Music Reviews

New Releases Roundup – Bastille & Kenny Beats, Tigers Jaws, 100 gecs, Beach Bunny And Sea Girls

Gemma Cockrell and Kiah Tooke

Gemma and Kiah review the latest releases from this week, forming a soundtrack for us to listen to as we emerge out of lockdown.

Goosebumps – Bastille & Kenny Beats (Gemma):

Bastille’s new EP, which features previous singles survivin’ and WHAT YOU GONNA DO???, is a collection of their releases of 2020, with title track Goosebumps being the only previously unheard track. It is a classic Bastille song, with an ear-worming chorus, but with some subtle experimentations when it comes to production. The most repeatedly impressive element of Bastille’s music are Dan Smith’s vocals, which have a beautiful, unique tone to them, and are incredibly easy on the ear.

Kenny Beats is given writing and producing credits, a well-known name in the hip-hop genre who has previously produced for many huge names, such as Rico Nasty, Vince Staples, and Ski Mask the Slump God. Therefore, characteristically, the song features trap-style drums and hi-hats, but it is by no means a trap song, as Kenny Beats keeps these trap elements subtle, ensuring they complement the track without overtaking or dominating the whole production. The song is therefore still very much a Bastille song, which fits perfectly with the rest of their impressive discography.

Explaining the collaboration, Smith says, “We’re big fans of Kenny Beats, and having met him in LA, invited him to hang out at the studio when he was in town. We played each other a load of music, and he loved Goosebumps and immediately started working on beats and sounds for it, and it kind of went from there.” The collaboration demonstrates Bastille’s diversity, proving that their influences run much deeper than a typical pop-rock band.

Lemon Mouth – Tigers Jaws (Gemma):

Lemon Mouth is the second single from Tigers Jaw’s forthcoming album ‘I Won’t Care How You Remember Me’ which is set for release on March 5th by Hopeless Records. They originated in the DIY Scranton punk scene in 2005, and following many line-up changes, Brianna Collins now takes the role of lead vocalist.

“The lyrics for Lemon Mouth are very personal and introspective. Sometimes self-reflection only happens for me when I’m thinking about characteristics that I want to change about myself,” Collins explains, “It can look like this sort of scanning of my own habits, things that are so consistent and familiar – but I can’t figure out the reason why I do them.”

Lemon Mouth’s sound is very similar to lead single Cat’s Cradle, so it can be inferred that this sound is the direction that ‘I Won’t Care How You Remember Me’ will take. Lemon Mouth may not rival the catchiness of Cat’s Cradle in terms of instrumentation and lyrical melody, but the song is successful in its own right for what it is.

sympathy 4 the grinch – 100 gecs (Gemma):

100 Gecs are getting into the Christmas spirit… sort of. sympathy 4 the grinch captures their renowned experimental autotuned glitch-pop electronic-driven sound, with additional festive jingle bells. The track also infuses ska influences into the verses, a novel experimentation for the duo – despite it being surprising that they have any experimentation left in them, after practically forming their own new genre of hyperpop within the short span of their career.

The track, like much of Gecs’ discography, is entirely unique, and unlike anything the music industry has ever witnessed before

In classic, traditional Gecs fashion, the track isn’t a Christmas song of celebration and cheeriness. It is sarcastic-toned, and anti-Santa, with vocalists Dylan Brady and Laura Les singing on the hook, “Never gave me a goddamn thing that I want, I was good every day but he didn’t give a f***.” The track, like much of Gecs’ discography, is entirely unique, and unlike anything the music industry has ever witnessed before. Brady and Les are pioneers, and they are geniuses.

Good Girls (Don’t Get Used) – Beach Bunny (Kiah):

American indie-pop band Beach Bunny have announced a follow up to their debut album, the ‘Blame Game’ EP, with Good Girls (Don’t Get Used) being the first impression of the new release. Known for their upbeat tracks that discuss darker issues, the new single follows similarly in that trend through detailing the experience of a toxic relationship.

The new single was hinted at after the release of a racing game on the band’s website called ‘The Blame Game’; if players were able to complete the game fast enough then they could download the song ahead of its release. Lead singer Lili Trifilio described Good Girls (Don’t Get Used) as confident and sassy as it “hammers home the point that I know my worth; I’m not afraid to call out players on their stupid behaviour and I’m not going to tolerate being thrown around emotionally”.

Good Girls (Don’t Get Used) sees Beach Bunny incorporate a more prominent pop-punk influence that fuels the strong message the song’s lyrics successfully get across. The power in Trifilio’s vocals paired with the layered guitars gives the song a passionate feeling, fuelled by the anger of being mistreated in previous relationships.

Beach Bunny’s 2020 debut album ‘Honeymoon’ saw the band gain widespread critical acclaim, with the album being featured in several best albums’ of 2020 lists. Good Girls (Don’t Get Used) is an exciting next step for the band, with the rest of the ‘Blame Game’ EP still to come.

This Is The End – Sea Girls (Kiah):

Uncovering a new emotional depth, This Is The End by indie rock band Sea Girls ends the ‘Open Up Your Head’ era for the band. Finishing 2020 with a standalone single, the song encapsulates the sentiment of the past year in its melancholy and slower rhythm.

Paired with the song’s release is a music video that sees the band walking through the iconic O2 Brixton Academy in London. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Sea Girls had to further postpone their Autumn 2020 tour until 2021; the music video for This Is The End was filmed on the day they were scheduled to play the venue, which would have been the biggest headline show for the band to date.

Finishing 2020 with a standalone single, the song encapsulates the sentiment of the past year in its melancholy and slower rhythm

The song’s lyrics examine the breakdown of a relationship and relives the highlights of the relationship whilst acknowledging it must come to an end. However, the song takes on a double meaning through its marking of the end of the ‘Open Up Your Head’ era for the band. The first single featured on the album is Call Me Out which was self-released in the summer of 2017 and gained recognition through its energetic live performances. Throughout the three years, Sea Girls have gained widespread popularity for their feel-good indie-rock which culminated in their debut album reaching number 3 in the UK album charts.

Marking an ending to the album cycle, This Is The End explores a more downbeat and heartfelt side to the band’s sound, a satisfying finale that leaves fans excited for where Sea Girls will next head.

Gemma Cockrell and Kiah Tooke

Featured image courtesy of Nina via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @bastilledan and @beachbunnymusic via No changes made to these images.

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