Why not end the month with a top-notch playlist?
May has been a strange month, but one thing has been consistent – the top-quality tunes just kept on coming. That’s why we’re bringing you a little dose of May new music.
While we’re all tucked up inside, it has been a nice comfort to listen to albums and artists that are familiar to us – songs we hear regularly at our local, our best mate’s favourite tunes, the songs Mum always plays while she is cooking, the artists we can’t wait to see live again.
But the new music has continued flowing, so, before the month is out (seriously, how is May almost over?) we’re here to deliver a sweet little slice of all the tunes that made our May that little bit cosier.
Angie McMahon & Leif Vollebekk – ‘If You Call’
Technically not a new song if you tuned in to the session when Perth-based publication Pilerats recorded it almost a year ago, but since it’s just been popped on streaming platforms we are claiming it as a May joy. And what joy it is.
While the original version of ‘If You Call’ – a song which Angie McMahon almost didn’t release at all, a song that she originally recorded while wearing pyjamas, with just a microphone and a nylon-stringed guitar – closes out her debut album Salt, this beautiful, warm, live version sees McMahon join forces with Canadian musician Leif Vollebekk. ‘If You Call’ alongside some other stripped back reworkings will appear on a forthcoming EP called Piano Salt.
Arlo Parks – Black Dog
If you aren’t familiar with fast-rising South London musician Arlo Parks, now is the time. On her latest single ‘Black Dog’, the 19-year-old continues her stirring, heart-on-sleeve run, this time releasing a powerful single to provide support for fans who are dealing with mental health issues. Her open, beautifully honest indie-pop is exactly what we all need right now.
Beans – Stride
If a little bit of surf-rock-jangle-meets-psych-rock-wackiness sounds like your kind of thing, then don’t look past Geelong’s own Beans (FKA Baked Beans if they seem a bit familiar). This may they’ve dropped the ‘Baked’ and also dropped this glorious slice of goodness called ‘Stride’. Hazy and echoing, it’ll make you feel nostalgic for something you can’t quite put your finger on (okay, maybe it’s live music…but also something more). Their album All Together Now will be out next month, expect lots of organ.
Bugs – Can’t Get Enough
Yeah, okay, we know technically Bugs dropped this tune back in April, but one) at the moment, days and dates are almost non-existent, and two) we’ve listened to this song so much in May we couldn’t possibly not shout about it. Is it the best Bugs single yet? Quite possibly. Are we already hungry for more Bugs goodies? Most definitely. We’ve said it before, but we truly can’t get enough of these Brisbane punks and we bet you can’t either.
Dianas – Baby Baby
We’ve already shouted about how fab Dianas’ new album Baby Baby is when we picked it as our album of the week, and we couldn’t quite pick a single from it now – they are all just so good. They might have made us wait a little while, but the Melbourne-via-Perth trio have served up 40-plus minutes of gorgeous, swirling dream-pop and post-punk that has made us very very happy this month
Diet – Resemble Love
Jangly, dreamy, floating beauty – that’s how we’re going to chat about Diet’s new single ‘Resemble Love’. We haven’t heard from the Melbourne band in over a year, but if you’re going to make it entrance, it might as well be this good. Tinged in their Brit-pop influenced style, now all we need it live music to kick back up again so we can all dance together to this tune in real life. See you there, front row.
Fancy Face – Just You Wait
The good times just keep on coming thanks to Melbourne’s Fancy Face. ‘Just You Wait’ might only be their second single, but you bet they’ve already burrowed into our hearts, and our high rotation daily listening queues, very quickly. Lush, catchy indie rock that seems to have come straight out of the ‘70s and featuring some superbly juicy guitar riffs, this tune is sure to get stuck in your head in an instant.
Fontaines DC – A Hero’s Death
Dogrel was one of our standout records of last year, so of course, we have been waiting for something more to sink our teeth into. And, of course, the Irish lads delivered in spades. “Life ain’t always empty” Grain Chatten repeats throughout, a steady, chugging, swirling beat driving things forward in a way that is both comforting and overwhelming (how do you do it Fontaines?), ‘A Hero’s Death’ is another storming release, and the album it leads is sure to be just as good.
Genesis Owusu – Don’t Need You
Canberra-based rapper Genesis Owusu consistently delivers infectious grooves with poetic, honest songwriting – that package isn’t new to us at all. But somehow, with every single, he continues to step things up, his hip-hop-rooted, genre-bending energy really coming alive on ‘Don’t Need You’. An “anthem of independence”, Genesis Owusu commands attention.
Idles – Mr Motivator
Idles aren’t a band to hold back, we know that much by now. Their onslaught of punk goodness is as brash as it is pummelling, but there are lots of bands who we could describe in a similar way. What cements Idles’ charm is their balance of sharply poignant and hilariously-tongue-in-cheek lyrics. ‘Mr Motivator’ delivers on all fronts. “Like Conor McGregor with a samurai sword on rollerblades”, “Like Flava Flav in the club riding on the back of John Wayne”, you get the picture.
Ivey – Midnight
Want five reasons to swoon for days? Meet Gold Coast indie-pop band Ivey. While they have had our attention for a little while, their latest single ‘Midnight’ just might be their crowning glory. Shimmering alt-pop, built around lusciously smooth synths and a pulsing beat that builds into a huge chorus, this is one dreamy, earworm-filled effort.
Jadu Heart – Walk The Line
There might be a theme to our favourite May tracks, and that theme revolves around dreamy, floating goodness. Jadu Heart has given is a few more sweet minutes of it on ‘Walk The Line’. The Bristol-based duo are preparing to release their second album Hyper Romancelater this year, and between the airy floating vocals, charming woozy lo-fi production, and grooving guitar lines, ‘Walk The Line’ delivers a warmth that’ll get stuck under your skin for days.
JessB – ‘Pon It’
New Zealand rapper JessB is an angel, full of confidence, attitude and a whole heap of flow, but an angel nonetheless. Delivering rapid-fire rhymes over a thick bassline, on ‘Pon It’, JessB is not only showing us how damn good she is, but she’s also proving just how far she can push her skills – and by the sounds of it, she’s got a whole lot more left in her arsenal. Another mixtape, as yet untitled, is arriving in July, so expect more to come.
Jofi – All My Friends Have Boyfriends
Angelic harmonies, puppies, and wine sounds like the way we have been spending our May isolation. It’s also the way Sydney singer-songwriter Jofi seems to have been spending her time, and if you hadn’t already guessed it, the harmonies have definitely been coming from her (apologies to our neighbours who have had to endure hours of out-of-key singing from us!). Created entirely in her family home – including a video filmed on her iPhone – Jofi has proven to us that creation can keep on going no matter the circumstances, and also that in our loneliness we are all actually kind of together.
Kygo – Golden Hour
Kygo’s third album Golden Hour is absolutely chockful of incredible collaborations ready to inject a little warmth and sunshine into your life, even as the cold begins to creep in. How Kygo continues to bottle up the summertime and inject it into our ears, we aren’t sure, but we are melting this whole album into liquid form and injecting it straight into our veins. Some of our faves include team-ups with Oh Wonder, Sasha Sloan, Haux, and, of course, the Whitney Houston featuring ‘Higher Love’.
Lupa J – Limbo
You might have heard us shouting about how fabulous Lupa J is before, but the Australian producer and songwriter somehow manages to take things up to a whole new level with every single release. And that’s exactly where we’re at on her new single ‘Limbo’. Huge, cinematic pop moments, intricately layered vocals, heavy pulsing synths – this is everything that we want from pop music and more. It’s brooding, it’s catchy, and we want more.
MAY-A – Green
Sydney-based singer-songwriter May-A is quite a new introduction to us, but on her new single ‘Green’ she has well and truly won us over. Intimate and gentle yet full of strength, ‘Green’ is an indie-pop delight, May-A’s voice flawlessly floating over the track’s lush production. It’s a special moment that forces you to pay attention, and one we’re sure people are going to reference once she skyrockets.
Miiesha – Hold Strong
Miiesha is one of the most promising acts in Australia right now, and her music deserves to be heard by as many people as possible. Her incredible voice is on full display here, but it is the message behind ‘Hold Strong’ that makes the single even more important. “Having moved away from home I was starting to see more of how the media portrayed my people and my community and felt I needed to speak on it,” she said, and you can feel her strength in every beat.
Nussy - Sahara
It’s time to get some more fun electro-pop in your life, and Melbourne-based muso NUSSY is here to provide. It’s been a little while since we’ve heard from NUSSY, releasing her last single in 2018, but eager fans will definitely be pleased with this return. Sparkly, packed with energy, bouncy, otherwordly, and ready to have your whole body moving – we’re heading to the Sahara but we’re definitely covered in glitter.
Pinkish Blu – there’s no such thing as good people
Firstly, we have no idea what Pinkish Blu are talking about with the title of their debut EP because they are absolute angels, secondly, if you haven’t wrapped your ears around it, now is the time to dive in. As well as featuring three singles that we are already obsessed with, the EP also offers up two new slices of Pinkish Blu goodness – and we are hooked. It’s 15 minutes of lush, nostalgia-soaked warmth, big melodies, lyrics packed with honesty and vulnerability, tunes that will hit you right in the feels, explosive choruses ready to soundtrack every ‘90s teen coming of age film made – and that’s only scraping the surface. We can’t believe how much they have managed to pack into this record.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Falling Thunder
This new one from Rolling Blackouts is going to provide the soundtrack to many a summer road trip once the sun decides to come back around. ‘Falling Thunder’ is another tasty slice from the band’s forthcoming album Sideways To New Italy, and after everything Hopes Down gave us we cannot wait.
Roy Blues – Supernova
Lay back, chill out, and float away in this lush, almost nine-minutes of bliss from Roy Blues. We are flying off our couches and into a whole different realm, a whole new galaxy. We can’t think about anything else. Definitely recommend plugging in some earphones and closing your eyes for this one, so you can really hear all the subtle little layers and sounds scattered throughout – don’t want to miss a single moment.
Sophisticated Dingo – Vultures
We still haven’t quite figured out how to describe Sophisticated Dingos yet, but we do know that we are absolutely obsessed with them. Now, we know ‘Vultures’ came out in March, but the video – in all its chaotic glory – put the track right back into our high rotation for the month. Buzzing with energy, you can’t help but be swept up in it, and that’s before we even get into the video. If there’s one thing we’re sure about it’s that we are well and truly Team Dingaz.
Sports Team – Going Soft
Always up to a little bit of trouble, London six-piece Sports Team are, but that’s just part of their charm, and when they are making tunes this darn fun, we can’t help but be swept up in it all. They might have had to delay the release of their debut album, but they have given is a new little slice of it in ‘Going Soft’. Euphoric and fun, capturing everything that has made Sports Team one of the most talked-about indie-rock acts coming out of London, and accompanied by a video that showcases their explosive live brilliance, you should probably get on the bandwagon now.
The Beths – I’m Not Getting Excited
Even though we’ve had it on repeat for almost two years, The Beth’s debut album Future Me Hates Me still feels like we first heard it yesterday. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t stoked about all the new tracks they’ve given us. The latest ‘I’m Not Getting Excited’ slotted straight into high rotation the second we heard it. Some very groovy stuff.
Thunder Jackson – Find Yourself
We have spent the last three years with Thunder Jackson’s debut single ‘Guilty Party’ playing on repeat, so it was definitely about time that the mysterious LA musician have us something else to sink our teeth into. “What exactly is a Thunder Jackson?” that debut single asks, and on only his second release, ‘Find Yourself’ definitely starts to give us some answers. Delivering another glistening, smooth pop gem, the anthemic single will sweep you up and force you to hit repeat as soon as it’s over. If we have to, we’ll play this tune non-stop for another three years. ‘Find Yourself’ is certain to become your go-to feel-good banger right away.
Tim Ayre – I Want It
Well isn’t this a cool little tune?! Bright, sparkling pop that still manages to feel warm, a nostalgic core that also feels futuristic – we are in paradise, we have a little extra pep in our step, and we feel like we are looking into the sun and smiling about it.
Tkay Maidza – Shook
If you didn’t already think Tkay Maidza was well on her way to becoming a global superstar, let ‘Shook’ convince you. The Adelaide rapper has been on a complete musical roll over the last couple of years, but ‘Shook’ – her debut release as an international signing to 4AD – sounds like a huge next step; it’s powerful, explosive, fun, confident, and unforgettable. She isn’t taking her status as Australia’s queen of hip hop lightly.
Tyne James Organ – Hold Me Back
Every time Tyne-James Organ releases new music, we know it’s going to leave a lasting impression on us, and his latest ‘Hold Me Back’ certainly lives up to expectations. Gritty guitar riffs, soulful melody, and a huge chorus all see Organ push his sound even further than we heard in last year’s debut EP, while the lyrics see him tackling a very important topic after witnessing one of his female friends assaulted on a night out. A beautiful track driving an important conversation.
This is the music that’s helped us get through May, what have you been loving? Stay up to date with all things Ticketmaster New Music here.