countdown ~ 5 'must hear tracks' this week

In a twist to our usual round-up of new releases and live-reviews, this week we've showcased five unmissable tracks from the last few months you can't miss out on. From atmospheric rock, to twinkling psychedelia, get your ears around this...

#1. 'Only Love' ~ Aspen Pales

Almost gospel in it's approach, this festive release from Aspen Pales has 'the true meaning of Christmas' written all over it. Though not strictly confined to winter, 'Only Love' proves just as engaging a listen three months on, it's gentle piano and acoustic composition resting somewhere between New York's sadly missed 'And The Giraffe' and ambient-electronic artist 'Tycho'.

#2. 'Broken Mirrors' ~ His New Atlas

Huge in arrangement, even bigger on passion. His New Atlas hits the ground running with this new single, as engaging a listen as anything the young songwriter has released to date. Not straying from the formula which has won him recognition thus far, 'Broken Mirrors' see's the Armagh teenager in Keaten Henson territory, a very promising position indeed. ("You painted blood over my eyes...why can't I just breathe?")

#3. 'Pedestrian At Best' ~ Courtney Barnett

Yes, we know, Courtney Barnett is in no way Northern Irish, so perhaps we're straying from our ethos somewhat with this next choice ~ but we simply couldn't ignore this beautiful release from everybody's favorite alt-rock poet. This single, championed by Zane Lowe amongst others, see's Barnett at her most scathing, pouring scorn on the plastic people of the world. 'I think you're a joke, but I don't find you very funny'. Genius.

#4. 'Yeah' ~ Loris

Admittedly, we feel a little late to the party with this one; but that doesn't mean this latest effort from Belfast's Loris isn't as brilliant as is claimed. Already championed by the likes of Radio 1, the bands soft electronica is at it's absolute best here, not so much crossing the indie-pop divide, as striding straight through it. Shades of Kate Bush, chart toppers Bastille and CHVRCHES combine here, in some of the most professional songwriting you'll hear this year.

#5. 'Fox Polar ~ Live From The Atlantic' ~ Little Arcadia 

A very young group, The North Coast's Little Arcadia will be the first to tell you that they are far from the finished product. Still, between this and newly recorded opening number 'FUQ',  there's enough to suggest here that this band may have something a little different to offer than their hard rocking contemporaries. There's a depth here that resonates like the golden age of music in this country, when every bar in Belfast bore the names of APR, ASIWYFA and Fighting With Wire, amongst others. 'Fox Polar', in all it's atmospheric wonder, stands above the rest of the bands setlist so far ~ though we feel it won't be long before the rest of their set catches up.
Taylor Johnson

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