BOY. 2017 introduced us to YUNGBLUD. And now, a mere five days into 2018, we’ve got Kent’s Lady Bird. With a massive cosign from UK punk duo Slaves already – the trio is the first signing to their Girl Fight Records – their debut two-and-a-half-minute single packs a punk-indebted punch. – Missy

'In My View'

Young Fathers

Scottish trio Young Fathers seem to make music defined by one edict: an open, beating heart on display. ‘In My View’ uses infectious, tribal drums to underline an irresistibly tuneful hook, making full use of whirring synths and a palpable, slow-burning tension. The song’s Afro-Futuristic outlook is further underlined by the duelling vocalists, trading in the band’s usual political bend for a more introspective, almost-romantic outlook. As the first taste of their forthcoming third record, ‘In My View’ continues to deconstruct genre norms to create striking, affecting art. – Dom

'Clarify' (feat. Fractures)

Lane 8

After a three-year wait, one of deep house’s most exciting acts has finally blessed the world with a cool new record. While the entirety of Lane 8’s Little By Little is a near-perfect collection of melodic and textured electronica, it’s ‘Clarify’ that really stands out. One of the two tracks featuring Melbourne’s very own Fractures, this is as close as US producer Daniel Goldstein gets to a pop song while maintaining his usual cool, thumping basslines, and icy atmosphere. Absolutely gorgeous. – Missy

'All I Need' (feat. Manu Crook$)

Anfa Rose

The constant, impending shadow of October’s Very Own looms over ‘All I Need’, from an early name-drop to the sub-rattling bass, courtesy of local Sydney producer Dopamine. Anfa Rose’s rich, honeyed delivery of the chorus is contrasted by an almost too-brief Manu Crook$ verse, as well as Anfa’s own low-key, hypnotic flow. ‘All I Need’ exists almost purely as a flex for two of Sydney’s most promising up-and-comers, feeling as casual and spontaneous as the best ‘March Madness’ loosie. – Dom

'Do U Wrong' (feat. Syd)

Leven Kali

2017 was a big year for behind-the-scenes hit songwriters finally taking the spotlight. Everyone from Julia Michaels to Sasha Sloan, Emily Warren to SHY Martin. Adding to that list for 2018 is LA’s Leven Kali, who’s written and produced for artists like Skrillex, Ty Dolla $ign. He even has a writing credit on Drake’s More Life. After a slew of low-profile singles and a high-profile feature on Playboi Carti’s record, Leven is stepping into the spotlight with ‘Do U Wrong’, featuring The Internet’s Syd. It puts him on the map as a real G-Funk and neo-soul force to be reckoned with. – Missy

'Fine Line' (feat. Not3s)

Mabel

London-based 21-year-old Mabel is one of the UK’s most hotly tipped acts for 2018, and she’s already starting the year strong. The genre-defying ‘Fine Line’ melds R&B vocals, tropical production, and a verse from London MC Not3s, who was long-listed for the BBC’s Sound Of 2018. The daughter of the legendary singer Neneh Cherry and Massive Attack producer Cameron McVey, Mabel is stepping out of her parents’ shadows with a bold pop number that reaffirms her status as one of the most exciting acts to watch this year. – Missy

'Night Shift'

Lucy Dacus

‘Night Shift’ conjures up images of the sleepiest night job you could imagine, and it’s a testament to Lucy Dacus’ skill at building romantic vignettes. (The central lyric, “You take the nine-to-five/And I’ll take the night shift”, is heartbreaking in its authenticity and simplicity.) Lucy’s high, airy tenor lulls the listener into a false sense of security before waves of fuzz creep in, ending ‘Night Shift’ on a shreddingly-fun high note and creating an entire, realised world within the song’s six minutes.

'Every Time The Feeling'

Nap Eyes

The Velvet Underground & Nico could be my all-time favourite album. So while it’s a shame we’ll never get any new Velvet Underground music, at least we have Nap Eyes. This Canadian four-piece sounds like a Lou Reed incarnate backed by Pavement’s rock’n’roll simplicity. ‘Every Time The Feeling’ is the first single from the  follow-up to 2016’s criminally underrated Thought Rock Fish Scale. It’ll be out in March through Jagjagwar. – Missy

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