Listen Tracks: Declan McKenna, Lime Garden, Leigh-Anne and more

The biggest and best of this week’s new music.

Another week, another stellar selection of new listening material to feast your senses on. From indie pop hero Declan McKenna (and his seemingly trusty metal detector) to a first taste of the debut album from Lime Garden and beyond, here’s the biggest and best of the week’s party platter.

Declan McKenna - Nothing Works

To suggest that Declan McKenna is growing into himself as a songwriter may be a tad too cliche given that he was still a teen when he first broke through, but there’s a wonderful lightness of touch that runs through ‘Nothing Works’ - and, indeed ‘Sympathy’, also from his forthcoming third album - that suggests he’s found a rhythm to his songwriting: unafraid in equal parts to embrace pop’s bombast nor allow himself the space to be a little weird. An enviably immediate chorus is paired with some humourously self-aware lyrics (“Not like I’m up-and-comin’ anymore / So what if they hear me singing ‘I love war’?”) to suggest that if this is how Declan works his way through his writer’s block, most other songsmiths would gladly swap. (Bella Martin)

Lime Garden - Love Song

Coming to life after the band's Annabel Whittle found herself in a state of writer’s block, ‘Love Song’ is the first track to be released from Lime Garden’s upcoming debut album. Not actually a love song, the track is an ode to not caring what others think. Holding an assertive chorus ("As I walk / As I bleed / I wanna take you everywhere with me"), the single explores the feeling of jumping headfirst into joy and love even when you feel as if you don’t deserve it. (Katie Macbeth)

Chvrches - Talking In My Sleep

Given that it takes barely six months for most artists to raid their hard drives for unreleased material (see many of this week’s new releases, for example), that Chvrches have decade-old recordings that haven’t seen a single Spotify stream feels somewhat remarkable. Accordingly, ‘Talking In My Sleep’ is something of a time capsule: the trio’s knack for a synth-pop bop remains, but there’s a raw nature to the track that nods back to something a little more industrial, or with the backing vocals, hints at influences (in this particular instance, Laurie Anderson’s ‘O Superman’). (Bella Martin)

Dream Wife - Love You More

Recorded in the same sessions as latest album 'Social Lubrication', ‘Love You More’ draws in on Dream Wife's early 90’s alternative influences. Not your typical love song, the track is built on self-love and choosing to love your perfectly imperfect body – flaws and all. Lyrically, ‘Love You More’ delves deep into body dysmorphia, while also touching on disaster capitalism, climate collapse and depression, all with spaced-out guitar tones tying it together. An unexpected present that nods to the past whilst having its feet firmly in the present. (Katie Macbeth)

FIDLAR - Nudge

The kind of number that instantly conjures images of warm pints flying skyward while a sea of limbs attempt to crowdsurf amid multiple circle pits and sends a vibrant shot of adrenaline through anyone in earshot, FIDLAR’s latest combines Zac Carper’s usual lyrical fare (his own misadventure) with cathartic sonic chaos. As he recalls - presumably unsuccessful - attempts by law enforcement and a girlfriend to intervene, the track’s tension increases, until it’s the turn of his friends (“They sat me down in in a big circle and said / ‘Dude, we love you, but you’re seriously fucking up’”) after which it’s a glorious cacophony of noise. (Emma Swann)

Nell Mescal - Teeth

An emotional number that explores the demise of both platonic and romantic relationships, ‘Teeth’ sees Nell Mescal decide that enough is enough. The icing on the cake of a huge Summer for the Irish songwriter, the single keeps Nell’s feet firmly into indie whilst allowing her to explore her pop side. Her fourth release in 2023, ‘Teeth’’s message is clear and direct, allowing Nell to lay out her boundaries and affirm that she recognises her worth. (Katie Macbeth)

Cherry Glazerr - Sugar

There’s a distinct familiarity to ‘Sugar’, the latest from Cherry Glazerr’s forthcoming fourth that’s likely to fester away until it finally clicks: it sounds like Sorry, just with a brighter colour scheme. The lackadasical style, the not-quite pop song nature of it: a little shoegazey as Clementine Creevy has been fond of for some time, it’s a subtly infectious, somewhat glum indie pop number custom-made for self-indulgent wallowing (Louisa Dixon)

flowerovlove - Next Best Exit

Brimming with confidence and self-empowerment, flowerovlove’s latest offers an an optimistic take on toxic situations. Defiantly positive, ‘Next Best Exit’ showcases hope-filled lyricism alongside an ambient backdrop of jangly guitars and hypnotic beats. Once again, flowerovlove has provided a much-needed dose of feel-good energy. (Emily Savage)

Tags: Cherry Glazerr, CHVRCHES, Declan McKenna, Dream Wife, FIDLAR, flowerovlove, Lime Garden, Nell Mescal, Listen, Features, Tracks

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