Playlist: Best New Tracks Of The Month (October 2016)

October saw the release of a lot of great new music. The Lemon Twigs released their fantastic debut album, Neon Waltz released a great new single, Nick Valensi (of The Strokes) finally made the transition to lead vocalist with his new side project, The Last Shadow Puppets released another surprise, and more. Check out a list of ten of my favorite tracks from this month.

1. Hidden Charms – Left Hand Man

Hidden Charms are a garage/blues band from London with a really bright future. They just released a new EP called Harder From Here and this song is one of its best tracks. “Left Hand Man” is a psychedelic, garage rock tune with some nice guitar reverb and it showcases the bluesy voice of one of the band’s lead singers, Vincent Davies.

2. April – Open Mind

April are a young, new band from Nuneaton, England with some serious Madchester vibes. Their tunes are reminiscent of Primal Scream, The Stone Roses, and Oasis. Although this is only the second track that they’ve officially released, the other being a song called “Ten Miles High”, this one sounds a little more like early Oasis than it does like The Stone Roses or Primal Scream (though it does contain a sample, which is one of Primal Scream’s fortes). It’s a serious banger.

3. Sundara Karma – Olympia

Sundara Karma are an indie pop/rock band from Reading, England. Though their debut album, Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect, doesn’t come out until early next year, they gave another taster from the album in the form of a new track called “Olympia.” It’s got a great guitar riff running throughout the song and lead singer, Oscar Lulu, provides such a perfectly emotive vocal performance.

4. Vant – Peace & Love

Vant are an a British rock band led by Mattie Vant, who writes politically-charged lyrics for today’s youth. However, he doesn’t care if anyone else finds them controversial, which is quite refreshing to hear. The band’s ethos is all about spreading peace and love, but also having a good time too. So, since the band wanted an uplifting rally cry, they aptly titled one of their songs, “Peace & Love”, and its music video was just released this week.

5. CRX – Broken Bones

Nick Valensi was the last of The Strokes to come out with a side project and he decided to do so in the form of a band called CRX. This time, he takes lead vocals (though he still plays guitar) for the band, whose debut album, New Skin, comes out later this month. The second song that was shared from the album is a song called “Broken Bones”, which is a pretty heavy rock track (except for the chorus) and it shows the influence of their famous friend producer, Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age).

6. Mike Paterson / Josh McClorey – Darling If I Could

Josh McClorey (guitarist and vocalist of The Strypes) collaborated with one of his friends, Mike Paterson (also a musician), and they wrote and sang a couple of new tracks together. One is called “Oh Well” and the other is a ballad called “Darling If I Could”, the latter of which I think is the stronger track. Paterson’s voice is quite low and has a bit of the Frank Sinatra thing going on while McClorey’s is equally sweet and tender.

7. The Last Shadow Puppets – Is This What You Wanted

It appeared that The Last Shadow Puppets were destined for a hiatus again after the band’s shows concluded at the end of the summer, but it appears that we’re getting one final taste of the band before they descend into the shadows and back to their main projects. The band are releasing a six track EP in December called The Dream Synopsis EP, which contains four covers that they played live this year and two new versions of previously released tracks. One track from the EP was just released and it’s a Leonard Cohen cover called “Is This What You Wanted”, which of course, is just sheer perfection.

8. Neon Waltz – Dreamers

Neon Waltz are, by far, one of my favorite new bands of the last year or so. They’re from Scotland and they serve up tunes that are reminiscent of The National, Fleet Foxes, and The Coral. Their only release was a six track EP called First Light, but they just released a new single called “Dreamers”, which I presume will be on their debut album, but no official word yet. The track is a shimmery, keyboard-centered bundle of sha-la-la’s and it’s pop genius.

9. The Lemon Twigs – As Long As We’re Together

The Lemon Twigs are a duo of brothers (aged 17 and 19) from Long Island, NY that make music that’s so retro, you’ll think you’re in a time warp. The band draws inspiration from the music of the 60’s and 70’s like The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Badfinger, Big Star, and more. Even the way the tracks were produced sounds retro, but they still manage to sound fresh and new at the same time. They just put out a music video for a song from their newly-released debut album, Do Hollywood, and it’s called “As Long As We’re Together.”

10. Two Door Cinema Club – Bad Decisions

Two Door Cinema Club are a pretty well-established British indie pop band. They just released their third album, Gameshow, and one of its standout tracks is a song called “Bad Decisions.” Despite the album being a blatant ripoff of The 1975 (who I’m not really a fan of, but at least they’re doing their own thing), who are experiencing worldwide success, they really nail it with this catchy track, which really climbs for the high notes.

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