‘Lucy Rose – Cover Up’ Track Review

Lucy Rose’s debut Like I Used To arrived back in 2012 and instantly became one of my favourite albums of that calender year. It was an album you couldn’t help but fall in love with. It was an album full of heart and one that really rooted itself into your emotions. But since then Lucy Rose has been quite absent from the music scene. Apart from popping up on festival bills occasionally and featuring again on Bombay Bicycle Club’s latest full length, Lucy Rose’s whereabouts has been rather unknown. Then out of nowhere Lucy treated us to us a new song and guess what? IT’S FREE!  It’s called Cover Up and it’s the first glimpse of what direction Lucy has taken for her sophomore, which she promises to be released early next year.

Straight away you notice a real departure from Lucy’s earlier work and that is the heavy use of drums included in this track. It’s not like drums were completely missing from her previous work but here they are a lot more prominent. It gives the whole track a HAIM vibe to it. Not just because of the pounding drums but also the vocals. They flutter through the air like a moth and the entire track has great similarities to HAIM’s Forever. These similarities at the end of the day aren’t that greatly obvious and it’s probably just me nitpicking. One element that I’ve still not mentioned is a melody that seems to be played by a Chinese Guzheng that plays throughout the track. It adds this East Asia feel to the track that i’m guessing Lucy picked up when she was working with Bombay Bicycle Club and their latest album So Long, See You Tomorrow. Also the fact she’s been travelling the world may have helped a tad.

So I have to say I really like Cover Up. It’s a departure from her usual style but i’m really buying into it. The bellowing drums in particular give Cover Up a really lively feel to it that i’m sure will be a real treat when seen preformed live. So just more of this please Lucy, that’ll be great.

Listen to Cover Up below and download it for free.

Liam Egan

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‘Courteeners – Summer’ track review

Before we get started let’s get one thing straight, I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Courteeners. Granted there are a few tracks in their back catalogue that I really like such as Are You In Love With A Notion, which came from their third album Anna, and you can’t deny that Not Nineteen Forever has got tune written all over it. But apart from these select few songs, I never really ‘got’ the whole Courteeners thing. However being from Manchester, isn’t it the law for me to be in love with them? This isn’t the case and I class myself as a casual fan.

When I heard that a new Courteeners song had graced the world, I was optimistic. I hoped for something in the same vein as their track Are You In Love With A Notion. Sadly this wasn’t the case.

Summer is certainly a tune crafted for the summer and festival season. Everything just casually plods along without a care in the world. It’s a pleasant track but there is nothing really special about. From the first beat to the abrupt ending, Summer never seems to go anywhere. It fails to grab your attention. Courteeners have created a track that seems like it’s not bothered if it doesn’t get listening too. ‘Fine if nobody wants to listen then we’ll just keep strolling on without a care in the world’ is the attitude this track gives off. I was hoping Courteeners would come back with really catchy track that shouted ‘LOOK AT ME!!!’. Unfortunately this didn’t happen and we were given a track that I can’t help but feel disappointed about. Also two and a half minutes in there is this awful whistle solo that just adds nothing to the song. It’s like Liam Fray was walking around the recording studio with his hands in his pockets thinking of what to put in this part of the song and he randomly started whistling as he thought and was like ‘That sounds mega like, let’s stick that in’.

Hopefully the rest of their 4th upcoming album Concrete Love doesn’t continue like this and I’m sure it’ll produce some absolute tunes. As for the album artwork for Concrete Love, the less said the better.

Also for those Courteeners fans I’ve most likely pissed off, remember, it’s only my opinion.

Liam Egan

‘alt-J (∆) – Hunger Of The Pine’ Track Review

After a relatively successful 2012 and 2013, alt-J (∆) are back with some new material and one less member. The now three piece (much more fitting in my opinion seeing as it matches the number of sides of their logo) haven’t released any new studio material since their track Buffalo in 2012 and the first glimpse of their sophomore album has only been heard by those who saw them at festival season last year when they included a new track called Warm Foothills in their set. On the 9th of June alt-J (∆) revealed that their second album This Is All Yours will be released 22nd September and on the 18th of  June Hunger Of The Pine was first played by everyone’s favourite New Zealander, you can judge if that’s sarcasm or not, Zane Lowe.

One thing you notice straight away that is different to their previous material is that Joe Newman’s vocals are much more easier to understand and you no longer find yourself having to listen again and again to actually know what he’s singing about. But, despite being able to hear him more clearly, the lyrics are still full of cryptic metaphors that I doubt even other members of the band understand. Hunger Of The Pine has the usual ‘Oooohs’ from Joe and the whole song still remains very minimalistic. However the track includes horns throughout that create a vibe that makes this whole song seem like a grand spectacle. Also the beat has a very hip hop feel to it that hasn’t ever been present in their work. They are still sticking to their less is more approach but are developing it and are taking it in a different direction. I love that they are doing this as it still remains the alt-J (∆) that we’ve all come to love yet they aren’t just bringing out new material that is a carbon copy of their debut An Awesome Wave.

Now for what everyone is talking about, Miley Cyrus is sampled in the track. None of us saw it coming and it could have been a huge mistake for alt-J (∆). Thankfully it pays off and the lyric ‘I’m a female rebel’ slots in nicely, even if it is a bit pointless.

Hunger Of The Pine then ends with some French lyrics, ‘Une immense espérance a traversé la terre, Une immense espérance a traversé ma peur’, that polish the track off nicely.

Overall alt-J (∆) have returned on form and continue to impress. The huge success of their debut doesn’t seem to have daunted them and they right on track to making an even better sophomore album. The 22nd of September couldn’t come any quicker.