LNWY Recommends: March’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.

‘Pain Killer’ (feat. Sky Ferriera)

Iceage

Iceage aren’t usually a band with a pronounced sense of fun, so it’s a joy to hear them loosen up with the wry, sexy ‘Pain Killer’. Aided by Sky Ferreira in chanteuse mode, ‘Pain Killer’ rumbles along, with frontman Elias Ronnefeldt swaggering through his most expressive, dramatic vocal performance we’ve heard from him yet. There’s an enchanting recklessness to ‘Pain Killer’, accentuated by the spy-movie horns and rolling drum fills, that elevate it beyond the world’s best ‘Know Your Product’ bite and into a new realm for Iceage. – Dom

‘How Did This Happen !?’

Bodega

One of New York’s hardest-working bands (they played a whopping 22 shows in the city last year) is finally enabling the rest of the world to come on board the Bodega train with their punchy post-punk debut single. Produced by Parquet Courts’ Austin Brown, ‘How Did This Happen !?’ is a playfully anti-consumerist number that puts the art-rockers on the map. And while it may not be 2001, Bodega is here to show us that New York can still rock. – Missy

‘Pristine’

Snail Mail

The achingly personal, emotionally brutal indie-rock Lindsay Jordan records under the name Snail Mail has previously struck an esoteric view of the world. So it’s a surprise that ‘Pristine’ goes straight for the jugular by the first chorus: “Is there any better feeling than coming clean?” the Baltimore teen intones, both dramatic in the sentiment and coolly disinterested in the delivery. Her band sways behind and stays back in the song’s second half as Lindsay unleashes, both vocally and in her clean, concise guitar playing. ‘Pristine’ throbs with the anguish of an unrequited teen crush, painted in Snail Mail’s most vivid colours yet. – Dom

‘Save Some Love’

HANDSOME

Sydney’s Caitlin Park recently debuted her new musical project HANDSOME with the stunningly vulnerable ‘Save Some Love’. Not dissimilar from what we expect from The xx, it’s a minimal number, with an alternative spirit and haunting R&B vocals over a bare-bones trap-house beat and some Bon Iver-level vocal distortion. We can’t wait to see what the self-proclaimed tomboy pop artist has in store next. – Missy

‘WOW’

Kwame

Western Sydney MC Kwame has been on the come-up for the last few years, the peak of it joining A$AP Ferg on-stage during the Harlem rapper’s last visit to our shores. ‘WOW’ feels like a true coming out moment: Kwame’s nimble bars bounce over the stuttering, marimba-driven beat as he effortlessly switches his flow throughout. ‘WOW’ feels like the perfect cross-section of technical rapping and a good ol’ fashioned flex, and Kwame’s brash charisma and confidence positions him as an exciting new voice within a new generation of Australian hip-hop. – Dom

‘Hundres Times’

Peggy Gou

At the start of 2018 Peggy Gou went from underground Berlin DJ to one of the most talked-about house producers. The South Korean-born newcomer’s recent Once EP – her first for legendary dance label Ninja Tune – is full of rhythmic dancefloor-ready house gems. With rubbery basslines and vintage synths, you’d imagine hearing ‘Hundres Times’ in a dark Berlin nightclub as the clock strikes 5am. – Missy

‘Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand’

Leon Bridges

The retro-revivalist form of Leon Bridges isn’t dead, but he’s updated his sonic palette further than the Sam Cooke/Otis Redding worship of his debut with the swooning harmonies and harp swells on ‘Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand’. Here he croons gorgeously over the densest instrumentation of his career to date, wrapping a break-up in a multi-layered gambling metaphor. ‘Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand’ isn’t a complete overhaul of Leon’s identity, but a subtle refinement that feels like a bright step forward for a songwriter previously attached firmly to the past. – Dom

‘Do That’

Sheck Wes

What’s a bigger career move for a newcomer than signing to one of the world’s biggest rapper’s label? Signing to two of the world’s biggest rappers’ labels in a joint label deal. Harlem rapper Sheck Wes did just that, signing a joint deal with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music in conjunction with Travis Scott’s Jack imprint underneath the Interscope Records umbrella. But don’t let the massive co-signs take away from the 19-year-old’s release itself. ‘Do That’ is catchy, gritty, and full of passion – exactly what you’d expect from this DIY multi-talented artist, who also models, designs his own merch, and is a talented basketball player to boot. – Missy

‘Colours’

Thunder Jackson

It’s felt like a long four years patiently waiting for Jungle to follow up their stellar debut – but thankfully we now have Thunder Jackson and their falsetto-funk to alleviate the situation. On their second single, the Welsh-American duo gives a futuristic twist to ’70s soul, full of addictive grooves and their now-signature falsetto. What a jam! – Missy

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